Let's keep this simple. I consider what am I going to do with this new computer. For me, it is a combination of hobby computing, business needs, and personal computing.
I am seriously considering an Apple this time. The Apple will fit my business needs with both software and the Microsoft offering I can be compatible with the office.
The main reason I am considering an Apple is money and security. I am willing to spend the money to get the hardware and software to pursue my hobbies. My hobbies being music, photography, and computing. I like the way media looks and feels on the Apple. And to be honest, I am tired of the pc.
The Apple works.
Security. Security is the key. With identity theft the expense is justified. While working security in the United States Air Force I realized that security is a key component in computing. Therefore, I will spend the money now. Identity theft is serious. Enough said.
Now build the computer.
This sounds easy and here are a few simple tips.
Put as much money into the computer now. It will pay for itself. I put in the maximum cpu. I put in the maximum memory. I put in the maximum graphics card and memory. All for my hobbies and my business. This is money well spent and all factory installed upgrades are covered by the warranty.
Software. I got the Microsoft office on my Apple so I have word, excel, and PowerPoint. I can stay in touch with my business partners and integrate with their pcs.
More software. I will load the rest of the software when I get the machine home. I have development software for computing for business and hobbies. I am using Java and HTML for my business computing and development needs. I also use Java and HTML for my computing hobbies.
I chose a fairly large screen for my eyes. I have found a good physical routine of stretches, walking, and breaks helps with eye strain and neck pain. Also a good chair and getting the ergonomics correct. The correct height of the computer and screen for your sitting height and practice good posture. This keeps computing fun and relaxing. A good balance of fun and exercise keeps a smile on my face.
I hope this gives you a simple guide to considering a new computer. Whether you choose an Apple or PC is your choice. An Apple is mine for this next purchase. You may still use these guidelines to buy your PC. Just ignore the Apple and insert PC. The guidelines are generic. Security, memory, screen size, graphics card, memory on the graphics card, software, and most importantly what will you be doing with this computer will determine your specific decisions.
Printers and such. You can assess your needs and my be able to reuse your present printers and such. Perhaps we can discuss these in the future. Good luck in selecting your computing needs.