What to consider when buying a PC for Pirform

To get the best out of Pirformyour PC needs to be reasonably modern and reasonably powerful.  We recommend an Ultrabook as the best configuration to use for Pirform.  Read about our system requirements here.

The following points will help you buy a machine that runs Pirformat its best.  The article assumes that you are buying a laptop, but the advice works also for a desktop PC.

Disclaimer

This article is meant to give you some "food for thought" when deciding on a new PC to use Pirform on.  It contains personal opinion and is not meant as a definitive guide and you should always take advice from a reputable professional when buying a new PC.  

Processor (CPU)

This is the component that does the work in your PC.  Just like the engine in a car, the more powerful the processor the faster the computer will be.  

Look for a PC with an Intel i5 processor or above (or equivalent from another manufacturer).  These are powerful and have relatively low power consumption, making your battery last longer.  The i5 is the more powerful of the two and I would recommend this chip if money allows.  Either will run Pirform happily.

Memory (RAM)

Look for 4GB or more of RAM.  Most laptops come with this amount these days and it is perfectly adequate to run Pirform .  You will notice the effect of having more RAM if you run a number of programs at the same time.

Hard Disk

It is worth considering buying a computer fitted with a type of hard disk called an SSD (Solid State Drive).  Although these are typically much smaller in capacity than traditional hard disks, they are significantly faster and will vastly improve the performance of the computer.  Ultrabooks come with an SSD hard disk. 

Screen Resolution

The resolution is different to the size.  It measures how much of Pirform you will be able to see at the same time.  The resolution of the screen is shown by two numbers, such as 1400x1050.  This means that the screen will show you 1400 pixels (or points) along and 1050 up.  

The thing to note is that this is different to the physical size of the screen, which is measured in inches, such as 15.5", and is measured across the diagonal like TVs.  

For running Pirform you want to get a screen that has as many pixels vertically as possible.  This will let you see more of the certificates on screen at the same time without scrolling.  The downside is that higher resolution screens will definitely increase the price of the laptop.  At a minimum, aim for 1366x768.  A better choice is 1400x1050 as the extra height will give you more to work on.

The links below will show you the difference between a screen 768 pixels tall and one 1050 pixels tall.  

Page 3 on a 1366x768 screen

Page 3 on a 1400x1050 screen

You will notice that you can see all of the EICR supply characteristics page on the taller screen.  Please also click here to read how Pirform makes it easier to work on lower resolution screens.

Build Quality

Cheaper models may not be built to the same standard as more expensive models.  Pick up the laptop and see how robust it feels compared with other models.  If you take your laptop to site, it may be worth getting a model that can stand up to a few knocks.

Other Factors

If you have a lot of other software or utilities running on your PC then it will run slower as it is doing more work.  We all need to use security software to prevent viruses, but this can also slow down your PC.  That said, a machine as described above should have no problem running security software, a couple of web pages, an invoice or two as well as you email at the same time as Pirform.

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