Why writers should have a powerful computer?

Desktop Personal Computer (PC) In A Dual Monitor Configuration
Desktop Personal Computer (PC) In A Dual Monitor Configuration

Recently, when speaking with a friend of mine, he questioned why I had purchased such a powerful computer? It seemed to him to be unnecessary to purchase such a powerful computer.

By way of background, my most recent personal computer (PC) is a super high-powered gaming computer, meaning it has multiple CPUs a high-powered graphics card and several gigabytes of memory.

Pondering on his question, I decided to write a short article explaining my reasoning. After having written several books and running several blogs for years I have come to this understanding of why a high-powered computer is a benefit to writers.

As it happens, my most recent computer purchase was a desktop. However, I have laptops, iPhones, iPads, as well.

I would like to note, that even though I own a gaming computer, I am not nor have I ever been a gamer. As a matter fact, I’m never found much purpose in games; computerize or otherwise.

Computer Application Performance
Computer Application Performance

Perhaps, my biggest reason for investing in a really powerful computer, is application performance. There are a number of applications that I use in the course of my day, which I like to have work quickly and efficiently. This is especially true, for tools such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking (my speech to text tool), my word editor, and my photo editors; all of which I use on a daily basis to support my writing and my blogs.

Speech To Text

Nothing hinders my performance more than sitting around waiting for an application to catch up. I find waiting on the computer to catch up when I’m using speech to text, for example, to be super annoying and distracting to the point of causing me to lose my focus sometimes. This hasn’t been a problem in a while with the new computer but is definitely work on my nerves in the past. This is an area where high-speed CPUs and significant amounts of memory can be very helpful.

Photo and video editors

I use a number of photo editors and today even if you take a photo with your iPhone modern cameras take photos which can be quite large sometimes. This is even more true, if you’re working with video. This would be the reason that I lean toward a significant amount of memory and for high-end graphics card.

Web-based tools

in addition to having high-speed Internet access, in my case 1 Gb optical, it pays to have plenty of memory, high-speed CPUs, and a good graphics card, so you’re not sitting around waiting for your tools to keep up online and so that they’re not always having to buffer to your PC. And this can be true for any number of tools including WordPress, Grammarly, and online word processing and editing tools.

Web research

for the same reasons that having a powerful computer helps will web-based tools, it also helps when you do online research and when you download online content. This is particularly true, when downloading large content.

Photo Editing On A Computer
Photo Editing On A Computer

What I look for when I buy a new computer?

Plenty of memory

Plenty memory is important, 16 GB of memory is kind of the minimum these days, so, go for as much memory as you can reasonably afford. Memory isn’t terribly costly these days but unless you just like buying more memory and switching it out (assuming your not tech savvy and like that kind of thing), I recommend that you get the memory up front in your computer or have it installed by their support team at the time of purchase. The more memory you have the more work at one time your computer can do in memory without writing to disk–working in memory is always faster than writing and reading from disk.

Several high-speed CPUs

Since CPUs are the real brains of the process along with the high-speed memory is important to get modern high-speed CPUs and several of them.  Multicore computers are not terribly costly these days, either, and with a 64-bit operating system can be quite fast and efficient. More CPU’s and/or Cores will allow you to run multiple programs efficiently at the same time.

Graphics cards

Now graphic cards may be a little more optional if you don’t do a lot of work with photographs and videos but I would still recommend that you consider getting a computer with a powerful graphics card installed. Even if for no other reason than the ability to work efficiently with your content on the web and in the cloud. Powerful graphic cards improve the performance of photographic and video editors, as was as, providing a smoother overall user experience.

High Speed drives

If you have the budget for it going with a Solid State Drive (SSD) rather than Hard Disk Drive (HDD) can also add performance with it comes to caching and saving you data and files. My most recent computer actually had both types. An Solid State Drive (SSD) as my main drive (C Drive) and an Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for backup, recovery, and long term storage for less frequently used file. This combination has worked very well for me.