NOTE: While this questionnaire is still functional, the data that it presents is outdated. I highly recommend that readers check out my How Fast Of A PC Do You Really Need? article that does a better job of guiding users to finding a PC to match their needs
The most common question that people have when they visit the About.com PC Hardware / Reviews site is "What Computer Should I Buy?". In order to better answer this question, this questionnaire has been put together. Through questions about budget, computer applications and usage, it will try to determine the best computer to match your needs.
What to Expect
The questionnaire will range between 10 and 13 questions in length. Each question is presented as a single web page with either single or multiple answers. Single answer questions will automatically load the next question. Multiple choice questions will require the selection of all relevant answers followed by the "Next" button to move to the next question. Some questions may also contain some additional text between the question and answers to clarify what is being asked.
Once all of the questions are answered, a results page entitled "Your Chosen System" will be displayed. On this page will be two sections. The first section will name the category of computer that best suits your usage and budget. Following this will be a link to a selection of the best computers that match this category of computer. For most people, this is all they will need.
The second section will present a set of recommended specifications presented in a table. This will break down the specifications by category and recommended items to look for. Some of the entries in the table will have links to more detailed information or selections about the given specification.
All links presented on the results page are designed to open the relevant page in a new window so it is not necessary to constantly move back and forth between your results and additional information.
While a lot of effort was put into this questionnaire, there will be some instances where the results may not be what you expect. In most cases, this will be due to the differences in the budget and the intended use of the computer. Many of the most advanced computing tasks such as gaming or desktop video will require more expensive equipment not found in the budget systems or even some of the more mainstream computers. Thus, a computer listed in the best selection for the category may not have all the features listed in the recommended specifications.