Recently, I was asked to recommend a computer to a colleague and as the conversation progressed, the main question did not center on the typical Mac v. PC or Dell v. HP v. Gateway v. etc questions, rather the question was: how much computer do I need anyway. Like any law school graduate, my Pavlovian response was – it depends.
I told my colleague that the first step is to specify your mission and then let the software guide you. The problem with this approach is, as my colleague pointed out, it requires one to know what software they are going to run and allows little room for future growth. So, were there any rules of thumb that would lead to a solid middle of the road computer – something better than your $300 home PC and something a step down from that killer game machine or desktop supercomputer?
By the end of lunch, we had our rule of thumb – Look at the minimum specifications for the latest version of Microsoft Flight Simulator then double the processor speed, quadruple the RAM, 20x the hard drive size, and 8x the video card memory card size.