Introducing our ‘Technology Stuff for Baffled Parents’. No.1 – Why Buy Your Child A Custom PC
So we began the search for two new machines to surprise them with.
My boys are lucky in that they have an IT-savvy parent. I knew what their demands on their machines would be, and I understand my way round a mainboard well enough to understand the baffling array of numbers that get thrown at you when you’re looking for a new computer. But even I had to stop and research. How much memory was ENOUGH memory? Did they need an I7 processor? Which graphics card would hold up not only now, but to the games they’ll want to be playing next year?
I’m not unusual – in most parent’s lives there comes a point when the family PC is no longer enough, and your older child/teen needs a machine of their own. And it’s a huge investment; unless you’re into computing, and ‘in the know’, where do you start?
Like most parents my immediate action was to head to the big high street names – surely that’s where I’d get good advice and best value, yes?
But actually, no…
After much hunting and searching and research I bought two machines from a company called Chillblast.
No, I hadn’t heard of them either.
But I was so happy with what I got that when the time came a few weeks ago to get a third machine for son No.3, I didn’t even look elsewhere.
And it occurred to me that many parents would benefit from the wisdom of my thinkings before they go tip some money into a big retailers pocket. Katy and I are both Geek parents – we’ve often shared our knowledge and tips with other less-IT-ey parents, and when we spoke to Chillblast about working together on a series of features about computing for all you parents baffled by your children’s technology needs, they were really excited to join in…
- What’s Your Name, and Where D’you Come From?
I’m Louise Blain, part of the communications team here at Chillblast. I’ve previously worked for Apple, and spent time as a games and tech journalist on multiple print magazines. I manage the ever growing community and social networks – if you talk to Chillblast on Facebook or Twitter, chances are you’ll get a response from me.
- And what about Chillblast; are you a ‘real’ business with a real shop, and what are you all about?
Chillblast is, much like many online sites, a real business without a bricks and mortar shop front. Based in Bournemouth and founded by Amil Gulamali, Chillblast started as a specialist importer of niche overclocking products and has since evolved into one of the most highly respected desktop PC manufacturers in the world.
Most retailers outsource their building work to other firms; Chillblast builds everything on site. Highly qualified engineers construct and test every PC on the premises before sending them out. You won’t find ‘ships in 24 hours’ anywhere on our website as each machine is built and fastidiously tested before making it’s way to you, all ready to go.
We believe in customer experience, and are always happy to discuss and personalise your solution, no matter what size of machine you are looking at. Whether you are buying a PC for the whole family to use, or a gaming PC for one particular addict, we are happy to discuss all the options available that would best suit your needs.
We also understand that it’s not just buying a PC that can be stressful, but worrying about any tech issues that could potentially arise and the ability to fix them. With each Chillblast PC comes a lifetime local rate telephone support guarantee as standard along with our excellent warranties.
- So; my child has outgrown using the family PC, and needs one of his own – but I know nothing about computers. Surely my best option is to go to a well-known High Street brand – won’t that be cheapest?
While it might seem easy to head along to a well-known high street brand (except that walk/stagger back to the car with a heavy box) you’re not only faced with a vast selection of machines and overwhelming barrage of numbers, but also someone standing there who is perhaps thinking less in terms of which PC is best and more in terms of their sales targets.
Gaming PCs in particular are easy for high street brands to slap on a ‘high performance’ – and a high price tag. This tends to mean that the high street is not only the most expensive place to buy a PC but also the most ill-informed when it comes to components such as graphics cards and processors.
Our greater awareness of each component and what can be combined for better value for money as well as performance means that we can offer excellent prices across all of our PCs and the best machine to suit your needs. Plus, we’ll always be more than happy to share our taste in games with you if need be!
- Instinct tells me not to trust any internet company I’ve never heard of before (sorry – but it’s true). How do I know it’s okay to give my money to you?
It’s entirely understandable to be suspicious of an online company, especially one you haven’t heard of before, but Chillblast has worked hard to become the most awarded custom PC builder in the UK.
(Ed. – take a look look at these…
Not only are these awards from high profile tech magazines such as PC Pro and PC Advisor but, more importantly, we are the first ever PC builder to have won three back to back awards at the annual PC Pro Reader Survey. Named the PC Pro Excellence Award, this is the most trusted and sought after industry award voted for by the people that count, our customers. Our Trust Pilot scores are consistently over 9 out of 10 and our outspoken social networking followers attest to our constant focus on the best possible customer experience.
- Surely computer’s are all pretty much the same – as long as you get the same basics then a PC bought from you won’t be much different to one bought on the High Street, will it?
Much like cars, all computers have similar components each with a specific purpose but, just like cars, these vary greatly in capability and performance. Graphics cards, hard drives and processors are common across all PCs but the configuration and combination of each have infinite customisation options. When it comes to highly demanding applications such as games with multi layered graphics engines or video editing software, you want a PC that can run them smoothly and that’s entirely dependent on your components capabilities. While it can sometimes seem a little complex, our team of experts are here to find what’s best for you.
- How do I guarantee that I can buy my child a computer that will make them genuinely yelp with joy – and still be beaming happily over 3 weeks later? Friends have told me of the disappointment that happens when you buy a computer which looks perfect, and it’s only when your child starts using it properly that it becomes clear the PC is simply not what they wanted or, more importantly, needed?
We understand that the most important thing about buying your child a computer is buying the right one for them. It’s very easy to have been told by a customer service advisor that a PC ticks all the boxes when in fact it doesn’t have the ability to perform the way you want it to.
- Is your son or daughter a budding game developer, film maker or composer?
- Do they want to play games and capture the footage to put online?
- Do they want to play Minecraft and use it for school work?
These are all vital questions that you have to ask yourself when purchasing a PC. This is going to be used every day for a long time and it needs to not only stand the test of time but also be able to perform the tasks required. It’s essential to look at how the computer will be used, and find out the minimum system requirements for these activities. Nobody wants disappointment, and by discussing the capabilities of the PC prior to purchase, frustrating ‘but it doesn’t do this’ discussions can be prevented.
- Our Top 5 Tips when buying a new computer:
- What do you want to use it for? Think about your current needs and potential future requirements and then look at how to fulfill those. Don’t let anything get in the way of the functionality you need. Find out what is most useful for you.
- Who is going to use the machine most?
- Think about the full solution. Do you need a monitor, keyboard, mouse or even games controllers? And will the computer be in the same room as he broadband router or need to be wireless?
- Don’t let the numbers confuse you. Just ask.
- Enjoy it! This is brand new and tremendously exciting technology coming into your home. While the array of numbers surrounding it can be overwhelming, this is a finely crafted piece of gadgetry with more power than the computers that put us on the moon. Embrace the technology and learn from everyone you can.