If you're going to be multitasking with your laptop or desktop, it is best to boost RAM as high as you can afford. If you can, upgrade the random-access memory on your existing machine or choose the highest sensible option when buying a new computer. With more memory, you can have more tabs open while browsing, you can edit larger files, etc. 4GB is the minimum for Windows 10, but it will probably result in frustration eventually. Linux actually runs better with a small amount of RAM, alternatively. Also, don't forget to replace a spinning drive with an SSD.
The less you spend on a computer, the more likely it'll break. Go for the higher-end Pro/business-grade model because the hardware will be better and won't get frustrating early down the road. The computer you want is close to $1500 to $2000...unless it's a Chromebook. We all need to reset our expectations for Windows and Mac products. Overall, it's gonna cost more than you wanna pay, but it'll be worth it in the long run. If money is especially tight, a Chromebook refurbished with some DIY upgrades could also work out.
When you are buying/building a new desktop PC with any kind of stamina, make sure it has an SSD instead of an HDD. Solid-State Drives are a massive improvement in speed and durability from regular hard drives, Best of all, prices of SSDs have fallen drastically, so getting a 1TB drive is plenty and still affordable. Also, don't get a "hybrid" configuration of SDD and traditional, it's more worth it to go all-in on solid-state.
John has spinning hard drives to back up data, and wonders if SSDs are more reliable nowadays. Leo says that SSDs have a feature called wear-leveling that takes care of the limited read/write cycle issue they used to have. Whenever Leo buys new drives, it's a Solid-State.
Leo advises to buy multiple smaller hard drives over one extremely large hard drive. The bigger the size, the higher the error rate...which can be catastrophic in the worst case scenario. In any case, move away from old spinning drives to faster Solid-state Drives (SSD), where the cost per gigabyte is getting conveniently cheaper. You may have so much storage in the future that you could forget to discipline yourself on cleaning out files!
Larry's sister had her hard drive fail. Her backup isn't responding and it seems like her hard drive may be "locked." Leo says that doesn't make sense at all. If she made an image of the drive, she should be able to blast it onto another drive pretty easily, and Acronis should handle it. And unless she was locking her drive before, there's no reason it would be locked now. So more likely, if the recovery failed, then it could have messed up her SSD because the installation didn't finish. Leo recommends getting a new copy of Windows and format and reinstall.
Steve is getting a gaming computer for work because it's powerful enough to do 3D design for dental implants. What should he get? Leo says it largely depends on what the software supports in the way of minimum hardware. A quad-core i7 with 16GB of RAM and a dedicated GPU (GTX 650 or above) should be enough for Blue Sky Bio. A basic or mid-level gaming system would probably work. He doesn't need to break the bank and pack it with specs.
Rich is a long time Mac user, and he's been using Quicken 2007. He's recently been having issues using it with macOS High Sierra. Leo says that having a dedicated Quicken machine running Sierra would be a good way to take care of his data through Quicken, and using an SSD will make it last a good, long while. The real deal is the battery of his older laptop. It'll eventually need to be replaced. But Rich should be able to get another 10 years out of it.
Deke is trying to breathe life into his older computer and wants to install a M.2 SSD drive into it. Leo says that's more expensive, and if he's using SATA III, he's better off with a Samsung 950 EVO SSD. An M.2 drive is only going to be as fast as his bus. So if he doesn't have a faster bus, then save some money and get an EVO SSD drive.
G Scott has a Microsoft Surface and wants to remove the hybrid drive. Leo says the best idea is to use SSDs. He should get a fast one for his M.2 drive and the slower SSD for the secondary drive.