Being a freelancer is an empowering feeling, a career imbued with a distinct sense of freedom many young digital workers yearn for in this new millennia of opportunity. Long gone are the days when you would have to punch in and spend your day in a stuffy office, as nowadays a programmer or a content creator has everything it takes to build their career from the comfort of their own home. Or the coffee shop. That said, it’s not like building a successful freelance career doesn’t require substantial investments on your part. And one of the most important ones is getting a computer that’s perfect for your unique needs.
Here to help you make the best cost-effective decision are the five essential considerations that go into building the right setup that suits your freelancer position.
Assess your job description thoroughly
Freelance have the tendency to use their computers for work and play, and while there is nothing wrong with having a computer you can do work on and play video games You really should keep your business and professional life separate. This is important not only for the proper functioning of the rig. But also for ensuring you stay productive throughout the day.
So the first thing you need to do is to analyze your daily routine and note down everything you need your computer to handle. Don’t forget to assess its level of multitasking, if you have a need for it. Keep in mind that not all vocations require a performance-driven setup. But rather you should choose your specs according to your needs – this includes the need to stay mobile vs the need to stay put. With that in mind, let’s address the second biggest question.
Decide on an operating system
Choosing an operating system is a big problem for freelance, especially coders and programmers who are just getting their foot in the proverbial door. First, there is a need to differentiate between the three giants in the industry: Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux. As a general rule of thumb, Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems are used for programming. And macOS is used for creative purposes such as graphic design, 3D modeling, and such.
Why? Simply because Windows and Linux offer a greater level of coding freedom and versatility to the programmer. On the other hand, there is no real evidence that a Mac will outperform a PC in anything but price and style. But that debate has and will remain open for years to come. If you’re unsure which to pick, simply ask yourself. If you’re willing to pay three times more for a computer that might not bring any revolutionary benefits to the table.
To be mobile or to stay in place
One of the most important considerations for a freelance is whether or not you intend to work exclusively from home. Or if your calling will take on global adventures, or even the coffee shop down the street. It’s an important question to answer because it will define the future of your work.
For example, sleek laptops such as the new Lenovo x1 yoga are excellent for creatives looking to stay on the move, work from various locations, and even build a career as digital nomads. On the other hand, if you want a stable job from home and need a very powerful setup for cumbersome projects, then maybe a stationary PC might be more for you. It will all boil down to your unique requirements. But always remember that there are laptops with serious hardware under the hood that might serve both purposes.
It’s what’s under the hood that matters
Performance is another crucial consideration for every freelance. Again, the hardware you choose should be tailored to your requirements in order to prevent overpaying for a product you don’t need, and in order to avoid performance issues when your job depends on it.
The most important hardware to consider if you’re looking for pure performance are your processor, available RAM, your hard disk, and your graphics card. Choose a new-age processor such as an i7 from Intel or a Ryzen class processor if you’re more of an AMD fan. The amount of ram you need will depend on your job description. So if you’re running cumbersome programs, 8GB minimum is a must.
The hard disk you use will make all the difference in your computer’s responsiveness and overall speed. So always choose contemporary SSDs instead of the old HDD models if you’re looking to speed up your machine. They cost more, but are also worth the investment. Lastly, you might not even need a dedicated graphics card if you’re not using graphics-intensive programs such as content creation tools or video games, so choose accordingly.
Freelancing is a rewarding career path with numerous lucrative opportunities, but to get ahead, you need to invest in your business setup. With these primary considerations in mind, go ahead and choose a computer that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.