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Level 1

Best Computer to use to operate QB efficiently

I need to purchase a new computer so that I can run Quickbooks 2016 AND Microsoft Excell 2016.  My current computer does not have enough memory to operate these programs efficiently.  One place online (PC) i think, recommended 8 TB of RAM.  Those computers are $5000.  What should i get?  Any suggestions?  I really want a computer that will run these programs efficiently.  Thank you everyone for your help.

Content Leader

Best Computer to use to operate QB efficiently

You've come to the right place, @nichtipa.


I can say with certainty you can find a PC capable of handling QuickBooks with great ease for much, much less than $5,000. While I can't make anything in the way of suggestions, I can elaborate on which specifications you should strive for in a new machine. Ultimately, I encourage reaching out to an IT consultant for picking the best specific PC.


These specifications are ordered from most to least important when it comes to running QuickBooks:


  1. Hard Drive versus Solid State Drive - A hard drive stores the permanent data on your PC. This determines the time it takes to boot up your PC and open a program (such as QuickBooks) for the first time that day. A regular hard drive (HDD) is the original format and stores data on a disk, similar to a CD or DVD. Solid State Drives (SSD) store the data in a more digital format, similar to a flash drive. Because of this, SSD's empower a PC to boot and launch QuickBooks or Excel very quickly.

    The guide at this link provides a detailed comparison of hard drives and solid state drives.
  2. RAM (Random Access Memory) - Think of this like short-term memory. While your PC is turned on and handling multiple tasks at once (internet browsers, QuickBooks, Excel, etc), it relies on RAM to do all the juggling. A general rule of thumb is that more is better. I would assume the site was actually recommending 8 GB (gigabytes) of RAM, as 8 TB (terabytes, or one thousand gigabytes) is a roof-shattering amount, way more than is necessary to handle QuickBooks.

    8 GB is currently the industry-standard recommendation for running most modern applications efficiently. However, 16 GB has become increasingly affordable in commercial PC's and would provide a noticeable increase in performance.
  3. CPU (Central Processing Unit) - Often described as the brain of a PC, it does all of the computational thinking required in QuickBooks. Opening the software or loading a new module simply requires fetching existing data from the hard drive, but what about new data you wish to inquire about, like a report? Adding the numbers up for a Profit and Loss or Balance Sheet relies on the CPU. Processors are ranked based on two metrics: the number of cores they have, and the speed of their cores.

    Be sure to consult with an IT professional to determine which CPU will be efficient for running QuickBooks efficiently. As with all of these categories, please check out our QuickBooks System Requirements page to get an idea of a bare minimum.

With this information, I'm sure you'll find a PC that handles QuickBooks and Excel like a champ. Please don't hesitate to keep in touch with me here should there be anything else you need. Thanks for coming to the Community, cheers to a safe and relaxing weekend.

Level 1

Best Computer to use to operate QB efficiently

Thank you so much.  This helps a lot and gives me a much better understanding of what I need to look for in a new computer.  I reread the printout and realized that it did not state 8 TB of RAM.  It seems that most computers meet the basic requirements to run and install QB but that doesn't mean that the Quickbooks will function -- as I have found out on this computer, which is good for some things.  Thank you again.  

Not applicable

Best Computer to use to operate QB efficiently

Hey @nichtipa,


It really depends on how efficient you need to be!


Yes, an expensive computer will perform better at lightning speeds, but there's a diminishing return. This is really true for all technology - premium products fetch a premium, but their output and efficiency are not exponential. If you plan to do lots of work online, your internet connection will play a much larger factor than the hardware in the case. 


Also, your computers will depreciate in value quickly (faster than many other types of products), so if you plan to eventually sell off the expensive computer, keep that in mind. 


A good way to go about this is set a benchmark for yourself and a price limit and go from there. What is the ideal speed your system needs to run at? What's the absolute maximum you'd be willing to pay for that performance? This way, you're defining value for yourself


When it comes to computers, it's also about the experience. Macs and PCs are similar yet fundamentally different. Each has their advantages and their drawbacks, some people swear by one over the other. If you work on your computer all day, take the accessibility, aesthetics, and basic functionality outside of QuickBooks into account as well. You'll be much happier in the long run :). 


Now, I asked this all backward, but I get excited when I talk tech... are you planning to run QuickBooks Mac or are you running QBO? 


Kind of amazing how this conversation is applicable to automobiles, cameras, and so many other products, though the evolution of this trend is especially apparent with computers. 

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