How to spec a PC

...for Engineering simulation and analysis purposes.
Computer hardware capability and prices changes daily, so how do you make informed decisions when buying a new computer?
Here follows a few principle guidelines on how to find or define the computer specification that suites your needs.
Budget
The easiest way to spec a computer is to have a maximum amount you are willing to spend, but many people don't know what a reasonable amount is.
A rule of thumb (which works well for most companies), is to spend the same amount (once off) on a computer for your engineering analyst, than you are paying him/her per month.

Just like you can't expect to spend only R50 ($3) on a sound cable for a R100 000 ($6000) sound system and expect to experience the value from the sound system, it doesn't make sense to have a highly paid employee sit around the whole day waiting for the computer to finish a task.

And if you still don't know how much is a reasonable amount to spend on a computer, leave this check box un-ticked and read on.
CPU
The easiest way to spec a computer is to have a maximum amount you are willing to spend, but many people don't know what a reasonable amount is.
A rule of thumb (which works well for most companies), is to spend the same amount (once off) on a computer for your engineering analyst, than you are paying him/her per month.
Memory
The easiest way to spec a computer is to have a maximum amount you are willing to spend, but many people don't know what a reasonable amount is.
A rule of thumb (which works well for most companies), is to spend the same amount (once off) on a computer for your engineering analyst, than you are paying him/her per month.
Graphics
The easiest way to spec a computer is to have a maximum amount you are willing to spend, but many people don't know what a reasonable amount is.
A rule of thumb (which works well for most companies), is to spend the same amount (once off) on a computer for your engineering analyst, than you are paying him/her per month.
Hard drive (storage)
The easiest way to spec a computer is to have a maximum amount you are willing to spend, but many people don't know what a reasonable amount is.
A rule of thumb (which works well for most companies), is to spend the same amount (once off) on a computer for your engineering analyst, than you are paying him/her per month.