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The right comp for non-techie people


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#1
shannonRN

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The comp I'm replacing is 5+ years old and was the bottom of the barrel even when it was bought. Even so, it has served us well and I have really only had problems with malware in the time I've had it. Now the system is basically maxxed out and I think the HD is damaged, it makes some very disturbing noises and is just basically taking its last breaths.

With a hunka junk like this, we're obviously pretty low-tech people. I use the computer mostly for the internet, digital images, and like to mess around with photo editing and animation stuff but presently this old box just isn't up to it. I take digital photos like a maniac though and want a system to support that. My husband is not very comfortable with computers at all, but surfs the web and likes to play games but hasn't in a while b/c our system is so maxxed out with my crap. :tazz: But "way back when," he liked to play the delta force games, the deer hunter series, and I can't really remember what else. He'll never be a cutting edge sort of gamer though--I remember that he always seemed to like the earlier versions of games, wasn't into later versions with better graphics.

I really want an AMD 64 processor but only need mediocre speed (anything will seem lightening fast, compared with what I've got), at least 512 RAM but preferably 1GB but I don't really understand what sort of MHz to look for, as I see 400, 533, 800, etc and just don't get it. HD probably 120GB will do as I only plan to work with smaller media and won't be doing any video editing, TV recording etc. I'd like a DVD-rom + dual layer DVD-rw. As far as graphics card, I'd like to minimize the expense here but have a PCIe slot available for later upgrades if needed. I also am still running WinMe so an OS upgrade is definitely needed also along with new matching basic keyboard & optical mouse...

So, on to getting a new desktop...I had been looking for an low priced out-of-the-box sort of system, hopefully including an LCD, but I just never quite find what I want. I started out looking at Dell/Gateway, Emachines etc but I'm feeling pretty uninspired by them. I want to feel that I'm making a "safe" choice and having a recognizable name on the front feels 'safe' to me, but they don't seem to offer what I want for the price I want to pay and without a ton of crap that I don't need. Is there something mainstream that will meet my needs for a reasonable price--like $800-900 max? Is it stupid for a low-techie like me to look at configuring my own system from a site like PCinfinity or digital storm, when I really feel safer buying a box with a holstein print on it? The gamey-looking towers freak me out a little too--I just want a plain tower that looks like any other tower.

Wow, that was really long-winded. Sorry!

Edited by shannonRN, 27 February 2006 - 05:54 PM.

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#2
afg34

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Your best choice would be to buy all the parts and get someone you know to put it together or take it to a local computer store to put it together for a small fee. $800-900 max is not a bad budget. Its quite good. You can get very good quality parts from newegg (if u live in usa) for good prices. Personally i wouldn't buy a prebuilt system from big companys like dell, emachines etc. You don't have a lot of room for upgrade with them. Also Pcinfinity and digital storm might be a little expensive but not sure.
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#3
SRX660

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Personally i would prefer to build a puter for everyone that asks me what to look for in a new computer. I know i can give them more in a puter than they can find at the local stores. In reality i cant compete with the store prices. So, what i do is have them compare computers and decide for themselves. If they decide that a store bought puter will do them fine i try to steer them to the Hewlett Packard puters. They have the least proprietary parts in them of all manufacturered puters and usually have some of the better hardware in them. The thing i ask them to look for in a new computer is that there is a way to upgrade the graphics card. I want them to have a open AGP or PCI-E slot on the motherboard if they have onboard graphics. I have dozens of people that are perfectly happy with what they got in their H-P puters. I can still upgrade their puter down the road if necessary. I do suggest that they buy at least the middle range of the models as far as pricing( in the $500-700 range) simply because they do get the dvd burners, better memory, larger HD's, etc.

SRX660
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#4
The Colonel

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If you list me a budget, I can pick out NewEgg parts. You could also go to www.cyberpowersystem.com, just don't go with all the gamer stuff they offer. Also, I don't know about the motherboards, but for very cheap pretty good PCs, you can go with www.pc-infinity.com. The other good option is like they said, get the parts and find a local place to build the PC for you.
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#5
austin_o

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You could look for "barebones" computers or just a basic amd system with limited expansion capibilities. Monarch Computers (http://www.monarchco...nt2/merchant.mv) has systems configured and tested, and ready for shipment. You can also have them custom build your system. I have a custom built Monarch system which I really like. I got it with basic stuff needed, including operating system, and then added my own additional components as my budget allowed. There are others out there as well. www.geeks.com has systems and barebones kits too. Get to doing some google searches. Lots of options out there. If you poke around at ebay you will find barebones and complete systems there too.
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#6
shannonRN

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Thank you for your replies--unfortunately the old heap just up and died on me so I had to just make up my mind and buy something. I went with an HP a1330n with a 17" LCD and ended up spending over a grand, but so it goes. So far I'm quite pleased with it--I can't believe how quiet it is, and I don't know how we ever lived without LCD monitors. And LightScribe CD labelling is really cool.

So thanks for the advice. Hopefully I won't be back too soon looking for technical help :tazz:
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