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Low-end desktop advice

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I'm a techie novice and it's time to replace our 5-yr old Dell PC. Used for basic stuff like email, downloading photos, excel/word and of course pr0n.

CNet rated the Gateway SX series pretty highly, but they're several models all within $80 of eachother.

Which processor should I go with?

Gateway SX Series
post #2 of 35
For the tasks you've listed I'd say choose the cheapest.

The things that need performance are gaming, photoshop, video editing and stuff like that. If you're not doing anything like that it doesn't really matter what the system is able to do as your tasks aren't able to max out the resources.
post #3 of 35
Just buy the cheapest computer, and upgrade to the latest cheapest desktop every few years as needed.
post #4 of 35
Just get the cheapest one, you are not going to stress the computer to the max anyways so you won't notice the difference.
post #5 of 35
If you don't need a powerful computer and you don't really care about upgrading the internals, then you might consider a laptop. You can get a dell or a lenovo laptop at that price point. I just saw a thread on slickdeals about cheap refurb lenovos - http://www3.slickdeals.net/forums/sh....php?t=2184763 . Max out the ram, then save your pennies and get an external HD and a nice big LCD.
post #6 of 35
See I would go the other way entirely. For the extra $80 I would get the highest end one. 1TB of hard drive means you'll never fill it up, and the largest amount of RAM will mean you never stress it. For a small increase in price you give yourself a performance buffer. I'd rather have a capability unused than find myself wanting at a later date.
post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice. I just need to replace the tower as we have our existing monitor and keyboard, etc.

I think a cheapie will do just fine. Compaq has a sub-$400 model that looks like the route I will go.
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.no View Post
Thanks for all the advice. I just need to replace the tower as we have our existing monitor and keyboard, etc.

I think a cheapie will do just fine. Compaq has a sub-$400 model that looks like the route I will go.


I hope you're not thinking about this....

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/sh...ABA&catLevel=2

That sempron is a dog of a processor (single core) and only has 2gb of DDR2 ram....

You'll be wanting a new computer much sooner. Better to spend ~$450 now rather than dropping another $350-400 in a year or two.

I suggest something like this: http://www.staples.com/HP-Pavilion-p...product_886411

Quad Core, 4gb DDR3 ram, 750gb HDD, built in wifi, can easily add a Graphics Card upgrade (decent ones can be had on newegg.com for ~$50)
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
^^^ Was eyeing the compaq 5210; your info about processors and RAM is exactly what I need. Thanks.
post #10 of 35
I like to put my computer on the higher end of my desk, so, sorry can't help you there. (wow, I just have too much free time)
post #11 of 35
Id recommend a somewhat capable updated processor. Nothing single core. Then you can upgrade ram/vid card/hd whenever. I personally would rather just buy all custom. Slap together all the parts for the same as a cheap computer but with much better components. For example my 07 parts were rapidly becoming out of date. I replaced the mobo and cpu and feel a world of difference. Now I have room to upgrade to much better ram, add an SSD etc. The mobo/cpu combo was super cheap like probably 60-100 total I forgot. But you can find deals like this constantly. It's up to you though.
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kruze View Post
Id recommend a somewhat capable updated processor. Nothing single core. Then you can upgrade ram/vid card/hd whenever.

I personally would rather just buy all custom. Slap together all the parts for the same as a cheap computer but with much better components. For example my 07 parts were rapidly becoming out of date. I replaced the mobo and cpu and feel a world of difference. Now I have room to upgrade to much better ram, add an SSD etc. The mobo/cpu combo was super cheap like probably 60-100 total I forgot. But you can find deals like this constantly. It's up to you though.

He doesn't seem like the DIY computer building type. Better to stick with PC in a box deals.

True some people could whip together a pretty awesome system for $400, but not everyone has the time or knowledge to do so.

PS Microcenter has a deal for $100 you can get a Phenom X2 555 (usually can unlock to a X4 Quad) and mobo. Get one of the PSU/burner deals from newegg (~$50 after rebate), $80 for 4gb DDR3, $65 1tb HDD, $40 cooler master case, $50 gpu. Still has some wiggle room for taxes and shipping. Not too shabby.
post #13 of 35
Dual core cpu

between two options, you are going to want the one with more RAM (unless you want to upgrade the ram yourself...it is easy and cheap but sometimes it is easier to just buy one that already has it) More RAM > small increase in cpu speed in most cases.

HDD space is less of an issue. 1Tb is great, 500GB will probably be more than enough since I find that the people who need low end computers tend to not go through a lot of data (and most laptops have even less...like 250gb)
post #14 of 35
for the tasks you presented, I'd say keep the same computer.
post #15 of 35
Forgot to mention, I like the slickdeals advice

I am a big fan of slickdeals...since you know you want a computer, I would check it out. Either just troll the front page for desktop deals (also look at the "Hot Topics" and "Up and Coming" forum topics on the right side of the page). I don't see any in the last few days on the front page but desktop deals are pretty common. Often you get people who have figured out some pretty crazy coupon stacking to get the price down a good deal.

Here is a deal that went off earlier this month (found it in a forum search for "desktop" in title)
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthr...1870&t=2164938
Looks like this one in particular required you to have a staples coupon already (and may have been in store only) but for the most part it is about what you are looking for.
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