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Low-end desktop advice

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by dr.no, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. dr.no

    dr.no Senior member

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    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
     
  2. Szeph el raton

    Szeph el raton Senior member

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    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.
     
  3. intent

    intent Senior member

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    Just buy the cheapest computer, and upgrade to the latest cheapest desktop every few years as needed.
     
  4. KenN

    KenN Senior member

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    Just get the cheapest one, you are not going to stress the computer to the max anyways so you won't notice the difference.
     
  5. tphd

    tphd Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. Blackhood

    Blackhood Senior member

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    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.
     
  7. dr.no

    dr.no Senior member

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    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.
     
  8. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    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)
     
  9. dr.no

    dr.no Senior member

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    ^^^ Was eyeing the compaq 5210; your info about processors and RAM is exactly what I need. Thanks.
     
  10. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    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)
     
  11. kruze

    kruze Senior member

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    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.
     
  12. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    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.
     
  13. otc

    otc Senior member

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    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)
     
  14. Petrolhead

    Petrolhead Active Member

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    for the tasks you presented, I'd say keep the same computer.
     
  15. otc

    otc Senior member

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    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.
     
  16. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    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.


    That's the same exact machine I posted above, though the slickdeal had it for $415 back a few weeks ago, it's $449 now.

    I played around with it at a Staples over the weekend. It's pretty snappy; just need to be sure to clear out all the bloatware using something like PC-Decrapifier.
     
  17. skinnyman

    skinnyman Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried wiping your computer clean and installing windows from scratch? You may find this alone giving you enough of a speed boost that you won't need to buy a new computer. Or maybe I am being too naive in thinking a 5-year old computer should be able to handle the tasks you need it to. I admit I'm not up to date anymore with technology on the PC side, and I'm still running on a pre-Intel mac.
     
  18. Petrolhead

    Petrolhead Active Member

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    can you give me the specs of your 5yo pc?

    I still use a very low end 6yo PC that I have here with linux. It still does all you've said there. If you want to be consumerist, yes, buy a new one, but you don't need quad core to watch gentleman's movies.
     
  19. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    can you give me the specs of your 5yo pc?

    I still use a very low end 6yo PC that I have here with linux. It still does all you've said there. If you want to be consumerist, yes, buy a new one, but you don't need quad core to watch gentleman's movies.


    A new computer with a quad core proc will hopefully allow him to watch them in 3d when the time comes [​IMG] A little future proofing doesn't hurt, especially at such a small increase in cost.

    I recently tried getting my dad to use Ubuntu on a 4 or 5 year old machine (old Intel Pentium D) and he just couldn't get the hang of it and begged for windows. I ended up installing more ram and a video card (x1300 I had laying around) along with W7. He's happy with that now.
     
  20. otc

    otc Senior member

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    And if the old computer was also a sub 500 box including keyboard/monitor/mouse, it is almsot certainly time for a new sub $500 box.

    Sure, my mom still happily uses the computer I built senior year of HS (since I replaced it the summer after my second year of college) but that computer was built to a pretty high spec back in 2004 and had some small upgrading before it was retired in 2007.

    If it was a low-end machine back then, I would not want to be using it for everything...probably still handy for web browsing and stuff in a pinch but you don't want to rely on it for *everything* you do. If it was a laptop, I would use it it for reference in the kitchen and stuff but I don't have anywhere to keep extra desktops so I would just get a new $500 machine (which is really like a 7-800 machine before slickdeals), pull the hard drive out of the old one and get rid of it. You can put the drive in an external case for backup if you like.
     

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