I need a new PC.

Discussion in 'System Building & Upgrades' started by Core, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Core

    Core in pounce mode Moderator

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    Ok, my laptop having gone the way of the Klingon I find myself needing a new system and rather rapidly. I've also decided that for now I need an upgradeable and expandable workhorse more than mobility, and I like to actually be able to fix stuff when it goes wrong, so I'm going for a desktop.

    This is actually going to be the first desktop I've ever bought new. So I could use some advice. Each PC I've owned has already been behind the times and incapable of running up-to-date software when I've bought it. Even though my budget for the new comp is very modest, I'd like it to at least give the fleeting momentary perception of being current.

    Ok, what I want/need:
    1. A desktop machine that can ideally run Vista without coughing. I don't mind using XP, though...
    2. Heavy multitasking with Office, web dev apps, and video rendering.
    3. I'd like to finally be able to play Oblivion, but that's not really a major concern.
    4. The big thing for me is that I'd like to just once have a PC that isn't already behind the times. When I bought the laptop last year, I thought it was a nice one, but the onboard graphics really and truly sucked, and it felt like I couldn't expand the machine at all.
    5. I don't mind upgrading the gfx card later on to something spiffier, but it's important to me that the processing power and memory amount/speed be respectable.

    My budget for this is a modest $500 or so. I know that's very limiting and we're not talking about high end machines - that's fine.

    I've been browsing the 500 buck range on NewEgg. This Acer AMD quad-core caught my eye, because it seems like a bargain for the price... But there are some complaints about the 690G mobo limiting its performance despite the Phenom X4. On the other hand, it does come with a decent (?) gfx card. Meanwhile, they also have an Intel Core 2 Quad for a hundred bucks more. Integrated gfx, though... But it has a gig more RAM.

    600 is more than I want to spend, but I also don't want to end up feeling like "I wish I had spent the extra hundred" if it means I would have gotten more bang for the buck. I don't really know about AMD's mobos, and can't say anything as to whether the mobo on the Intel is any better, but it's been my humble experience thus far that if the mobo is a limiting factor in your setup then upgrades later on can be difficult...

    Any advice or alternative suggestions would be most welcome!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2008
    Core, Sep 7, 2008
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  2. Core

    spike228 ST 38 VIP Member

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    What will the PC be used for?
     
    spike228, Sep 7, 2008
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  3. Core

    Goober THQ's Jester Moderator

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    Are you willing to build it?
    If so we can pull some specs for you...

    Otherwise that Acer looks nice.
     
    Goober, Sep 7, 2008
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  4. Core

    Fenis-Wolf VIP Member

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    Frankly you might want to check out the Dells-they're dirt cheap. Not super fancy, but they'll work out ok for you.
     
    Fenis-Wolf, Sep 8, 2008
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  5. Core

    spike228 ST 38 VIP Member

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    I would avoid dell like the plague. My school uses dells for their office and I cannot believe the kind of crap I have to clean up (all the preinstalled stuff....especially programs that try to make the computer better but actually screws things up more).
     
    spike228, Sep 8, 2008
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  6. Core

    Zeus Moderator

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    Acer does look nice, but if you are willing to build it yourself you can get more bang for your buck.
     
    Zeus, Sep 8, 2008
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  7. Core

    Goober THQ's Jester Moderator

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    HP Business models, I hear James talking about those all the time. They don't come with all the bundled software and are relatively at a good price.
     
    Goober, Sep 8, 2008
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  8. Core

    James Photojournalist

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    Yes, the HP Business models are very nice. We are putting out the HP D5800 which are good machines, I'm not sure their price, maybe $500-$800. Make sure you look at the CMT version as the SFF do not take standard height PCI cards.
     
    James, Sep 8, 2008
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  9. Core

    spike228 ST 38 VIP Member

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    For the sake of expandability, I would just find a barebone system.

    Or build your own if that's an option.
     
    spike228, Sep 9, 2008
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  10. Core

    Core in pounce mode Moderator

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    Thank you for all your replies.

    I considered building my own, but I am really pushed for time with college these days, and I needed to get a system up and running post haste.

    All the models I'd been looking at were without a monitor. I no longer had one, but I figured I'd find a used CRT one and call it a day. However in the end I was enticed by the idea of getting a nice, new monitor.

    I ended up getting a Gateway with a Phenom 8450 triple-core, 4 GB of RAM, 500 gig HDD and integrated Radeon HD3200, and a 19" LCD. For my purposes, it's terrific. Vista doesn't cough at all. I've done some video rendering with it and it's very fast.

    Happy as a clam!
     
    Core, Sep 9, 2008
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  11. Core

    Zeus Moderator

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    How much did that end up setting you back?
     
    Zeus, Sep 10, 2008
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  12. Core

    Core in pounce mode Moderator

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    600 with the monitor.
     
    Core, Sep 10, 2008
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  13. Core

    Bubba Gump XBL: John Voda VIP Member

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    That's really good for the price. Have you tried gaming with it?
     
    Bubba Gump, Sep 11, 2008
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  14. Core

    Core in pounce mode Moderator

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    Not much, just Oblivion. Beautiful game, nice to finally be able to play it.
     
    Core, Sep 13, 2008
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  15. Core

    Goober THQ's Jester Moderator

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    Congrats on the new PC!!!
     
    Goober, Sep 13, 2008
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