What sort of memory/processor do you need if buying a new computer and any makes to avoid?

(11 Posts)
aamia Thu 10-Jan-13 18:00:48

Just wondering what the minimum is now that will run smoothly. Our old PC is ancient and runs windows xp so totally out of date! Need one to run microsoft office on, search the web, play dvds. Will get several hours of use daily. Also, what are the good makes now at the cheaper end of the market? Looking for a desktop pc. Thank you in advance!

TotallyBS Thu 10-Jan-13 19:13:17

Dell PCs are competively priced. You can get cheaper PCs but there is the question of reliability and after sales service. Dell IMO is a good compromise between price and a brand you can rely on.

PCs are like cars. Pointless paying extra for oomph that you don't need or won't use. As a general guide £400 will get you a desk top that will do the job. You may want to upgrade to a bigger screen or bigger hard disk. That will bump up the price to about £600. If your DCs want to play latest games then expect to pay £800 upwards.

niceguy2 Fri 11-Jan-13 10:38:59

To be honest almost any PC that you can buy now will meet those requirements.

Are you looking for a desktop or a laptop?

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Sat 12-Jan-13 10:20:36

OP already said desktop, but I'm thinking if this is going to be a long term investment, you might be better off with a laptop to which you connect a keyboard, mouse and monitor. Purely because the prices for spec are not that different any more and the desktop is quickly becoming old news. They take up a lot of room and are not portable, both things are bad news with the way technology is headed. Desktops really should now be reserved for those who need the case space to add lots of internal components.

NetworkGuy Sat 12-Jan-13 22:17:22

but on the other hand, a laptop is so portable (and disposable at a pub) that it is a thief's dream, should one get in, compared with a desktop.

(and if someone was starting from scratch, many TVs have a VGA input for a computer, and some computers have HDMI output, so can plug into an up to date TV whether large or small... Lots of 18-26" flat screen TVs around, and may have one indoors anyway...)

NetworkGuy Sat 12-Jan-13 22:29:00

"You may want to upgrade to a bigger screen or bigger hard disk. That will bump up the price to about £600."

Possibly able to use the monitor they already have, unless they want to move to a widescreen display (and on another thread there were some links to monitors/TVs costing 99 to 150 quid)...

As for hard drive, most desktops will nowadays come with perhaps 500GB, and not everyone is after 2 TB of storage.

Here's one under 225
(Zoostorm Pentium DC G645 2.9GHz 8GB 500GB DVDRW Intel HD Graphics)
which only needs Windows 7 (or Win 8 if preferred), or maybe time to try a free version of Linux, with browser, Open Office, etc.

(I know MS Office was mentioned, but unless using MS Access or Powerpoint a lot, one of the free alternatives can do pretty much all that MS Office will do.)

NetworkGuy Sat 12-Jan-13 22:29:19

One area which is difficult to judge when looking at PCs online is just how quiet or noisy they are... It ought to be part of the specification so one can compare models, and in a store like PC World it is awkward to tell how noisy any single machine is (so perhaps worth using the distance selling '7 day return' cover by buying online, unless you can see what friends have bought and check noise level).

BertieBotts Sat 12-Jan-13 22:37:28

£600 or £800 is crazy money. DP and I both have gaming computers and mine was only £400. I already had a hard drive so that didn't have to be bought, but I've just bought a 1TB hard drive separately for £60, so nothing like £200+ extra. DP's was more I think because he had higher specs and a proper cooling case etc but nowhere near £800, anyway.

If you want to run Windows 7 or higher then you want a minimum of 2GB RAM, other than that I wouldn't worry too much about it. Pretty much all computers you can buy now will way outstrip the minimum requirements for what you want anyway.

TotallyBS Sat 12-Jan-13 23:11:22

Bertie - There are gaming PCs and there are gaming PCs smile

DS plays games that require a lot of oomph! We upgraded when we bought him LA Noire and his PC couldn't handle it. The graphics card itself cost us £180. If we rack up the resolution and ao few other effects then the games lag even on our PC.

It's only "crazy money" because you and your DP aren't running the latest graphic intensive games on your relatively under speced PCs.

NetworkGuy Sun 13-Jan-13 04:44:28

Understand your needs more stringent but out of touch with what's likely to suit OP's request, as a replacement for a Windows XP system running day-to-day things, not a top end gaming system.

FWIW, I'd think PS3 or Xbox (or both) would offer better environment for many games, rather than needing a water-cooled system with top end graphics card (and OTT display to go with it, no doubt smile )

aamia Mon 14-Jan-13 12:21:19

Thanks all for the advice. Old pc is a laptop but do not want to risk baby vomit killing a new one, so want separate keyboard etc for safety lol. Must be compatible with work pcs so has to be Microsoft. 2GB then. Makes to avoid?

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