Yet another PC recommendations request thread

All right peeps, here’s the deal. My current computer (which is not in use at this moment, since I’m still looking for my own house and borrowing the home PC) is about six years old. All I’ve done with it is add a second HD and I may have added some RAM at one point. Since I’ve saved some money by not having to pay rent, I think it’s a good time to prepare to go PC shopping.

I’m not looking to spend more than $1000. I do not require absolute-top-of-the-line specs, but I want programs to run without choking. I’d like to use my computer for Internet activities, music listening (and CD burning), video viewing (and DVD burning), some not-too-advanced gameplay, picture file playing, and working on my resumé with other Office-related activites. I’d also like to get one of those flat-panel monitors - they’re easier on my back when I’m moving from residence to residence. :smiley: For an OS, I’m sticking with Windows, but since I haven’t used a personal version since 98 (first edition cough) I’m not sure what’s out there and what would be best for me if there is a choice.

Here’s your chance to shine, geeks! Please offer intelligent suggestions, and although I’m not totally knowledgeable about all things computers, I do enjoy it when someone offers the logic behind a suggeston.

In advance, I really appreciate any help that can be offered.

Define not too advanced gameplay. Laptop or desktop?

If you know someone who can build it for you, then explore and finds the following. Motherboard, Ram, Hard-drive, videocard, case, dvd-drive, speakers, keyboard, mouse, and operating system. Go with AMD if you can, but Intel is good too. I could copy my list of stuff I was going to buy for my computer (but which not happening now) which was under 1000 dollars, but could play Half-Life 2 after it was done.

Currently, I have an HP laptop that I am very happy with. It’s a little slow running FFXI, but overall very nice. I have a zv5000 series, though I don’t see it here at HP’s website. I’ve heard some good things about HP, but a few people I know have been very dissatisfied with Dell, so I would suggest avoiding them.

You can probably get by with the last system I made. It cost me all of about $400 in parts, but that is without the monitor and software. I am able to play morrowind and warcraft III on it which is pretty computer intensive.

You may be happier with a laptop. You can get quite-good laptops for around $900. I came really close to getting a $900 dell deal the other month that included 512 megs of ram and a 1.7ghz pentium M and 3 year warranty. That would probably suit all your needs and you wouldn’t have to worry about getting the parts assembled.

If you want a desktop you can get either a lot better performance or cheaper price, but I would definitely not recommend getting a pre-built desktop system. Every one I know that has a pre-built desktop from places like Dell/HP/Gateway has had major problems within 2 years. They don’t tend to use consistently quality parts in those machines. If you are still near/around Raleigh I can help you shop for parts/put the system together when I get some more free time.

I too am in the market for a PC, and in my searchings I’ve found this site…if I decide not to build my own, I’d definitely consider buying from there.

if you do buy a pre-built one from a site, make sure it lists what brand all the parts actually are. The reason so many of them die after a couple years is they cut corners by buying cheap parts. The advertising numbers on the part sound the same, but the reliability is far different.

The other thing about pre-built systems is companies like dell/compaq/gateway tend to make their cases a bitch to do anything with. You practically have to break them to replace some things. So it’s also a good idea to take a look in the case before you buy to make sure it’s easy to do things like add ram/pci cards/hard drives to it.

An Acer Travelmate 4601WLMI ought to do nicely.

Not-too advanced gameplay means mostly old-school emulation, but that if I so desired I could play Sims or Diablo 2 without grinding to a halt, or I could play one of my PSX games without a similar result.

I’d sort of prefer a desktop… a laptop would be cool, but I already carry enough electronic crud with me when I travel, and I’d have to buy a docking station and still get the new monitor so that I don’t have to look at the flippy screen.

I’m also not looking to build one. When it comes to the guts of a computer, I know enough to take the case off a lot of things and then enough to stay out of trouble once I’m inside. :smiley: However, I do want to move my newer hard drive from my old computer into my new one, once I have it.

I think those Acers are out of Vicki’s price range. I personally love my laptop and I think that the screen quality is so good that I wouldn’t want to buy another screen. My laptop is also a gargantuan monster that most people would feel uncomfortable carrying around , but it plays Doom 3 on high detail, if that tells anyone anything. I’d personally find it hard to live without my laptop now that I’ve had one for almost a year.

You can get a fairly cheap computer that will fit those standards. 512mb of RAM is becoming the standard, get some thing with a video card preferably, 128 mb will be a lot for your purposes, but it shouldn’t be too pricey. 64 will be outdated too fast in the future I think. In terms of processor speed, does anyone even care anymore? I haven’t seen a situation where that mattered in so long. If you want a laptop, make sure it has a wireless card, if not, don’t worry about it for a desktop. In terms of HD space, 60-80 gigs is the comfortable size most people go for. Whether or not you want to be able to burn DVDs is up to you. Great for movies or making large back ups of all your stuff. Otherwise, computers nowadays tend to come with CDRW/DVD combo drives so you don’t need to worry about that.