New computer advice

Posted by: Tristy

New computer advice - 01/09/13 11:32 AM

Hi all! wave I'm looking for buy a new computer, a desktop. I want it mainly for casual internet browsing and of course, adventure gaming. But I'm a little technologically challenged. So I'm looking for advice on exactly what kind of specs I need to look for, and possible price ranges that I can expect. Thank you! grin
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: New computer advice - 01/09/13 11:33 AM

Tristy, I'm sure our members can help, though this question is often posted over in Glitches where the techies tend to hang out. Would you like me to move you?
Posted by: Tristy

Re: New computer advice - 01/09/13 11:41 AM

Sure, thanks looney! I wasn't sure where to post it. grin
Posted by: Draclvr

Re: New computer advice - 01/09/13 05:16 PM

First thing needed to give you some suggestions is your budget. Just using some of the ecollegePC configurator a low-end (but still good) build with a decent video card is a little over $600. Upping all the components including a snazzy case goes right up to $970.

So, give us some idea of what you are looking for and we can throw out some suggestions.
Posted by: Tristy

Re: New computer advice - 01/09/13 08:23 PM

Actually, that range sounds pretty good to me, Draclvr! If I can't get one for less than $600, that sounds do-able, but preferably no more than $1000. I don't need anything too fancy though. Just something to get the job done so I can play my occasional adventure game.

What are the bare minimum specs I would need to play most new adventure games? And then maybe I can work up from there...
Posted by: Draclvr

Re: New computer advice - 01/09/13 08:56 PM

The most important thing is to get a good stand-alone video card. Do not get anything that doesn't have dedicated video graphics. Even the newer adventure games are requiring dedicated video cards.

I tried to put something together at Dell, but didn't have much luck in specifying a video card. I didn't spend too much time there though. The other thing is to be sure a good enough power supply is included - most of the low-end desktop computer from manufacturers like HP and Dell have integrated video and puny power supplies. But you can look at the different manufacturer's websites to see what they offer.

I'm going to post component specs for a decent computer that will still work for you from EcollegePC. They will build one for you for about as much as you could do it yourself. But you con't have to order from them... this is just an example. You might also look at Cyberpower - they also build PCs and sometimes have some pretty good deals.

I'm assuming you want Windows 7, not Windows 8 and I only put in 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive. You can always add more RAM and a bigger hard drive if you want. The motherboard isn't "cutting edge," but is fine for your type of usage - something else you can upgrade if you want. I'm also assuming you didn't need a new monitor, mouse or keyboard. This configuration is $761.

Intel Core i5-3450 3.1Ghz 6MB Cache Quad-Core Stock Intel LGA1155 Heatsink and Fan
GIGABYTE GA-H61M-S2H (Intel H61, HDMI, DVI, PCI-E, 4xSATA, 2xDDR3)
4GB (2GBx2) PC3 10666 DDR3 1333Mhz Memory Lifetime Warranty
500GB 7200RPM 32MB Cache SATA3 6Gbps (Major Brand)
24X LG SATA Dual Layer DVD /-RW/CDRW w/Nero
1GB ATI Radeon HD7750 GDDR5 PCI-E DVI/HDMI (Major Brand)
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Raidmax Blue Super Huricane (3 5.25, 4 3.5) 2 Fans, Audio/USB 3.0
500watt Cooler Master Extreme Power Plus | Onboard LAN included
Onboard Sound included
Wires and Cables neatly tied up away from fans
3 Year Parts and Labor Warranty

EDIT: Put this together at HP for $829. It's the only one I could do that still had Windows 7. At least HP allowed a power supply upgrade which I was unable to find an option for at Dell.

Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64
Processor 3rd Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770 quad-core processor [3.4GHz, 8MB Shared Cache]
Memory 8GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM [2 DIMMs]
Hard drive 1TB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive
Graphics card 1GB DDR3 AMD Radeon HD 7570 [HDMI, DVI, VGA via adapter]
Power Supply 460W Power supply
Primary optical drive SuperMulti DVD Burner
Networking Wireless-N LAN card (1x1)
Productivity ports 15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB 2.0 (front), 2 USB 3.0 (top)
Office software Microsoft(R) Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word & Excel w/ ads. No PowerPoint or Outlook
Sound Card Beats Audio (tm) -- integrated studio quality sound
Keyboard and Mouse Premium HP keyboard and optical mouse
Included Software Bundle Adobe Premiere Elements & Photoshop Elements 10
Posted by: Tristy

Re: New computer advice - 01/10/13 03:33 AM

Wow, thank you for all the info! I was actually wondering about Windows 7 vs. 8. Is Windows 8 no good?
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: New computer advice - 01/10/13 09:15 AM

I've heard Windows 8 is much easier to live with if you're using two monitors. That way you always have access to at least one desktop. I don't know how it is for games though. I'd expect some games that work in Windows 7 (but need tweaks because they were made for XP or earlier) won't work in Windows 8 at all.

But Draclvr would know more about Windows 8 and games than I would. It's just that we haven't had time to test many games in Windows 8 because it's new.
Posted by: Draclvr

Re: New computer advice - 01/10/13 10:56 AM

I've been using Windows 8 off and on for 6 months and full time for 3 months now. It's not that it's "no good;" it's just new and different. Microsoft has always released new operating systems that are still familiar to users in many ways. Windows 8 is a complete departure from what we are used to. I've grown to really like it and appreciate it. As far as gaming goes, so far every game I've installed has played perfectly, including Big Fish Games, Vampire Bloodlines from 2002, the old Morrowind and newer games. I'm sure there are going to be certain games that have issues, but I just haven't had time to sit down and work with very many yet.

Actually, two monitors is not necessary. The desktop environment is a tap of the Windows key away. The only time they would be nice is if you need the two applications open at the same time for some reason. But that is even possible without another monitor as you can have one application open and snap it to the side in a reduced size and have a second one open in the rest of the screen. A single keystroke can switch between the two. I have an 88 year-old internet friend who dearly loves her Windows 8 and dual monitors.

I would do some reading up on Windows 8 and see if you want to learn this new OS. It is the direction we will all have to go eventually, but Windows 7 will still be around for a long time.