Computer Advice

AuthorTopic: Computer Advice
Warrior
Member # 5550
Profile Homepage #0
My dad is buying a new computer tommorow, so I could really use some suggestions. Requirments are:
-2000 dollars and under
-Processor, Graphics and RAM are priorities
-A windows computer
-Does not need to be Vista ready
-A good security program thats not Norton Anti-Virus, as Norton takes a lot of processor power.

Thank you in advance.

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Q: What is the sound of one hand clapping?
A: The sound of someone getting smacked upside the head.

Duct tape is like the force. It has a good side and a dark side and it binds the universe together.

Don't worry Alorael, custom titles are overrated.
Posts: 154 | Registered: Saturday, February 26 2005 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 3171
Profile Homepage #1
Custom build. For $2000 you could easily have a top of the line beast. And for security use something like Zone Alarm. It's free and it's pretty reliable.
Posts: 776 | Registered: Friday, July 4 2003 07:00
Agent
Member # 1934
Profile Homepage #2
If building a computer is not for you, check out Gateway. I got a very nice computer for $1100.

But I'd go for building your own computer.

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You acquire an item: Radio Free Foil
Posts: 1169 | Registered: Monday, September 23 2002 07:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #3
What does your dad plan to use it for? The application drives the machine.

[ Friday, November 03, 2006 20:40: Message edited by: *i ]

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #4
If he going to let you play games on it then there are some of the Intel Macs that will run Windows and allow you to use the internet through the Apple side for security.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Dollop of Whipped Cream
Member # 391
Profile Homepage #5
quote:
Originally written by Randomizer:

If he's going to let you play games on it then there are all of the Intel Macs that will run Windows and allow you to use the internet through the Apple side for security.
FYT. That said, buying a Mac purely for security while using the internet is borderline retarded. Nobody is going to boot into another OS simply to use the internet. :P As long as there is a decent firewall (ZoneAlarm is very good) and a secure browser (Firefox ftw), a PC is quite safe on the internet.

As for recommendations, I have issues with the pre-built PC industry and cannot in conscience recommend anything that is not custom-built.

[ Friday, November 03, 2006 22:28: Message edited by: Tyranicus. ]

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"Tyranicus is about the only one that still posts in the Nethergate Forum." —Randomizer
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Posts: 562 | Registered: Friday, December 14 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #6
quote:
Originally written by Tyranicus.:

FYT.
I spent almost a minute looking for the joke.

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Master
Member # 4614
Profile Homepage #7
Want it cool looking too?

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-ben4808
Posts: 3360 | Registered: Friday, June 25 2004 07:00
Agent
Member # 1934
Profile Homepage #8
That computer looks absolutely ridiculous. And it's a bit out of their price range. And it's a Dell. Ick.

:Edit: 1.5 Tb?! WTF!

[ Saturday, November 04, 2006 09:50: Message edited by: Andraste ]

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You acquire an item: Radio Free Foil
Posts: 1169 | Registered: Monday, September 23 2002 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #9
Less than $2000? Nice.
I built a gaming and film editing machine over the summer for $600. It plays Oblivion at the preset High settings, and runs Adobe Photoshop with no issues. And, of course, I can still play old-school Exile when I so choose. :D

So how soon does your father want ths computer? If he already has Internet access and can stand to wait a week for shipping, I would strongly advise that he not go to a computer store in person, and instead go online to do his research and shopping.
Why? Because computer stores have salesmen, who many times get paid a commission on their sales. Meaning that the store ups the price a little to pay the salespeople, and the sales people are going to be trying to get you to buy the most expensive equipment and accessories possible without thinking about whether or not you can use them.

My suggestion is to build your own. For a PC, it's always less expensive.
Recommended sites:
TigerDirect
Newegg.com
PCMall
Overstock.com

Some advice from an experienced builder, if he goes for a PC:
NEVER buy a premade from Sony, Compaq, or HP.
When Comparing Dell to Gateway, Dells generally have better performance but will generally only last until the service contract expires; Gateways have poorer performace, but generally last a lot longer.
When you go shopping, ALWAYS look at consumer reviews (especially the negative points), and ALWAYS compare the actual abilities of the stuff that you're looking at.
Don't let a salesman tell you something that you can have them look up. They'll get it wrong.

To answer your qualifications:
So what is he planning on using this for, anyway? High video and RAM requirements generally mean some sort of visual com purpose... or gaming, of course.
I'm told Dual-Core is nice. Me, I'm running at Pentium 4 3.6 GHz with Hyperthreading, and it suits my purposes. Dual-Core merely can multitask better. Granted, only the more recent programs are applicable to the dual-core system.
Don't know about virus protection. The McAffe firewall/ virus scan system is pretty nice, but it is also a bit of a resource hog.
RAM? DDR2 or higher, if he can help it. It's not expensive. I bought 500 MB for $30.
If you decide to go with a video card, I would recommend an NVidia chipset out of experience. I have a card that I got for $150, and slightly underclocked (my case is poorly ventilated), it runs Oblivion at High settings.
I, personally, will not even consider investing in Vista until SP1. And at that point, I'll be getting a new computer anyway.

I hope that helps...

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The Silent Assassin prefers to ignore computer hardware.
Unless, of course, it makes pretty color flames when it burns.

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-Lenar Labs
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Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Guardian
Member # 2238
Profile Homepage #10
I strongly suggest building your own. Newegg.com is a good friend.

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DEMON PLAY,
DEMON OUT!
Posts: 1582 | Registered: Wednesday, November 13 2002 08:00
Master
Member # 4614
Profile Homepage #11
quote:
Originally written by Andraste:

That computer looks absolutely ridiculous. And it's a bit out of their price range. And it's a Dell. Ick.

Well, it is does fulfill the guidelines, even if the price is only a dollar below 2000.


:Edit: 1.5 Tb?! WTF!

Somebody has a lot of big files. :/



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-ben4808
Posts: 3360 | Registered: Friday, June 25 2004 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 4239
Profile #12
As somebody else said, tell us what it's going to be used for if you really want any helpful advice. $2000 is a lot of computer nowadays; I built mine for ~$1100 about 18 months ago and it can still do anything.

In any case, use ZoneAlarm Pro and AVG Free Edition as your firewall/anti-viral stuff. And get a dual-core computer; they're cheap now and very very nice.

And if you absolutely have to buy a pre-built computer, make sure you get a Windows Install Disk with it and then re-install without installing all the crappy programs Dell/Compaq/etc like to put in.

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There are two kinds of game players...those who are newbies, and those who were.
Posts: 322 | Registered: Monday, April 12 2004 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 3171
Profile Homepage #13
quote:
Originally written by Lenar Labs:

I have a card that I got for $150, and slightly underclocked (my case is poorly ventilated), it runs Oblivion at High settings.

What card have you got?
Posts: 776 | Registered: Friday, July 4 2003 07:00
Agent
Member # 1934
Profile Homepage #14
quote:
Originally written by Kingy:

quote:
Originally written by Lenar Labs:

I have a card that I got for $150, and slightly underclocked (my case is poorly ventilated), it runs Oblivion at High settings.

What card have you got?

I have a NVIDIA 7600 and it runs Oblivion very nicely. It cost about that much.

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You acquire an item: Radio Free Foil
Posts: 1169 | Registered: Monday, September 23 2002 07:00
Warrior
Member # 5550
Profile Homepage #15
My dad is only interested in a workhorse computer that will last a long time, and given the price range, I wouldn't mind some high end gaming on the side.

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Q: What is the sound of one hand clapping?
A: The sound of someone getting smacked upside the head.

Duct tape is like the force. It has a good side and a dark side and it binds the universe together.

Don't worry Alorael, custom titles are overrated.
Posts: 154 | Registered: Saturday, February 26 2005 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 4239
Profile #16
quote:
Originally written by I like fluffy kitties on rye:

My dad is only interested in a workhorse computer that will last a long time, and given the price range, I wouldn't mind some high end gaming on the side.
Well, a "workhorse computer" for internet surfing and word processing that will probably last 8 years can be had for less than ~$700. Really the only way to get a computer to $2000 is to turn it into about as good a gaming machine as is possible to build, or to outfit it with specialized equipment for video editing or some such.
And if all he wants is a web browser/word processor that will last a while and be hassle-free, (and if he's willing to spend $2k anyway,) I'd say you should in fact just get him a nice iMac. ;)

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There are two kinds of game players...those who are newbies, and those who were.
Posts: 322 | Registered: Monday, April 12 2004 07:00
Dollop of Whipped Cream
Member # 391
Profile Homepage #17
quote:
Originally written by Ja der Wagen humpen:

quote:
Originally written by Tyranicus.:

FYT.
I spent almost a minute looking for the joke.

Pardon me for actually using 'FYT' the way it was intended. :P

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"Tyranicus is about the only one that still posts in the Nethergate Forum." —Randomizer
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Posts: 562 | Registered: Friday, December 14 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #18
If you've got $2000 and you can get a great gaming machine, have fun putting together something exciting. If your father is careful with his budget, you can get a basic workhorse out of the cheapest parts you can find. Which one are you aiming for, and which is plausible?

—Alorael, who agrees about the Mac. Everything I've seen since the Performa has become obsolete but never stopped working.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 3171
Profile Homepage #19
Originally written by Andraste:
[quote]I have a NVIDIA 7600 and it runs Oblivion very nicely. It cost about that much.[/quote]Yea true. I have a GeForce 5200 which plays Oblivion on low and that only set me back $35 NZD (about $20 USD). It's a pretty reliable card as well.

[ Saturday, November 04, 2006 20:05: Message edited by: Kingy ]
Posts: 776 | Registered: Friday, July 4 2003 07:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #20
Earlier this summer I had to purchase a new work computer. The thing was made for high end simulations and is a monster. It has two dual core processors with a high end graphics cards. I'm afraid it's going to take over the other computers in the office. :P

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00