Computer Buying Advice

I have to buy a PC Desktop

Page 1 of 1

11 Replies - 1249 Views - Last Post: 01 September 2009 - 03:56 AM

#1 jemagee  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 18-October 08

Computer Buying Advice

Posted 25 August 2009 - 09:33 AM

So, my gf's laptop has died and my imac (g4) is really running too slow to keep up with Adobe CS3 and other things I do (i'm an all around jack of all trades master of none type at the moment) so I need to upgrade, and upgrading to a Mac while ideal isn't the most affordable solution.

So I guess I have to investigate PC options, but I know nothing about what is too much or too little in terms of internal workings of a PC.

I'm hoping someone here can help me or point me to a good 'buyers' guide in terms of what is and isn't needed.

So What I need is for my PC to:

Run Adobe CS4, including dreamweaver, preferably with multiple apps open at once
Support the XAMPP environment as well
I'll use open office
And I might get into some programming in the future but that's open ended right now (I'm learning python this fall)
Don't know enough to run a linux box.

I know it doesn't seem like much but I really know nothing about what are good and bad specs for a PC to run this - with prices so low right now Im' wary of what I'm getting. I have no 'brand preferences' (though if XP is still available, I'd prefer it over vista)

Any help would be greatly appreciated...if posted in the wrong place, please let me know where I should go, couldn't find any good forums via swagbucks.

Thanks

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Computer Buying Advice

#2 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 1395
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,884
  • Joined: 04-June 09

Re: Computer Buying Advice

Posted 25 August 2009 - 10:55 AM

Regardless of what you want, the most important thing to be said is that you need to educate yourself. It's your particular usage habits, and more importantly, your money, that is getting spent. Spending some time learning about hardware is important. General reading on Wikipedia is a good start. In particular, you should be able to look at specifications advertised by various companies and understand them, and more importantly, recognize what they are not mentioning in their advertisement!

I realize you came here precisely because you aren't knowledgeable about the details. That said, your question will invariably result in the same responses as everyone else who asks about computer specs. You'll basically get a super abbreviated version of Google searches as answers instead. Not something you want to stake your money on.

Instead, if you arm yourself with information, and are able to throw in your ideas and thoughts based on what you have read and learned, we can give you much better information, as we won't repeat Google and instead tell you things that Google doesn't easily tell you...
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 arthurakay  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 22
  • View blog
  • Posts: 226
  • Joined: 17-February 09

Re: Computer Buying Advice

Posted 25 August 2009 - 10:59 AM

The odds of you finding anything with XP are so small, I would just stop talking about it. You *could* buy a copy of XP and install yourself, but from what I've heard you should just go with Windows 7. (And in my opinion, Vista is actually pretty good - with the obvious exception of software compatibility. Of course, that's fixed in Windows 7).

Any machine you buy will be able to run CS4, as well as Dreamweaver or any other code-editing software. You'll probably want to find a machine with 2GB of RAM so that things are lightning fast, but most machines in Best Buy have at least 1GB RAM plus a ton of hard drive space. More than enough to get you going.

In other words... for a "jack of all trades", any basic PC you'll find in a store can handle what you want - laptop or desktop - and will only cost you like $700. If you're using CS4 a lot, the two things you'll want are (1) lots of RAM, and (2) a nice video card.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 jemagee  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 18-October 08

Re: Computer Buying Advice

Posted 25 August 2009 - 11:02 AM

View Postarthurakay, on 25 Aug, 2009 - 09:59 AM, said:

The odds of you finding anything with XP are so small, I would just stop talking about it. You *could* buy a copy of XP and install yourself, but from what I've heard you should just go with Windows 7. (And in my opinion, Vista is actually pretty good - with the obvious exception of software compatibility. Of course, that's fixed in Windows 7).

Any machine you buy will be able to run CS4, as well as Dreamweaver or any other code-editing software. You'll probably want to find a machine with 2GB of RAM so that things are lightning fast, but most machines in Best Buy have at least 1GB RAM plus a ton of hard drive space. More than enough to get you going.

In other words... for a "jack of all trades", any basic PC you'll find in a store can handle what you want - laptop or desktop - and will only cost you like $700. If you're using CS4 a lot, the two things you'll want are (1) lots of RAM, and (2) a nice video card.


I appreciate your input (and to the other suggestion, you'd be surprised at the plethora of useless garbage regarding computer purchasing online - i did make attempts of course at making my own informed decision but there was just an overwhleming amount of data much of it useless or contradictory) on that, i hope to avoid best buy cause usually they just rip you off don't they (so i've heard) and knew memory was important more worried about the right balance on processor
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 1395
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,884
  • Joined: 04-June 09

Re: Computer Buying Advice

Posted 26 August 2009 - 06:07 AM

Quote

and to the other suggestion, you'd be surprised at the plethora of useless garbage regarding computer purchasing online - i did make attempts of course at making my own informed decision but there was just an overwhleming amount of data much of it useless or contradictory
Surprised, not at all. Of course we are aware of bad information online. But your resulting decision seems to be of two things. The first is, because it's possible to find bad information online, to swear off doing enough due diligence through Google. And the second is to ask us, yet another online resource. What tells you we won't be giving you garbage information? That we are a forum? Well, why you don't trust the information in other reputed forums then?

I bring up these points because right now, the only help you can get, is a dump from Google about the various internals of a computer. By your own admission, you know too little about the internal workings of a PC. Because you offer no thoughts of your own, or ideas, or more specific questions, what you ask of us is to repeat basic information that you should learn about.

And before you get worked up over my response, advice here isn't free of obligations. The obligation doesn't happen to be financial, but we do demand that anyone who asks here has done all they can to enlighten themselves on their own, and to indicate what they know. And above all, formulate a precise question.

If your question is about the information you are getting. If you aren't sure you have the facts correct, and are making correct conclusions about what to purchase, post the information and conclusions you aren't sure about. Do not omit all that information and make us repeat Google.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 ForcedSterilizationsForAll  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict

Reputation: 33
  • View blog
  • Posts: 506
  • Joined: 16-July 09

Re: Computer Buying Advice

Posted 26 August 2009 - 10:28 AM

Make sure the mouse has at least two buttons. I know, I know it'll blow your mind but once you've used a mouse with at least two buttons you'll never go back. :)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 5thWall  Icon User is offline

  • Occasional Member

Reputation: 31
  • View blog
  • Posts: 530
  • Joined: 17-September 08

Re: Computer Buying Advice

Posted 26 August 2009 - 11:27 AM

View PostForcedSterilizationsForAll, on 26 Aug, 2009 - 09:28 AM, said:

Make sure the mouse has at least two buttons. I know, I know it'll blow your mind but once you've used a mouse with at least two buttons you'll never go back. :)


That's funny, I count four "buttons" on my mighty mouse :P Though if he's using the original mouse then, yes there's probably only one.

In any case my advice: Avoid Compaq at all costs. Get at the very least 2gb of ram, but more never hurts. Live with Vista until Windows 7 comes out, then upgrade as soon as you get your free upgrade.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 Tom9729  Icon User is offline

  • Segmentation fault
  • member icon

Reputation: 180
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,641
  • Joined: 30-December 07

Re: Computer Buying Advice

Posted 26 August 2009 - 03:29 PM

A couple of questions first...

Do you have a price limit?

Are you looking to buy a pre-built computer or are you willing to build your own?

If you are going to go with a pre-built computer, buy online so that you don't have to deal with pushy salesmen who have no idea what they are talking about. Also I'm not sure how many other OEMs have something like this, but Dell sells computers for small businesses that come with relatively clean versions of Windows. I'm not sure if they cost more or if there are restrictions on who can buy them, but my dad bought me a laptop for college from there (Dell D810) and it was relatively devoid of the typical crap installed on most off-the-shelf PCs.

If you are willing to build your own and you don't mind spending some time browsing around for deals, you should be able to build a pretty sweet PC for less than an off-the-shelf would cost you. The downside is that you're going to have to buy Windows (roughly 100$) whereas OEMs get it very cheap. However if you're a student you can get Windows Server 2003 (XP) or Windows Server 2008 (Vista) for free from Microsoft's Dreamspark program. I can't speak for 2008, but I used 2003 for over a year on my "gaming pc" and it worked pretty well. :)

Also if you build your own, warranties and tech support are going to be on a per-part basis. Still if you have the time to spend then it's totally worth it.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 poncho4all  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head!
  • member icon

Reputation: 123
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,405
  • Joined: 15-July 09

Re: Computer Buying Advice

Posted 30 August 2009 - 08:23 PM

I would go with windows 7 since XP is extinct on new comps, the idea of getting 2GB of ram as minimun is great. I would recommend using intel as a motherboard and a two button mouse more buttons could be more confusing f3.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#10 masteryee  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Regular

Reputation: 40
  • View blog
  • Posts: 271
  • Joined: 16-May 09

Re: Computer Buying Advice

Posted 31 August 2009 - 03:59 PM

I don't use guides too often, but every now and then I'll see what extremetech.com and anandtech.com have to offer in certain budget ranges. I know tomshardware.com used to be real popular, it probably still is but I don't visit that site anymore. Google?

If you decide to get real hardcore about building your own PC, you will need to learn about the differences between a 32-bit and 64-bit operating system, and the RAM limits of each one. I know some operating systems have built-in hacks to bypass the limits, but in general, a 32-bit OS cannot utilize more than 4GB of memory address space, so don't buy more than 4GB of RAM for a 32-bit OS. Technically, the system has to reserve memory address space for your graphics card(s) and other things that I can't remember off the top of my head, so if you were to stuff 4GB of RAM into your PC, and your graphics card uses 512MB of GDDR4 RAM, your 32-bit OS only has about 3.0 - 3.5GB of RAM left for your applications and kernel.

Most PC users (99.9% of the world) will never get anywhere near the RAM limits of a 64-bit OS. Just don't buy the 64-bit version of Wnidows XP because I hear it was garbage. The main problem with a 64-bit OS is driver compatibility.

What's your budget? If you can afford it, I would highly recommend a dual-core or quad-core CPU since 1) CS4 is optimized for multi-core processing, and 2) you will have several applications running at once.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 poncho4all  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head!
  • member icon

Reputation: 123
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,405
  • Joined: 15-July 09

Re: Computer Buying Advice

Posted 31 August 2009 - 10:47 PM

If your budget is really big, get an Alien f3
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#12 ladyinblack  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Regular
  • member icon

Reputation: 9
  • View blog
  • Posts: 419
  • Joined: 08-April 09

Re: Computer Buying Advice

Posted 01 September 2009 - 03:56 AM

Well, your country is way advanced than mine is so, whatever is out on the market, I suggest go for it. Most of the latest computers these days run CS3 so, that should be sorted. Don't know about XP Pro, they may still run with Vista or the new windows. So, you may have to do some real hunting. May I suggest not just go to any the of small time computer shops unless you know what you getting, they may rip you off due to lack of knowledge. Have a look at your local hyperstore, like Games or whatever store you guys got over there. At least there you know what you getting. Affordability, they probably do have a payment plan that could work out for you.

Sorted.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1