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Old 09-02-2008, 11:35 AM   #1
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Default Help Choosing A New Desktop Computer

Hello guys,

I'd appreciate any advice you could give my on selecting a new computer. I'm planning to buy a desktop to replace my laptop as my primary computer.

My current system: HP Pavilion dv6119us
AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual-Core Mobile Technology TL-50 (1.6GHz)
1024MB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 (UMA) up to 128MB
80GB 5400RPM (SATA)
Windows XP Media Center

My Needs:
I am running out of hard drive space, and I think I really ought to have beefier memory and processor, too. It's not too unusual for me to run a web browser, media player, Photoshop, and Adobe Premier Elements all at once.

What I'm Looking At:

I've created a couple systems that I think will met my needs from Dell and HP.

HP a6500z series:
Windows Vista Home Basic
AMD Athlon(TM) 64 X2 4450e dual-core (2.3GHz)
2GB DDR2-800MHz dual channel SDRAM (2x1024)
Integrated NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE, VGA
250GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive

Dell Inspiron 530:
Windows Vista® Home Basic Service Pack 1
Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E7200 (3MB L2 Cache,2.53GHz,1066 FSB)
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz- 2DIMMs
250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3100

My Questions:

Would 2GB of memory really be an upgrade or would Vista use up the extra memory? Should I get more than 2GB? (If I get 4GB, then I'll need to upgrade my os to a 64-bit).

How much upgrade do I need in resources just to cover the extra demands of Vista over XP?

How about video cards? I am not a gamer, so I've never worried about what I got. Should I get a discrete video card due to Vista's heavier graphics?

Processor - If I'm not mistaken, the AMD or Intel in the systems above would be a solid upgrade over what I have now, and are somewhat equivalent.

OS - Should I consider upgrading to Vista Premium?

Thank you very much for any assistance you can offer!
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Old 09-02-2008, 11:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Help Choosing A New Desktop Computer

Welcome to the forums.

1st what is your budget?
2nd Have you considered building a PC yourself? You will save a lot of money rather then getting a pc from dell...etc (I had my 1st build done about 4-5 month ago and it was very easy, plus the feeling that you get when everything starts is priceless!)
3rd Seeing how low the DDR2 prices are now I would say with Vista get 4G (you can get it for about $100, from newegg) and Yes, if you get 4G you will need 64bit OS, otherwise with 32bit OS & 4G of ram you will only be using 3.2G or so. I have Vista 64 bit and I love it! (On My pc (Idel) I have about 40% used up of my ram. Get Vista Home edition!
4th Intel is the king in processors right now, you can get a Quad core "Q6600" for a very cheap price now!
5th you have a very old vid card, you can get a 8800GT for $150 from newegg (900% faster then ur current card) and it will be able to handle most if not all of todays games.


Answer the 1st two questins and we will take it from there.

You are in good hands here, stick around.
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Old 09-02-2008, 11:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Help Choosing A New Desktop Computer

Thanks Zer0Cool.

Budget: The systems I created above are about $600. I could go higher, though. I'd like to stay in the $500-750 range, though. It's for business, so I basically want to get what I need, so if I can justify spending more, I might.

Building: I'm disinclined to build my own, because I don't know what I'm doing, and don't really have the time and energy to learn everything I need to know right now.
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help Choosing A New Desktop Computer

Unfortunately I don’t have time to be looking on dell website right now, (im at work) but like i sad with Vista 4G would be great & Q6600 would be perfect! play around see what you can come up with. $700 is a good budget. Il try to post more when I have time.

EDIT

I understand you not wanting to spend time building your own PC, but by the time dell gets this PC to your home you can probably assemble this PC faster your self lol. All im saying just think about it, its a great experience and you will be able to get much more for your budget! Much more customizable
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help Choosing A New Desktop Computer

After doing a little research, I think I want the 32-bit version of Vista to avoid hardware/driver compatibility issues.

HP says: "A 64-bit Operating System is required to take full advantage of 4GB or greater memory. A 32-bit Operating System only recognizes up to 3GB memory."

My understanding from other sources is that a 32-bit OS should work fine with 4GB of RAM, though.

Which is correct?
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help Choosing A New Desktop Computer

A 32-bit version of vista would make more sense. You avoid the compatibility issues and it's easier to maintain as 32-bit is still the current standard. A 32-bit OS will recognize only 3/3.5GB of your RAM, but it will still be able to use the full 4GB to there same potential as far as my understanding is.

My guess is that by carefully picking their words "A 32-bit Operating System only recognizes up to 3GB memory." there hoping to encourage you buy a 64-bit OS platform (normally more expensive) whilst not technically telling any big fibs.
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help Choosing A New Desktop Computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjthompson View Post
After doing a little research, I think I want the 32-bit version of Vista to avoid hardware/driver compatibility issues.

HP says: "A 64-bit Operating System is required to take full advantage of 4GB or greater memory. A 32-bit Operating System only recognizes up to 3GB memory."

My understanding from other sources is that a 32-bit OS should work fine with 4GB of RAM, though.

Which is correct?
Yes you are correct.

In the beginning, before the service pack one came out, yes there was some driver compatibility issue. I don’t think Vista was to blame for, its just software companies were slow in making 64bit drivers. Right now Vista 64 has been out for some time now and most of software out there that people use for day to day operations...etc will have the 64 bit support. Like I sad, I have been using Vista 64bit for about 4-5 month now, and I love it. Also if you use a program that can take full advantage of ur 64bit platform that program/game will run faster. Most of the people here will tell you that 64 bit is nothing to worry about. The choice is up to u.
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help Choosing A New Desktop Computer

It would be REALLY NICE if you built it yourself of found someone to build it for you. To do the things you want at optimum performance you would like to use a quad-core. Building it yourself would save you maybe a good $200. However I'm not going to stress it, I'll do my best to find something from Dell under $700 to fit your needs.

This should fit you perfectly: http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/desktop-inspiron-518?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&~oid=us~en~29~desktop-inspiron-518_anav_5~~

edit: Go into customize and you can upgrade it as you like. For $100 more you get a 22" Monitor. For $50 more you get 4GB of RAM, however if you're using 32-bit it's really not necessary. The only upgrade I would recommend is the monitor, everything else can be upgraded separately for a much cheaper price if needed, and aftermarket upgrades would only be RAM and Graphics Card, maybe HDD, but it's already 500GB.
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help Choosing A New Desktop Computer

Thanks for the suggestion - I went ahead and chose that one with a monitor upgrade. With the instant savings it's a great deal!

Thanks everybody for your help!
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help Choosing A New Desktop Computer

Didnt Vista SP1 (x86) Add support for 4GB ram?

Maybe it just SHOWED that it had 4GB, but couldnt use it.
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