Re: Time for a new computer - can u help?
the brand usually gives a good insight into quality. HP, Samsung, Apple and Sony tend to get quite high marks for quality, whereas Fujitsu, Some Dells and eMachines tend to get very much marked down. You can usually tell the quality of an item based on the reputation of the manufacturer, and it's price in respect to other products of similar spec (i say usually, since this is not always the case).
How loud the sound can go tends to depend on the sound chip/card on the motherboard, in the case of the HP is should be plenty loud enough. Use the HP as a guide when shopping around, and ill give you an insight into what to try to avoid, and what to snap up ASAP here:
Good: Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Pentium Dual (Skeptical, but you're not a gamer so yeah), Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 (it's all good.). AMD Athlon II/Phenom II X2/4.
Try To avoid: Intel Celeron (crap as it gets these days), Intel Atom (it's a netbook chip, personally i dont think it should be in a desktop.), AMD Sempron (pretty bad single core), And i dont think Durons are around anymore but definately avoid those.
Good by Reputation: Samsung, HP, Compaq (basically identical to HPs these days anyway), Apple (High prices, but the specs are usually good. Wouldn't recommend one to you though), Sony.
Not so good by Reputation: Dell (these are usually preferred by businesses, for no other reason except the warranties.), Fujitsu (very cheaply made and poorly assembled imho), eMachines (very budget machines, not good for reliability, or spec usually)
In modern times, you want to be looking for DDR3. DDR2 is fine but if you ever want to upgrade it your options will be few and expensive. You want to be looking for about 4-6GB in that price range.
you don't need anything special here. Intel, ATI and NVIDIA onboards will do.
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