Buying PC need suggestions.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Nuc, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. Nuc macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    TN
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I'm will be needing a cheap PC desktop <$350 for school. It appears my department won't be getting me one so I need to find something decent. Virtual PC is to slow on my PB. I've been looking around for a cheap PC but am not sure what I should get. Will the AMD be better to go with than an Intel. I want something that is fast but doesn't have to be the best. Software is not a big issue since I can get it through the school.

    Also if anyone is selling their PC let me know. It doesn't have to have a monitor with it.

    Thanks for your suggestions,

    Nuc
     
  2. SummerBreeze macrumors 6502a

    SummerBreeze

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #2
    My little brother got the cheapest Dell he could buy and just updated the graphics card so that he could play video games. It's worked great for him lately, especially after he got a 17" monitor to go with it. In my experience, HP computers also do pretty well.

    I've owned three P.C.'s, two with AMD processors and one with Intel. They both worked well, but the AMD felt a bit snappier and played well with Photoshop. I'd say it doesn't really matter all too much though.
     
  3. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #3
    Ah, it's a shame you're not in Oxford. I've got a dell pentium 4 computer that I'd happily sell for about US$100!

    So therefore I'd suggest going for a cheap Intel Celeron PC.
     
  4. Nuc thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    TN
    #4
    Chips

    I've looked at a computer w/ an AMD Sempron? and one with Intel Celeron which one would perform better?

    Thanks,

    Nuc
     
  5. Nuc thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    TN
    #5
    More questions

    I have a question.

    I talked with my father-in-law about my situation. I made a deal with him that he would get the computer in less than a year (when I finish my MS). I will pay for some of it and he can have it back when I'm through.

    I'm looking at the Dell Dimension 9100 http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/featured_desktops?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&DGSite=qIrKQ2rHzgGjAkeu2b-30038252249

    I have a choice to add the Pentium D (dual core) 2.8 GHz. Should I get this or the 3.2 GHz that is included with it??

    Thanks,

    Nuc
     
  6. doucy2 macrumors 65816

    doucy2

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    #6
    AMD i think beats the intel processors in my opinion
    just biuld your own for cheap
     
  7. Nuc thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    TN
    #7
    I really don't have to much time to build my own pc. Which would you suggest about which intel chip to go with the Pentium D (dual core) 2.8GHz or the 3.2GHz Pentium 4 w/HT.

    My basic application is running engineering codes such as MCNP or Risk analysis codes. Which do you think would be better, will the dual core really speed up processing time??

    Thanks,

    Nuc

    Edit: on further consideration the codes that I will be using are not optimized for duals so I think the 3.2GHz w/ HT would be better. No?
     
  8. tutubibi macrumors 6502a

    tutubibi

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    localhost
    #8
    Don't go with Dell. It's overpriced and not upgradable (=Celeron with integrated video) in the price range you are looking for.

    I recently purchased HP/Compaq SR1610NX. It has AMD Sempron 3200+ (beats Celeron in every category). Has USB2, firewire, combo drive, 80 GB HDD. Comes with only 256 GB of RAM but that's easy and cheap to upgrade. Video is upgradable (has PCI-E slot). Very quiet too, I am using it as PVR running Linux (what a waste that Windows license).
    Pretty good machine once you upgrade memory. As a bonus, CPU is 64-bit (Sempron 3200+ is actually 64-bit Athlon with half the cache).

    Link to US specs:

    http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/s...bcat1=rts&catLevel=3&product_code=ED865AA#ABA
     
  9. itsbetteronamac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    #9
    Dual Core all the way! You not going to even notice the slightly higher clock speed. But when your importing a CD and IMing and Surfing all at the same time you will definatly notice the Dual!

    Be smart, plan for the future. ;) Also, 2 is almost always better than 1.
     
  10. Nuc thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    TN
    #10
    ...

    Actually I won't be using the computer for internet surfing. I will use my PB for this. I'm going to keep the PC away from the internet as much as possible. I will be mainly running engineering codes, not optimized on dual processors. But my father-in-law may benefit from using the dual once he gets it. As for performance, which would be faster and by how much. I've seen mixed reviews between the Pentium D 820 and Pentium 4 540. But I was wanting your thoughts on this.

    Nuc
     
  11. freiheit macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #11
    As you said you need something that's fast but not the best. That tells me you don't need dual-core, especially if you're looking for something under $350 for the whole PC. A 3.2GHz Pentium 4 is a darned good processor (and comparable to about a 2.2GHz Athlon). Unless you're going to be running Mathematica or doing raytracing or something, the dual-core won't make a huge difference, though it will cost more, use more power and generate more heat.
     
  12. Nuc thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    TN
    #12
    update

    Well I purchased a Dell Dimension 9100 with the Pentium D 2.8Ghz. This thing is pretty darn fast, I was surprised. I haven't fully tested it out yet but from what I can tell it's comparable if not faster than the Pentium 4 3.2Ghz. For $50 more I couldn't resist the upgrade.

    Nuc
     
  13. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    #13
    celeron is definitely cheap. don't pay more than $100 bucks for one, if that! ;)
     
  14. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #14
    Don't get an Intel dual-core. They really haven't worked it out yet. Get an AMD, it may be more expensive to begin with, but you'll save on the electricity bills ;)
     
  15. Nuc thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    TN
    #15
    Don't agree w/ you about the Dual Core...

    I don't agree with you about them not working it out yet. Haven't heard anything bad about them so far. All I can say is I'm extremely happy with it's performance so far. I think it's actually faster than the schools 3.2 Ghz Pentium 4 w/ HT. Of course I'm don't have all of the programs and stuff that the school has to slow it down.

    I'm not paying for the energy bill...the computer is at school so I don't have to worry about that. :D

    Nuc
     

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