Need PC suggestions! :(

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by prostuff1, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #1
    I am looking for a new computer for my grandparents. Unfortunanly i am unable to get them a macintosh because of one program my grandpa runs on the PC. He uses Farm Works to keep track of all the farm stuff and i cant find anything that would do the same for mac so... He will be sticking with windows for now.

    So he said that he has a budget of about $1,000 and i need some suggestions on PC to look for. So what is the best for that money??

    I might be able to convince him to let me build one but i have never actually put a who computer together before and i would hate to **** something up and not be able to fix it. I have done HD, RAM, video cards and that kind of stuff but i have never built one from the ground up.

    So what do you guys/gals suggest??
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    Quite simply: You cannot build a machine cheaper than the budget units offered by HP and Dell. You also can't support it with the type of telephone support, bundled OS and software, and driiver updates that they can. Neither can your local computer shop. Yes, the HP or Dell will be plastic and nasty, but it will cost double that to build a really solid machine. Think about noise -some of the clone machines are terribly noisy out the power supply fan. The Dell 9100 I got seems OK though.

    Look for a decently specced HP or Dell machine around the $650 - 800 mark, with a three year warranty. Get them a decent monitor -- for older eyes like mine, a 17" LCD is a bad choice, because it has the same pixel resolution as a a 19" but way smaller. If eyesight IS an issue, go with a 19" CRT monitor and set the resolution at 800 x 600 or some such, for larger characters. (You can't run LCDs at lower than native resolutions and maintain image quality)

    Obviously, set up anti-virus, spyware detection, software firewall, and it's even worth a 4-port $40 hardware router/firewall even if it is the only machine in their network.Don't go wireless. Forget Norton anti-Virus, it'll drive them mad with reminders and subscription renewals, go with AVG anti virus.

    See if you can get them to agree to never install any additional software or download anything except the Microsoft updates. Seriously.
     
  3. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #3
    CanadaRam pretty much hit the nail on the head. I would get as much RAM as possible for it though. I currently take care of an XP machine with 128 MB RAM, and it's a total dog; my own pc has 256, and it's not much better. Get a minimum of 512 MB RAM, preferably a gig if you can afford it. And go with HP. We have had good service from HP.
     
  4. prostuff1 thread starter macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #4
    Thanks for the suggestions!!

    Any others??

    And i have looked at VPC and it is just way to slow to really be effective.

    Should i look for AMD or Intel or does it not matter??

    Thanks
     
  5. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #5
    For the uses you mentioned, the processor probably won't matter. Maybe look at the specs for Farm Works, and use it as your guide.

    Forget Virtual Pc. My experience has shown me that program is for occasional use only. And, do you really want to try and explain it to your grandparents?? Not trying to diss your grandparents, but I think that would be more hassle than its worth.

    Good luck.
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #6
    Right -- AMD or Intel is immaterial. In the price range, andAMD Athlon64 or a low end Pentium 4 would be preferable to a Celeron or a Sempron, to preserve future expandability in case video or gaming become important. An AGP slot or PCI-X slot videocard would be preferable to motherboard video with "shared memory", or at least if motherboard video, make sure an empty slot is available, again in case swapping familiy movies becomes the next big thing in a year or two.

    RAM - yes 512 or even 1 Gb makes Windows XP run much more smoothly.
     
  7. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    While I'm thinking of it. See about a warranty. It might be worth it in the long run.
     
  8. prostuff1 thread starter macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #8
    Tis true!!

    But now that i think about things i remember him getting a Laptop about 1 year or so ago and i am going to try to convince him to put farm works on that and then get an eMac for the House computer. Seeing as the eMac will always be hooked up to the internet i was kinda hoping to get a mac since they are immune too viruses and stuff. makes it a lot easier to deal with!!

    gues i get to do some figuring before tuesday!!

    Thanks
     
  9. Toreador93 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    #9
    Depending on how set in his ways he is, I don't know if two platforms (Windows and OSX) would be a good choice. I know my grandma (who isn't very old; 65) wouldn't be able to do it easily. She just uses the computer for a few programs and the internet.
    Learning how to do things on both computers would probably be too much of a bother, especially when you're busy farming.

    I would suggest a decent dell (search for coupons online, they help). Just make sure he has 512mb of RAM (I just went from 512 to 1Gb, and unless I'm using HUGE files, I can't tell the difference). Also get something that DOESN'T have integrated graphics. What a waste of silicon.

    I just configured a Dell E510 3Ghz with 512mb, 160Gb HD, 128mb x300 vid card and 17" Ultrasharp for $859.
     
  10. prostuff1 thread starter macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #10
    Thanks for all the help!!

    I talked to grandpa and he would like to mess around with OS X so i am going to let him mess with my laptop.

    We are probably going to go around to different places tuesday and look at setups for PC.

    Thanks
     

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