Been given an impossible task!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MIKE666, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. MIKE666 macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2008
    so, its my little sister birthday coming up and my mum has decided to get her a laptop.

    she asked me to find a laptop for under £300 that will last 5 years!!:eek:

    im really struggling to be honest, being a brainwashed (but happy) Mac user i do not look at any other makes of computers at all.

    what makes and models would you lot recommend?

    i am trying to convince her that even a top of the range £2k computer will be relatively crap in 5 years.

    id appreciate any help.

  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    How long it will "last" depends on what she's looking to do with the machine.
  3. MIKE666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2008
    very true, not including failure of course.

    she will be browsing the web playing the latest Sims and word processing.

  4. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I think almost any cheap PC will probably "last" 5 years if it can make it beyond the first 2. Most of the parts which fail are user-replaceable (especially the hard drive), but you have to know what you're doing.

    Is your sister old enough to warrant a laptop? By which I mean, is she 9 years old and won't be taking one to school for another 6 years, or is she 16 and will need one to take to class soon? If it's the former, a desktop can get you more for your money, especially if you already have a display.
  5. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Maybe you could convince her to get your little sister a Apple Refurbished MacBook? Tell her it would be an investment in her future, that without all the inherit Windows problems (viruses, spyware, etc.) that she'll be more productive and happier with a Mac. Seriously, unless your sister is trying to do high end stuff on a laptop, if she's careful with it and takes care of it there's no reason that a MacBook couldn't last 5 years. No it won't be state-of-the art, but can still be a productive computer for homework, internet, email, chatting, etc.
  6. MIKE666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2008
    yeah thats the problem ive found looking so far, trying to find one that wont break.

    every laptop we have had has gone in for repair at least once, apart from some little acer one that broke outside of warranty.

    a desktop would be better as she wont be taking it to school, but we have a lot of people in a very small house and absolutely no room whatsoever.

    i have tried to convince her to get a Mac, as i get a higher education discount it wouldnt work out to bad with the free printer and cheap applecare, but my mum doesnt have very much money and £300 is really pushing it to be honest so there is no chance of a Mac unfortunately.

    so is there any makes people trust or dont trust? as i said we have had a few laptops fail, 3xHP's 1xAcer and my MBP.
  7. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    They're all made from the same parts. Not to mention at that price they are made of the cheapest bargain basement parts possible. At that price it may play Sims 1 moderately well but Sims 2 or later would be at the lowest settings possible.

    The web browsing and word processing criteria are fine but not that game in five years it would definitely not play the Sims 4 assuming it gets made by then.

    Other than that all brands seem to be the same to me. I would look at one with an AMD CPU as that will have an integrated Radeon GPU rather than an Intel GPU.
  8. MIKE666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2008
    not play sims 2, are you sure? my brothers HP laptop that was £280 last march can play sims 3 on lowish settings with no problems.

    if all brands a similar and use the same parts i guess ill just try and find the nicest looking/best build quality for under the budget then.

    thanks for the help.

    Just found the min requirements for Sims 3,

    * 2.4 GHz P4 processor or equivalent
    * 1.5 GB RAM
    * 128 MB Video Card with support for Pixel Shader 2.0
    * Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1
    * At least 6.1 GB of hard drive space with at least 1 GB of additional space for custom content and saved games

    For computers using built-in graphics chipsets under Windows, the game requires at least:

    * Intel Integrated Chipset, GMA 3-Series or above
    * 2.6 GHz Pentium D CPU, or 1.8 GHz Core 2 Duo, or equivalent
    * 0.5 GB additional RAM

    i think i will be able to find with better specs than listed there.
  9. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    As I said lowest settings not that it would not play at all. I suppose lowest possible settings is a slight exaggeration but the settings would be quite low. An AMD CPU with a Radeon GPU would be far better than an Intel CPU and GPU combo.

    Though looking at Amazon's, HP's and Dell's UK sites it seems to me that there is very little that surpasses the minimum specs at £300. I couldn't even find any AMD computers. I had overestimated what £300 could buy. I did not realize the dollar gained so much ground on the pound or rather that the pound lost so much value. Though there are a few dual core Intels with GeForce GPU's at that price. Which is just as good as the AMD CPU combined with the Radeon GPU.

    Basically just look for any dual core with 2GB RAM and either a Radeon HD 3000+ or GeForce 8000+/G210m/GT220M+. You may find a few GeForce 8200's or Radeon HD 3200's at that price. Don't bother with the Radeon 7000+ or GeForce 6100's, if you don't know those are very old GPU's.
  10. al2o3cr macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2009
    FWIW, you'll probably do better at that price point by building your own. I just got done assembling some office machines for a client, with the following specs:

    - Foxconn A6GMV motherboard
    - Athlon II X2 245 (2.9GHz)
    - 2GB DDR3 RAM
    - 160G WD drive
    - SATA DVD burner
    - fairly cheap Newegg-store-brand case

    Total price (in the US): a shade under $280, modulo shipping. I'd recommend that you pick the case up locally if possible, as the shipping on that bit is ridiculous from most retailers.

    Nothing fancy, but the client mostly uses Quickbooks and basic email/browsing stuff. And they were upgrading from <1GHz CPUs, so *they* think it's the fastest thing EVAR. :)

    As to the "last 5 years" part, the nice thing about the system above is that it's got quite a bit of expandability: an open x16 slot for a video card, Socket AM3 for future processor upgrades (to a quad, for instance), and support for up to 8GB of RAM. The video card slot is one thing you'll find a lot of the cheapo prebuilts leave out; I've even seen boxes where the chipset supported the slot, the traces were on the board, but the *connector* was left out to save $$$.
  11. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Have her try a PC laptop that is 4 years old to get a preview of it.

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