Computer Newbies forum


What desktop should i start with?

by Dylanwertz93 / March 11, 2012 6:56 AM PDT

I am looking to buy an old desktop so that I can upgrade it. I am just wondering if there is a specific tower anyone suggests i start with? I am looking for cost effectiveness, any help is appreciated.

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All Answers

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Re: upgrade old desktop
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 11, 2012 7:07 AM PDT

Seen from the point of view from cost effectiveness it's best to buy a new PC. Companies like Dell and HP get so much discount on the quantities of CPU's. RAM, disks and whatever else they put in their machine that you'll end up spending more money to get the same result, because you buy only 1 or 2 and pay much more.

Windows is a good example. In their package, Windows is less than USD 50. You pay the retail price of USD 200 or USD 120 if that old desktop comes with XP and you can buy the upgrade version. That's more than twice as much.


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by Dylanwertz93 / March 11, 2012 7:33 AM PDT

So, you're saying i should spend $1,000+ for a new desktop, rather than buying an old one for $100 and upgrading the RAM, motherboard, and such?

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All that can be offerered are opinions
by Steven Haninger / March 11, 2012 8:03 PM PDT
In reply to: hmmm

When you said cost effective, that changes everything. If you can spend 100 bucks and get a machine that works enough to go on the web, that's cost effective. If you want to upgrade it to something more modern, you throw away all but the case because even the power supply is likely to be insufficient. Even the case could be an issue if it cannot supply the airflow needed if your new parts generate more heat.

All I can offer is how I'd handle this if facing what you're facing. I'd get a new machine anyway. The $100 machine could still come in handy if your new one decided to take a holiday.

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Re: new desktop
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 11, 2012 9:02 PM PDT
In reply to: hmmm
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by Dylanwertz93 / March 12, 2012 12:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: new desktop

I didn't really realize all that i would need. A buddy of mine said that all he did was add like $250 worth of parts and he was running the new starcraft online just fine with no lag. But i will probably end up buying a costopm built desktop online. thank you for all of the help Happy

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Depends on the old machine.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 12, 2012 7:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

The math may be different depending on what it has and what you need to add compared to a new comparable machine.


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Re: Re: new desktop
by daterdave / March 14, 2012 8:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: new desktop

u actually paid for windows?

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You mean
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 14, 2012 8:41 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Re: new desktop

you didn't?

That makes us alert for other posts you might make if you are involved in illegal practices.


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RE:You mean
by daterdave / March 14, 2012 8:49 PM PDT
In reply to: You mean

no, it means i use linux...

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Good to see
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 14, 2012 8:53 PM PDT
In reply to: RE:You mean

And thanks for the other posts. We will see what help others think they are.


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Differences between the two
by Zolar_1 / March 16, 2012 2:33 PM PDT

Buying a new computer has *MUCH* better hardware. However, the downside is that you are stuck paying for Windows (typically) with all the additional expensive software needed to maintain it. Windows has been known to need a lot of RAM for optimal efficiency and is the main target for hackers/crackers/malware/spyware.

Getting a used computer - XP will no longer be supported and 'abolished' per se by 2014.

You may consider getting a used computer and putting Linux on it. Usually free, does not require huge amounts of RAM, but DOES require a reasonably fast CPU for it to work well. Faster the better. It will work on any older CPU though.

Puppy Linux is among the fastest versions of Linux out there as it runs entirely from RAM (after assuming you load a saved file from a hard drive). RAM is generally faster than most hard drives.

If you need full featured Linux OS then you can get PCLinuxOS, Linux Mint, Ubuntu (bloated one sigh) and those are 100% free. Linux Suse is good too and so if Fedora. Linux is immune to ALL Windows problems.

For extra speed, you could also get an SSD Hard Drive. Small - yes. Expensive - YES. But quite fast, uses 1/10th the power of a regular hard drive, and is lightweight. It also does not put out any noise or much heat at all.

A lot depends on what you plan on using the computer for.
Gaming - either Linux with a virtual drive running windows or Windows.

Anything internet - Linux all the way! Far less chance of getting infected with problems than with Windows.

Business - Linux has a few options. Open Office is the main business software (free too).

Buying a used computer - if you can get one under or around $100 and use Linux, you shouldn't need to upgrade anything.

A boxed computer costs more. Building a screaming box costs a fortune.

No matter what your choice is, get a quality external USB/eSATA hard drive. Western Digital is about the most unreliable hard drives I have ever used.
Seagate among the best. But NOT Maxtor. Samsung is a work horse, but a bit slow due to the small drive cache.

SSD HD's - you need to research those. Too new to determine reliability.

I use a Crucial and a Samsung SSD HD's. I put XP on one and Linux on the other. Easy to choose which I need simply by restarting the computer and selecting the drive I want. I have far too much money invested in Windows software just to toss it - this is why I keep XP around for those 'special' times...

I use a real hard drive (internal) for temp files and data storage with an external 2TB for long term data storage.

Both Linux and Windows can use the regular hard drive for temp files & storage. If using Windows, be sure to put the page file on the real hard drive and also move My Documents to that too. Don't forget to move your temporary internet files there as well for both OSes.

My system is an old AMD64 X2 4200+ with 4gb of DDR Ram. It suits my needs pretty well.

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