Computer Newbies

Question

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.

Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: What desktop should i start with?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: What desktop should i start with?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Answer
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.

Kees

Collapse -
hmmm
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?

Collapse -
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.

Collapse -
Re: new desktop
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 11, 2012 9:02 PM PDT
In reply to: hmmm
Collapse -
Thanks
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

Collapse -
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.

Kees

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

u actually paid for windows?

Collapse -
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.

Mark

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

no, it means i use linux...

Collapse -
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.

Mark

Collapse -
Answer
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.

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Help 47,885 discussions
icon
Computer Newbies 10,322 discussions
icon
iPhones, iPods, & iPads 3,188 discussions
icon
Security 30,333 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 20,177 discussions
icon
HDTV Picture Setting 1,932 discussions
icon
Phones 15,713 discussions
icon
Windows 7 6,210 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 14,510 discussions

CNET Magazine

The summer issue is here!

In the latest edition of our quarterly magazine, we look at how you can spend your summer getting fit and having fun. Pick up a copy on newsstands today or order it now.