Desktops forum

General discussion

Advice on new computer configuration

by Pretty_Lady / February 13, 2006 6:13 AM PST

I've configured, but not purchased an HP d4100e.
I want to use the pc at home to play games, watch dvds and watch tv with a samsung 970 19'' lcd monitor. I also plan on downloading and listening to music on an mp3 player and editing/watching video from a dv camcorder. I run McAfee virus scan and personal firewall in the background, but might switch to Norton. I'll be running and using MSN Messenger, browsing the internet, and playing card games, minesweeper, scanning documents etc while doing some of the above.
The game I play is 3d (runescape), but so far I haven't played any new ones like Doom3, but I might in the future.
Here is the configuration:
Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Media Center Edition
? AMD Athlon(TM) 64 X2 4200+ dual-core - 2.2GHz
? 1GB DDR-400MHz dual channel SDRAM (2x512)
? FREE UPGRADE from 80GB to 160GB SATA Hard Drive
? Lightscribe supermulti 16x dvd+/-R/RW dr
? 9-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB 2.0, 1394,S-video
( I had to choose the card reader if I wanted MCE)
? 802.11 b/g Wireless LAN PCI Card
? Single NTSC TV Tuner with PVR, FM Tuner, Remote
? 256MB DDR ATI Radeon X 1600XT, TV-Out and DVI
? Sound Blaster Audigy 4, 24-bit Advanced HD Audio
? HP Wireless Keyboard, Wireless Optical Mouse

Am I wasting money on things I don't need, or not spending enough on things I do? I'm not sure if I'd be capable of installing items rather than have HP preinstall for me.

Aside...Their speakers seemed more expensive than what I might find at Compusa, so I didn't add any into the above. Would 30 watt ones be a good size to look for?

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to offer their advice.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Advice on new computer configuration
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: Advice on new computer configuration
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.
Collapse -
Looks good from here....and
by VAPCMD / February 13, 2006 7:01 AM PST

the only things you might want to consider... is 1GB RAM enough for your PC needs with Vista right around the corner ? And how do you plan to back up the system to minimize your downtime if the hard drive dies or hiccups ?

Re the RAM and the right amount to have in your PC....checkout places like,,, etc. They've got some good info on the issue how much RAM do i need ? It's usually easier to go for the amount of RAM upfront than have to upgrade by adding later.

Re Backup....check though some of the posts in storage forum as there are some discussions on partitioning, backup strategies, backup software, etc.. Again it really depends how critical your access is on a day to day basis.

Let us know how it works out.


Collapse -
Thanks..I hadn't even thought about backup
by Pretty_Lady / February 13, 2006 7:14 AM PST

I'll definitely check out those sites. I hadn't even thought about backups or Vista. Is Vista something that I will need to upgrade to when it comes out?

Collapse -
Best to plan for backup...otherwise it's more
by VAPCMD / February 13, 2006 3:11 PM PST

difficult and time consuming to perform...and you won't do it. Nothing I hate more than spending time looking for CDs, product keys, installing the OS, the drivers, the APPs, setting preferences and all the rest when if I backed I could have simply restored the OS and the apps in less than 15 minutes from an image.

Re don't have to but at some I think you'll want to. You've got a great 64-bit CPU which when coupled with a 64-bit OS (Vista) and 64-bit APPs (soon to follow . . . some 64-bit games already here I'm told)and that makes things just go faster.

Collapse -
Vista sounds good
by Pretty_Lady / February 13, 2006 9:29 PM PST

I read a lot of the storage forum discussions and some of the other sites you mentioned for backup information and came to the conclusion that I'd use Norton Ghost to backup to a notebook that I plan on buying once I'm done with the pc configuration etc. It seems that I'll be able to backup the pc to the notebook and the notebook to the pc using a wireless network that I intend on figuring out.
However, it seems that I wouldn't need to buy Norton Ghost if I had the Windows Vista instead, as the review I read for Vista says that it will have a super backup program.
Do you know if Vista is coming out soon or are new operating systems easy and relatively cheap to upgrade to if you already have a windows operating system installed?

Collapse -
New system
by patleiby / February 13, 2006 11:00 PM PST

You might want to check out
I am having my 3rd system built by him. You tell him how you want to use it, and it is built to your needs.
Top reviews at for past 10 years. Decent prices.

Collapse -
Sounds good...
by Pretty_Lady / February 14, 2006 2:28 AM PST
In reply to: New system

I'll take a look at their site and compare prices etc. Thanks

Collapse -
Might wqnt to read this
by marinetbryant / February 13, 2006 8:39 AM PST
Collapse -
Is it possible to upgrade the power supply to 500W
by Pretty_Lady / February 13, 2006 9:25 AM PST

I read the article and it seems that I might need to change the power supply. Is it difficult to change power supplies? HP doesn't offer that upgrade and I haven't ever opened a computer.

Collapse -
by marinetbryant / February 13, 2006 11:10 AM PST

That requires an answer from someone way smarter than I. Did HP say what their PSU was? Someone will get back to you, just be patient.


Collapse -
by damasta55r / February 13, 2006 1:47 PM PST
In reply to: 500w

I own the Compaq Sa4000T sold around a year previous. Basically same design, except P4. The psu isn't all that bad, but i'd expect a regular atx psu to fit just fine. The case is huge. Compared to the emachines case, this is really bigger. Full-sized ATX.

Collapse -
Don't believe you'll need a bigger PS with your rig...
by VAPCMD / February 13, 2006 3:34 PM PST

and if you did...don't belive heavier duty PSs are optionally available with a HP systems. You'd have to go to generic clone or a custom specialty box builder.

The systems in the article are running two high-end Sli video cards that pull 250-300're nowhere near that.

Collapse -
That's good to hear...
by Pretty_Lady / February 13, 2006 8:34 PM PST

because, you're right, HP doesn't offer to install higher power supply units.
I found the specs on this pc and it comes with 400 watts of power, so after your comments about the video cards I am more than happy to leave things alone in the power department.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

Does BMW or Volvo do it best?

Pint-size luxury and funky style

Shopping for a new car this weekend? See how the BMW X2 stacks up against the Volvo XC40 in our side-by-side comparison.