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View Full Version : Advice on a computer for my daughter


cdcox
11-23-2006, 10:09 AM
I'm going to upgrade the family computer for my daughter's Christmas present. She mostly does internet, music burning, digital pictures, chat, and light word processing for homework, so I need something very basic. Right now she is using a Pentium II with very little memory and it just drags and can't handle her music downloading burning. We don't need a huge HD, because we really don't store much on it. We don't need a monitor or speakers, we'll just use what we have. Here is a Dell that I can get for $339, which is about the top of my price range.

Are any of these components going to be a huge liability for the intended use?

Can I get equal or better quality for less somewhere else?

AMD Sempron™ 3400+
Genuine Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005
Express Upgrade to Windows Vista Home Premium from XP Media Center Edition
512MB Single Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz - 1DIMM
80GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
48X CD-RW/ DVD Combo Drive
No Monitor
NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE Integrated Graphics GPU
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio

Thanks!

patteeu
11-24-2006, 07:15 AM
I think you'll be fine for the types of things you want to do. I can't say whether there's a better deal out there or not, but it looks like you are doing alright with this one.

Simplex3
11-24-2006, 08:51 AM
Really, anything you purchase today is going to smoke the one you have and do everything you're asking of it. Keep the RAM at 512 or above and you'll be set. My parents got an HP about a year ago for $250 that has been perfect for them.

Simplex3
11-24-2006, 09:01 AM
http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_can_series.do?storeName=computer_store&category=desktops&series_name=a1410e_series&tab_switch=true&a1=Usage&v1=Everyday+computing&tab=specs

If you just do a memory upgrade to 512mb this is $300 and you can choose between AMD or Intel.

If you add 256mb of RAM (to get 512) and a DVD burner with LightScribe this one is $360.

Really they're 98% the same, so it's who you're most comfortable with. I have Dells that have lasted forever and HPs that have done the same.

KC Jones
11-24-2006, 10:00 AM
PII? yikes that is ancient man :)

What Simplex3 said - whatever you pick up is going to smoke your current system. XP media center is going to use a decent bit of memory, but 512MB should be good as long as you're justing doing music and pictures. If she or you want to start looking into video editing then getting more memory will be a must.

Odds are good that whatever you buy will come with some limited term anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc. I'd reccomend paying up for long term coverage with that. Alternatively if you want to save money and deal with it yourself, here's a good list and breakdown of software utilities:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best_46_free_utilities.htm

What you really want is:
anti-virus (I reccomend AVG)
anti-spyware (again, I like AVG)
(maybe) personall firewall (keiros is pretty good)

Happy Hunting!

cdcox
11-24-2006, 10:22 AM
Thanks, guys.

I paid $1500 for the PII back when it was new. I know that investment has completely depreciated, but my tightwad nature can't fully admit it. Our previous home computer was a 286. I like to see quantum improvements when I upgrade.

Sounds like $300-$350 is the right ball park for what I'm looking for then. Just wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing some indy super cheap place to buy such a basic system.

I'm good on anti-virus because my work has a McAfee license that extends to my home computers.

DaFace
11-24-2006, 10:31 AM
Here's a web site you might want to check out. It's a listing of all the computer specials being offered at various retailers. It's a nice way to compare what's out there when you're actually ready to buy:

http://www.salescircular.com/

Simplex3
11-24-2006, 03:35 PM
Here's a web site you might want to check out. It's a listing of all the computer specials being offered at various retailers. It's a nice way to compare what's out there when you're actually ready to buy:

http://www.salescircular.com/
Sweet link.

Microcenter is pimping a similar machine for $200:

Celeron D 352
XP Home
512MB RAM
160GB HDD
16x DVD-ROM/CD-RW

Says it's a "25 available" deal, so I'd call ahead.

F**k. They also had a laptop for $200. I could have used that. 160GB SATA drive for $15 would have been nice as well.

Wonder what the lines were like for those deals?

cdcox
11-24-2006, 03:47 PM
Sweet link.

Microcenter is pimping a similar machine for $200:

Celeron D 352
XP Home
512MB RAM
160GB HDD
16x DVD-ROM/CD-RW

Says it's a "25 available" deal, so I'd call ahead.

F**k. They also had a laptop for $200. I could have used that. 160GB SATA drive for $15 would have been nice as well.

Wonder what the lines were like for those deals?

I'm going to check that link on a day other than Black Friday. They could be giving them away for free and you wouldn't get me out of the house today.

pr_capone
11-27-2006, 12:36 AM
I'm going to upgrade the family computer for my daughter's Christmas present. She mostly does internet, music burning, digital pictures, chat, and light word processing for homework, so I need something very basic. Right now she is using a Pentium II with very little memory and it just drags and can't handle her music downloading burning. We don't need a huge HD, because we really don't store much on it. We don't need a monitor or speakers, we'll just use what we have. Here is a Dell that I can get for $339, which is about the top of my price range.

Are any of these components going to be a huge liability for the intended use?

Can I get equal or better quality for less somewhere else?

AMD Sempron™ 3400+
Genuine Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005
Express Upgrade to Windows Vista Home Premium from XP Media Center Edition
512MB Single Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz - 1DIMM
80GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
48X CD-RW/ DVD Combo Drive
No Monitor
NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE Integrated Graphics GPU
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio

Thanks!

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2275374&CatId=0

Refurbished but it beats the price and specs you posted up