What kind of computer do I need?

My current computer is a Dell Dimension E510. Although it was made in January 2006, it is already slow. I've cleaned and ran everything. Perhaps it's the 512MB RAM.

Anyway, if I do buy a new desktop, I need help choosing. I do the following:

-Play games such as MapleStory, Team Fortress 2, Portal, etc.

-I have over 3 GB of music

-I now upload many pictures

-Simple photo editing

-Run many programs at 1 time

Which brand of desktop can I buy under $1,000? And please try to be specific. (Will I go wrong with a Dell Inspiron, or an HP Pavilion?)

11 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    With $1K budget you can build a really decent gaming rig. If you've never done you're own build before - it really isn't that difficult. It's a better value because you can customize your hardware to suit your needs and you aren't paying extra for the brand.

    Plus...building your own system will make it more comfortable for you to upgrade components later - something you'll inevitably want to do at some point given how quickly hardware becomes obsolete these days.

    However...if you *absolutely have to* go with a manufactured brand...I'd say a Dell XPS system. They seem to review well for gaming (but again...you'd be better off with a custom build).

    You can customize one of the lower model ones with a quad core processor and still stay under $1K (without a monitor). It might be overkill for what you need right now...but it will mean that much longer before you're forced to upgrade again.

    CPU:

    Intel Q8300

    GPU:

    They give you a choice of either a:

    nVidia GeForce GTS 240 1024MB

    ATI Radeon HD 4870 1024MB

    Either of those would be fine...though I personally prefer ATI.

    RAM:

    Includes 2GB

    I'd order an additional 2GB from a NewEgg.com....as it is a lot cheaper than upgrading to 4GB through Dell. Installing RAM is very easy.

    HDD:

    Includes a 500GB 7200 rpm drive

    This should be fine for now for what yout outlined needing. You can always upgrade or add another drive later if you start storing a lot of movies.

    Optical drive is also included (dvd burners)

    However...I still say you should just build your own. If you visit the forums on TomsHardware.com...you can get a lot of advice and hardware suggestions from other enthusiasts:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/

    You can get a lot of other system build ideas from others, like this:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/271026-31-though...

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/271060-31-first-...

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/271027-31-need-a...

    Good luck in whatever you decide.

  • 1 decade ago

    You need to stay away from the Dell HP Acer etc, Although these may be quite good when you first get them home as you have found out with your e510 they become obsolite pretty much as soon as you get them home. You need to go by yourself PcUser magazine or something similar and have a look in there. They show up many you would not have heard of. They are much cheaper and you will get a lot more bang for your dollar, Bloody hell if you send me 1000 I'll put together a Quad Core with 2 gb ram 1 tb hard drive 512mb graphics card win 64 bit with upgrade to win7 and a 22 inch LCd, but hey by all means go with the dell or hp

  • 5 years ago

    If you want a cheap laptop anyone will do. Dell is the Cheapest but the quality and service is not great. Just need to know what stats to look for and what they do so you know what you can and cant live with out. HP has great warranties, service, and decent prices. They are user friendly too. Vista is out and requires at least 1 gig of Ram to run. Look for one that has 1 and a Half gigs (1 and 512) of ram. 80 G hard drive for all your music programs and assignments will be PLENTY. You might be able to get a 60G hard drive. As far as wireless goes, just make sure it's included in the laptop. 802.11 is the number for wireless. This would be for coffee shops with Free wireless. Also you would need to get a cord to plug it in to the internet jack. One for DSL which is a phone cord and one for High speed. You cant just carry it with you and have internet every where you go. You would need an ISP subscription. (Internet service provider). You would have to get a wireless service if you want to be able to just carry the laptop around the house or just know where all the hots spots and free Wi Fi spots are at. It's not the laptop it's the accessories you need to get for it. A good printer is about 100-200 and then the ink refills. Make sure there is every kind of disk drive for it. Like mine has a drive for a wireless card, the card my camera stores pics on, CD/DVD to watch movies on, 4 USB ports. The printer, wireless mouse, I Pod, Camera, and flash drives might be plugged in. Computers last about 3 years then are like a junker car. The most important thing is VIRUS PROTECTION. You will have to buy a subscription for this. It is well worth the investment. About 75-100 a year for good virus protection.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    512Mb of RAM is your speed problem. If your Dell is memory upgradeable (yours has 4 slots I think?) I'd stuff 2Gb in there now. You'll pay around 30 dollars a Gb I'd have thought (I'm in the UK so I don't know the real price in the US).

    You will notice a huge difference in performance with more RAM. If you do decide to buy a new PC get one with the maximum RAM you can afford. Memory is the key. It doesn't matter how fast your CPU is, if the code you want to run is not in memory then you're looking at a disk I/O to get it back.

    The answer's RAM, now what's the question?

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  • 1 decade ago

    as long as its got 2.4ghz processor or better, !gig Ram for XP or 2 gig Ram for Vista, and a bit of a video card will suit you

    run this on existing computer to get some ideas

    You need to set a goal on what game you trying to run.

    A see through case full of lights is lousy in a bedroom.

    Biggest and best is big on electricity, like having ALL the lights on in your house, expect big electricity bills.

    Biggest and best is a lot of heat = lots of fan noise - like sitting in a factory, consider water cool.

    Two screens lot of fun, consider a video card that will drive two screens.

    If you dont need Vista dont get it, it will be obsolete when windows 7 gets going. Vista is the cause of all the fans and power use. Some graphics cards require vista to run, be aware.

    play with this

    Can this computer run that game?

    =========================

    Run this program and click the red "We Recommend" where appropriate.

    http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/referrer/srte...

    Note Halo2 is demanding on the operating system, see what it recommends

    Crysis Warhead is demanding on the video card, see what it recommends.

    Far Cry and FEAR is demanding on the processor.

    WOW is a general all rounder, not as demanding as above.

    When you see the Pass result at the top, look carefully as it shows the minimum to the best performance for that game., even though it pass, it may not be enough for maximum settings., so check the resultant Green chart ruler line at the top.

    Click the Red fail tab as well.

    Note: Sims 3 is listed under T

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Your machine is still quite good for what you use it. Don't get rid of it just yet.

    Easiest and cheapest upgrade is the RAM. Bump up your RAM to 3 GB (you can do 4 GB but under 32 bit Windows will not see all 4 GBs).

    Get a "newer" video/graphics card, i.e. Nvidia 9800 GTX or GTS 2500 1GB. And, if there is a room get a seperate sound card by Creative ("SoundBlaster").

    You'll see a definate improvement in performance, you'll save yourself some money for the PCs comming down the line in 1.5-2 years.

  • 1 decade ago

    "I am BACK" provided an answer I support fully, building a computer is much cheaper and provides a computer better suited for you needs. but if you dont think your ready to build one there are a plethora of people who will. Just hop online and ask some of your Steam friends, odds are one would build you something and help u out if u have any future problems. 500$ right now could build you a computer that will easily max the graphics on all the games you play, a custom computer is easy to upgrade and easy to fix if something breaks.

  • Paul
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Firstly, try and do all that you can to speed up your computer.

    http://techminimalist.blogspot.com/search/label/Fa...

    Get CCleaner and clean out your computer. Get Adaware (it's free) and clean out all the spyware from your system.

    Take away the visual effects to see if it improves system performance:

    http://techminimalist.blogspot.com/2009/06/windows...

    And defragment your hard drive. Depending on how fragmented your hard drive is, this might cause a noticeable jump in your computer's performance.

    You could buy another 512MB of RAM to up your computer to a gig of RAM--this will make your computer significantly better.

    If your heart is still set on getting a new computer, a basic Dell setup would fit your needs just fine.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'd recommend building a Phenom II X4 machine, You can keep things under a grand easily and have the power to play modern games. with DDR3 and quad core functionality under your belt, you are ready to tackle all modern tech with ease.

  • 1 decade ago

    HP

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