How much computer should I get??

My mother has a 6 yr. old e-machine and would like to get a new one. We would be using it for mostly internet researching, some light music & photo storage.
I always think bigger is better but she is on a budget, max. $800.
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  1. Are you going to buy a pre-built one or build it yourself? If there is a Micro Center near where you live, that's the best possible deal for do-it-yourself.

    There are two philosphies for upgrading computers in my opinion:
    1) Buy Awesome and upgrade when no longer awesome/old. That's the rout your $800 computer fallows.
    2) Buy a deal and upgrade when it stops getting the job done. That will run you $300-$400 and you can upgrade every couple years.

    If you want to build one, we can recommend parts. If you want to buy one, tell us which of options 1 or 2 you want and we can make suggestions.

    jomoreb builds computers (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/101313-8-blazing-fast-custom-built-desktop). I don't know about his prices, so you can ask around here if his prices are good. They'll definitely beat OEM (HP, Dell, etc.) prices.
  2. I was born beitcertified.
  3. Go to Wal-Mart and buy the $299 eMachine.
  4. It depends on you and your thought. Economic stability or tax rates that apply by the Govt put Walmart and the $299 machine at the very top of my list of computers to buy. I have $500 left over for new patio furnitire and a cactus too. Yes sir.
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