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Hi everyone!!!! i7 for non gamer

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June 8, 2009 12:55:11 PM

:hello:  I am new to the Tom's hardware forum. I am a non gamer. In the future, maybe, I would like to probably play a game or two. However, I am sure it wouldn't be frequent at all.

I know what you guys are asking. What do I use the computer for? Well, I like to basically surf the net. I like to download music and videos. I like to play card games like poker stars, full tilt poker, yahoo spades, etc and I love to listen to music via the computer :bounce:  .

With all of these things in mind, do I really need an i7 or is it best to get a quad core? Here are the computer I have in mind. Is is overkill??




HP Pavilion Elite m9600t series


Operating system Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)

Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-920 processor (2.66GHz, 1MB L2 + 8MB shared L3 cache with QPI Technology)


Memory 6GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [3 DIMMs]


Hard drive 500GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive

Graphics card 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4350 [DVI, HDMI, VGA adapter]

Primary optical drive LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive

Networking Integrated 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) Ethernet, No wireless LAN

Front Productivity Ports 15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB, 1394, audio

Sound Card Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio

Speakers Logitech X-540 5.1 stereo speakers

Keyboard and Mouse HP multimedia keyboard and HP premium laser mouse

Productivity software Microsoft(R) Works 9.0

Security software Norton Internet Security(TM) 2009 - 15 month


I am trying to figure out if I am over doing it. If I am, their is a quad core computer from hp that has very similar configurations at 2.66 ghz. All I want is a fast computer that will allow me to do the above effortlessly.

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a c 159 à CPUs
June 8, 2009 2:58:30 PM

In your shoes, a basic dell vostro with dual core CPU would be all you need. Some come with monitors. I'd get one with 3-4 gigs of memory and vista 64 bit. Add a mid level video card from newegg and you'd be set for many years. Sometimes dell has quad core systems for around $699. If you want to build your own cheap, get a new phenom II 710 tri core with biostar 790 board (both around $200).
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June 8, 2009 5:30:12 PM

the i7 isn't really for gamers but more towards high end computer work like video encoding and demanding multi threaded apps, that been said for what you want to do you will be more than satisfied with a dual core system (moreover the graphics card on the computer you mentioned would not really allow you to play most recent games anyway) you could find a deskptop based on phenom 2 or cheaper core2duos for a lot less and get all te performance you will ever need,hp does have some nice systems on there but you might want to check out newegg.com and tigerdirect.com,they usually have good deals on powerful systems that will provide the best performance at best price, in your case what you want is a fast cpu not one with many cores and you want a decent graphics card just in case you do decide to play games in the future so your best bet is system with either the intel core 2 E 8 series or any phenom 2 based system and a solid graphics card 9800/4770 and up, and you will be fine
a c 83 à CPUs
June 8, 2009 7:40:33 PM

As already mentioned, your going way over kill. For the tasks you've listed I keep my dual core downclocked to 1350mhz because there is no need for more performance. Save yourself some money and get either a C2D or a C2Q.

I've also got to wonder about your video card, why spend the money on a gaming card if you don't game?
June 8, 2009 7:45:31 PM

hmmm have you considered a netbook?
June 8, 2009 8:31:26 PM

At least get a 4650 or 9600GT or something...
i just found out that even flash players games or java games NEEDS a GPU
I tried my gf facebook restaurant city flash game on her laptop which only has a intel 965 express GPU and it freaking lags..
and i thought maybe the CPU is not power enough to handle so I took my laptop with intel T5500 1.6GHz dual core and a 945GC chipset to test, and it lags as well.
So i tried on my desktop which has 2 9600GT in SLI, and it goes smooth and silky
Then i remember toms news had said that flash player 10 now support GPU acceleration
So at least get a decent sub 80$ graphic card..u won't regret it

But anyway i7 is way overkill for ur stuff
I'm using one for my rendering and editing stuff and gaming
a b à CPUs
June 8, 2009 8:46:17 PM

A computer with a Phenom (above a 9650), Athlon X2 6000, or an Intel E7000 series CPU is really all you need. There are plenty of cheap HPs, Compaqs, and Dells that fit that description. Something with a Phenom II 710 or an Intel E8400 would be overkill for what you need now, but will last you for a while before you need an upgrade. If it starts feeling slow, it's probably because it's clogged up with junk apps ( or a dirty registry from installers written by lazy coders). Getting an I7 for what you're doing is like paying extra to rent a 5 bedroom apartment and only using one room.
June 8, 2009 10:19:17 PM

:??:  Okay. I'm still a bit confused. If I get an i7, would it give me a faster cpu opposed to a quad core processor? I just want to make sure that this puppy lasts for about 5 years or more without upgrade. Now, I do not know what the future is going to hold as far as computers are concerned. However, i don't want to upgrade for a while. So, all i need is a dual core or a quad core? :pt1cable:  :sol: 
June 9, 2009 12:12:06 AM

I agree with everybody else.. Don't bother with anything fancy go find you a cheap computer.. Just make sure it has 3-4gb of ram, and be done with it. heck you could do with 1, but I could never suggest less then 2 for how cheap it is these days not to mention I havn't seen a computer come with just 1gb in a long time anyways lol.

Who cares if you computer is outdated. It won't become obsolete for you for a long time. No games, no encoding.. You have no worries.
June 9, 2009 1:05:28 AM

:bounce:  What is encoding and if I get a dual core now, do i have the opportunity to upgrade it to quad core if i need to and if so, how much would the upgrade cost?? :pt1cable: 
June 9, 2009 1:08:01 AM

A cheap $600 dollar computer is all you need. The builds are all over the internet and if you search, you can find some awesome builds!

If you have any further questions, you can always post on Toms Hardware again. Also, when you are faced with the question of getting SSD or Sata, just choose Sata. SSD is overkill for you anyway, and you'll end up paying for luxury expenses that you'll never need.
June 9, 2009 8:06:43 PM

:bounce:  Please excuse my manners. I would like to thank everyone who has replied to my question. I really appreciate it. I am still learning a lot about computers and this site is a great help.

:D  Let me inform you guys that my hubby and I are still going to get either a quad core or i7. As we discussed it, it all boils down to being future proof and not wanting technical difficulties in the near future. Who knows!! We might want to start gaming a bit more. So, it is good to have.

Again, I thank you for your feedback. More feedback is always welcome as I am at elementary stage. :hello: 
!