PC Buying Advice


I need to buy a new PC for myself and having spent days researching and reading I am more confused than ever! I am appealing for some simple, sensible advice.

I am looking for a PC to handle MS Office apps, browsing, music, etc and I know that anything I buy will cope with that.

I am a keen amateur photographer and use Photoshop Elements 6.0 and Premier Elements 4.0 for photo and video editing respectively.

I do not play games on this PC.

I may watch a downloaded TV show if I have missed something but dont watch movies on the PC.

So why am I confused?

What processor to buy? I have a Q6600 quad core 2.4ghz at the moment and it works fine but is a bit slow in video encoding. I am only buying as we have a need for a pc elsewhere in the family and I might as well be the one to get the shiny new one and pass mine on!

So do I go cheap and get like-for-like replacement or go for a new Core i7 920? This was my plan until I read about the core i7 8xx range, would I be better with this or somewhere else in between? As I only use the "Elements" versions of the photo/video editing, can these take advantage of the i7 architecture?

Graphics Card? I have no gaming need I just want something that will be great for photo/video work.

Monitor? So many reviews seem to assume we all play games on our computers, I dont and for the odd TV show I dont need anything flash but I do want good colour representation and am prepared to pay more for something that is worth the extra. I just dont need a professional level of kit and dont want to spend $1000 on a screen.

So, as a guide, what CPU would you buy for this type of set up? what graphics card would be the right spec and any thoughts on monitors. Over all I want kit to give the best bang for buck (obviously!) but I dont mind spending c$1400 if that is what it takes, I am just wondering whether I may be buying power that I'll never need and use because of the focus on games from so many manufacturers.

Please help?!

Thanks Jonathan
5 answers Last reply
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  1. You could try a memory upgrade first, or a better video card. If you go with the core i7, get 6 gigs of memory. Core i7 systems have been on sale for around $750 recently; look for closeouts as windows 7 is introduced around Oct 22nd. For better video, check your power supply specs; some video cards require about 24 amps or more on the 12v rails. Newegg has a terrific deal on an HIS 4670 card. It's $59.99 after promo code with free shipping. It works with a 300w ps, according to one reviewer. Do a search on fatwallet for the post.
  2. Thanks for the reply

    I HAVE to have an additional PC in the house, either a new one for the kids or myself, so an upgrade is not an option. Just cant decide on the level of spec to get as I just dont know whether the following is overkill for the apps I run?

    Intel® Core™ i7 920 Quad Core Processor (2.66GHz,8MB Cache,4.8GT/s)
    Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium SP1, 64-bit + Windows 7 Upgrade Option - English
    Midi Tower XGS Gaming Chassis - Black / Black Mesh + 550W PSU
    ASUS P6T SE Mainboard - Intel Core™ i7 & i7 Extreme Edition - ATX
    8GB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM - ( 4x2GB )
    1TB Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive with 32MB Buffer
    Samsung 22x Dual Layer DVD Writer Super Format +R/-R/RW/RAM
    1GB ATi HD4850 Graphics accelerator - DVI, DirectX 10.1 PCI Express 2
    24" Iiyama Prolite E2407HDS-B1 (1920x1080) Full HD Monitor (HDMI,DVI,VGA,WS,Spkrs-2ms) [upg £ 30.00]
    Multi-Format Memory Card Reader -(52-in-1 Internal) [upg £ 10.00]
    7.1 High Definition onboard sound card - for 8 Channel Cinema sound
    Logitech Cordless Keyboard & Cordless Optical Mouse
    10x USB 2.0 Ports (6 ports at back panel, 4 ports at mid-board) - ASUS P6T SE
    2x IEEE1394 Firewire (onboard)
    Gigabit LAN, featuring AI NET2 - ASUS P6T SE

    This will cost me GBP£1000 or US$1600
  3. Just spotted your PC specs... The Asus P6T SE supports triple channel memory for ideally you need 3 x 2gb RAM modules.

    Are you buying the PC already built ?
  4. ulysses35 said:
    Just spotted your PC specs... The Asus P6T SE supports triple channel memory for ideally you need 3 x 2gb RAM modules.

    Are you buying the PC already built ?

    Probably the one I was looking was from Mesh computers, it is a slightly modified version of this;


    Just not sure on the spec I need!
  5. That pc you linked has alot of generic hardware... Just like Dell or HP.....

    I would build an i5 system that would be way more future-proof than that model.....

    Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156

    ASUS P7P55D PRO LGA 1156

    Antec Three Hundred Illusion

    Antec earthwatts EA650

    CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache (x2)

    Hanns·G HH-251HPB Black 24.6" 2ms HDMI Widescreen LCD

    BFG Tech BFGEGTS2501024E GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16

    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit

    Total : $1,347.47 Shipped USD....... Of course you will have a slighly different price tag due to your location but this build is by far superior to what is being offered to you..... Hope this helps....

    PS: You can add a keyboard,mouse and DVD drive for less than 75.00$.
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