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PC Buying Advice

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Last response: in CPUs
September 14, 2009 2:35:53 PM


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

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a c 160 à CPUs
September 14, 2009 3:03:34 PM

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.
September 14, 2009 3:37:46 PM

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

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a b à CPUs
September 14, 2009 4:22:35 PM

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 ?
September 14, 2009 4:27:09 PM

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!
a b à CPUs
September 15, 2009 12:07:57 AM

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


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$.