Hi there, I wonder if I can get some advice on a computer for mom. I live 500 miles away and will be in town soon for just a couple of days to set up whatever I get. I have built many systems before, but I'm very tempted to go with a Dell Zino HD just in case of DOA, as I won't be back in town for a couple months.
Currently, she has an ASRock I built 3 years ago with a celeron/1gb/40gb. She just uses it for mom/grandma kinds of things: internet/word/videos/photos(lots). The case is about to eat it, so really the whole thing has to go.
Given the current trend, it looks like consumer computers are getting away from towers and into All-in-one's and mini's. I'd like to go that way if I can, because smaller is better for her work area.
We are trying to stay close to $500. I'm open to a tower build if I can do it for under $350 and get significant performance. Otherwise, I like the idea of going smaller or all-in-one.
For a prebuilt around $500 will net you a dual core, which is more than enough for you mom's needs. I would go with an amd athlon II which would be a tower, but its graphics would be more powerful than intel's.
You should really build your own.
Prebuild PC's are rubbish, and you could also get a DOA-prebuild pc...
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - C3 Revision - Retail
^Best dual core around. Got L3-cache. Perhaps you'll be able to unlock the other two cores. Also overclockable (black edition ftw). Best CPU for ~100!
Add a case of your choise (idk what style your mum likes, prolly some casual no-nonsense case but w/e) and a psu. Also add an optical drive. This build uses an onboard graphics, and those are fine for some general computing. However, the onboard card will bottleneck while watching movies/gaming on the pc. Perhaps you should add a graphics card. This one for example:
It's always better to build it yourself, but if you are really worried about the space or really don't have the time to build it and set everything up before you leave then go for a prebuilt. You will always get more for your money by building it yourself.