I'm trying to get my sister a computer for under $500 because she doesn't want to pay much, but she is willing to go a higher if the benifits are great enough.
I've never built a computer before, I've only upgraded video cards, installed DVD drives and PSU's and thats it.
So I want the least amount of building as possible.
I want a computer that has a 2nd gen core i3 or i5. unless the 3rd gen is coming soon.. any info on that?
anyway, 4 gigs of ram and an OS.
Bump up the CPU to normal speeds, and we're talking about the $760 area.
Desktops under 500 (screen, keyb, and mouse excluded), you'll get last generation hardware, which really isn't all that bad; it was the newest 6months to 3/4 a year ago, and it's not like you won't be able to run latest games on it (all but perhaps a handful).
If you want to create your own desktop from parts,
Windows 7 costs $100.
Get a corei3 with integrated graphics, cheap SATA2 harddrive (upgradeable in the future)
Motherboard that supports USB3.0 ports, at least 4 or 8Gb of DDR3 2000 RAM memory (or faster), and a 450W powersupply.
You could also select a Linux OS (which is free), and saves you $100 for the initial setup, so you can invest in a better CPU (core i5), mobo (more feats) and PSU (500W, for later expansion with a plugin graphics card), and/or RAM speed (faster RAM only costs marginally more).
Only problem is, there's really not much you'll need a fast computer for in Linux.