Help me choose a PC

I'm looking to purchase a new PC before the new semester starts. I'm going to be using the computer for writing reports, compiling java programs, photo editing, downloading movies, and everyday use like surfing the web and checking emails. As for gaming, I may in the future and when the time comes, I'll look into getting a dedicated graphics card. I also plan on using it on a dual monitor setup. Currently I have one monitor, the Acer S232HL, and the second monitor will probably be a 20".

These are the two models that I have been looking at:

Gateway DX4870 UB21P


HP P7-1240

If neither of these are any good what you recommend for ~$600? My only requirement is that it have wireless networking.

Also, since they have the $15 Windows 8 upgrade offer, would it be worth it to get one?

Thanks in advance.
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  1. Best answer
    HP says "AMD A-Series ". From its specs this is the A10-5700. For productivity applications that means slower than an i3-2100 intel processor. For gaming you get the equivalent of a $50 video card built into the A10, so you can game at low to medium resolution before you buy a video card. This is a 65W part so you are being environmentally conscious.

    The gateway says "Intel® 2nd Generation Core™ i5 " From the frequency this could be a i5-2320. This is a substantially faster processor with weaker graphics than the A10. Compiles should be faster. If you decide to game adding a $65 HD6670 video card to this system would give you a superior gaming rig to the A10-5700 HP system, however without the add in card you cannot reasonably play modern games.

    For me the i5 system is superior, but that is for me because I'd immediately install video which negates the value of the A10 processor whose strength is really good integrated video.

    I recently bought a system and plan to get the $15 win8 upgrade, however not sure if I'll ever install it.

    Aside: Did you consider a Laptop? There are some great laptops at the same price range which would be a different way to meet your needs. e.g. Most laptops will dual screen with the Montior you alreayd have and their built in display. Very few will drive two external monitors. Essentially none can later be upgraded for gaming if they don't come with the right parts.

    re wireless. If you find a PC you like, inserting a USB wireless network adapter is cheap and easy. Add $40 for the adapter to the price of a PC that comes without a wireless adapter.
  2. Thanks for the response. It looks like I'll get the Gateway, because it seems to be the better choice, and I'll probably get a video card soon.

    I actually did think about getting a laptop, but I currently have one that's about ~3 years old and still works pretty well.
  3. Best answer selected by slow_DC4.
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