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Configuring a New PC - Need Help

Last response: in Computer Brands
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February 8, 2007 3:32:26 PM

As the title says, but actually, I'm trying to configure a new pc for my brother and his wife. They have a years old AMD computer with like

512MB of ram
a cd-rom and cd-rw drive (I added the cd-rw into their machine)
Geforce 2 graphics card (PCI version with 64mb of memory)
a 15" crt monitor

that's about the important gist of it. Now my brother and his wife want to get a new computer. At first I thought I could build them one, but for under a $1000, not really, so I looked at dell. I was looking at their E521 Series

I configured it with:

an AMD x2 4200+ Processor (Dual-core good for multitasking and help keeping their system future proof for a while)

(Now here is where I have a big question) (under OS)
I chose FREE upgrade to Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium w/1GB memory
When it says upgrade is that literally mean upgrade, as in they get a disk to upgrade their XP to Vista? But then how would that work if they are getting a fresh computer. Secondly, what does it mean when it says "w/ 1GB memory?" Does this mean that I get 2 gigs of memory? Or does this mean that the one gig I am getting will be free?

Next, under the memory section I chose 1GB of memory
A 250GB Sata hard drive
(Dual Drives) x16 dvd-rom / 16x dvd-burner
20 inch E207WFP Widescreen Digital Flat Panel (I chose this because of the discount price they had on it)
256MB Nvidia Geforce 7300LE
integrated 7.1 sound (newegg has a great deal on a sound card if my brother and his wife wanted add-on sound card, but I think the onboard will suit them fine to start)
No speakers (at this point because they already have a pair of speakers)
standard keyboard + mouse
no floppy (If they need one I can give them one)
standard 56k modem

Base price for this (which includes the monitor but not including tax + s/h) ~$889

Now I went with this build, because my brother and his wife like to listening to music, work with pictures (taken them with their digital camera and sharing them with friends), watching movies, checking e-mail and browsing the internet.

With this in mind, I figured that they could use a good dual core processor to handle multitasking like listening to music, fixing up some photos, browsing the internet, and chatting online all at once. I went with the graphics card I did because they are not big PC gamers the most intensive games they would play would be either web games or maybe older games with graphics from the doom era or the gta 1 and 2 era. Games like that, so yes.

Now I figured 250GB sata hdd would be sufficient as that would be sufficient for me and I download a lot more stuff then they do!

Basically my question to you people is this a sufficient build for $1000, I mean I know it'll handle the things that they want to do, but I want to know if this machine will last them more then 5 years... more like 7.

I nor do they want to have to buy a new computers within 3 years of buying this one.

So, I apologize for the long message, but it had to be said. Now tell me what you think I'm trying to keep this build under a $1000 (that includes tax + s/h), but I want it to last.

Lastly I just want to say I've heard some criticisms about dell and their support but I went with them anyways because my entire college campus uses dells in their labs, and their prices are hard to beat.

More about : configuring

February 8, 2007 6:56:26 PM

I'm running multiple Dell machines and have no problems with them (a dimension 8400 and 4700).
1) The upgrade to Vista means that when you choose the 1 gig of ram you get Vista for free. This being said, I would get 2gigs of ram because it will perform better in Vista.
2) The X2 4200 is a solid processor that will handle what they want to do, as will the 7300LE.
3)Yes it is a fairly good deal. Will it last as long as you/they want it to? maybe. The problem with computer hardware is that something is always out of date. It should definitely last them 3 years. (you may have to make the ocassional upgrade to a newer video card or a slightly faster CPU, but nothing too expensive or drastic) Some people are still running old Pentium II computers that fit their needs.
My only other recommendation is that you jump to the X2 5000+. It will give them more staying power and will only run the bill up another 50-100 dollars.
February 8, 2007 11:45:34 PM

Well, I read what you said and I was thinking they should go for the two gigs but I'm not sure it'll fit their budget, I mean I'm sure I can make it fit, but I'm not too sure about the upgrade to the 5000+

Basically when I talk about a machine lasting them a while could they in 5 to 10 years using a machine of this quality still be able to do what they want to now. I mean will watching videos, listening to music, using a program like photoshop, browsing the internet, or checking e-mail become that more complex in the coming years that would demand them to buy a completely new system over this one.

Oh and thank you for clearing up that about the operating system and the memory.
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February 9, 2007 1:03:39 AM

No things will probably not be all that complex and so yes, this machine should last 5 years or so. On the other note, if the choice is between the Ram and the CPU, go for the Ram. The 4200 + is still an excellent processor no matter what people say about the Core 2(it won't perform like the core 2, but it will still be a huge upgrade from whatever single core they have now). It is more than adequate for the things they want to use it for.
February 9, 2007 1:13:01 AM

Well I'll agree the 4200+ is a good processor, because I was using the cpu charts on this site and comparing what dell wanted for a 4200+ dual build versus a core 2 duo build, and it turned that the 4200+ processor beat out whatever core 2 duo processor they were offering and plus it made for a cheaper build (preliminarily). I'll have to talk it over with my brother and his wife, but I do think that the two gigs will be able to fit into their budget.

Thank you for your input.
!