New computer help... (in Off-topic)

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] February 4 2009 3:12 PM EST

I am planning on getting a new computer in the next couple months. I have never bought a computer of my own. I know nothing about hardware/software/compatibility or whatever. I don't understand the stuff.

I DO know that I like chatting, playing games like Second Life, listening to music, and watching movies and online videos on my computer. Also, I think I might like to try out a dual monitor set up.

I am looking for help from my fellow smarter-than-me-when-it-comes-to-computers CB members. I am looking for suggestions on everything. Brands, actual models, stores, everything.

I haven't decided whether I am getting a desktop or a laptop yet.

I have a desktop (the one I'm on now) but it is a hand-me-down. It is a Sony Vaio or some sort, built from new egg in 2002.
I am unable to do many things on it because the previous owner has a system password that I don't know, and I have none of the system disks. Also, for some reason, the graphics card seems to be a bit glitchy. This computer can't run games with graphics like second life.

I don't know if you need any more information than that. If you do, just ask and I'll do my best to answer your question.

Any ideas?

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] February 4 2009 3:13 PM EST

two words, dell vostro

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] February 4 2009 3:13 PM EST

Oh. and price range. I dunno how much computers cost these days, but I am looking to spend $300-ish on it. I -may- consider going up to $500, but I'd prefer to keep it reasonable.

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] February 4 2009 3:16 PM EST

Oh yeah, and I've used Windows my whole life. I know next to 0 about Macs. So I prefer to keep it a PC.

Thak February 4 2009 3:33 PM EST

reply great custom PC builder at cyberpowerPC, make it as beefy or skinny as you like. not like most custom builders where you only have 3 choices either.

Oh yeah they have laptops to customize also

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] February 4 2009 3:42 PM EST

The problem with building my own computer is that I know nothing about computers. I wouldn't be able to pick from the choices.

Flamey February 4 2009 3:47 PM EST

CPU: AMD 5400+ - 106
MB: Asus M2n68-AM - 79
Graphics: ATI 4670 - 124
Hard drive: Western Digital 640GB - 99
RAM: 4GB Kit Kingston - 70
Case: Antec NSK4480B - 119
DVD: Pioneer 216 - 31
$404 USD

A really good Monitor right now is the BenQ E2200HD - 238 AUD

The rest of the prices aside from the Total are in AUD, I converted to USD for you. That'll run anything you do fine, GPU could be a bit of overkill, but its entry level gaming right now.

Budget is $300-$500 for everything? I'm finding it hard to get a whole setup that cheap unless you go really really cheap and I'd only suggest that if you don't own a computer. Also that would have to use onboard graphics which don't do that well unless you get a good motherboard, which then of course takes you again out of that budget.

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] February 4 2009 3:48 PM EST

It seems this post has been misunderstood.

I am looking for advice on things to look for in my new computer, as well as ones the CB community recommends and why.

I am aware of sites that can help me build a computer. But I wanted your opinions on what I should look for.

Flamey February 4 2009 3:48 PM EST

Also, you get a shop that'll build it for you for a small fee. It's probably something like $30 USD. (I'm just halving AUD prices :)) Anywho, building your own computer, or getting the parts together is so much cheaper than buying a prebuilt like a dell.

Flamey February 4 2009 3:50 PM EST

You should get any old dual core processor.
A graphics card capable of gaming, nothing special.
At least 2 GB of RAM.
Hard drive is however much storage you want.
Motherboard is just anything that fits the rest of your parts.
DVD drive is really anything that works.

Monitor probably a 22" with a 2ms response. Or just something with a 2ms response, you'll notice the difference.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] February 4 2009 3:55 PM EST

Hakai, you should buy a computer from Dell, eMachines, or some other pre-made computer place. Also, if you've got a $300 price tag, you've got very few options. So, unless you feel like going to a local used computer store, you are going to find it hard/impossible to get any/all of those things you ask for, for only $300.

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] February 4 2009 3:56 PM EST

Wow, really? $300-500 isn't enough? Aww. Well, how much is a decent computer worth these days?

And when I said movies, I meant and stuff. Not necessarily DVD's. Though a dvd tray would be nice, just in case. And though I don't know know how to burn CDs, my husband might like that feature to at least be available.

Thak February 4 2009 3:58 PM EST

If you post what the computer is going to be used mostly for, e.g. gameing or media..., and the price range you are looking around. i will play around with the editor and send you the specs when i get back.
If you are going on the gameing side i would go with no less the a 2.5GHZ CPU, 256MB video card (AGI not PCI) and 2GB of RAM.

GM February 4 2009 3:58 PM EST

I have a Dell Vostro, if you're going to buy a PC make sure it's Dell.

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] February 4 2009 4:10 PM EST

Ok, well I heard Dell installs tons of useless stuff on computers. I have no idea how true that is.

As for what it's going to be used for: I go on the internet. I usually have at least 2 browsers with 2 or 3 tabs each.

I'll try to list the sites I frequent most:

Carnageblender- (duh?)
Gaia Online- (It has a lot of flash features)
IMVU- (a 3-D chat)
Flash games like zOMG! from Gaia
Games like WildGuns!
Paint- (for screen shots only I suck at drawing)
Notepad- (I save a LOT of chatlogs and do HTML coding in it)
I tried to play Second Life. But the graphics don't work properly.
Mumble and Ventrilo- Voice chat clients
Hulu and other Free TV sites- When my DVR screws up, I look for missed episodes of my shows to watch online
I listen to music from sites like
I use the Foxit reader for .pdf file (thanks IA!!)
My husband plays Scrabulous and googles like everything (he is addicted to information)
My husband also visits Adult oriented websites. Although most of his are safe sites.

That's pretty much what my computer is used for. I may have forgotten some stuff, but that's generally it.

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] February 4 2009 4:11 PM EST

Oh. And I was thinking of trying out World of Warcraft too. So maybe consider that as well.

GM February 4 2009 4:13 PM EST

Dell installed Word, and some other programs. Not too many though. Most are extra free software, you can always uninstall your self.

"My husband also visits Adult oriented websites. Although most of his are safe sites. "

I laughed at this, I'm surprised you'd post that. Lol

AdminShade February 4 2009 4:14 PM EST

I think from all the things you listed, WoW is the graphics most heavy.
It however is already playable at quite acceptable graphics card.

I've never searched for a budget PC (my new one bought a month ago cost me $2000 or so in total) but I think some of the people already gave you good advice.

AdminTal Destra [C and S Forgery Lmtd.] February 4 2009 4:16 PM EST

lookie here

{cb2}ShadeSlayer February 4 2009 4:19 PM EST

eMachines ET1161-07 Desktop with 18.5" Widescreen LCD Monitor & Photo Printer 459.97


* AMD Athlonル X2 dual-core processor 4050e, 3GB DDR2 memory, double-layer DVDᄆRW/CD-RW drive with Labelflash support, 320GB hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE graphics, 15-in-1 media reader and Windows Vista Home Premium with SP1

* 18.5" flat-panel widescreen LCD monitor with ultrafast 5 ms response time, 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and antiglare screen treatment; 2 built-in speakers

* Compact Canon PIXMA photo printer with FINE print head technology and auto fix function for improved image quality

* Special package savings of $110 (discounted from individual-item total: reg. price $569.97 - $110.00 instant savings = $459.97 final price)

(This processor is alright for a Dual-core, the ram is good for the games you want to play and running several things, and the graphics card is great for Second-Life... +++ the monitor and Printer)

Click Here

AdminTal Destra [C and S Forgery Lmtd.] February 4 2009 4:21 PM EST

nice one

just no video card

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] February 4 2009 4:27 PM EST

This particular dell line is gear for small businesses, there is no bloatware issue AFAIR

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] February 4 2009 4:29 PM EST

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

That's what I own right now. LoL. So, as you can see, any computer would be an improvement. And no, I do not own the case to the tower. The previous owner could not find it.

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] February 4 2009 4:58 PM EST

And for the inside for those asking:

Photobucket Photobucket

Brakke Bres [Ow man] February 4 2009 5:00 PM EST

mmm some cable management and some extra fans couldn't hurt :)

AdminTal Destra [C and S Forgery Lmtd.] February 4 2009 5:04 PM EST

somebody write CLEAN ME! on the side pronto

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] February 4 2009 5:37 PM EST

You could try something like this:

Just select a few upgrades you might like and bam, computer.
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