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Help me find a computer!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by CrispyDelicious, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Hello OT!

    So here's the deal: I need a new computer. More specifically, I need A computer, as I don't own one. I'm moving out from living with my roomate in a month. I've used her computer thus far, but now I'm gonna have to cave and buy my own. Thing is, I know NOTHING about computers except how to use them for basic functions.

    I essentially want something basic... I need a word processor for school, internet capabilities (preferably wireless)... That's pretty much it.

    Now, what would be the difference between something simple like that, and something that I could use to do basic home recording? I've always wanted the ability to record at home so I can put up demos online to just kind of get my stuff out there to other musicians. Not looking to get into protools and craziness like that, I won't ever have the time to learn.

    So, from being able to check my email, write a paper and download music, to being able to do some simple home recording, what's the difference in the type of machine you need, and more importantly, what's it going to cost??

  2. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005
    First things first. No pics, no roommate. :D
  3. that is a horny toad...

    you can go real cheap with the computer these days, especially since you don't have any big requirements, but if you go with a pc this for example will be overkill for your needs :

    http://www.techbargains.com/news_displayItem.cfm/157986 add a couple of hundreds for a decent 22" LCD screen

    probably need to add some money for a good sound card for recording, I would also recommend getting XP pro instead of Vista, unless you like waiting on Windows while it is thinking.
  4. Good lord! Since when did these things get so cheap??
  5. Safari


    Feb 6, 2009
    macbook or imac. They're wireless and come with recording and editing software. though you will have to purchase separate word processing software - unless you opt to use apple's text edit, which isn't as in-depth as MS office. I use a macbook pro and an imac for recording all day and all night in Garageband. so easy.
  6. What's a mac of that calibre run, these days? Is it a specifc model?
  7. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Best bang-for-buck on computers built exactly to your specs:

    They do good work. I've seen the results first-hand.

  8. Good lord. That site is intimidating. I don't even know what all those specs mean! Thanks though, I'mm gonna take a look at it.
  9. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Take one of your IT geek buddies with you to Best Buy or Costco and have him/her help you pick out a computer. You can usually trade their consulting services for a USB drive or a free meal at Wendy's. :)

    It looks to me like you are describing two totally different machines...something for internet surfing only, or something for recording. I suppose there is a middle ground in there somewhere between one of those mini-laptops and something like an XPS from Dell.

    Read all you want in this thread, but do not go out to buy something without some back-up.

  10. I'd get a laptop.

    That is as long as a DAW isn't a huge concern, because recording can certainly be done on a laptop with an external interface... firewire or USB.

    Machines without video cards(they have what is called integrated video) will be quite a bit cheaper, but don't expect to play any games newer than Red Alert on them. :)

    If you are a little clumsy Asus offers a one year "Accidental damage" so if you drop it, spill coffee on it, etc it is covered. - Check with your retailer to see if this is available to you.

    If you'd rather not type on the laptop keyboard, use the laptop screen or touchpad you can easily use an external keyboard/mouse/monitor at your desk. And still have the portability of the laptop when you want to use it on the couch.

    I'd expect to pay $6-800 for a good laptop without a graphics card and a little over a thousand for a laptop with a good graphics card. A mac will be quite expensive and for your needs not really worth it, in my opinion unless you go used.
  11. Thanks!
    And believe me, I'll heed that advice!

  12. Yeah I've never really been a computer gamer. Graphics aren't an issue for me. If I play a game, I'll be on my SNES! :D

    I had no idea a laptop could come that cheap, wow. And thanks for the heads-up on integrated video vs. graphics cards. I had no idea.
  13. What's your price range? For some recording I would advise you to get a decent soundcard.
  14. I don't think he's got that kind of money to buy a Macbook, like he said, he wants something simple (= inexpensive) :rolleyes:
  15. Yeah, I'm opting for cheaper if I can. I can always do recording at my buddy's studio, if I need to. It would be nice to do some basic recording at home, but it's not necessary.

    Under $1000, for sure, is my budget. I was just looking at bestbuy.ca and they have laptops that go from $300 to the multi-thousands... I look at 'em, but I don't know what I need in terms of processor power, RAM and all that stuff.
  16. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    If you fear Vista, get this

    Otherwise, get this

  17. If the website loads I'll have a look what you need. If you are not scared of vista (works fine here), go for the 64-bit home premium version and make sure there's at least 3-4 GB of RAM in there, because Vista alone uses about 1.5 GB. For processor speed I'd say you'll need 2.0 ghz at minimum.

    A good computer is really expensive, a budget computer should still be somewhat expensive, so do not go too budget because it wouldn't be able to keep up with the ever increasing demanding programs. I know most recording programs can really make your PC/Laptop sweat and smoke if they only meet minimum requirements.

    EDIT: Looking real quick I found two that you might like:

    A 15.4" Toshiba: http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0926INGFS10118384&catid=25253
    And a 17" HP: http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0926INGFS10118158&catid=25254

    Main difference is the screen size. Also, the HP overall is a little bit better but the Toshiba meets your requirements just fine. I would buy a seperate mouse if you're going to buy a laptop, it just works better than the touchpad.
  18. Hey thanks, Muusers. So what's with this fear of Vista everyone has? I mean, I hear a lot about it but what's the deal?

    As for the two comps, are you saying both would allow me install some simple recording software (when I say simple, I really mean I just want to be able to record bass tracks for my own storage, maybe throw some online as playing demos)? I'm guessing the HP is more powerful and has a bigger resolution?
  19. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    What about one of those mini-laptops? Perfect for web surfing.

  20. Heh, my friend (a miniature chinese girl) just suggested one of those over msn. Hers suits her perfectly. Call it mannish pride, but I'd feel a little odd with one of those tiny gadgets. :D I have big hands anyways, I probably end up rtyoping likje thiosd!

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