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My brother is asking me for some help

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Apr 18, 2006.

  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hi everybody.

    One of my brothers sent me an e-mail asking me about the best options in PC hardware right now since his computer is very old and he's ready to make a considerable investment on a decent machine. He says that he doesn't want to buy a new one in a local store and instead, since he's planning a trip to Panama City, he wants to buy the parts there, assuming that it will be a lot cheaper that way. I haven't updated my PC in a long time (like two years, I think) since mine works very well and has very good specs, so I don't know about the latest on PC (Windows) hardware technology. That's why I'm posting this thread. I'd like you fellow talkbassers to enlighten me about the best processor for a PC (the latest I knew was a Pentium IV 3.2 GHz with hyper-threading technology), best motherboard, hard drive (160 GB is the biggest I know), DVD burner, printer (not an industrial-type one), sound card for non-professional use, 17" LCD monitor, case... anything you think is the best right now for a Windows-based home computer (according to my brother, price is not an issue). Thank you in advance!
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I really can't comment on many of these, except for the LCD monitor, my father has purchased two Samsung LCD monitors and I have purchased one. The oldest is five years old and still going very strong, and I am very impressed with their quality and reliability.
  3. yeah, i can't tell you a whole lot of brands, but if he is getting a dvd burner (or cd burner) see if he can get one with lightscribe...i think its kinda cool :)
  4. Johnny Mac

    Johnny Mac Riff-finder General Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2005
    Springfield, MA
    The best processor is probably not the Pentium IV. I can't tell you what is, I just know what it isn't (I think).
  5. yeah, AMD is a much better processor from what my computer friends tell me
  6. I think the AMD dualcores are the "best" processors out there nowadays, although whether or not dual cores are a good investment now or not I'll leave others to comment on. Hard drives I think can go as high as 400-500 gigs, although again I don't know how much your friend will actually need. Only other suggestion is get lots of ram, Vista will need godly amounts of it to run properly
  7. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    All this comes from experience, some might have different ideas so take it as my advice of what I think, I might be wrong but so far this has been my experience:

    Motherboard: Asus or A-bit are good... MSI not too bad... rest I either don’t like or don’t know enough about.

    CPU: top/mid range model AMD and Intel are good, I probably need more info what he will use the PC for to tell you what you might want. No Celeron or Celeron type CPUs though as they are too slow… something mid range will do good, the high end CPUs from both cost too much but mid range… eh… I use both, ignore a person who will tell you that one is better then another (especially when people say how one of them suck), one might be cheaper then other but better is a questionable statement... so ignore that really... If its better for one person it might not be the best for other. They are both make very good processors

    RAM: CORSAIR XMS is top, then Corsair value. Corsair is pretty good RAM, this is what I use. Probably 512mb is plenty, but make sure when he upgrades he will use exactly same RAM, brand, size, etc sometimes by not doing that you actually can slow down the system.

    Case/power supply: Antec (mid tower, don’t get the mini, pain in the arse to work with, I hate then), don't save on wattage either. I'd say 500 will be good. Plus some fans to keep system cool

    Hard drive: Seagate SATA is a good one or WD SATA. I think I would recommend a setup of WD raptor 36gb for C and something like 200gb (or how much he needs) Seagate SATA HD for files. Keep system and software files on C 36gb hd which is much faster and ALL files on the secondary HD. This way your system won’t get slowed down too much with time.

    DVD burner: I use lite-on, cheap and good… if you want super crazy plextor makes SATA burners but expensive and not important.

    Monitor: I like my dell:) it was cheap if you look for specials and coupons. Widescreen monitors are the best!

    Video card: this all depends… Brand wise, Asus is great, PNY is good, many good brands out there but you need to know what he will use his PC for… if he is a hardcore gamer then I would go to next to top of the line video card as its not as expensive… If he is so-so gamer high end 6000 will work fine… if he doesn’t care… low end 6000 will work.

    Sound card: This is all preference, he can use one on board for decent quality or get super ladidadi Creative Lab sound card with remote and all that stuff...

    Network: Choose a motherboard with onboard LAN, they work well. Wireless is a bit trickier though...
  8. For a processor, Id go with a 64 bit AMD. I have one in my laptop and it works great.
  9. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Thanks for the responses so far! :) I don't know exactly what he wants the PC for. He's the owner of a gym and both him and his wife are architects (but he's more dedicated to the gym and his wife to the architecture). I think he wants his PC for -aside from regular net browsing- keeping all of their accounts and maybe for architecture designs. They're not gamers. Simply put, he wants something that last the longest with no need to think of upgrading soon. He says that he's tired of his old machine giving trouble and wants something that really gives him some peace of mind. I feel "qualified" to give him good advice but again, he was very emphatic about the latest technology and maybe that's what I'm not so informed about.
  10. Diego


    Dec 9, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Opteron dual processor 2GB ram, 200GB hard drive at 7200 rpm. Get a widescreen lcd display with high res, preferably more than 21 inch diagonal. CD/DVD burner included. It should run in the ballpark of $2500-3500. Just my c0.02
  11. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    In that case, as game performance is not super important I would suggest to go with corsair value ram (good ram, never gave me or my ex customers problems), AMD/intel... eh... video card doesn’t matter so lower end 6000 will do but not too low end... He probably doesn’t care about sound so i would use onboard sound.

    Here is an example:

    ASUS A8N5X Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 ATX AMD Motherboard $79.99 (decent, if he wants better you can go up from there, but...)


    ASUS P4P800-E DELUXE Socket 478 Intel 865PE ATX Intel Motherboard $109.99

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Manchester 1GHz HT 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Dual Core Processor $297.00


    Intel Pentium 4 640 800MHz FSB LGA 775 EM64T Processor $213.00

    CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory $72.00

    PNY VCFX5756VAPB Geforce FX5700VE 256MB 128-bit DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card - Retail $59.99 (I actually have that card)

    Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 74GB 10,000 RPM 8MB Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive $130.00 (after $30 rebate)


    Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 250GB 3.5" Serial ATA150 Hard Drive $86.00
    (There is also 36gb version of this HD for 102 or 150gb for 254 with rebate, you can also replace it with 2nd HD with more space but less performance or add more space with 2nd HD as secondary).

    LITE-ON 16X DVD±R DVD Burner W/ 5X DVD-RAM Write Beige ATAPI/E-IDE Model SHM-165P6S BG $39.99

    Antec Solution SLK3000-B Black Computer Case 49.00

    Antec SmartPower 2.0 SP-500 500W Power Supply 68.99

    Plus accessories such as fans and keyboard and such plus wide screen lcd is l33t. :)

    Hope this paints a picture... good luck.
  12. Deception


    Feb 9, 2006
    For processors: Get AMD if you want to play games, Pentium if planning to use office type programs
  13. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    I've heard that too... could be true. I think right this second I would go with AMD as they X2 processors are pretty good and Intel's core-duo CPU is not yet massively supported by motherboard manufactures, at least not as much as AMD X2 as of now. This probably will change soon but for now…
  14. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I would go AMD either way. The AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200 is a good price point IMO. Beyond that it gets significantly more expensive.

  15. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I want to say thanks everybody, specially Serg for your thorough reply. Thank you for your time, man! :)
  16. www.newegg.com

    I bought my PC there. Lots of different deals. No problems. paid about $500.00 came with a 17" flat screen monitor for an extra $2.99. I dont know if this deal is still there, but you cannot build a computer this cheap. 64 bit and 1 gig ram makes programs run super fast. If he is going to use the computer to host a website or connect remotely to it via remote desktop client, I would recommend windows XP professional instead of the home edition.

    check the ABS brand. 64 bit AMD processor
    Windows XP Sp2 32bit
    Asus motherboard
    1 gig RAM
    120 Gig Harddrive
    on board video
    10/100 in board network card
  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Props to kserg for doing some serious research, and then a buttload of cut and pasting. :D

    We build all of our PCs at work with MSI motherboards. No failures yet, and they perform well. Kingston RAM has served us well, but I think we are just dodging bullets with it.

    I like Western Digital hard drives myself. It's about all we use.

  18. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    You really are not dodging a bullet, that’s normal... MSI makes very decent hardware, I’ve used them a lot for more budget customers, same with Kingston, they make decent ram, not the best but by far not the worse. I’ve used them before and they gave me no trouble… Only reason i didn’t mentioned them is because they are pretty much same price.

    With hard drive unless its raptor I prefer Seagate, but those raptors are something else. Both WD and SG are great.
  19. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK

    OHHHH yes you can... :)
  20. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    He had plenty of time...his feet being stuck in a wall and all.


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