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alisam
18-08-2003, 10:12 PM
I am looking to purchase a new PC primarily for Internet Surfing and Microsoft Word/Excel applications. I will not be playing games. As with my present 166Mhz system I intend to keep whatever I purchase for as long as possible.

I have been quoted for 2 systems running XP Home and the main differences are:

Option 1
Intel P4 2.4 Ghz 800Mhz FSB
Gigabyte P4 Dual Channel Motherboard
512Mb DDR400 Dual Channel Ram
128MB Leadtek GeForce FX-5200 8 x AGP Video Card

Option 2
Intel P4 2.66 Ghz
MSI Mainboard
512Mb PC2700 Ram
GeForce 4 MX440 64Mb Video Card

Which is the better option or will I not really notice the difference and either would be OK?

SKT174
19-08-2003, 11:26 AM
Based on what you said "Internet Surfing and Word/Excel only..." you won't notice the difference in real life at all unless you have a super large spread sheet and some complex calculations.

I don't know the price difference between the two but option one is a better machine seven though the CPU operates at a lower speed but the extra bandwidth will make up for it. Just make sure they give you 256DDR 400 X 2 instead of one 512DDR 400.

Since you won't play games, so display card probably won't matter to you, but the FX5200 is DirectX 9 ready so for future application nd capability it is a better option.

Cheers

kiwibeat
19-08-2003, 12:01 PM
Waste of money buying new .
for what you propose to do look for a good 2nd hand PC around $300 will get you a reasonable machine on trademe.co.nz


Compaq Deskpro Desktop EN
* Intel Pentium 11 400mhz Processor
* 6.4GB Hard drive
* 128MB Ram
* CD-ROM drive
* 1.44 Floppy drive
* Integrated Sound
* AGP Graphics card with 17" monitor

kiwibeat
19-08-2003, 12:06 PM
Add some more ram and a bigger HDD and that should keep you going for another 5 or so years the excess of cpu speed over appplications is so huge these days you only need the latest PCs for hard core gaming and intensive video editing and 3d applications where time equals money .
Spend more on a decent monitor and if you are into music a good sound card and stereo ,

kiwibeat
19-08-2003, 12:23 PM
If you want a more MODERN SYSTEM THEN the below is going for about $550

AMD DURON 1300 CPU(CPU IS NEW)
256MB DDR 333 RAM
KDS 17" MONITOR(SONY TRINITRON TUBE)
ELITEGROUP L7S7A2 MOTHERBOARD WITH ONBOARD 6 CH SOUND AND LAN
20GB SEAGATE ATA III 7200 RPM HARDDRIVE
32 MB SIS AGP GRAPHICS CARD
ATX-CASE WITH 300WATT AOPEN POWERSUPPLY
OPTICAL MOUSE
KEYBOARD
WINDOWS XP INSTALLED FOR TESTING ONLY(NO CD)
ASUS 50X CD ROM
56K MODEM

BootyLicious
19-08-2003, 12:29 PM
Option 1 ;-)

Mike
19-08-2003, 12:42 PM
> Option 1 ;-)

I agree.

Mike.

Greg S
19-08-2003, 01:43 PM
> > Option 1 ;-)
>
> I agree.
>
> Mike.


Yep definitly option 1

-=JM=-
19-08-2003, 05:32 PM
Definitely option one. Though they're both overkill for what it sounds like you'll be using the PC for. I like overkill though.

*goes off to make unnecessary hardware upgrade*

the highlander
19-08-2003, 09:15 PM
Option 1 but with no disrespect intended, for what you want to use it for it's overkill

A second hand vectra or deskpro will do what you want with ease.
Try a google search for remarkit nz. They are a reseller of used corporate comps. I have bought several off them over the last two months. PII 350s, 6gig H/D, CD, 64 meg ram, 4meg sis agp, ess sound card keyboard, mouse, onboard speakers built like a brick outhouse 150 bucks each Just add a monitor and modem. They used to sell only to schools but they sell to anyone now.
Not an ad They are just cheap, offer a reliable service and I hate to see a person buy a new Kenworth to tow a concrete mixer when a used Toyota ute will do the job :-)

Draggy
19-08-2003, 09:16 PM
Why does everyone go on about the overkill side of this ? When what is asked which is the best and most future proofed. Future proof = the most powerful for what you can afford now even though in today's environment you may never touch upper performance level.

On the note of which you would choose I would agree with with option 1.

tommy
19-08-2003, 09:38 PM
> Why does everyone go on about the overkill side of
> this ? When what is asked which is the best and most
> future proofed. Future proof = the most powerful for
> what you can afford now even though in today's
> environment you may never touch upper performance
> level.

Probably because it is painful seeing the value of an expensive system drop by half or more over a year when you have not really utilised the capability of that system. It is better to buy what you will need for the coming 6-12 months at less than cutting edge prices then upgrading as and when required. Browsing the internet and the other things the poster plans to do does not require lots of power.

mikebartnz
20-08-2003, 12:15 AM
>Just make sure they give you 256DDR 400 X 2 instead of one 512DDR 400.
Am very curious as to why you say that as it ties up a slot making upgrading more expensive.

kiwibeat
20-08-2003, 02:23 PM
I have read that a 512 chip of ram runs faster than 2x256 ??

SKT174
20-08-2003, 03:16 PM
> >Just make sure they give you 256DDR 400 X 2 instead
> of one 512DDR 400.
> Am very curious as to why you say that as it ties up
> a slot making upgrading more expensive.

Because in order to use the full 800MHz memory bandwith the DDR must go in pairs. Since he said the package only comes with 512MB, 256DDRx2 is the only way to get that bandwidth. :)

Cheers

Draggy
21-08-2003, 12:30 PM
Yes there is that in regards to PC systems as a whole, but this is also the nature of computers and electronics. Computers aren't the only field, cars within the first year loose half their value even though you have never get the equivalent in money back for it.

In the question of future proofing, buying second hand is not doing this. You will end up with a machine that will meet your needs for a year or two not the five that you can occasionally get out of a new PC. Also your warranty on second hand gear is generally only 1 week. Buying new gives you the coverage of a full warranty which can be up to 3 years and the coverage of the law for Good and Services.

Second hand is fine if you want something now and cheap. If you want something to last and give you some play 2 years down the track buy new and as big as you can afford.

dotcommander
21-08-2003, 01:01 PM
lol...just buy the one that looks the coolest otherwise go to this link for an excellent selection of resellers selling computers http://www.pricespy.co.nz some computers include free delivery and depending on where you live free setup

alisam
21-08-2003, 02:02 PM
Thank you for all your comments.

As a result my inclination is to purchase a new but lower spec. machine. I didn't mention in my post that I would be looking to buy a Digital camera within the next 12 months.

Therefore, my final 3 questions are:

Would 256MB RAM be sufficient for what I want to do instead of puchasing 512mb?

Do I actually need a graphics card. Should I allocate (say) 32MB to graphics from the main memory.

For office type applications I have been told that an Intel chip is better than an AMD chip. Would you agree?

Jen C
21-08-2003, 02:41 PM
> Would 256MB RAM be sufficient for what I want to do
> instead of puchasing 512mb?

For running WinXP, in the long-term I would still go for the 512MB of RAM. As you are intending to purchase a digital camera later, this additional RAM will help when you are manipulating photo's.

> Do I actually need a graphics card. Should I allocate
> (say) 32MB to graphics from the main memory.

Onboard graphics should be fine for your use.

> For office type applications I have been told that an
> Intel chip is better than an AMD chip. Would you
> agree?

With a modern processor (CPU) even a lower spec one, there should be no noticable differences for the average PC user.

bmason
21-08-2003, 03:03 PM
> Therefore, my final 3 questions are:
>
> Would 256MB RAM be sufficient for what I want to do
> instead of puchasing 512mb?

You could get away with it, but for desktop stuff the amount of ram you have makes more difference than the speed of the processor. Plus, its only ~$70 more.

> Do I actually need a graphics card. Should I allocate
> (say) 32MB to graphics from the main memory.

Yes, onboard graphics will be fine.

> For office type applications I have been told that an
> Intel chip is better than an AMD chip. Would you
> agree?

No, especially away from the high end processors where an AMD chip is half the price of the equivilant intel one.

dotcommander
22-08-2003, 02:10 AM
apart from the amd being the cheaper option, isnt a 1.8 ghz AMD chip equiv to the 2.4 ghz pentium

Mike
22-08-2003, 09:07 PM
> apart from the amd being the cheaper option, isnt a
> 1.8 ghz AMD chip equiv to the 2.4 ghz pentium

That's what they'd like you to believe :)

Mike.

kiwibeat
23-08-2003, 10:23 AM
If you buy cheap you dont lose all that cash in depreciation and in 2 years the latest PC today will be old hat, cpus will be at 4 GHZ and ram HDD will be 1/2 the price they are now .
There is no real future proofing in PCs unless you stay with the software You use at present.
Everything changes so rapidly that I suspect its a plot from Microsoft to force us all to upgrade IE patches new O/S that require ever more HDD space and power ram etc that will slow even the fastest PCs to a crawl

Draggy
23-08-2003, 11:56 PM
>If you buy cheap you dont lose all that cash in depreciation and in 2 >years the latest PC today will be old hat, cpus will be at 4 GHZ and ram >HDD will be 1/2 the price they are now .
>There is no real future proofing in PCs unless you stay with the >software You use at present.
>Everything changes so rapidly that I suspect its a plot from Microsoft to >force us all to upgrade IE patches new O/S that require ever more HDD >space and power ram etc that will slow even the fastest PCs to a crawl

The only thing I would like to throw in here is that Hardware, mainly CPU's, have outstripped what software can put through them. That gap is getting bigger and not smaller so unless MS makes another massive growth in bloat were you will find a slower need to upgrade even though people like Intel and AMD are releasing more chips faster and faster. The only industry that will push most machines this day and age is games and thats more the graphics card than any other subsystem.

The other issue here is that you are assuming everyone upgrades their OS with their machines. There are people out there with 8 year old P133's still running Windows 98 and sometimes windows 95 and they still hold up for the office or personal use they are being used for. So buying big and bad now is still future proofing because you will still have the same OS which won't push the machine.

What you say is true for a Power User, IT Professionals or Gamers. Not the end user who just wants office, internet and the odd game of cards. As stated in my earlier post is the whole warranty issue, second hand gives you no peice of mind and you have to go through all the purchase hassel and teething issue's again in 2 years unlike with a new machine you can generally use it for 5 years.

I remember an old Article in PC World from Geoff Palmer about productivity and basic use. This article was a couple of years ago but still valid. He had a machine running Windows 3.11 dual booting I think with something new and fancy like XP or 2000. Windows 3.11 had an early version of Word which worked fine but didn't have some of the new 'fancy' features but did everything he needed and on his new windows install he had the latest office version and in this he got side tracked by games or figuring out how something fancy worked. He was more productive on the old install because he didn't get side tracked and didn't really need the fancy gadgets and widgets.

My point is that for average Joe bloggs you don't need awesome power and you don't need to upgrade regularly. You can now buy a nice new fast machine with Windows XP and Office XP and still be using the same thing in 5 years with the peice of mind that if something breaks you can probably get it fixed by a professional for nothing if it breaks. Where with second hand machines you will probably get an old OS and a moderately old machine which after the first week you have no come back and an OS that is not supported by MS, unless your lucky enough to know Linux and have that on your machine and upgrades are free.

I believe the second hand market has its place:
1) People on a tight budget
2) People wanting a second machine to play with or for the kids
3) Power users looking to build a network or test machine
4) Gamers looking for a game server for their LAN parties
5) People looking for parts for an old machine which they cannot get new

I am sorry if I come across as ranting but not meaning to, just a strong point with me. I am an IT professional who so regularly gets called upon to fix a machine someone purchased second hand for their primary computer even though they do have the means to buy new. They don't want to pay for the repairs and wonder why it is so difficult because I can't find parts, drivers for their OS or their scanner won't work.

metla
24-08-2003, 02:19 AM
Ahem...Draggy,...i was going to say pretty much the same thing,but i find if i hold my tounge someone yends to say it far better then i can.

Lmao.

Anyway,Buy a second machine if your prepared to throw it away the minute it breaks down...unless of course the owner wants to hack away at it.

I get calls from people who have bought these old piles of junk,find its a pos,call me in,ask what can be done,then get upset when my best advice is to throw it away.

metla
24-08-2003, 02:20 AM
Um....yends=tends.

Thomas
24-08-2003, 08:04 AM
>Everything changes so rapidly that I suspect its a plot from Microsoft to >force us all to upgrade.


To be fair,the computer of the future will have to have huge memory,if one thinks of star trek etc,we must be heading that way,will be nice to say,computer,sort yourself out and not have to rely on GodF and Tweak.

Fire-and-Ice
24-08-2003, 12:22 PM
> You can now buy a nice new fast machine with Windows XP and Office XP and still be using the same thing in 5 years

Yes, you can do that now but a computer bought five years ago using the same software that it had when purchased is an old slug now. You have to wait for Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer or Microsoft Word, etc, etc to open whereas on today's fast machines there is barely a second's wait.

As long as you are not constantly upgrading to the latest version of Office or the latest games, today's machines will last you for many years satisfactorily.

Rod ger
25-08-2003, 01:25 AM
My K6-266 does everything required of it net, WP etc. obviously no games to speak of and has done so since new, despite merciless tweaking. It is still on its original install and runs sweet as a nut.

I have used XP on my daughters computer and find little difference in speed of use, obviously the files load a lot faster, and the net connection is a "bit" better but for everyday tasks there's not a lot in it.

Check out how compatible your present software is with XP, and is the replacement software compatible with your present files? Take into account replacement software could cost as much, if not more than the cost of the computer.

Check out you digital camera and see what the requirements are for its software.

Future proofing is pointless, every 6months there is a "new" technology incorporated into the "latest" model that renders all "futureproofed" computers undone. I can't emphasize enough that the current model computers are a tremendous overkill for what you need. A 2.4Pentium is a Pentium 2400 compared to your 166 that's nearly 15 times faster!!! Same applies to memory, disc size, although you will probably NEED a decent size Hard Drive if you have a lot of images to store.

I'm not recommending what I think you should do, but trying to give you a bit of perspective. Hope it helps.

Fishb8
25-08-2003, 07:44 AM
Get yourself a 6 month old used PC and let someone else suffer the major depreciation.
My needs are similar to your own, ie digital camera + Photoshop as well as surfing and office applications. I've just bought a 6 month old PC with a AMD 2500X+xp, 1Gb ram, 128mb graphics card for $1300. Its got a great sound system too. I've added another 120 Gb hard drive to augment the 40Gb which brought it to $1470. My future-proofing will be to take my new HD and fit it to my next machine in 5 years. Incidentally, I got $400 for my old P3, 450 system. My new system is much quicker on PS7 and running my utility program, SystemSuite 5 but I don't get any quicker surfing and my office applications are no different, either.
My nephews like playing games on my new system MUCH better!

kiwibeat
25-08-2003, 12:28 PM
My daughter is using my P3 450mhz and it does all that she requires light surfing ,office work ,plays music mp3s and video files etc she is on cable in aussie and has a 40 gig HDD in it .
All modern PCs are over kill for most applications and really a waste of money unless your PC is a source of income ie professional designer architect video editor etc
they are also are able to write off the depreciation on the purchase and claim back gst etc so expense isnt so relevent for them .
Buy what you need not what the salesman want you to buy remember his commision is based on the amount of your purchase

Chilling_Silently
25-08-2003, 12:57 PM
The truth be known, if you werent doing digital image manipulation in the near future, I'd be willing to bet you'd very rarely max out your PC's CPU, or RAM for that matter, seeing as Windows in it's infinite wisdom uses the SWAP file (on your HDD) all the time!

Buying that, you ARE future proofed to a certain degree, in that word processing cannot really go much higher or bloated than it already is... Im sure I'll be eating my hat when Microsoft releases Office, two versions down the road... ;-)

To be honest, the moment you leave the store, your PC will be depreciated and old... there's a newer and better system out there somewhere for less than you paid, and that's just life in computers!

Go for it :-)

Mike
25-08-2003, 09:02 PM
> Why does everyone go on about the overkill side of
> this ?

Price.

Mike.

kiwibeat
27-08-2003, 04:19 PM
Cracking a walnut with a sledge hammer isnt really justified and a waste of energy and money lol

Thomas
27-08-2003, 05:49 PM
>Cracking a walnut with a sledge hammer isnt really justified and a >>waste of energy and money lol

Better than trying to crack coconut with a toffee hammer.;)