View Full Version : Query about minimum PC spec now.

05-02-2002, 02:57 PM
My brother is looking at buying a PC and I was wanting to find out for him what is the minimum slightly future-proofed specification now. I've searched on this site and around the net but can't find much. Does any have an opinion on this?

He's an engineering student and will likely be bringing CADdesign work home. He's also likely to move into a computing side of engineering. They would also like it for low level gaming and, of course, internet use.

05-02-2002, 03:08 PM

I am utterly against spending money on PCs, so I would go cheap as possible.

It would start with the lowest-end machine you can find. Chances are it will have 128Mb of memory and a 20Gb disk and a 16Mb video card.

Then, if he needs something better for drawing, he might need a better card in a while. But in all honesty, he should be able to use virtually any modern PC and not have a problem unless he loads Autocad version 43.

It should be plenty for a good year or so, then be prepared to spend some money on judicious upgrades.

good luck, robo.

05-02-2002, 03:50 PM
if hes going to be doing full on cad work then he will proberly need a CAD graphics card (read exspencive)

i would disagree with robo. bottom end machines tend to be poor bang for the $$$. i would go for mid rang. this should get a pc that will not require any upgrades for awhile. ie a middle spec machine will still be usable in a few years time while a low spec will simply be to slow for the future software.

05-02-2002, 03:58 PM
A pentium 111 would fill the bill nicely. Price is about right too.
Remember it is not all that long ago people were running CAD programs on a 486 and saying how good they were

05-02-2002, 04:21 PM
A nice easy way to do this is to go on price - the sweet spot has been around the $2500 - $3000 mark for ages. So go for a system from a reputable dealer for that price, without too many bells and whistles. In his case a high end graphics card and probably minimum of 512MB ram would be important.

05-02-2002, 04:55 PM
Thanks for all your comments here.

I meant to ask also, I'm in Wellington and tend to see Quay Computers as the best place to go here. (Although they may have got a bit big for their boots in some ways and I had many arguments about my prev PC with them but they did put it right in the end).

My brother is in Auckland. Does anyone know of some good stable retailers up there?

I tend to assume the std (noel Leeming etc...) places should be avioded at all costs, or is that unfair?


05-02-2002, 06:15 PM
I reckon 2nd hand are resonable, for what you pay. DDR(new RAM) is what you will need to keep up with anyone else.

PIII would be good. Everyone has there own preference, I would have a second think about other processors like AMD etc. which will save $$.

05-02-2002, 07:26 PM

Have a look at John Calverts hardware online shopping list down the page 27 postings.



07-02-2002, 03:40 PM
The trouble is that he will need to be able to use a CAD system compatible with those at the Engineering School.

A 'cheap' computer might be expensive if it can't cope with the software.

The lecturers are 'poor' too, so should be able to advise a minumum requirement. They will be aware of the fact that you don't need the best; you need a engineering solution -- what will do the job.

09-02-2002, 06:11 PM
Quay computers are dearer than ascent.co.nz whiac is a nice site to read up on components and to compare prices always check new cost with 2nd hand stuff before buying I recommend he buys a AMD duron system new or 2nd hand if he cant afford much just make sure it has lots of memory in it and a AGP slot so he can fit in a decent graphics card later.