View Full Version : What computer set up would I need in order to do the following...

02-09-2003, 11:56 AM
How much would I need to spend and what is the `minimum' computer I'll need for the following:

Windows XP.
Office XP (or at least Word and Excel).
Must handle online media easily (live broadcasts online, video etc).
Must be appropriate for watching DVDs.
Must be able to handle music vids on cds easily (with no jerky movements or jagged edges in pictures).
Must be able to handle a large majority of games (including but not limited to: Red Alert 2, The Sims, Star Trek and associated games/add ons).
Must be appropriate for use with external hard drives and other removable storage media (those bubble gum sized things you plug into the computer), webcam, high speed internet.
Must be upgradable to take advantage of the latest (or additional) technology as it comes out.

02-09-2003, 12:10 PM
every member of F1 will tell you something diffrent but the basic plot will be the same.

I would say get:

motherboard the supports USB 2.0
AMD Athlon 2000XP or faster
256MB of ram as a mininum 512MB is better
80GB Hard drive (more if you can afford)
G-force 4MX or better
combo DVD/CD writer
17" CRT or maybe 17" LCD
10/100 network card.

and all the usal bits: keyboard,mouse,modem.printer......

as for "live broadcasts online" this is more the high speed internet than the computer, any new computer will do most of what you want.

02-09-2003, 12:37 PM
Pretty much argree with the first reply,though id suggest if going the AMD way that you purchase a motherboard that can do 333fsb,and while the mx video card will do what youve asked,the g4ti will suit you much better in the long run.

And if your looking towards Intel,then i suggest getting an AMD.

But thats because im biased.


02-09-2003, 12:39 PM
As for how much you spend,id guess $1600.

Here's an example


Murray P
02-09-2003, 12:49 PM
512MB ram is a minimum for your needs and look for a video card with digital output (socket), AMD to keep the cost down and stick with a good name brand motherboard (Asus is my pref). IMHO.

Cheers Murray P

02-09-2003, 01:34 PM
For all that you could get away with a Duron or Celeron 1.3Ghz (or lower), 128mb, 40gb. You could probably pick something up (new) for under $1000.

There will probably be people who flame me for my reply, but you did ask the "minimum", and this is it - you could probably get something cheaper/lesser, but it'd be less upgradeable (or rather it'd cost more to upgrade it) later.

I was running a lot of the stuff you've asked about on a Celeron 700 and then an Athlon 750 for a long time with 128 then 256mb of Ram, including the software/games you mentioned.


02-09-2003, 02:51 PM
windows XP on 128MB of ram?? was that not very slow??

I have to say that mike is right about the minimum point.

my advice is to get the most you can afford so you wont need to upgrade in 12 months.

both mike and me have vaild points and now you must decide which way to jump :-)

02-09-2003, 03:18 PM
> windows XP on 128MB of ram?? was that not very
> slow??

Win XP runs fine on 128 - it depends on how many OTHER programs you try to run at the same time as to whether it slows down or not. That has nothing to do with XP :)

> I have to say that mike is right about the minimum
> point.


> my advice is to get the most you can afford so you
> wont need to upgrade in 12 months.
> both mike and me have vaild points and now you must
> decide which way to jump :-)

Oh I agree with you - buy now and not upgrade in 12 months unless its essential, or unless it fits your budget better. I went with slightly less than I would have liked, due to the budget, but I did go for the best I could get in some areas so that I didn't have to upgrade everything later. But usually in this area it will all come down to budget.

The example I gave is the minimum that will do everything you require, however you could spend quite a bit more and get better results, there's no doubt about it... I don't think I'll ever be happy ;)


02-09-2003, 03:36 PM
only thing i'll add is to get seperate dvdrom and cd/dvd writer. makes copying cd's a whole lot easier, plus a dvdrom is cheaper to replace after thrashing it reading all your dvd/cd's.

btw 128meg ram makes winXP run really slow, its barely enough for win98/me let alone XP.

02-09-2003, 03:40 PM
Here's what I'd recommend:

* AMD Athlon XP 1800+ or 2000+ processor (won't need to upgrade from these for a while)
* 512Mb RAM DDR266 or DDR333 (prices are almost the same)
* GeForce4 Ti4200 64Mb display card (these days only an amazingly cheap $180)
* Motherboard with integrated LAN (networking) and on-board sound (do your research on this one, read PC magazines with m'board comparisons, search the net for reviews, etc.) I'd recommend the nForce2 chipset.
* DVD and CD-RW combo drive (make sure it's DVD speed is x16)
* External HDDs usually connect via USB so make sure that your motherboard has USB (although you can buy add-on cards) and make sure you have Service Pack 1 installed for Windows XP to take advantage of USB 2.0 speeds & compatibility.

The CPU/RAM and Ti4200 combo will ensure good video playback from VCD, DVD that sort of thing as well as good gaming performance. Some Ti 4200's have TV-out too.

I can't stress the importance of a good m'board enough - it's essential for the smooth-running and performance of your system.

Check out http://www.pricespy.co.nz for individual component prices, otherwise try sending those specs (or similar) to independent companies (QMB, ETC, Magika, Computer Direct, etc...) and ask for a quote.

02-09-2003, 10:02 PM
Thanks everyone! Your replies have been helpful. I know what I want but I'm not sure exactly what will do it. Until I buy a new computer I'll probably just be reading computer mags and looking at websites to understand more about components, their capabilities, and their prices.

Regarding the upgrading vs buy more now point, there doesn't seem to be any right or wrong answer to me from what I've read here. I'm not certain which is more economical, but I do know that I don't like to muck around with what's beneath the case lid which I know little about, so for that reason I'm leaning toward the buy more now side.

03-09-2003, 01:22 AM
I've got to say, I agree totally with Mike.

You wont need over a 1Ghz PC to do that work... but surely you want to be slightly future-proofed... MS Office-XP is far from a small application... ;-)

You've certainly come to the right place to learn about computers, components, capbilities, and pricing too :D

You could go with the 'minimum', but for an extra $150 odd, you'd be future-proofed for another year or so if that's all you'll be doing.

The biggest thing I could think of would be 256MB RAM over the 128MB minimum, that'd make a world of difference!

Hope this helps