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Robert

Help my Mum choose a computer

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Alright, my mother needs a new computer. We don't have newegg and cheap parts shops here, so if you could just answer her questions, that should be enough.

 

Need a bit of information if you can help. I am thinking of buying a new computer, but am a bit out of touch with everything nowadays.

1. Do I need firewire?

2. A DVD burner with Blueray. Does this prevent playing of other DVDs?

3. Is 7200 rpm SATA II OK?

4. CPU and motherboard: Intel-E4500 Core 2 Duo. Will this cope with future developments, programs?

5. Sound: On board, or not?

6. Windows XP or Vista Premium?

7. Ram: More than 2 GB? Is DDR2-800 PC6400 OK?

8. Modem, if Broadband: Single port ADSL?

9. DVD drives: Presently have 1 DVD player + 1 DVD burner. 1 drive seems norm now. Should I have both?

 

Oh, she might be reading this, so don't be rude.

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Alright, my mother needs a new computer. We don't have newegg and cheap parts shops here, so if you could just answer her questions, that should be enough.

 

Need a bit of information if you can help. I am thinking of buying a new computer, but am a bit out of touch with everything nowadays.

1. Do I need firewire?

2. A DVD burner with Blueray. Does this prevent playing of other DVDs?

3. Is 7200 rpm SATA II OK?

4. CPU and motherboard: Intel-E4500 Core 2 Duo. Will this cope with future developments, programs?

5. Sound: On board, or not?

6. Windows XP or Vista Premium?

7. Ram: More than 2 GB? Is DDR2-800 PC6400 OK?

8. Modem, if Broadband: Single port ADSL?

9. DVD drives: Presently have 1 DVD player + 1 DVD burner. 1 drive seems norm now. Should I have both?

 

Oh, she might be reading this, so don't be rude.

Hello Mrs. Robert! You have a fine son. He truly is an asset to our wonderful community and loves helping others. You get an A+ in my book for being a fine mother. :clapping:

 

------

 

Now, I can't answer all the questions ... but the following is based on my opinion and experience.

 

1) Firewire has basically been out-dated by USB 2.0. Not many products use it anymore. If you have a digital camera or video camera or something that uses firewire, you'll need it.

 

2) The DVD Burner with Blu-Ray should be able to read all DVDs, including Blu-Ray discs. The reason is because it can burn all types of DVDs, except Blu-Ray.

 

3) I believe SATA3 is the standard these days. Are you sure it's a SATA2 drive? If you can upgrade to SATA3, that would be better. I'm not sure how big of a difference it is.

 

4) Sorry, can't help you there.

 

5) On-board sound is perfectly fine. If you want a better audio experience, you can always go with a Sound Blaster card, but unless you have good speakers, there really isn't much of a difference.

 

6) Personally (a lot of people would disagree with me), I would go with Windows Vista. Microsoft is forcing everyone to upgrade and it would be a waste of money if you went with Windows XP at this point of time. We'll all have to learn Vista eventually, and to upgrade to XP, and have to pay for an upgrade to Vista later will be costly.

 

7) 2GB is more than enough. The type of ram is based on the motherboard. I'm not sure if that's the correct one for you or not. Perhaps, the next person to respond will know.

 

8.) No idea.

 

9) Sometimes both can be a good idea. I've noticed over time that sometimes my DVD drive won't read discs I burned a few months ago, but another DVD drive does. Other than that, there is really no point.

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Thanks GC, I already advised her to stay away from Vista, I think all the extra messages, security matters and DRM nonsense would only cause unnecessary confusion.

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1. Do I need firewire? - Not unless you have something that uses it. Firewire is now defunct.

 

2. A DVD burner with Blueray. Does this prevent playing of other DVDs? - Nope, and I don't recommend buying into Bluray PC drives right now. Just stick with a regular DVD burner.

 

3. Is 7200 rpm SATA II OK? - Perfectly fine, and contrary to what Gamecop said, is the standard. SATA 3 drives are brand new market, and are costly in comparison, not to mention useless. No computer can make full use of SATA II bandwidth yet

 

4. CPU and motherboard: Intel-E4500 Core 2 Duo. Will this cope with future developments, programs? - If you're wanting to stay a little more futureproof, go with an E6550 or if money isn't a huge concern and you really want to futureproof, an E8000. I can't recommend a motherboard, I'm an Athlon 64 kind guy.

 

5. Sound: On board, or not? - Unless you're a serious audiophile, onboard 5.1 or better is just fine

 

6. Windows XP or Vista Premium? - XP Pro! Stay away from Vista, I don't need to add to Gamecop's input, just stay away.

 

7. Ram: More than 2 GB? Is DDR2-800 PC6400 OK? - 2GB at least, can't hurt to throw a full 4GB in there though as the stuff isn't really expensive. I recommend A-Data DDR2 PC6400. Lifetime warranty. Any more than 4GB will require a 64bit OS, and you won't see the full 4GB under a 32bit OS, less of it with more expansion hardware present.

 

8. Modem, if Broadband: Single port ADSL? - Uh, stumped here. We're provided with our modems by our ISPs here

 

9. DVD drives: Presently have 1 DVD player + 1 DVD burner. 1 drive seems norm now. Should I have both? - Unless you're backing up discs regularly, 1 drive will suffice, with making image files when you need to copy a disc

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i agree with what Cinder said.i just want to add that for cpu, the Intel-E4500 Core 2 Duo should be good enough and if not u can overclock if u want to save money. and for motherboard i just go with what most people bought on newegg so i guess u can go there just to see which board is popular. For the modem, i'm assuming by single port u mean only one computer and be plugged in. U can get a router if u have multiple computers and want all of them to be able to go online at the same time

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1. Do I need firewire? - No firewire is in the past it is all about usb now.

 

2. A DVD burner with Blueray. Does this prevent playing of other DVDs? - No a blueray will play all other formats of Dvds and Cds. Would not get a bluer-ray unless you are big into movies and have a HD monitor or Tv to watch it on and in that cause you would need a HD output on the PC

 

3. Is 7200 rpm SATA II OK? - Yes and get as big as you can afford as you will always run on of space...lol. Plus Hard Drives are cheap now.

 

4. CPU and motherboard: Intel-E4500 Core 2 Duo. Will this cope with future developments, programs? - The E4500 Allendale 2.2GHz 2M shared L2 Cache which is good but for say 50 us dollars more you can get the E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA which you see has more processor speed and twice the shared L2 Cache which is real important in stopping data bottleneck when running multi tasking. Plus you jump from the FSB: 800MHz to FSB: 1333MHz with the latter processor.

 

As far as a motherboard for the E6750 processor I like the GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L not very expensive and got PCI Express x16-1 slot, PCI Express x1-3slots and PCI Slots 3 slots which always is good for expanding. It has on board 7.1 surround sound but lacks on board video which a lot do anymore so you would need to get a video card. There are many out there and it all depends on you needs as which video card to get. If you want a opinion tell me what your video needs are.

 

For the E4500 you could use the same motherboard or this one the EVGA nForce 650i Ultra very expensive and has PCI Express x16-1 slot, PCI Slots 3 no PCI Express x1 which is why it is expensive. On board 7.1 surround sound as well and lacks video as well. But supports the DDR2-800 Memory if you are going that way.

 

5. Sound: On board, or not? - Onboard is fine

 

6. Windows XP or Vista Premium? - XP Pro until they get the bugs out of Vista XP is the way to go.

 

Ram: More than 2 GB? Is DDR2-800 PC6400 OK? - The Gigibyte motherboard I suggested takes DDR2 1066 and Corsair is a god brand 2 GB is plenty for most needs. If you can afford more go for it most motherboard accept up to 8 GB now these days. But I would go no more then 4GB is you plan on getting more then the 2GB you stated as there is no 32bit programs that support more then that. The EVGA motherboard supports DDR-2 800. Corsair being the same brand I would recommend for that type of memory as well.

 

8. Modem, if Broadband: Single port ADSL? - Yes single port is fine. If you ever plan to run a network you more PCs you could always just get a router and add it on later.

 

9. DVD drives: Presently have 1 DVD player + 1 DVD burner. 1 drive seems norm now. Should I have both? 1 drive is fine since a burner not only plays all the media but burns them too. For copying discs you just need to rip data to PC first and then copy to new disc. On the fly copying using 2 drives is never a good idea anyway. Always get read errors.

 

Well I hope that helps as I build PCs for a living and told Robert I would give my two cents worth. Have any further questions just ask.

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Ill second IJTF Cinder, hes right on all what he said, but id like to stress out 1 point: CPU and RAM.

 

At the current time, techs are about to change. I considered getting a dualcore Athlon64 about 6 months ago, but now i decided to wait.

Reason is AMD releasing QUADCORE cpus lately. Problem is these would require a new Mainboard, new RAM and a new CPU for me as of today. So i'd recommend, unless you really need the power NOW, get good or great components now, forget about mainboard, cpu and ram and update these when time is due.

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Not true in all cases Madman. My Asus M2R32-MVP can use the new AMD Phenom CPUs. With a bios update, most AM2 platforms can use AM2+ Phenom CPUs.

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I cant really help out on every thing ..But as far as I know

 

6)According to me Windows XP is much more better if youa are just started getting the use of your new comp.Its much less complicated and efficient enough for daily use ..But if you do know much about comp or if you are a frequent user then I suggest vista for yo

 

7)As for the RAM...2 GB is a hell of a lot RAM for just starting out...You can upgrade the computer later if you want but I suggest you dont put a ram higher then this cause it can cost you less...

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1. Do I need firewire?

Only if you have an external devie that needs it.

 

2. A DVD burner with Blueray. Does this prevent playing of other DVDs?

Not in the least. To play DVD movies, however, you will need a program that can interpret the data.

 

3. Is 7200 rpm SATA II OK?

I'm still working off of the old IDE format. SATA II is fine. The real issue is space rather than speed of the drive. You'll want a minimum of 20GB for normal operations, and at least 80GB if you're going to use it for gaming. As 100+GB drives are available for relatively cheap, this shouldn't be a problem. Just make sure the drive is compatible with teh motherboard.

 

4. CPU and motherboard: Intel-E4500 Core 2 Duo. Will this cope with future developments, programs?

Future programs, yes. Past programs (Win 3.1 era, for example) might have difficulty with it, but that's also a problem with newer versions of Windows.

 

Addendum about Vista: Vista is ultimately designed to look pretty, not be functional. If you have programs that require you to get DirectX 10 (a Vista exclusive, according to Microsoft), I can provide links to DX10 for windows XP. It turns out that the only reason DX10 can't be installed to XP is because MS specifically inserted code into the end of the installation file that tells it not to install to XP. I'm about done with that level of BS.

 

5. Sound: On board, or not?

Onboard is no problem if you aren't running older games.

 

6. Windows XP or Vista Premium?

Given how utterly broken Vista is, I'd say XP. If you are going to go with Vista, you should know that past programs have maybe a 30% chance of working, it's multimedia support is severly limited, it resizes hi-def video to 320x240 resolution (in theory, to help prevent piracy), it refuses to work if your motherboard doesn't conform to certain specifications, and there's a virus called Blue Pill which you have to download yourself which will tell the Vista kernel to stop all it's bull and work like windows bloody well should (in other words, much needed).

 

7. Ram: More than 2 GB? Is DDR2-800 PC6400 OK?

More than okay, it's just about ideal.

 

8. Modem, if Broadband: Single port ADSL?

?? Broadband is a term which refers to cable modems... In any case, either your motherboard should have an ethernet port or you'll need an ethernet card (I recommend a Linksys). Most DSL and cable modems are external and require you to supply an ethernet cable between them and the ethernet port in your computer. A single-port external modem is fine, but you may want to purchase a router if more than one person is to be using the connection.

 

9. DVD drives: Presently have 1 DVD player + 1 DVD burner. 1 drive seems norm now. Should I have both?

If one dies, it's good to have the other, and burners tend to die on me after about 2 years.

Edited by Chibi Kami

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