Best computer for under $500.

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  #1  
Old 08-26-07, 10:12 PM
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Thumbs down Best computer for under $500.

Thought I'd try you guys on this. What do you recommend for a computer manufacturer? I want to stay around $500 maybe a little more. I do internet and some digital photos (ebay, kids, pets etc.) What do I need for specifics? Ram, memory, processor, etc. I would like windows XP but I think Vista will have to do. I am currently using a Office Depot 2000 model year Compaq Presario with Windows ME so I would say anything is better than this. It has been good but is so outdated. I checked Dell and they recommend Vista Premium and HP recommends Ultimate. They both agree Vista needs 2GB of memory. Please help
 
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Old 08-26-07, 11:53 PM
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You can't get a decent new computer for less than $500, only a disposable brand name special.

Vista is problem plagued and it's a huge resource hog - avoid it at all costs.

For your purposes, a used P4 2.4-3Ghz or comparable Athlon XP will work just fine and fall within your budget.
 
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Old 08-27-07, 04:22 AM
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Noticed in the Sunday sales fliers that one of the big box office supply stores had a very nice HP laptop for under $500 after rebates. Had 2gb ram. That's if a laptop will work for you.
 
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Old 08-27-07, 04:22 AM
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I recently built a 2.1g Celeron box with 1 gig of ram for $160 including the Intel mobo and a cheapo case. I already had the HDDs, DVD burner and a decent monitor. On-board video and audio is fine for what I do at home. XP was already on the drive.

If you don't need the latest & greatest you can save a ton of cash. I bought my stuff from a local mom 'n' pop shop. They would have built it for me for another $75.
 
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Old 08-27-07, 04:42 AM
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I do not recommend that the average user build their own computer. This is far too time consuming and there are too many things that can cause problems.

I recommend Windows XP. You can still buy it pre-installed on some systems from some manufacturers, but you have to search for it.

I do not recommend a Celeron processor under any circumstances. If you are intent on spending less than a Pentium processor costs, then go with AMD. Do not go with a Celeron.

I do not recommend trying to go cheap. (And less than $500 is cheap.) To do so you will cut too many corners and you will regret it. The kids new game won't play right, or you will run our of hard drive space, or the system will run too slow, etc.

My recommendation is to buy a decent quality machine, with enough hard drive space, plenty of memory, and decent audio and video. If you expect this machine to last as long as the the one you presently have, you don't want to go cheap.
 
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Old 08-27-07, 08:35 AM
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I agree with Racraft. With computers, you get what you pay for. My friend is still trying to fix his sister's "bargain" PC after 6 months of going back and forth with the manufacturer and a major electronics store.

That's not to say you can't have good luck with a bargain PC. However, there are a lot of bad ones too.
 
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Old 08-27-07, 09:42 AM
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Even a begginer could build a pc.Order your parts via newwegg. And there are lenty of intructions and video on how to build. Stay away from vista to cotly for the only good edition. whats going to cost you the most is xp liscense.


1. box mid tower micro atx
2. single core amd processor w/e is in price range
3. graphics card envideo great prices use pci 16
4. at least 2gb ram
5. sata drive pick your price for size
6. cd or dvd rom
7. psu
8. wires and cables not inculded
10. paste and fan for cpu if not inculded
 
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Old 08-27-07, 02:38 PM
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david_allard65,

Depending on the person your statement is incorrect. My father is a very experienced DIY, but he should never build a PC. He doesn't know the first thing about how they work or the concepts behind them. He can use one to check the weather online and for his CAD work. That's where his knowledge of computers stops.

Additionally, if something were to go wrong, he doesn't have the knowledge to troubleshoot. When you build your own you have no warranty or support.
 
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Old 08-27-07, 03:14 PM
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I usually buy used for 100 or so ebay or craiglist ..serves my needs I have a P3 win 98se I paid 75 for 4 years ago been running 24/7 ever since

currently using it for print server and quick books and some internet surfing with it

we bought my wife a dell refurb laptop around 400 a couple of years ago , works great

for what you want 500 or less will work just fine

should be able to find something here

http://www.dellauction.com/
 
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Old 08-27-07, 05:38 PM
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dalel20,

Under 500.00 will only get you a very basic system. My needs in a computer sound much like yours but I run an Ebay business and do light booking on mine. I went with a Toshiba A135 laptop that was 449.00 after rebate. This laptop does everything I expected and then some. It has Vista Basic, 80 GB HD, and 1 GB memory, 15.4 screen and wifi. That memory worried me some but it is not a factor. Perhaps for serious kid gaming but not in my world. I run MS Office 2003 and expect to run my EA Tiger Woods game without problems. The only thing that I see missing in Vista Basic is the Aero feature but that doesn't concern me. The processor is a Pentium dual core and is plenty fast and will multi task....at least with my applications.

networker
 

Last edited by networker; 08-27-07 at 05:44 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 08-28-07, 04:23 AM
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racraft wrote: "I do not recommend a Celeron processor under any circumstances."

Curious: Why not?

It's never failed me, although it did bog down a bit when I was mixing a 48-track live recording of my band to 5.1 Dolby Digital Stereo. Then again, I'm not a gamer except for a 2004 version of a CSI game that my wife likes to play (which runs fine).
 

Last edited by Rick Johnston; 08-28-07 at 04:24 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-28-07, 05:57 AM
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A Celeron processor is a limited duty processor. It will work reduce your throughput and bog down your system if you push it too hard.

The only reason that Intel came out with it was to have something cheaper than the AMD processors. It's a piece of junk processor, and it shows.
 
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