Is this good enough?

Getting a New Computer Soon

By on April 14, 2008 11:11:19 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Xiandi

Join Date 07/2007
+839

I need some advice. I know next to nothing about computer specs, but I'm planning on getting a new computer soon. I realize that it will probably have Vista on it so it will need lots of RAM, but thats about all I know.

My son was looking up different computers and comparing prices, etc. This is one of the options he came up with.

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Hp s3400z Computer

Windows Vista Home Premium w/Service Pack 1
2.3 GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ dual-core processor
3GB DDR2-800MHz dual channel SDRAM
256 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400-HD, DVI, VGA adapter, HDMI video card
No Modem (not sure if important info)
320 GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive
LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/- R/RW SuperMulti drive
15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB, headphone port
Integrated 5.1 Capable Sound w/front audio ports sound card

price includes free shipping

$539.99

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Do you think this is a good deal? Is it going to be good enough for what I want to do? Would you change anything on it?

I have specs on a more expensive computer too but was wondering if this one would *do it* for me. Most of the time I use it for skinning and web surfing, but I would like to be able to play games and watch movies on it too (not something I can do with my current computer).

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April 15, 2008 10:54:40 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
I am looking for something that I can use without being totally outrageous in price. I want a good computer that will do what I want, no less and no more. I put the computer specs up there to use as a starting point and was told by someone that it was a pretty good system. I wanted to see what needed to be improved, if anything, or see if there was something I did not need in it. I AM willing to spend a little more to get what I need, but I'm still not sure WHAT I need yet.

If I can get a computer that does what I need for $350, I'm interested. If I need something more than that, I'm willing to pay for it. This thread is more about what I need, rather than what I'm willing to spend.

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April 15, 2008 11:01:51 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
I'll post up my finding for you shortly.
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April 16, 2008 12:44:10 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
Kona, I know you mean well and I totally agree that home built is better than prebuilt, but in Xiandi's case I think she would be better off with just a prebuilt machine that comes with support and a warranty. That in the end will make it more beneficial for someone with limited knowledge (although, it's pretty easy to get support on here too). That would be my recommendation, but ultimately she'll make the decision.
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April 16, 2008 1:00:53 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
I know Bebi. I'm gonna go ahead and post this just in case:

OK keep in mind this is a system that CAN be upgraded to a dual core processor. As it is built here it will run Vista with zero problems. The only downside to this setup is the fact that the maximum amount of memory you can put in this system is 2 GB. I use 2 GB myself and have no issues.

Motherboard & Processor Combo: BIOSTAR AM2VCOMB34S motherboard & AMD Sempron 3400+ processor - WWW Link

Memory: CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) - WWW Link

Hard Drive: Seagate 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - WWW Link

DVD Burner: LITE-ON Black 20X SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe - WWW Link

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100198L Radeon X1650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 AGP 4X/8X Video Card - WWW Link

Case: ATRIX CSCI-L8029-C34 Black/ Silver SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 480W Power Supply - WWW Link

Grand total is under 300 bucks. Probably around 350 shipped.

If you really want Vista trust Pricewatch...

Windows Vista Home Premium - WWW Link
Windows XP Home - WWW Link
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April 16, 2008 1:07:44 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I totally agree that home built is better than prebuilt, but in Xiandi's case I think she would be better off with just a prebuilt machine that comes with support and a warranty. That in the end will make it more beneficial for someone with limited knowledge

Listen to Bebi.

Better to walk if you cannot [yet] run...

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April 16, 2008 8:59:29 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
Thank you, Kona. I'l look into those.
Listen to Bebi.
Better to walk if you cannot [yet] run...


I'm listening. I'm also exploring options. I have plenty of time to make this decision. It's not something I will jump into without thinking about it (I have been known to do that on occasion).

Bebi, you said 64 bit is not compatible with some Stardock products. Do you know which ones? You also said that a 2 gigs is enough for you. I'm assuming you have Vista, what is the most intensive thing you do on it?
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April 16, 2008 2:14:23 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
Bebi, you said 64 bit is not compatible with some Stardock products. Do you know which ones? You also said that a 2 gigs is enough for you. I'm assuming you have Vista, what is the most intensive thing you do on it?

With the Stardock products, they first make sure they work on 32bit and release those, and then get the 64bit compatibility. I believe right now the IconPackager 4 beta isn't 64bit compatible, I'm not sure about the others since I don't have to worry about it (32bit on both machines).

The most intensive thing I do on either of my machines (XP/Vista) is Photoshop, and it's a resource hog by itself. I'm mainly on my XP machine though because this has the 24" widescreen monitor (easier to work on) and the Vista is only a 15.4" laptop (tiny compared to being spoiled with this monitor).
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April 17, 2008 11:08:23 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
You can;t get the full 4gb of use out of your RAM unless you go 64-bit since 32-bit can only address 3gb.


Vista 32 bit can access 4gb of RAM.... can be done through BCDEdit, see article. WWW Link
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April 17, 2008 12:22:49 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
Vista 32 bit can access 4gb of RAM.... can be done through BCDEdit, see article


never had much luck doing that. Had Zero luck with XP by making the necessary entries in the boot.ini either.
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April 17, 2008 9:07:12 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
never had much luck doing that.


Worked for me OK, and all I did was follow the article's instructions and the screen prompts.
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April 17, 2008 9:29:27 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
I still fail to see why anyone needs more than 2 GB if all you are doing is web browsing, email and some PS.
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April 17, 2008 9:38:05 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
Thanks for the link Starkers. I've bookmarked it in case I need it.

I still can't decide if I want 32 bit or 64 bit. 64 seems like it would run better (with lots of memory). I've been reading some of the forums here at WinC, and it seems like 64 bit has some compatibility problems with some Stardock products. I love my Stardock products and don't want to give any of them up because they dont work on my computer.

So, I guess my next questions should be..what programs are still having issues with 64 bit systems? Does Stardock always make the 32 bit compatible first, and then 64 bit? About how long of a time difference is there between 32 bit and 64 bit updates?.....Am I even asking the right questions?  
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April 17, 2008 9:54:09 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

i'm sure i'll enjoy the 8 gigs of ocz reaper pc2 8500 i have sitting on the shelf behind once i get the new mobo next month, kona. until then, i'll make do with 4 gigs of reaper pcs 9200. i could get by with 2 gigs but i like having more. when i click on the icon, i want the app to open NOW, not in 3 seconds.

 

as for which stardock apps in odnt that don't work with vista 64, IP is the only one i want to work and doesn't. there's supposed to be an update in the next few days to rectify that issue tho.

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April 17, 2008 9:58:04 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
Xiandi, if you're only going to be web browsing, checking email, maybe watching some movies or whatever else...go with 32bit.
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April 17, 2008 9:59:14 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
Funny. All the programs I have open when I ask them to. No waiting. And all I have is 2 GB of RAM.

Sounds like someone is over compensating for something...
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April 17, 2008 10:03:10 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
I still fail to see why anyone needs more than 2 GB if all you are doing is web browsing, email and some PS.


Can you do all that at the same time with 2GB? I find that sometimes thats exactly what I'm trying to do.
Example: I'm creating a skin in SKS6 so that's open, have GIMP open because I'm editing an image, yahoo IM is open and I notice an email come in, I go to that to see what was sent, and my brother sends me an IM right then....this senario happens to me alot and it usually jams up my computer to a dead stop for about 10 seconds, then I have to close most of those programs before my computer will start to respond again.

Is that just a bad processer or does that have to do with RAM?
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April 17, 2008 10:05:34 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
Three posts in the time it took me to make one.....
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April 17, 2008 10:08:25 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
From the MS page:

In the consumer market, Windows Vista 64-bit editions are for serious gamers, high-quality media creators, and enthusiasts who demand the most from digital media and are running computer systems with 64-bit processors.

The 64-bit editions of Windows Vista are not for everyone, and require a system with a 64-bit processor and 64-bit system drivers. Please confirm that your system, applications, and devices are compatible with a 64-bit edition of Windows Vista before installing.


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April 18, 2008 1:00:53 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
OK, Bebi, I'm comvinced now. 32-bit it will be. I have been doing a bit of research on my own and realize that I really dont need 64-bit at all. (like you've been saying all along)  
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April 18, 2008 10:19:58 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
never mind. i may end up regretting what i originally posted.
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April 19, 2008 10:03:12 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
Thanks for the link Starkers. I've bookmarked it in case I need it.


Not a problem, if it helps then I'm happy that you're happy.
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June 18, 2008 10:05:00 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
Hey everyone, I just thought I'd update you. I ordered my computer today!! I should be getting it in about a week!

There were a few of things I changed with the set up I first posted:

*I went with 2 gigs of ram instead of 3 gigs
*I got a video card with its own memory, not integrated.
*I got a slightly better processor
*I had them include a Data/Fax modem (just in case I might need it)
*I got a 19" wide flat panel monitor to go with it!

I think I got a pretty good deal, after all those changes and adding the monitor, it's only $100 more than the set up I posted in this thread.

Thank you all for taking the time to educate me. I think I got a better deal and a better computer because of your help and advice!
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