How do I chose a good budget desktop computer?

Started Nov 14, 2012 | Questions thread
Paul Belanger
Forum MemberPosts: 55
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Re: How do I chose a good budget desktop computer?
In reply to FNorman, Dec 2, 2012

For a PC I would concentrate on 5 factors

1) check to make sure the motherboard supports EUFI. (best to google this up for a review of what it really means) This is the newer standard for 3GB or greater HDD high speed access.

2) Check the motherboard/system for USB 3, the newer standard transfer rates for devices like SD and CF cards etc, many units now offer two or four USB 3 inputs along with more USB 2 legacy inputs.

3) check for higher speed video capabilities, Many motherboards have native 1GB video capabilities and higher speed graphics built right in. Nice if you can find one with a display port connector, I suspect you will have to settle with a DVI type (dual if possible) and and HDMI (which is good)

4) Check for PCIe ver3 card slots. Then if you ever upgrade to a better third party video card there will be no hassles.

5) Check the memory transfer rates. values like 1660 etc will really help. Or terms like PC10600. Google this up as well! The memory transfer has always bugged me. look for DDR3 or better transfer standards.

I wouldn't obsess about the overall amount of RAM. On my computer, an old HP Pavillion Elite I have 7GB of RAM and have never used more than 3GB at any one time regardless of what program(s) I am running (as read by my CPU gadget usage meter.) Most systems offer plenty of RAM today, I would focus on the transfer speed of that memory.

In my opinion it is the transfer  rate that really counts. For me the motherboard buss system is the biggest drawback in most systems. I believe that's where a lot of generic PC makers really cut back to save the bucks.

Most PCs will offer i3 or i5 dual or quad core processors running up 3GhZ or better so no real problem there. Power units will have the newer i7 quad or hex core at 3.4Ghz or so but I think one could avoid the extra expense there without much penalty.

If you get a less expensive system with an AMD  multi core processor ( My HP has a, now old technology, quad core AMD Phenom running at 2.4Ghz which is passable, even with the old slower buss) you can achieve the above requirements in a desktop PC within your 1K budget. With Itel chips it is a tighter squeeze but I bet after Xmas there will be deals out there. This will give you a longer technological life cycle by having most of not all of the future features in place. I would predict a good 5 years before technology would begin to obsolete such a system.

About the MAC world I know nothing1

Didn't mean to run on but hope this will help a bit.

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gprb

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