Help my dad buy a new PC

By Hurriken
Apr 7, 2012
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  1. I'm an avid gamer and medium to heavy PC user. I have a general idea what I want when buying/building a pc and know where to find information but I'm thrown for a loop here. My Dad has an Emachine from 2004 that has an AMD Athalon 64 3400 2.19ghz chip and "2.37G" RAM. He is a very lite novice user. Email, browsing, storing and looking at photos, and listening to music. Anything more and I have to go over there and help him out! He recently started complaining that the system is too slow (for him that is saying something) which I have said for a few years. I need some help getting him into a better system without overkill. If you could steer me in the right direction I would appreciate it. Here is where were at:

    Chip: This is probably my main source of confusion. There are so many chips out there I'm not sure what is current, good, bad, or just right. It would be nice if it would last him 5 years or so.

    Simple: I'm thinking Windows 7 is a must. Seriously, I thought about an Ipad but then he needs a router and I just don't think he will get the concept of the Ipad. Everytime I look at his computer the tool bar is in some odd place and he has 5 new TB's on his browser. I could go on. Just remember anything that he screws up I have to deal with!

    Monitor: He has a 15" Monitor that I swear is only 14" It would be nice to get something bigger!

    $$$: He isn't that uptight about money but I think it would be ridiculous to spend too much for this. He'd be better off buying a home theater if he really wanted to spend!

    Box PC: NewEgg and the various Big box stores have some decent deals but I have no idea what I'm looking at on some of these lower end deals. There are also a bunch of deals on refurbished PC's but I'm afraid that might end up being a nightmare in the long run.

    I'm thinking this is not a normal type of question for this forum so I hope it's OK. Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Go to Best Buy or Fry's and get first hands on advice...
  3. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    I'd probably go with something with an Intel i3 and 4+GB ram. The i3 is a nice CPU for basic non-strenuous tasks such as those you described, it is powerful enough without being hideously expensive. Here are some examples of systems that would likely be good for the uses you have described:
    lenovo IdeaCentre H420 (77525HU) Desktop PC Intel Core i3 2120(3.30GHz) 6GB DDR3 500GB HDD Capacity Intel HD Graphics 2000 Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit = $480
    Lenovo H420 Desktop PC = $500 (has an i5, should be a little faster / better at multi-tasking)
    DELL OptiPlex 390 MT (469-1603) Desktop PC Intel Core i3 2120(3.30GHz) 4GB DDR3 500GB HDD Capacity Intel HD Graphics 2000 Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit = $580 (this is a business grade system, it costs more but may be worthwhile if the system is going to be heavily used, these systems tend to be more reliable since they are designed to run 8+hrs a day)
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M71e 3133-A8U Desktop PC - Intel Core Core i3-2120 3.3GHz, 4GB DDR3, 500GB HDD, DVDRW, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit = $600 (another business system if you need the reliability)

    For a monitor, it is mostly a matter of what size you want. good 19" monitors can be found for around $100, it is sometimes cheaper to buy a monitor separately than to buy a combo.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,714   +3,695

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