My budget for the new computer is: Under $750, preferably under $650 (for just the PC, not the monitor).
What are the primary uses for this computer (IE: mail, web browsing, programming, games, etc)? Web browsing and email, Netflix/Hulu, light gaming (Yahoo! chess, solitaire, Civilization - I have Civ IV but want Civ V for my new PC), spreadsheets and Excel VBA programming, music. All run fine on my single-core Pentium 4 machine with XP and a 256MB Radeon 9250, except no HD TV (could be my CRT monitor, but I haven't hooked up an HD monitor to test that).
What software do you intend on using on the computer? Firefox, Civ V, Excel and Word (will switch to Libre Office with new PC), Win Media Player, GOM Player, iTunes.
Do you play games? If so, what type of games? Light gaming, see above.
Do you tend to have a lot of programs running at the same time, or do you close every program when you are done using it? I keep several running at once, including multiple tabs in Firefox.
Do you store a lot of pictures or music on the computer? Some pictures and music, possibly videos if I get a TV tuner card/USB with PVR.
I'm trying to buy a new PC before Windows 8 comes out (in October?), at which point I'll no longer be able to get Windows 7 pre-loaded. I really don't want to pay $100-150 more for a replacement OS immediately after buying a new computer. I just need to know if it would be worth paying $132 extra for the HP linked below, or if I should buy the CyberpowerPC and a better PSU for $100 or so (and what would be a good brand/model in that price range).I think I've found a great deal in this CyberpowerPC GUA250 desktop for $498 from Walmart (http://www.walmart.com/ip/CyberpowerPC-Black-Gamer-Ultra-GUA250-Desktop-PC-with-AMD-Quad-Core-FX-4100-Processor-8GB-Memory-1TB-Hard-Drive-and-Windows-7-Home-Premium-Monitor/17811825). In reading posts on this forum, I've become concerned that maybe the power supply (and other components?) used by CyberpowerPC will be cheap and possibly damage the motherboard or processor.On the other hand, I could buy this HP for $132 more (http://www.staples.com/HP-Pavilion-HPE-h8-1256s-Desktop-PC/product_937659). As I understand, HP uses higher quality components and 6-Sigma mfg, so I'd basically be paying a premium for higher quality (correct?) and a slightly better GPU (GT 620 vs GT 520) but a slower processor (judging solely by the clock speeds). I suppose the Core i5 in the HP has 4 processor cores plus 4 virtual cores with its Hyperthreading, compared to 4 total for the CyberpowerPC's AMD FX-4100. Would that make the i5 superior overall to the FX-4100?
I have a USB wireless adapter that I can use on the CyberpowerPC, so that won't be a factor in my decision. I'm not sure I'll really need the superior graphics card for what I'll be doing. Or will I? I know both will support Civ V, but would there be a significant difference in online video and TV viewing?
I'm not really concerned about upgrading anything except possibly the graphics card if the one I get ends up being inadequate in the next 4-5 years (I keep PCs for about 7-8 years). Commenters indicate that the CyberpowerPC has at least a 500W PSU, but I have no idea what the HP has. I'm also considering buying a TV tuner card/USB with PVR, but that should work fine on either of these two.
Thank you for reading so much info and I will greatly appreciate any advice you can offer.