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Help buying a new desktop


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#1 alowishus

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 08:13 AM

Hey everyone.

My old computer i have is ancient it's model is about 7 years old and it takes ages to do anything - 384 ram lol.

For this reason i want to buy a new computer. I generally will be using it for doing work and browsing the internet but i want to play some games too and i am unsure what i should buy with my budget of less than £500 - i don't want to spend anymore than that.

I have a screen, speakers etc. so i just want to buy a base unit. Work wise it will just be stuff like using word and i may need to use some modelling software so i may need a decent graphics card.

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/packard-bell-...144144-pdt.html

I was thinking of the one in the link above but i looked around and it generally seemed to say that the processor is decent but the graphics card is crap and i don't really want to have to install a new one myself for gaming. I figured about 3gb ram would suffice?

I would like to play games like Half Life 2, Team Fortress 2, WoW, Left for Dead etc.

Is it possible for me to get a computer like this with my budget or would the computer i have my eye on suffice - it doesn't matter if i can't play on max settings.

I really don't have a clue about what's a good processor or graphics card so any assistance would be great.

Thanks.

Alowishus.

Edited by alowishus, 07 May 2010 - 08:14 AM.


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#2 NeverGivUpChris

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 09:09 AM

Yes for those games most computers around your price range will be able to play them just fine you mentioned modelling I assume you mean CAD-CAM/ modelling? If so you will probably be OK just make sure you buy one with a graphics card installed.

I can recommend this from scan.co.uk
http://3xs.scan.co.uk/ShowSystem.asp?SystemID=1011

eBuyer also have a wide selection of stand alone desktops
http://www.ebuyer.com/search?store=5&cat=191

Edited by NeverGivUpChris, 08 May 2010 - 09:21 AM.

A Royale With Cheese

#3 alowishus

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 02:48 PM

I have actually decided to increase my budget to £600 and i am considering these two computers by HP.

HP Pavilion Slimline s5320uk vs. HP Pavilion Slimline s5311uk (see comparison of specs link below)

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/s/comparomete...segmentid=30055

Are these in any way decent? I have had a look around the internet for info about the processor and it seems from general opinion to be decent.

The graphics cards seem to be quite similar (i checked their fps etc. on some notebook graphics card website). I have some questions about these computers though.

What are general thoughts on these cards?

Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce G210 graphics processor

vs.

ATI Radeon™ HD 5450
- 1GB dedicated memory
- with Avivo technology

and what is the difference between these processors?

AMD Athlon™ II X4 630 Processor
- 2.8 GHz
- 2.0 GHz HT
- 2 MB L2 cache

vs

AMD Athlon™ II X4 Processor 630
- 2.8 GHz
- 2.0 GHz HT (4000 MT/s)
- 4 x 512 KB L2 Cache

What's the difference between 4 x 512MB L2 cache and a 2MB L2 cache - they both add to 2MB but is their any significance in them being separate?

Also in the Hard Drive space it says SATA - what does this mean?

I have my heart set on either one of these.

I was thinking about HP Pavilion Slimline s5320uk originally but if there is no real difference between the processors and graphics cards of the two i will probably go for the HP Pavilion Slimline s5311uk as it has more space and more features.

Thank you for any input!

EDIT: When i mean modelling i mean computer modelling for prediction of erosion and stuff like that - not computer aided design for designing products or anything.

Edited by alowishus, 08 May 2010 - 02:49 PM.


#4 NeverGivUpChris

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 06:58 PM

I have actually decided to increase my budget to £600 and i am considering these two computers by HP.

HP Pavilion Slimline s5320uk vs. HP Pavilion Slimline s5311uk (see comparison of specs link below)

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/s/comparomete...segmentid=30055

Are these in any way decent? I have had a look around the internet for info about the processor and it seems from general opinion to be decent.

The graphics cards seem to be quite similar (i checked their fps etc. on some notebook graphics card website). I have some questions about these computers though.

What are general thoughts on these cards?

Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce G210 graphics processor

vs.

ATI Radeon™ HD 5450
- 1GB dedicated memory
- with Avivo technology

and what is the difference between these processors?

AMD Athlon™ II X4 630 Processor
- 2.8 GHz
- 2.0 GHz HT
- 2 MB L2 cache

vs

AMD Athlon™ II X4 Processor 630
- 2.8 GHz
- 2.0 GHz HT (4000 MT/s)
- 4 x 512 KB L2 Cache

What's the difference between 4 x 512MB L2 cache and a 2MB L2 cache - they both add to 2MB but is their any significance in them being separate?

Also in the Hard Drive space it says SATA - what does this mean?

I have my heart set on either one of these.

I was thinking about HP Pavilion Slimline s5320uk originally but if there is no real difference between the processors and graphics cards of the two i will probably go for the HP Pavilion Slimline s5311uk as it has more space and more features.

Thank you for any input!

EDIT: When i mean modelling i mean computer modelling for prediction of erosion and stuff like that - not computer aided design for designing products or anything.


To answer your first question the ATI Radeon™ HD 5450 is more powerful however if it was down to me I would choose neither of those cards however as you have your heart set we will go with these two I would go with the HP Pavilion Slimline s5311uk that has a ATI Radeon™ HD 5450

To answer your second question you don't need to worry about the cache size or configuration as it will have no noticeable impact on what you plan to use the computer for. As the HP Pavilion Slimline s5311uk has the better graphics card this is still the way to go. Yes there is a significance
[TECH JARGON ALERT]
A cache is a small piece of very very fast memory located inside the CPU this makes processing of small pieces of the same data much quicker and easier for the cores.The CPU in both of these computers has four cores the first CPU having a 2mb cache this is one block of memory shared and managed by all four cores meaning that one core can have a larger cache space if it needs it resulting in others having smaller ones. The second CPU has 512kb x 4 this means that each core has its own cache and no memory is shared and each core manages its own space theoretically this is more efficient as this means you can dedicate a core and a whole cache space to a specific task without it impacting on any other cores or caches performance.
[TECH JARGON FINISHED]
BUT it is also possible that both CPU's are exactly the same and one was given a more detailed description than the other.

To answer your third question SATA is the type of connection you hard drive and CD/DVD drives will use at the moment SATA is the most conventional type of connection available in detail
[TECH JARGON ALERT]
SATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment it is a type of computer bus for connecting mass storage devices to the host I/O bus a bus is a complex highway where data is transferred from one device to the next it allows all devices in the computer to communicate with each other.
[TECH JARGON FINISHED]
It would appear that the HP Pavilion Slimline s5311uk has a larger hard drive (twice the size).

To conclude I would buy the:
HP Pavilion Slimline s5311uk
Your probably wondering why it is cheaper even though it seems better. I would think that this is down to the HP Pavilion Slimline s5320uk having a Blu-Ray Drive, TV tuner, remote control and an HDMI port from what I can gather you don't need these features in your PC as they are more media/entertainment centric.

Hope this helped
A Royale With Cheese




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