Help Finding Fairly Basic Desktop PC

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,774
18,522
513
Kingdom of Charis
#1
So I've had the same dumb HP desktop since late 2007. It's been a fucking workhorse but its age is finally showing, and I've been out of the PC market for so long none of the names of the processors or graphics cards mean shit to me.

I'm looking for a cheap (maybe 500 tops) desktop PC. Mainly for internet, word processing, and movie watching, but also some photoshop, and light audio and video editing (stuff I already do on this old computer, just with some shorter load times, so again - I don't need anything crazy). A decent video card just so I can watch 1080p video with an HDMI output. That kind of shit. If it has regular PCI slots then I don't even need a sound card because I already have a decent M-Audio one I could pop right in there.

Any good deals around? Any firms I should stay away from or stick to? I was pretty pleased with my HP. Like I said, fucker is still running after more than 4 years of being lugged around and basically being on all the time.

EDIT: Or am I being too optimistic? Would I need to spend more on this? My HP cost me a grand in like October of 2007, and it was hardly top of the line. Good but not great for the time.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
24,337
8,514
693
Silverdale, WA
#2
Keep an eye on Woot. They've had some decent desktop systems come up recently for less than $500. HP and Dell are still the big names in desktops.
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,774
18,522
513
Kingdom of Charis
#3
Keep an eye on Woot. They've had some decent desktop systems come up recently for less than $500. HP and Dell are still the big names in desktops.
I'd still have to ask someone about any prospective one I see. I used to know how to read a PC spec sheet and judge how good it was. I just haven't done that in like 3 years and everything's different now. :icon_conf
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
31,444
2,154
818
Florida's Nature Coast
#4
sellout.woot had a nice deal today for $349 but it sold out.

Keep an eye there, or if you have a Microcenter nearby they often have some nice clearance deals at the actual stores.

I got a $1699 laptop for $910 that was brand new (not refurb) but it was an open-box. Nothing missing, I got the full warranty. I love it.

I bought an HP refurb desktop machine from woot that served me well for 4 years.
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,774
18,522
513
Kingdom of Charis
#5
You wanna throw some numbers at me as to what would be decent in terms of processor, RAM, graphics cards, etc?

Like here's a random thing I pulled off Tiger Direct:

Dell Inspiron I620-1272NBK

Core i3-2120 3.3GHz
6 GB DDR3
1 TB HDD
Intel HD Graphics 2000 GPU

$449.99

That all sounds pretty good except for the graphics card (sounds kinda generic).

Or here's another from Newegg:

Dell Inspiron i580-7779BK

Athlon II X4 645 3.1GHz
6GB DDR3
500 GB HDD
ATI Radeon HD 4200

$489.99


I see that Intel HD Graphics 2000 in many PC of this price range. Is it worth it seeking out something with a decent Nvidia or ATI card? I guess I could always just spend an extra $50 and buy a card. I was going to do it with my current PC, but it would require replacing the power supply as well so I just said fuck it. I assume newer PCs would have a capable power supply, no? Or is that something I should be on the lookout for as well?

EDIT: Never mind. These look like they could handle the $40-50 range graphics card I would buy if I were to buy one. Just barely, though.
 

Psychopath

Plata O Plomo
Dec 28, 2008
17,708
3,348
393
hell
#6
If you are using the computer for photoshop and video and music editing I would look for a better processor and gpu. The i3 is ok. The i7 is the tits, super fast.That card seems a bit generic.
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,774
18,522
513
Kingdom of Charis
#7
If you are using the computer for photoshop and video and music editing I would look for a better processor and gpu. The i3 is ok. The i7 is the tits, super fast.That card seems a bit generic.
I really don't need to be going crazy. I run photoshop fine on my current 1.87 GHz, 2GB RAM machine. And like I said, I don't mind dropping an extra $50 for a graphics card, especially if the machine itself is sub $500.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Donator
Jan 12, 2010
36,347
21,959
398
Northern California
#8
I agree with Sinn and Mayr, watch Woot. They have deals all the time. Make sure you check all the woot sites (woot.com, moofi.woot.com, and sellout.woot.com).
 
Dec 9, 2004
18,504
231
528
Baton Rouge
#9
Dell Outlet is also a good place to check. People that return their stuff gets sold there at good prices.

If you prefer new, Dell has a fairly decent home box right now called the Inspiron 620. Since you want to run PS, i'd choose one that has the i5. Its not as balls out at the 7 but way better than the 3. Also comes with 6gb of ram.

Win7-64bit is also included. with 64bit you are limited to 4gb of ram and ram is cheap right now.

it starts at 549 with the above mentioned specs.


video is just a generic though.
 

steve500

Registered User
Oct 20, 2008
4,520
2,099
368
35,000 ft
#11

Hog's Big Ben

Getting ass-***** in The Octagon, brother.
Donator
Jul 28, 2005
27,869
17,997
628
New York
#12
Woot usually ends up being a better deal for midrange, even if you pirate the OS. Especially now with the insane hard drive prices
That didn't take long. It's just another option. Settle down.
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,774
18,522
513
Kingdom of Charis
#13
Would I be better off with a slower i5 or a faster i3? I see machines with an i5 that are 2.8 GHz and machines with an i3 that are 3.3 GHz...
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,774
18,522
513
Kingdom of Charis
#15
OK, I think I'm slowly getting the hang of it. This looks like something I would be good with:

DELL Inspiron 620
Core i5-2320 3 GHz
6 GB DDR3
1TB HDD (2 separate physical drives, which I like)
1 GB AMD Radeon HD 6450

$650


A tad pricey, but I would probably spend the extra money for something that would last me longer. Also, I'll keep my eyes open for deals on similar machines. If I get a good deal, I could always just upgrade a component or two.
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,774
18,522
513
Kingdom of Charis
#17
Am I being stupid by totally skipping over refurbs? Do Newegg/Tiger Direct have a good reputations with refurbished things?
 

SOS

ONA
Wackbag Staff
Aug 14, 2000
48,116
8,880
938
USA
#18
What are the specs of your HP now?

WINDOWS KEY - PAUSE|Break

WINDOWS KEY - R : dxdiag : enter
 

fletcher

Darkness always says hello.
Donator
Feb 20, 2006
59,552
19,736
513
jersey
#19
Ive never had a problem with Newegg (I know thats jinxing myself) and I dont mind refurbs. At this point Ill take any savings I can when it comes to computers, I toyed with the idea of getting a fancy new MBP but when I saw that a really basic model was $1300 I quickly came to my senses.
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,774
18,522
513
Kingdom of Charis
#20
What are the specs of your HP now?
It's a geezer.

Core 2 6300 1.87 GHz
2 GB RAM
NVidia Quadro NVS285 128MB


Pretty much anything would be a major improvement at this point.
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,774
18,522
513
Kingdom of Charis
#22
Ive never had a problem with Newegg (I know thats jinxing myself) and I dont mind refurbs. At this point Ill take any savings I can when it comes to computers, I toyed with the idea of getting a fancy new MBP but when I saw that a really basic model was $1300 I quickly came to my senses.
I have an older MBP that I got for school. It still works fine, but I doubt I will get another Apple machine after this. I just can't afford it.



And yeah, I guess I'll check out some of their refurbs, see what they got.
 

fletcher

Darkness always says hello.
Donator
Feb 20, 2006
59,552
19,736
513
jersey
#23
I have an older MBP that I got for school. It still works fine, but I doubt I will get another Apple machine after this. I just can't afford it.
I loved mine but the price along with the iPad direction OSX is going in I cant keep going with Apple and I was one of the tools that had an apple logo sticker on my rear windshield. Oddly enough I peeled it off about a week before the laptop died. Guess I sent up the anti-Apple batsignal and they killed it from space. Bastards.
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,774
18,522
513
Kingdom of Charis
#24
I loved mine but the price along with the iPad direction OSX is going in I cant keep going with Apple and I was one of the tools that had an apple logo sticker on my rear windshield. Oddly enough I peeled it off about a week before the laptop died. Guess I sent up the anti-Apple batsignal and they killed it from space. Bastards.
I was never a big fan. I can honestly say that my experience with Apple was about as problematic as my experience with PCs. It's just different kinds of problems. Macs frustrate me because they don't tell you WHAT the problem is, just that there IS a problem. One of the very first things I tried to do with my brand new MBP was connect my HP printer to it (with my PC it was plug in -> printer now works). With my Mac what I ended up needing to do was go to the HP website on my PC and download the Mac drivers (couldn't access the site properly on the Mac itself) and then copy them to the MBP and install. The Mac gave no indication of what was wrong. Connected printer -> nothing happened.

This type of thing happened to me several times with the Mac. It also blew 2 optical drives for no apparent reason. I honestly don't understand the meme about Mac being way better. I just didn't have that experience. Sure, it's a great machine, but any decent-firm PC laptop with those same specs would have been great as well. I've had my desktop longer than I've had my MBP and it isn't as powerful, and it is still running (with the original optical drive, mind you). I fail to see how that demonstrates some inherent superiority in Apple products.
 

fletcher

Darkness always says hello.
Donator
Feb 20, 2006
59,552
19,736
513
jersey
#25
Ive had 2 Apple laptops, an iBook G4 that Im using now which the only issue is a shot battery (and the lack of support/updates for software but that is typical for older machines) and the MBP that had a screen blowout and the mysterious hardware failure. Never had an issue with plug and play printers but then again I had one that worked so I never tried with other printers. I was actually mocked pretty mercilessly yesterday because of the PC graveyard that I am creating, but then again I am the type that downloads shady things or tries to frankenstein machines to the point where I probably have more of a hand in killing them than any virus/malware issues.

Im pulling the trigger on that refurb I posted earlier, I need a proper computer pretty much right now. If you are planning on waiting a little while to make a purchase Ill post any initial reactions/reviews for the specs as soon as I get it.