Time to Upgrade - Aries Performa

  Pesala 13:56 26 Oct 2006

My needs are modest. I don't play games, or do Video editing. Maybe a little photo-editing, but I spend a lot of time at the PC, mostly browsing, word-processing and DTP.

The Aries Performer AMD Athlon 64 system looks about right for my needs, but I would welcome some advice as my knowledge is way out of date.

These are the options I changed on the default configuration or considered changing.

Case: Any advantage from the Coolermaster 320 case?

Processor: Since the 3700 is only £10 more that seemed like a sensible choice.

Memory: 1Gbyte so that I can run several programs at once or work on high-resolution images. Memory is cheap.

Graphics card: I opted for the 256 Mb card under the impression this would be better if I upgrade to Windows Vista later. Is this a waste of money for my needs?

DVD Rewriter: Only £6 more than CD writer. Probably noittle need for this, but very little price difference.

  Pesala 14:11 26 Oct 2006

I think I should buy that separately.

Second copy of OS and Office Suite to pass on with old PC.

What would you change and why?

  Pesala 14:21 26 Oct 2006
  Totally-braindead 16:49 26 Oct 2006

Regarding cases, the more expensive ones tend to be better quality, rounded edges so you don't cut yourself so easily when working inside it that sort of thing. Personally I have a cheap £25 case and have used cheap ones with all the PCs I have built and theres no problem. Only thing worth mentioning is power supplies. Cheap cases tend to come with generic power supplies and whilst they are ok, providing you don't overload them, you are better spending a bit extra and getting a decent quality branded one. I notice from the options yours comes with a 360 watt one and personally I'd upgrade it as a more powerful one wouldn't have to work so hard.
The graphics card you've selected is rather poor in comparison with todays machines. I see mentioned the 7300GS and that is a far superior card but I appreciate you say you're not into games so perhaps it may be overkill but if you are considering Vista later then although it may be overkill it would be smoother and I'm not sure if the card you picked would run the full Aero thing flawlessly. It probably would but you'd be better studying up on this. I'm not that interested in Vista at present so I don't know.
Not sure about that 2nd operating system bit as I've never seen that before, I would check that it can be used on another PC before purchase.
You say you do video editing so I'd consider a bigger hard drive and I would also consider purchasing an external hard drive for a backup drive so you can backup anything you cannot afford to lose.
Lastly the monitor. Sony are a brilliant make but I would want to know which monitor it was and the specs for it, particularly the response time - lower the better. You may be right in deciding to buy a monitor seperatly.

  Pesala 11:25 27 Oct 2006

Novatech offer a better choice of monitors. The ViewSonic VG920 is a top grade monitor at £218.01 inc VAT: click here

Add to that the basic price of the Icon Pro 3500 with Windows XP installed: £420.65 inc vat click here

Then I think I need a graphics card to get DVI output: click here

Total: £696.24 Plus delivery.

Is there anything I have overlooked? I don't do Video editing. 160 Mbytes is ample hard disk space. The monitor's integrated speakers will propbably be good enough for my needs.

  Totally-braindead 12:22 27 Oct 2006

Sorry I misread it, you said you Don't do video editing - appologies.
Yes you are of course right, you do need a video card to use a DVI interface. To be honest with you I've never noticed much difference but if you have the connections you might as well use it.
I like the Novatech PCs I've never had a complete unit from them but I have bought 2 barebones units and been reasonably impressed with them. Its a similar spec to what I have and I'm sure you'll be happy with it. I assume you are on broadband as the modems an optional extra but everything else is fine.

  Pesala 14:49 27 Oct 2006

Intel Pentium D 820 2.8GHz Dual Core 2MB Cache Processor

Hard Drive
200GB Serial ATA II Hard Drive

nVidia 7300LE 256MB Turbo Cache Graphics

A faster cup, a slightly larger hard drive, and what looks like a graphics card included. Would that be an on-board card or AGP slot and would it have a DVI port?

If I don't need a graphic card, that actually works out cheaper than the AMD system.

My past experience with Novatech has always been very good.

  Pesala 14:52 27 Oct 2006

That seems to be a cheap card click here but probably adequate for my needs.

  Pesala 14:56 27 Oct 2006

Not much to choose between these two system. Can you spot any important difference? The latter seems to be better value.

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