Am on very strict budget of around £300 (the less the better). Want a machine to web-surf, email, play FM09, store/crop photos/documents for family history package, maybe watch the odd football match online. No video-editing, photo editing, graphic design, up-to-date games etc will be used on this machine.
Have heard refurbished from reputable company with 12 month warranty is a good way to get a decent machine cheaper. Am unsure if quad is necessary but my thinking is that it may extend it's usable lifetime over a dual-core.
At PCWorld they have the following: Packard Bell iMax 3515 - £310 Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor (2.4GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 8MB Cache) Genuine Windows Vista (R) Home Premium 2GB Memory 320GB Hard Drive Multi-Format Dual Layer DVD Re-Writer 256MB nVidia GeForce 7050MB 21-In-1 Card Reader 4 USB Connections
PACKARD BELL X2326 - £290 AMD Phenom X3 8450 processor (2.1GHz, 1.5MB Cache) Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium 3GB DDR2 667MHz memory 320GB SATA hard drive (7200rpm) 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce 8200 graphics Dual Layer DVD Rewriter 6x USB, 1x IEEE 1394 FireWire® ports
ACER M3201 - £270 AMD Phenom X4 9150e quad-core processor (1.8GHz, 2MB Cache) Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium 2GB DDR2 800MHz memory 320GB SATA hard drive (7200rpm) ATI Radeon HD3200 graphics Dual Layer DVD Rewriter 6x USB, 1x IEEE 1394 FireWire® ports
Would tend to opt for the Acer but the 1.8GHz sounds slow compared to the others. The iMax is a 'space saving' machine so I'm guessing that updating (something I've never done!) in the future may be problematic. And the 1.5MB cache on the X2326 doesn't compare well to the others.
But it's all just numbers to me and I haven't a clue which of these to choose. Can anyone offer advice?