New PC - advice please!

  Green Eyes 15:31 24 Dec 2006

Hi, I am about to buy my first home PC and am wondering what type of processor I should go for. My office PC is a Pentium 4 (3.06GHz with 512RAM) but obviously you pay more for a Pentium as opposed to a Celeron or Athlon.

I only intend to use the PC for office applications and surfing the net with occasional downloads - no gaming. So the question is - do I need a Pentium processor? And, if not, what processor type should I go for? (I never know if Celeron is more powerful than Athlon or vice-versa). Having used a Pentium at work am I likely to notice the difference if I downgrade?

Sorry to sound such a dunce. Any advice much appreciated. Merry Christmas!

  Pesala 15:41 24 Dec 2006

You don't need the fastest processor. Other factors will affect speed more. Look for 1 Gbyte of RAM to make running multiple applications easier. If you intend to do much Photo-Editing then a dedicated graphics card may be advisable, otherwise onboard graphics is fine, and cheaper.

AFAIK Athlon is faster than Celeron of the same Mhz rating: click here if you want a detailed comparison.

  birdface 15:42 24 Dec 2006

With Microsoft Vista about to hit the market,I would be looking for one that would be Able to run the full version,And if you shop arround I understand that you may be able to get free up-grade to Vista,I am sure someone on here will point you in the right direction,Looks like Santa is going to be good to you this year,Good luck with your new Computer .

  Gongoozler 15:42 24 Dec 2006

For surfing and office type applications any processor will be satisfactory, and in most respects an AMD processor is at least as good as an Intel. Much more important is to have sufficient memory installed, a minimum of 512M for Windows XP, and 1G for Windows Vista. It's difficult to recommend any particular computer because for the needs you stated any modern computer will be fine. The choice then is largely subjective, choose on the look and feel, whether you like the case styling and the monitor display. Do you get a good warranty and after sales support? Also worthy of consideration is whether you will want to upgrade in the future- some of the cheaper computers have very limited upgrade potential.

  keith-236785 15:44 24 Dec 2006

if all you are doing is using the computer for office and browsing the net then any processor will do, dont worry about the processor but try to get a large ammount of memory, most low end computers come with 256MB of ram, that isnt nearly enough for windowsXP, a good figure is 512 or 1 gig if you have the option, but dont spend too much in the quest for memory, a memory upgrade after purchase would cost around £30 for 512mb.

bear that in mind, dont accept a 256mb unless you want your pc to crawl along....

i stick with AMD but i have to admit my laptop is a celeron and it copes admirably with what i need which is pretty much what you are wanting.

as for noticing a difference, i doubt very much you would notice any difference with office, maybe a small ammount when surfing but not enough to worry about. todays low end procs are pretty powerful and will be on top of anything you want to do with it.

all the best for christmas

  Internetwhizzkid 15:53 24 Dec 2006

I have just got a new laptop.

Dell inspiron 6400

80GB Hard Drive
Intel Centrino duo (1.60 GHZ)
256MB Dedicated Graphics
Windows XP Home Sp2
Free Upgrade to Windows Vista Home Basic (£11 Postage)
15.4" Widescreen
Card Reader
DVD Rewiter
4 USB Ports

all for £589.00 £623.00 With Backpack Case
That price has now fallen



  Green Eyes 22:09 24 Dec 2006

Thanks for the prompt advice folks! Interesting point about Vista but I wonder how quickly one would want to upgrade even if it was free?

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!!

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