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  1. #1
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    Advice on new PC

    I've been asked my advice on buying a new PC for a friend, she will only use it for the usual home stuff e.g. email, simple letter writing, ebay, watching you tube vids etc nothing demanding. My limited knowledge had me looking for a reasonable HDD, plenty of memory, wireless capability and windows 10 to be up to date. Plenty of choice in the retail stores but even so prices start from 350 upwards.

    Then I came across this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2018979248...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    Any of you experts give an opinion please? it seems to have plenty of memory with a SSD which should make it responsive I assume. (she can get very impatient waiting for things to happen and starts clicking away all over the place) I don't understand the processor though, as my research shows it's one used in servers and no good for a home PC. Your suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Administrator satrow's Avatar
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    Difficult to be certain of anything from that ad., lots of words but little detail.

    A Xeon quad that uses DDR3 is likely to be very similar to the Core i5-series, though it might be from an earlier generation (2007 on); we need the CPU code (Exxxx, Wxxxx, Xxxxx, E5-xxxx, E3-xxxx, etc.) to find the exact details, the 'board is also an unknown quantity, it might be using the same chipset as the i series (consumer 'board) or it could be on a server 'board/chipset.

    I use a third generation E3 series quad with hyperthreading (like an i7 3370 but a little slower) from 2012 and it's a great CPU.

    There are often old stock home servers available that can be converted to desktop PCs, an example here, the discussion might be useful to you (same gen. CPU as mine): http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/dell...rsplus-2650282
    Last edited by satrow; 2017-05-10 at 10:41. Reason: Got my generation wrong ^^

  3. #3
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    If you buy that PC, and it does a good job for you, it will be in spite of the several specious claims made in the advert. For example, a 3 GHz quad-core Xeon processor does not run "AT A MASSIVE 12GHz WHEN CORES ARE IN SERIES CONFIGURATION" - whatever 'series configuration' is supposed to mean. I could go on, but won't.

    Given what you appear to require, I would get a fairly-recent second-hand Dell Optiplex. Since your username appears to indicate that you're from the UK, I would suggest you have a look at those from Microdream (for example) - only the dearest 3 are above your 350 budget (but always check the specs, especially if you want an SSD). Another firm we use is Morgan Computers - sort the page by lowest price.

    Case sizes:
    SFF - Small Form Factor : small and convenient, if you don't want to do much upgrading
    DT - DeskTop : a bit bigger with more scope for upgrading
    MT - MiniTower : pretty big, and very upgradeable
    (by upgradeable, I mean more disks and/or additional add-in cards)
    BATcher

    Always advise against annoying, awkward and affected alliteration.

  4. #4
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I recommend that your friend buy a new Dell or HP computer online, at the Dell or HP website. In other words, a name brand rather than a "no-name" brand.

    I have found that there are two factors which will make your computer fast: lots of memory, and a solid state drive (SSD). In my opinion, an SSD will make the computer boot faster, but it doesn't have a huge effect on normal operations (except for when you are reading from or writing to the drive). However, lots of memory can make your computer a lot faster for normal operations.

    * Make sure she gets at least 8 GB of memory, and that the computer is expandable (i.e. that she can add more memory later).

    * SSDs can be expensive -- the price goes up as the drive gets bigger. 240 GB will do for the primary hard drive if it is an SSD. If you go with a mechanical hard drive, you can get a much bigger drive for the money, but you won't gain the speed advantage of an SSD.

  5. #5
    3 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaysonuk View Post
    I've been asked my advice on buying a new PC for a friend.
    Presumably she will also need a monitor, keyboard, mouse (and maybe a DVD-drive)? I wouldn't touch this with a barge-pole. If budget is critical (when isn't it?), do try Morgan (as mentioned above). W10 works fine with 4GB RAM IMO. An SSD will be faster than a HDD, but if she is impatient, it will be while web pages are loading (or not), and that is likely to be limited by CPU and network speed, not the disc. If you prefer new, I have had success buying from Ebuyer.

  6. #6
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    As mentioned by mngerhold, web browsing can be the slow point. For this, you could try the following two things:
    1. Opera web browser. This will likely be the best option. While Opera is not your fastest option, it is close to being the fastest; and it is that way with very little configuration necessary.
    2. Brave web browser. A bit faster than Opera, but a little rough around the edges. She won't like the rough edges; but there aren't very many rough edges, so it isn't too bad.

    In both of these, make sure that ad blocking is turned on.

    For my wife, I installed Opera and Brave, and I advised her to use whichever is fastest for a particular web site. She is happy with that approach.

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone. Ditching the idea of the ebay seller and looks like we're going for a A1 used Dell as advised earlier. Just waiting for her (and family) decision

  8. #8
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    Jayson: It's probably blasphemy to mention in here, but has your friend considered a Chromebook?For what your friend wants to do, it seems like it would be a good fit. I've been using one for a couple of years now just for the kinds of thing your friend needs to do and it serves those needs. Despite what the Chromebook fanboys say, it's not a replacement for a Windows (or Mac or Linux for that matter) computer; it's got a dopey keyboard layout and things like printing can be a bit of a challenge. Although most of the newer Chromebooks support some Android apps, most everything you run will be in a Chrome browser tab. You have to buy into the Google cloud stuff But...you can't beat the price; it's easy to use; the software is rock-solid and you probably will never get hit with a ransom attack.

    Rob

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  10. #9
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMainframeGuy
    It's probably blasphemy to mention in here, but has your friend considered a Chromebook?
    IMO it's a good suggestion rather than blasphemy. A friend has one and for her limited needs (the same as mentioned in the OP) it's great... and very cheap.

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