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Help Me Spec a New PC

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by TX OMFS, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. TX OMFS

    TX OMFS Right wing nut Lifetime Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    San Antonio, Texas
    I've got $3500 and want a Windows based PC. I'm going to buy it, not build it. If you're in the San Antonio area I'll take bids :whistling:

    We will use it for surfing, running Office Pro, and light home video & photo editing. I want a new monitor for that price. I know for my purposes I could probably get away with a cheaper machine but i don't care. For that matter you could trade your Glock for a Jennings.

    My thoughts as a novice:
    Intel i7?
    2TB HD (should I get multiple HD's and set up RAID?)
    32 or 64GB RAM? (what kind of RAM?)
    What type of video card? I'd like to occasionally edit home videos. I'm not a gamer.
    Windows 7?
    How many USB ports?
    TV tuner

    I need advice on how to prioritize things -- RAM vs CPU, etc.

  2. One word...


  3. jmt


    May 29, 2008
    I would be willing to build and ship you a (very) top of the line computer for that price with a very large monitor.
  4. Detectorist


    Jul 16, 2008
    go to and play around with the options. It doesn't appear that you would need a super computer for your needs.

    Remember things like backup, extended warranty, surge protection, service, etc.

    Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, are some of the major brands.

    get a 24" HD monitor.

    You can get a very nice computer for far less than $3500.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  5. Taphius


    Sep 26, 2011
    Las Vegas
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  6. Don H

    Don H

    Dec 9, 2005

    $3500 machine for surfing, running Office Pro, and light home video & photo editing? :rofl: That's like shooting a field mouse with a 50-BMG, a tad overkill for what you'll being using it for. You can get from a dell a fully loaded i7 and monitor for well under $2k, will be way more than enough for what you'll be using it for.
  7. soulxfer


    Jan 12, 2012
    With that budget you will get top of the line specs, even liquid cooled rig.

    Make sure SSD for OS, GTX graphics card and Windows 8 OS. It will rock !

    Sent from my Windows 8 device using Board Express Pro
  8. GlockFanWA


    Sep 9, 2012
    $3500 is way overkill, even to get some good editing times from videos it is easy to keep it under $1000
  9. TX OMFS

    TX OMFS Right wing nut Lifetime Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    San Antonio, Texas
    Thanks for the links. This was helpful.
  10. go to and check out their XPS desktops. They are the line below the alienware gaming computers. Hell.. even the alienwares are still a lot less than $3500.
  11. TX OMFS

    TX OMFS Right wing nut Lifetime Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    San Antonio, Texas
    Let me rephrase my OP. If money weren't an issue how would you spec a PC? I'm willing to fork out now for a computer that will still be decent in 9-10 years.

    Our current (now dead) PC lasted 9 years and was still a very reasonable machine up until the day it died.

    With longevity in mind, how much RAM would you install? Is 32GD overkill? What specs do I look for in a graphics card? Would you buy a solid state HD? Should I get 2 internal HD's for a RAID set-up? Etc
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  12. GlockFanWA


    Sep 9, 2012
    Decent for what? For what you listed I would say any machine under a $1000 would still be decent 9-10 years from now provided none of the parts break down. If talking gaming that is a whole new ballgame, but you didn't list that as an option.
  13. Unbridled Rage

    Unbridled Rage Swollen Member

    Jul 8, 2004
    Vancouver, WA
    Computers don't amortize well.

    Buy for the next 2 years.

    For a longer refresh cycle, In my personal experience, Apple computers seem to retain useful speeds for more calendar time than PCs.
  14. TX OMFS

    TX OMFS Right wing nut Lifetime Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    San Antonio, Texas
    I'm surfing on my new Dell and loving it! Windows 8 is another matter. Windows 8 is not bad or good but VERY different. Seems like the mission was too broad -- operating system for every kind of device.

    This Dell is so much faster than the 9-10 year old Gateway it replaced. I did upgrade the old Gateway w/ some RAM, new video card, couple of USB 3 port, and new hard drive. Had to reinstall XP Pro on the Gateway (only discs I had), now in the process of updating to XP Pro SP2. I planned to upgrade to Windows 7 but I think I'll jump to 8 while the price is low.
  15. Hauptmann6


    May 22, 2002
    Portage, MI
    Total waste of money. Spending for the bleeding edge gets you very little extra in real world terms. You can spend 600 on a computer that will serve you well for 5-6 years and spend another 600 then. You will save TONS of money, and you will be much better off computer wise. It's VERY rare a computer will last that long. And the tech cycles are much faster now as well. My 6-7 year old PC couldn't handle any new games and flash was slow on it. The Mac I am on now was built in 07 can barely run flash. And on both things are going bad due to age.

    ANY new computer will do what you want. Buy a PC in a box, make sure you are up to 4-6 gig of ram and call it a day. And spend 300 on a good monitor.
  16. MySiK26

    MySiK26 ******

    This. Buy a top-end model (and your screen) of your favorite brand, and save the rest towards a new computer in a few years, when you want the newest, fastest model ;)
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  17. Ralff


    Sep 10, 2008
    Central FL
    Good God man. $3500? You could almost spec out a top end Falcon Northwest for that, and still have room for a monitor.

    Edit: Doh, seems you've already found what you wanted. Maybe I should read the entire thread before commenting. :supergrin:

  18. That's just not possible as Apples are far more expensive than PCs, and that money typically always buys you LESS hardware than a comparably priced PC.

    EDIT: I rest my case:

    - Apple iMac, 21.5", Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB drive = $1,299.00

    - Dell Inspiron i660; Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB drive = $580.00 on Amazon.

    Hardware is hardware. You get positively SCREWED with Apple.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013

  19. I disagree. Spending more now gets you more RAM, faster CPU, bigger HD, etc. which means the computer will be relevant for longer.

    What are the specs on your 6-7 year old PC? I'll bet it wasn't near top of the line then.

    If you're gaming or doing other super-intensive stuff, maybe you need to replace more frequently, but for what the OP wants, if he spends (spent already?) a ton on a nice machine, it will definitely last longer than the $300 crap special at walmart.

    Most of the things that can go wrong with a PC; RAM, PSU, HD, are relatively cheap & easily replaced.

    Just keep current images of your system or maintain all your program install files/disks in case you ever have to replace your HD or reinstall windows and you're good to go.
  20. sappy13


    Sep 30, 2007
    Bremen, GA

    And the Typical Apple Fanboy response to this would be:
    "But with a Mac you get the apple geniuses to look at your stuff for free when you have an issue"

    What they forget to mention is that are only gona look at your stuff and fix it for free if its under warranty.

    I completely agree with the Doc, you really dont get more for your money with a mac. Plus, for every Mac that someone claims runs great after 7 years, there is easily at least one pc user that claim the same.

    I will give it to Apple though, they are a marketing genius for being able to sell the same hardware for 4-500 more than their competitors.