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Suggestions For a New Computer
Michelle writes in with a hardware question
Question:Okay so I realize this is for computer troubleshooting and my questions not exactly that but I need a suggestion. I have a Compaq Presario computer with 12o GB, 512 MB, (2.122 GHZ, DVD+RW/CD-RW, CD-ROM drive (48x max speed. and I want to purchase a new computer (well actually I just want to purchase a new tower and slowly buy new pieces to keep the price down. I like my Presario and want a new Presario but something better with Windows Vista. I do a lot of digital photography and editing photos and I do a lot of creating activities for students I work with. If you can suggest a new computer for a reasonable price please do so.
Answer: If you want to go with Vista then you are going to need a faster, more expensive computer to run it properly. If you want to stay with XP then there are still computer manufactures that will sell one with XP installed. I know that Dell is still doing it and there should be some others as well.
For the processor I would get a Intel Core 2 Duo. Don't confuse it with the older Dual Core Intel. They have various speeds so it depends on what you want to spend as to how fast you go. Keep in mind that a 2.2 Core 2 Duo is much faster than a 2.2 Pentium 4 so you cant go by the numbers to compare them with older processors. I have a 1.8 Core 2 Duo with 2 GB of RAM and XP and its plenty fast.
For RAM you should get 2GB or more for Vista and 1 GB should be plenty for XP.
Most new hard drives are Serial ATA (SATA) compared to the older IDE interface so just pick a size you want.
If you are going to do photo editing you may want to get a video card that has a decent amount of RAM on it such as 128-256 MB. Most new computers come with integrated video and many use your system RAM for video RAM so it takes away from your total RAM.
Many computers now have integrated sound cards which are fine for most users. The speakers will make more of a difference than the sound card.