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  1. #1
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    What computer should I buy?

    Hello,

    I just registered and am going to school in august for computer programming/web design. I am buying a new computer, but its been several years since I've purchased a new one. I'm kind of behind on the technology.

    There are two computers I am looking at from Best Buy. They are both Asus Desktops.

    The first option is $450.00 more expensive, however, if I get the cheaper option I will have enough money left over for a monitor and speakers system.

    If you have been keeping up on the newest technology can you please look at these and tell me if the first option is worth the extra $450.00? Will I really be able to notice a difference between the two PCs?


    Option 1: $1229.99
    • Processor: i7 2.66 Ghz 1333 Mhz Bus with 8 GB on die Level 2 cache.
    • Memory: 9 GB DDR3 RAM
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB Sata 7200 RPM (x 2) = 1TB Total
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX260 896 MB RAM
    Option 2: $779.99
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.5 Ghz 1333 Mhz Bus with 4 MB on die Level 2 cache.
    • Memory: 8 GB DDR2 RAM
    • Hard Drive: 750 MB Sata 7200 RPM
    • Graphics: NVIVIA GeForce GT220 1 GB DDR3 Deticated Graphics RAM
    Looks like the graphics card on option two is a little crappier, but the graphics RAM is a lot better.

    The first option has a better processor, more cache and better storage space.

    I will probably never need 1TB of storage space, I have a 60 GB hard drive now and am only using about half of it.

    If I buy the second option I have enough left over for a 23'' Wide Screen Ultra HD Monitor, which is VERY nice on display, and also a 6-piece seterio speaker system, with subwoofer. Pretty huge speakers and woofer too, they are very nice.

    I want the monitor and speakers but I don't want to get the second option if its going to end up being a crappy PC. I'd rather get the first option and get the speakers and monitor in a couple weeks.

    I'm going to be buying one tomorrow after work, what option do you think I should go with?

    Will I really see that much difference between the two systems?

    BTW: The both come with Windows 7 if that makes a difference when you think about CPU and RAM. There are various other odds and ends bettween the two computers but that is the important stuff I posted. They have various ports, extra bays, etc... both have the same DVD/CD Burners, network cards, audio card, etc.. everything else between the two is pretty much the same so I didn't post it.

  2. #2
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    K358, firstly if you are not playing games, you do not need an uber high spec graphics card, programming and web design can be done on pretty much any average machine (though a decent CPU can help churn down the waiting time on compiles). Also you should be aware that they do not come with Windows7 as it has not been released yet, but you will get a free upgrade when it does appear. Windows 7 is faster and all round better than vista so it's worth doing and it will use less resources (a nice change in a windows upgrade).

    Personally (as a web developer / programmer) I would go with the second option because is it really worth burning almost twice the amount of money for a slight performance increase? You could use that extra money on getting that great sound system you wanted

  3. #3
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    Thanks.

    I have been looking all around at Best Buy, Dell, and other websites tonight and it looks like no matter where I go that second option I posted here will be the best. For the same price as the other PC alone I can get the sound system and also a very nice monitor.

    I just want a computer that is going to last a few years, but at the same time I think if I wait another year or so that i7 processor will come way down in price.

    Overall the are pretty much the same aside from the processor. The first option does have 1 GB more RAM, but I can upgrade that for probably $30. RAM prices are so cheap now days. I don't think I will ever need a 1 TB hard drive, and if I do that can be upgraded later as well.

    So I guess your right I'm going to go with the second option right now. The first option doesnt to me any good without a monitor, or speakers, and I've have to wait another month before I could afford those so whats the point in having a computer I can't use.

    Thanks for the fast response. If anyone else has any comments please let me know.

    Edit: I will be playing World of Warcraft from time to time. Its the only game I play, and usualy not very often. My laptop which is 3 years old handles that game pretty good so I'm sure this computer will do just fine too. I didn't know about Windows 7, it says there is a card in the box to get a free upgrade. I plan on doing that as soon as I can. I hate Vista.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict ruby-lang's Avatar
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    I'm with Alex here. The difference in performance isn't enough to justify not getting a very nice monitor, and one of the things you'll notice once you start programming and designing is that there's no such thing as too big -- or too many -- monitors. If you ever need more than 750GB of space -- say, to edit videos -- adding another drive should be easy, not to mention cheap.

    And welcome to the community!

  5. #5
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    Hey, thanks again Ruby.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast devAngel's Avatar
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    yep I agree on the two folks here...you can always upgrade when you need it but it would be some time later.
    sig space open...

  7. #7
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    Well I got the new computer the other day and have every thing setup. It came with the 64-bit Vista but when I am using Internet Explorer it seems like I am running in 32-Bit mode.

    How can I tell if I am running in 64-bit mode or not? I have the 64-bit version of Java installed and it is complaining that I am running 32-bit mode and need to install the 32-bit version of Java.

  8. #8
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K358 View Post
    Well I got the new computer the other day and have every thing setup. It came with the 64-bit Vista but when I am using Internet Explorer it seems like I am running in 32-Bit mode.

    How can I tell if I am running in 64-bit mode or not? I have the 64-bit version of Java installed and it is complaining that I am running 32-bit mode and need to install the 32-bit version of Java.
    There are two version of Internet Explorer along with many of the applications (i.e., Windows Explorer) on Vista x64, those of course are a 32bit version and a 64bit version. The reason for this, is not many third party plug-ins or addons are 64bit. So for those to work there needs to be 32bit versions of the applications.

    However, Internet Explorer, or any browser for that matter, will not benefit from 64bit as it were :P
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  9. #9
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Spend the money on what matters most: Monitor, keyboard/mouse, desk and chair. Those are the 5 things you'll be using the most (remember that you'll be spending HOURS every day at this station) and they should be the most comfortable. The computer is secondary and unless you're doing some crazy scientific programming, anything higher than low-end will work for programming and web development.

    I'd also be wary of getting a computer at best buy since you can find much better deals online in most cases.

  10. #10
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    Something with a quad core processor that operates using 4 processors at once. Lots of RAM, lots of hd, space, maybe fingerprint technology. Something to keep thieves away, stuff like that.

    Bill

  11. #11
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    for less than that $450 you could get a 1TB hard drive should you need it. no sense in paying for space you dont need.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict antirem's Avatar
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    I would buy option 2. I figure a computer should last 2-3 years and after that buy a new one with the money you saved.

  13. #13
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    Option 1: $1229.99 look good for player computer games!

  14. #14
    SitePoint Zealot shenkong's Avatar
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    Memory: 9 GB DDR3 RAM ???
    How is it formed? 3*3GB?2*4GB + 1GB? 4 * 2GB + 1GB ? 6 * 1.5GB?

  15. #15
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia View Post
    Spend the money on what matters most: Monitor, keyboard/mouse, desk and chair. Those are the 5 things you'll be using the most (remember that you'll be spending HOURS every day at this station) and they should be the most comfortable. The computer is secondary and unless you're doing some crazy scientific programming, anything higher than low-end will work for programming and web development.

    I'd also be wary of getting a computer at best buy since you can find much better deals online in most cases.
    I agree that what you physically use is extremely important I would argue that having a fast computer IS a great thing to have for anyone involved in development. The simple reason for this is that hardware is cheap and programmer time is expensive, so I believe it is completely justifiable to spend a few grand on a great setup if it'll allow you to do even one job more over the space of a year, because that money will more than pay for the super-powerful PC.


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