£500 ish pc spec

  Ameretto 14:46 21 Apr 08

Help wanted, looking at getting a base unit for approx £500, but getting totally lost looking for something that can:

320gb hard drive
Handle 5 or 6 applications at once without crashing / grinding to a halt (ie resource intensive)Also use Photoshop again memory hungry.

Can handle 2 monitors, a 1900X1200, and a smaller TFT, ( I currently have an old dual monitor PCI card if required)

I am getting totally confused between Duo Core, Quad Core, MHz, etc etc. I assume taht I will require at least 2mb RAM?

At the moment it doesn't have to handle gaming, but that may come in the future.

Any help appreciated with Specs, I have had a look at Cougar, but am just floundering in teh dark.

Thanks in advance

  GaT7 17:04 21 Apr 08

Arguably the best CPU to go for is a QUAD-core, as the number of applications/games that support 4-cores or more will become mainstream. (Some info on muti-core CPUs click here_(computing)

For the greatest flexibility, build it yourself - but this could be a bit on the expensive side (would be cheaper than Cougar, Novatech, etc though).

If a self-build is not an option, consider the following:

• NON-gaming PC (upgradeable to gaming standard - see below)
Dell Inspiron 530 with a QUAD-core CPU, 2Gb RAM, HD 2400 Pro*, etc - DE-select the monitor: click here = 359 delivered, or £344 with cashback (click here)

• Gaming PC (roomier case with more upgrade options)
Dell XPS 420 with a DUAL-core CPU, 2Gb RAM, 8800GT graphics, etc: click here = £475, or £455 with cashback (click here)

Get 2GB RAM extra for either from click here = £25.84 delivered, or 24.30 with cashback (click here). I chose this particular RAM as it's cheaper than Dell's upgrades to 4Gb (i.e. £35-40), & is guaranteed to work.

If you get the 1st PC, you can add a 8800GT in the future without a PSU upgrade click here. However, anything more powerful & physically longer in size, you 'may' need to get a bigger case & more powerful the PSU. G

* For the 1st PC - HD 2400 support for 2 simultaneous displays (the 8800 will be fine too): click here & scroll down:

• Two independent display controllers
Drive two displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls and video overlays for each display

• Two integrated DVI display outputs
- Primary supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI)
- Secondary supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI only)

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