Buying Advice - budget base unit

  Alex99 16:15 31 Aug 06
Locked

I have £500 budget to get a new base unit computer, I want to use it for word processing, internet, editing digital photos and playing stratergy games.

Originally I was going to get a good all rounder like thw Zoostorm or Vantage omega

click here

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I've read around a bit and it seems CPUs are particularly cheap at the moment. Should I instead go for something that has a better processor AMD 4600+ instead of AMD 3800+ at the expense of the graphics card: 7300GS instead of the 7600GT. I figure I could then upgrade the graphics card and RAM in a year or two and increase the overall life of the PC. Would this configuration be able to handle the latest strategy games for the next year or two with only a 7300GS card? Also how easy is it to upgrade RAM and graphics cards? are there compatibility problems?

  ade.h 00:11 01 Sep 06

Compatability problems? No, not if you buy the correct type of product.

Easy? Yes.

Strategy games? No idea.

If you got a 775 socket with a recent chip (at least a 945) you would have upgrade potential. You won't with current AMD sockets as the company moves to AM2.

Look at Novatech or PC Nextday.

  sean-278262 02:02 01 Sep 06

Strategy games. You need to enlighten more as to what you mean, if you mean like Command and Conquer (generals) and the like then yes the 7300 will be fine. My computer has a fx5200 and plays C&C generals at lowest settings and 800x600 just fine a 7300 would be almost overkill imho. However if you mean games like half life which some people seem to call strategy then a 7600 would be better.

The whole thing is swings and round abouts. To be honest in 2 years your PC will probably prove cheaper to sell and buy a new one.

Ram - click here to find the right thing
- click here search for the part number and buy it cheaper

Graphics - just get the manual out and find what is supported and get one on dabs.

However as ade said upgrades are only worth it if you can future proof yourself. In the market things change every few months. SATA was a new thing then PCIe, now its 64bit and dual cores.

It is easy to do but getting the right thing is hardest. The best way out is to just sell it and get a new one plus you then have a warranty again.

That would be my opinion. Buy cheaper now and replace it when it is time rather than spend more now and then more again in a few years time. I read somewhere that PCs have a life expectancy with their first owner of 18 - 36months so it just seems the best way in my opinion.

New warranty and good spec vs no warranty and the potential to get it wrong.

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