Computer Specifications

  Southernboy 17:02 15 Jan 04

Some time ago, PCA had a competition for the design of a PC for a certain price. I found it very interesting.

In my regular meanderings around the various suppliers, I find myself confused at the various specifications offered, so I thought I would sound out the various experts in this forum to see what is considered to be the essential components of a PC today.

The only criteria I am looking for is "quality" components, that is to say, components that come from a maker with a reputation for reliable goods.

The PC in question is mainly used for "work", that is to say the fairly heavy use of an office suite and finacial software. No interest in gaming, the downloading or recording of music, or photo-imaging and other leisure activities, so additional software is unlikely to be installed.

Any thoughts?

  Gongoozler 20:46 15 Jan 04

Hi Southernboy. For the sort of work you're talking about you don't need a very high spec computer. I would recommend as a basis something like an Asus A7V8X-X motherboard which you can get for under £50. This has onboard sound which is fine for office applications. An Athlon XP2000+ processor would be plenty fast enough and as a retail package with heatsink would cost about £50. 512M Crucial PC2100 memory would be about £47. You could use a 40G hard drive from Maxtor, Seagate or Western Digital (they are all very good), which would cost you under £40. For a graphics card I would fit a Dabsvalue GF2 MX400 (£23). In addition you would need a case (£25 to £50), floppy drive (about £5), Cd drive (LG for about £12) and cd-rw for about £30. You may also need a modem, either dial-up or broadband.

  Bris 20:52 15 Jan 04

Find a retailer that sells IBM PCs then go for the lowest spec PC they make. Itll cost you though.

  woody147 21:14 15 Jan 04

a power supply might come in handy aswell :-)

  Pesala 21:38 15 Jan 04

Novatech do some good deals. About £130 for an Iiyamma 19" CRT for example click here

  Indigo 1 21:51 15 Jan 04

Check this one out click here £276.12 inc vat ! You should find it more than adequate for office apps and it comes tried and tested too ! Forget the headache of DIY, if you want a PC that works and is affordable this one would be very hard to beat.

  Gongoozler 09:53 16 Jan 04

woody147, in the lower price ranges I think power supplies are usually supplied with the case, but for a good quality power supply at a very reasonable price, I would recommend a 400W QTec from Ebuyer at about £15.

As all your work is office/Business related you will not need a huge hard drive as already mentined but I would recommend that you have Two from the start so that you can back up from one to the other daily and invest in an exteral hard drive or DVD writer for back-ups that can be stored away from the PC. Remember your Data will be more valuable than your system so don't scrimp on the important things like the power supply, buy a UPS with inbuilt surge protection and look for a board that supports ECC ram if you can afford it.

And another idea, I don't know if you get dual monitor support from a GF2 as Gongoozler recommends (if you can then that card will suffice) but you definitely would from a GF4 MX440. Dual Monitors is possibly the greatest aid to office productivity that money can buy.

  Southernboy 14:56 19 Jan 04

I am not into building a computer. I just need some help when looking at the specifications of computers listed in the PCA advertisments.

I realise I do not need a powerful beast, but I do need one with reliable components that will not break down. Anytime lost while a PC is not functioning could be a problems, so I need a reliable machine, even if it costs a little more.

PS. No local computer shops, so it is the likes of Evesham, Mesh etc. My preference is for Evesham.

  Southernboy 14:59 19 Jan 04

why I need dual monitor support as there is only one of me!

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