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What type of computer to buy?

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
My 8yr old iMac is dying and it's time for a new desktop. I'm fairly out of the loop when it comes to what modern specs I should be considering. Use case is internet, email, office suite, kids homework, and the occasional non-graphics intensive game (think civilization). I don't want another Mac but I still want a traditional experience such as internal storage and commonality with available programs so I think that leaves me with Win10 and leaves out Chromebooks (but I could be wrong). I've been looking at things like the Intel NUC but am not sure how much of a processor I'd really need. Budget is under 1k and I have a monitor and other peripherals.
 

Waveoff

"Just be better"
None
Check old universities or educational institutions. All we used was Dell Optiplexes. Or just get a dell inspiron tower.

Follow up with PCmag's reccomended list, ask reddit, or Consumer Reports.
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
Yeah, id prefer to go new.

I've looked plenty of online recommendations and their criteria still seems to be gaming heavy.

Maybe my question is what kind of specs do I need for what I want to do? Do I need to pay for an i5 or i7 so my kids can write two paragraph essays and do their online math problems? My Mac still does that stuff ok it's just slow because the OSs and what not have outgrown it.

I'm thinking a 1TB HD and 16GB of RAM to avoid it bogging down as OSs increment upwards but is 16GB of RAM too much? Could I get by with 8? So beyond that is a processor and I don't feel like paying for something that's made for gamers when that's not our thing. If the kids get in to it a lot in a few years I'll upgrade then.

Was looking at the ACER, seems to get good reviews just need help on which one to get.
 

Meyerkord

Helo Advanced
You definitely don't need an i7 for word processing and basic browsing, or even light gaming.

RAM is cheap so you can always add more in the future. I'm personally a fan of 12GB. 16 seems like too much and 8 feels like it would slow down faster because of the increase in overhead usage with basic programs just sitting at idle.

For hard drives, SSD's are pretty prevalent these days. They're speedy.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
You definitely don't need an i7 for word processing and basic browsing, or even light gaming.

RAM is cheap so you can always add more in the future. I'm personally a fan of 12GB. 16 seems like too much and 8 feels like it would slow down faster because of the increase in overhead usage with basic programs just sitting at idle.

For hard drives, SSD's are pretty prevalent these days. They're speedy.
SSD's are fast, we have them on our new work laptops and I have not had an issue with them, however what I have found is if the computer has a SSD it is on the premise that most of what you have will be stored on the cloud.
 

lowflier03

So no $hit there I was
pilot
Based on your desired uses, $1k is way overboard. You could build a great rig that can do all that and more for under $300 if you don't mind putting it together yourself.

For storage definitely get an SSD, at least for your boot drive and main programs. This will save your sanity especially coming from a Mac. Don't go with a hybrid as those use solid state for cache, not actually for booting or storage. You can pick up a 1TB SSD for a desktop for cheap, or get a 256GB SSD with an extra 1TB HDD storage drive.

16GB ram is worth the price, especially if you do it with 2x 8GB sticks for the dual channel benefits.

For processor an i7 isn't a requirement. There are a few great budget CPUs out there. For example the Intel Xeon E3 1230 can be had for $30 and is perfectly acceptable even for gaming.
 
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