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  1. #1
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    Default computer purchase advice

    I have a huge problem with my existing computer and a computer pro is going to look at it this evening. If he says it is not worth the time and money to repair I want to buy a new one. The pro is also in the business of selling computers so I would like an unbiased opinion on how much computer I need. My current system is a Gateway that is 8 years old. It has an Intel Celeron processor. We recently upgraded from dial-up internet to Mediacom's broadband cable internet. Since we made the switch we have had many problems with viruses and spyware (the current one is some sort of trojan that I cannot remove and has completely locked up my system). I purchased new Norton AntiVirus software with spyware protection before I began using the new internet connection but that has not seemed to help. I don't know a whole lot about computers (just how to use the basic programs). When you start talking about gigs and megs and all of that I get lost. We use the internet mainly for online banking and my 5 year old likes to go to My Little Pony site and play the games. My husband likes to just surf the net. I use Microsoft Excel for budgeting. I see alot of HP systems advertised at office supply stores for around $500. Are these really any good? Oh, I also want to have space to store and edit my digital photos. What memory, processor, etc is needed to do what we want? I know I am rambling a bit but I really don't know what I am talking about when it comes to computers. I would greatly appreciate any advice!

  2. #2
    Member Spyware Fighter Grim322's Avatar
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    The biggest difference between a $500 computer and a $1000 computer is in the graphics. If you are not into 3D video games that move very fast, the $500 dollar computer could be just fine. I would recommend 512mb of memory (many cheaper computers will come with 256). As long as the CPU is at least 2Ghz, you should be fine. Almost all computers now come with a CD burner, but it is also nice to have a second drive that can play DVDs.

    For antivirus and spyware, my recommendation is DON'T BUY ANYTHING. Everything you need is available for free and is equal to or better than the programs that cost money. AVG for antivirus, Zone Alarm Free for a firewall, and SpywareBlaster, Windows Defender, and SpyBot for antispyware/adware. Suggest you read this article about how to protect your computer:
    http://www.help2go.com/Tutorials/Pro...Hijackers.html

    charlie

  3. #3
    Member stinkingbob's Avatar
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    Hi there!
    The guru is correct. If all that you will be doing is basic web surfing and online banking, and nothing with video or with graphic intensive games, then buy a basic no frills computer. Look to spend between $500-$700 (taxes and shipping will add on another $100 or so). Oh wait, were you looking for a desktop or a laptop? I was assuming a laptop. I would recommend one due to its portability. The only drawback is that it is not expandable. Meaning, if you later wanted to add a graphics card or change the processor, you are out of luck. Look at the sunday paper for special deals at best buy and circuit city. They are there every week. Remember to go for a laptop with at least 512MB Ram, a processor speed of 1.8GHZ or better, and L2 cache of at least 1MB. You might also consider getting a DVD rewritable drive, but if yu know you aren't going to burn your own DVD's, make sure the computer has at least a DVD Rom drive so you can watch movies on the go(if you decide to get a laptop).
    In fact, just this week, Best Buy had a toshiba core duo, 80GIG, 512MB Ram DVD RW, L2 cache of 2mb, 1.8MGhz processor for $499! I could help you look for a Dell laptop for a good price. Just send me a message.
    Now, for the firewall, I highly recommend zone alarm firewall. And it's free.
    For the antivirus, you can go AVG which is free as well. Or, you can download and use for free for 1 year, CA associates antivirus, which is a commercial program. I am sure you have heard of it. These are the 2 that I am using on my machine. Also, get spysweeper. This is a kick ass anti spyware program. Send me a message if interested, or you can search my previous posts for the download info as well.
    Good luck to you!