Calling all "tech savvy" Wooters!

:raising_hand_woman:Hi everyone! Welp, the time has come for me to find a PC or laptop, as my 2011 hp laptop is pretty much non-functional.:sauropod::woman_facepalming: The (my) problem is that I really don’t know enough about computers to buy one without any guidance, and I don’t have very much confidence in virtual salespeople… assuming they’re human.:woman_shrugging: I don’t have a preference between a laptop or a desktop… as long as it’s reliable, fast and easy to use (again idk much about computers lol).
I am ultimately looking to use it for art and graphic design, like photoshop and things of that nature… and possibly gaming, as I’m interested in learning about/how to play in VR (once I learn more about computers.:wink:
My budget is around $800
After seeing so many Wooters wisely Wooting about computers, I thought this would be the perfect place to ask for help and guidance.:smiley:
Thank you!! :love_letter:


You aught to figure out if you want a portable computer or not. Sort of a big fork in the road you need to decide how you wat to use your machine.

There’s a few things to look for.

  1. Must have an SSD (solid state drive) hard drive. 256gb or more. No if’s ands or buts… this will make your laptop snappy, and operate consistently fast than a spinning drive. Regardless of laptop or desktop. Absolutely no eMMC flash memory crap.

  2. Ram - 8gb or more. 16gb would be cool, but 8gb is your hard minimum. If you go desktop you can probably add more down the road.

  3. If you plan on doing graphics and games then an independent video card would be good. Make sure it says something like ‘NVIDIA Geforce’ or ‘Radeon’… Usually higher model numbers are best, but it does get cost prohibitive.

  4. Processors - the more cores and threads the better. No celerons.

You may have to google the processor model number and see what intel/AMD (depending on the chip) has for information on cores and threads. Shoot for a minimum of 4 cores/8 threads.

After that it’s all bells and whistles. If you go laptop you need to see if you would use a 2-in-1 (where you can flip the screen around and write on it) or a touch screen are useful. I am not a fan of 2-in-1s, and only mildly found touch screens ok to use.

If you go desktop then you’ll need to look at monitors and sizing there. Same with a keyboard and mouse.

Generally any of the ‘gaming’ or ‘performance’ monikered systems (laptop or desktop) will be sufficient for graphic design.

Against usual recommendations - paying more for RGB in the case or keyboard does not give your more FPS kills in a game.


If you don’t need the machine to be portable, for the same amount of power/speed/storage/etc. a desktop will be less expensive.


I don’t necessarily need it to be portable… that would just be a bonus…

I think the problem I’m having is this- when it comes to specs, it’s like trying to read a foreign language.:confused:
The old laptop I have is the only computer I’ve ever had and was given to me by my late father, so it wasn’t something I picked out myself.


People tend to feel really strongly about Apple vs Android. I happen to be in the Apple camp, but am not rabid about it.

REALLY serious gamers do go for Android computers (I’ve got some in my family), although Apple seems to be gradually competing more vigorously. At this point, it doesn’t sound to me like you are in the REALLY serious gamer category or even headed that way. Those folks tend to already know all that spec stuff.

On the other hand, Apple machines at least have something of a reputation for being better at art and such. I can’t personally say one way or the other since that is not how I use my machine.

On the Apple site (, they have for sale refurbished computers. I’ve bought my last three from there. One son has bought one. And another son actually bought dozens of them for his company. Never a problem. They come with a one-year warranty. The refurbishing process is very thorough. To find them on the site you can search on “refurbished mac”. Or click here.

The base iMac model currently offered has the 8gb modi123 mentioned. Other than that, I don’t really speak specs either. But maybe modi123 and others will be willing to continue helping you in that area. I use this machine for correspondence, business, shopping, research, taxes, etc. And have used Apples since the early 80s. First at work and then at home. But just as wonderful tools. My suggestion on the refurbished machines is based on a business analysis rather than a technological analysis.

You’ll have fun with all the responses you get here. There indeed is lots of expertise. I often lose at nailing BOCs to those experts, but do manage to get quite a few from hard work, dumb blind luck and some tech knowledge. :grinning:


Ahhh, what is an android computer? Are you talking about tablets?

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Generic for brands other than Apple.

A more current term? Or would it have been better to list some of the other brands?

Guess I should have said PC?

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You mean Microsoft right?

Or are you talking about phones?

I was trying to distinguish between Apple computers and the other brands.

And using “computers” for both desktops and laptops. Although now the smart phones are really “computers” too. And then there is the iPad … arrgghh.

Mostly was just trying to help OP.


Understood, but just a heads up that is a wildly inaccurate description to label non-Apple-PCs as “android”.

Android is an OS that works on junk Chromebooks and their mobile devices. Just dropping “PCs” would be sufficiently, or “windows PC” if you are feeling a little more specific. There maybe a tip-of-the-fedora to the linux users, but that’s in niche circumstances.

Plus, operating systems and manufacturers are a separate thing.

Oh, so niche

You could do a flavor of the week with Linux.

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Ok, so maybe we could suggest some specific brand/model machines for OP that seem to be in line with her planned usage and budget. Right now I can see a refurbished MacBook Air at $809 and a refurbished iMac at $889. Both show 8gb Ram. I’m not even going to try to check the other specs modi123 suggested. Way more expertise here than mine.

I do agree she needs to figure out if portable is worth paying more for.

I’ll try to stick to PC vs Apple as I think those terms might be useful/comfortable to OP.


Ah, we have finally found a generation that forgot the MAC vs PC wars…
The first campaign that caught my attention, that very overtly made fun of people that did not use their product. It did not get me to switch, but made me hate Macs even more. Now, these types of commercials are everywhere. I know they have always been out there, but this one really irked me.

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I was totes trying to avoid rekindling the great OS flame wars, and went far enough to not rattle the linux beards too much. Hahahaha

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But what about “Dude you’re gettin’ a Dell”?


Yeah, but that was just kids excited to get a computer. I don’t remember them making fun of other users.
I DO remember the catch phrase turning into an insult a few years later, though…

“linux beards” LOL

True. I used to really like Dell, in spite of their annoying commercials. I haven’t bought a premade computer in forever, though, so I don’t know what’s good these days.

It’s all weird these days. I mean, even standard PC’s be it laptop or desktop are running an APP based OS. Then you throw into the mix the “chromebook” style laptops which are not much more than browsers with some hardware.
Then tablets, and the various hybrids between. I have a Laptop from work, and I used it for over a year before I realized it was a touch screen!