OK, fellow Wooters…time for me to buy a new computer…and I need some input as I am not up to date on computers…I’ll be doing moderate websurfing, home office word processing, and email. Plus I want for the first time to play some online games (Star Trek–though I hear it isn’t very good-- & some of the social games like Second Life, etc.). And perhaps be able to sample some of the other online games which I understand are more popular. It is the gaming aspect that is complicating my research as it just isn’t something I know about…
I do not anticipate doing any work with video which I understand is particularly demanding.
What kind of processor do I need? I was looking at an i5 or i7 but of course if I can use something less expensive which will do the job I’d certainly prefer that.
How much RAM? The systems I have been looking at have 8 or 9 but can I get by with 6 ?
What video card specifications? This is the particularly confusing part it seems that integrated graphics are not Indicated. And I have been looking at an ATI 4650 but is that more than I need or less? Also, are the ATI or nVidia cards to be preferred? How does one differentiate among the various levels of cards?
Is integrated sound ok? Or do I need some kind of SoundBlaster card or similar? If so, what is recommended? I will be listening to music on the computer but I’m hardly an audiophile.
As to brands, I’ve always had Dells and they have been generally dependable. I was looking at HPs but have come across a lot of criticism of HP’s quality.
If I expand my search beyond those two brands, what is recommended? My brother has a largish (25) monitor he’s going to give me so no need to buy that. But I’d like to wind up under $1000, and if I am overbudgeting and don’t need as “much computer” as I’ve been thinking about, of course I’d prefer to come in much lower.
I’d prefer new to refurbed. And in some inexpensive way, I need he security of decent tech help by phone and in-home service if repairs are needed.
Your answers and suggestions regarding specifications, brands, and best sources for buying other than the obvious (Best Buy, MicroCenter, CompUSA, Dell & HP company stores, etc.) are greatly appreciated!