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Old 06-23-11, 10:16 AM   #1
ArrowMk84
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Default Recommend a computer for Mom

A couple of years ago I bought my mom an MSI Nettop (1.6GHz Atom, 1GB Ram, 160 GB HD), and she's starting to complain about how slow it's getting (all she uses it for is checking email and visiting a few websites - she's the kind of user that isn't even aware that you can multitask programs - alt-tab is a foreign concept as far as she's concerned), so I'm thinking about replacing it. I'd like to keep the total cost under $500, and I've been thinking about a microATX box with an i3 or something. Since I'm use to building powerhouse gaming rigs for myself and the occasional heavy duty development server for work, I'm not sure what I should be looking at in the low-end parts.

Also, I'm more than willing to consider a pre-build box, too.

So what do you guys recommend?
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Old 06-23-11, 10:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Recommend a computer for Mom

Does she use any Windows specific applications? I'm pushing mom's to Linux where I can if all she is doing is web browsing. It just cuts down on the "free" support for removing viruses from people like you and me.

You can build a fairly powerful system with $500. I did a nice AMD build over Christmas for my in-laws for a bit less than that with 4 GB of memory, a nice low-end graphics card, and a beefy processor. Shop around on NewEgg for a bit and put together something nice. Hell, you can nearly put together an i5 2500K system for $500.
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Old 06-23-11, 11:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Recommend a computer for Mom

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Does she use any Windows specific applications? I'm pushing mom's to Linux where I can if all she is doing is web browsing. It just cuts down on the "free" support for removing viruses from people like you and me.

You can build a fairly powerful system with $500. I did a nice AMD build over Christmas for my in-laws for a bit less than that with 4 GB of memory, a nice low-end graphics card, and a beefy processor. Shop around on NewEgg for a bit and put together something nice. Hell, you can nearly put together an i5 2500K system for $500.
Her email client is an old copy of Outlook, but since she's deletes all her email anyway, losing that wouldn't be a big deal. I'm just not big on Linux, mainly since my experience is limited to RHEL for work and it can be a pain to configure apps on it.

I haven't followed AMD for a few years, so I'm not up to speed on their latest CPUs. How's an i3 compare to an old Atom?
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Old 06-23-11, 11:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Recommend a computer for Mom

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Her email client is an old copy of Outlook, but since she's deletes all her email anyway, losing that wouldn't be a big deal. I'm just not big on Linux, mainly since my experience is limited to RHEL for work and it can be a pain to configure apps on it.

I haven't followed AMD for a few years, so I'm not up to speed on their latest CPUs. How's an i3 compare to an old Atom?
An i3 just demolishes an Atom. An Atom has a hard time outperforming 3-5 year old Celerons, so an i3 is going to be a great improvement especially for her usage.

The reason I push Linux for these cases is that most mom's love viruses. If she's not keeping you busy with virus removal and you've got a cheap Windows 7 license available, that's the way to go.

Just stumbled across this:
http://paulisageek.com/compare/cpu/
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Old 06-23-11, 11:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Recommend a computer for Mom

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A 21.5" iMac. Cheap, good looking, awesome screen, well integrated, fast, fun and easy to use for every day tasks.
Cheap to a guy who runs 50 graphics cards and twice as many monitors!


That iMac is going to be twice his budget.
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Old 06-23-11, 11:55 AM   #6
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Cheap to a guy who runs 50 graphics cards and twice as many monitors!


That iMac is going to be twice his budget.
Yeah... sometimes I think slawter doesn't realise just how well-off he is financially.
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Old 06-23-11, 12:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Recommend a computer for Mom

i would get any prebuild box. remove all the crap ware they come bloated with or reinstall windows.
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Old 06-23-11, 03:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Recommend a computer for Mom

Would maxing out the old systems ram and adding an ssd not help?

Whats slowing it down? Is it just websites got more demanding and put strain on the little Atom?

I will add a vote for a flash capable tablet though in this circumstance.
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Old 06-24-11, 01:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Recommend a computer for Mom

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArrowMk84 View Post
A couple of years ago I bought my mom an MSI Nettop (1.6GHz Atom, 1GB Ram, 160 GB HD), and she's starting to complain about how slow it's getting (all she uses it for is checking email and visiting a few websites - she's the kind of user that isn't even aware that you can multitask programs - alt-tab is a foreign concept as far as she's concerned), so I'm thinking about replacing it. I'd like to keep the total cost under $500, and I've been thinking about a microATX box with an i3 or something. Since I'm use to building powerhouse gaming rigs for myself and the occasional heavy duty development server for work, I'm not sure what I should be looking at in the low-end parts.

Also, I'm more than willing to consider a pre-build box, too.

So what do you guys recommend?

A friend of mine bought a SYX with a AMD dual core about 1 1/2 year ago just for surffin and e-mail and hasn't had so much as a hick-up so far, I was impressed considering it only cost $299

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...1&Sku=SYX-2068

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...709&CatId=5138
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Old 06-24-11, 09:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Recommend a computer for Mom

Thanks for recommendations guys. Of course now she tells me she doesn't want a new computer, she just wants hers to go faster...

Nope, sorry, I'm not overclocking a dinky little Atom...
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Old 06-24-11, 09:19 PM   #11
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Default Re: Recommend a computer for Mom

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Originally Posted by ArrowMk84 View Post
Thanks for recommendations guys. Of course now she tells me she doesn't want a new computer, she just wants hers to go faster...

Nope, sorry, I'm not overclocking a dinky little Atom...
Throw a light weight linux distro on it and another gig of ram if you can.
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Old 06-24-11, 11:34 PM   #12
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Get her an ipad.
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