Author Topic: Buying a new PC - advice please.  (Read 7396 times)

Offline jillruss

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 4,562
  • Gt Gt Grandfather Shepherd from Aberdeen 1827-1910
    • View Profile
Buying a new PC - advice please.
« on: Friday 02 January 09 15:24 GMT (UK) »
I'm looking to buy a new PC in the next month or so.

I've been doing my best to try to understand all the techno-speak and found a handy blog which explains a lot of what was previously pretty meaningless to me!  :-[

However, there are 2 things I'm still not sure about - apologies if they're elementary to most of you!

First, the processor. The sites I've been on recommend an Intel Premium Dual Core/Core 2 Duo Processor. I keep coming across Athlon 64x2 processors - is there a big difference or do they essentially do the same job? Or should I be sticking to the Intel?

Second, sound. This might make you smile but I don't know the answer so have to ask - a blog that I read, says

"Even basic PCs come with built in sound, so you can at least plug in some speakers or headphones. A good home PC deal will include at least a pair of speakers."

but I have seen online Desktop package offers which don't include speakers, and Tesco even have one which under the "Sound" heading, says "none".  ???

Do the modern LCD monitors have inbuilt speakers? Or does the package assume I will buy speakers separately? I have a pair of speakers plugged into my current ancient PC - would they be okay to recycle and use with a new PC?

This whole thing is a bit of a minefield if you're not au fait with all the terminology, but I'm determined to give it a whirl!!  ;D

Jill
MAJOR BRICKWALLS -
1. WILLIAM HORWOOD bn c.1779 in or near Berks. N.B. NOT s/o William & Joanna in Waltham St Lawrence.
2. BATHSHEBA BOOTHROYD bn c. 1802 W. Yorks.
3. JOSEPH SYMONDS md Sarah ? c. 1738/40 died Hambleden, Bucks 1785.
4. GEORGE BISHOP bn 1816 East Yks supposedly emigrated to US c.1853. What happened to him?

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline mshrmh

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,014
    • View Profile
Re: Buying a new PC - advice please.
« Reply #1 on: Friday 02 January 09 15:34 GMT (UK) »
Jill - I can't answer the techie bits, but we've just got a new PC - new "box" which came with keyboard & mouse - we've re-used the screen & speakers from the old PC with no problems. I suppose there may be reasons to have new speakers, but I doubt there's much difference in quality of the ones supplied with most PC packages; though like those for hifi systems I daresay there are superior ones around for those with different requirements/better hearing than me.
A minor point - PCs seem to be like TVs - a different colour casing comes in every few years. Current fashions seem to be either silver-grey or black so older speakers may not colour-co-ordinate.

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline jc26red

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 4,740
  • Census information Crown Copyright.
    • View Profile
Re: Buying a new PC - advice please.
« Reply #2 on: Friday 02 January 09 19:09 GMT (UK) »
Hi Jill...

When you read the blurb for a new PC and it says speakers = none it means it doesn't come with external speakers you plug in. All pcs come with a basic sound system which is inbuilt to the main (mother) board inside the pc. If you look at the back of the pc there will be a green jack where you can plug in speakers (if your not a music/film/game junkie your old ones will work fine). There will also be a jack to plug in your headphones.
Anyone wanting anything better than the basic can add super-dooper sound cards and flashy speakers to listen to whatever they are into  ::)

If your monitor has speakers, it will need a cable to connect into the green sound jack on the pc for it toproduce sound. Connecting just the monitor cable is for optical output only not sound.

Personally I don't know much about difference between the processor types you mention but Dual cor or Core will be sufficient depending on what you are using the pc for.  Just remember to go for the highest RAM 1/2/4GB within your price range.

Jenny
You may want to post this on the technical board for the real techies to add their 2p's worth 
Please acknowledge when a restorer works on your photos, it can take hours for them to work their magic

Please scan at 300dpi minimum to help save the restorers eyesight.

Offline Dancing Master

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 552
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Buying a new PC - advice please.
« Reply #3 on: Friday 02 January 09 19:51 GMT (UK) »
You may find that cables are down as extras,  speakers most definitely are extras  You need also to know if the new computer is Vista  will your present peripherals  ie. printer,games, programmes that use disks (for genealogy) etc work with that system.

Ours didn't and the patches they advised didn't so we ended up with a new printer as well.  With a new computer set-up they now don't do internal modems for people who want them because they presume that everyone is on broadband. If you need a modem you have to buy an external one.

All needing extra pennies.


Offline jake01

  • RootsChat Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 247
  • Can we help you ?
    • View Profile
Re: Buying a new PC - advice please.
« Reply #4 on: Friday 02 January 09 21:27 GMT (UK) »
Yes a minefield out there but at this time you should be able to pick up a bargain.  Just purchased new one myself. Processor Intel Core 2 Quad: 4GB ram: w/less keyboard and mouse: op system Vista. My existing
flat screen monitor with onboard speakers just plugged in. I had to purchase new printer as mine not compatable with Vista and new driver not available to download...Just a point :some of your older progs may not be compable with Vista...Good luck
Orrell,Higginson,Young,Leigh,Green,Peet,Lloyd,Mills... Lancashire.
Mills...Nottinghamshire.  
Nelles, Mills,Walker,Johnson...Canada.
Pepin. USA.
Peet. Lloyd. Canada.
Peet. Australia

Offline Falkyrn

  • RootsChat Honorary
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,059
  • Cuimhnichibh air na daoine bho'n d'thainig sibh
    • View Profile
Re: Buying a new PC - advice please.
« Reply #5 on: Friday 02 January 09 21:46 GMT (UK) »
Re Processors the Intel Dual Core and the AMD 64x2 are basically doing the same job - both are dual core processors.

AMD chips are sometimes priced lower than the equivalent Intel chip  which should affect the overall price.

However in the past AMD chips had a reputation for running faster and hotter than the Intel ones and this often resulted in noisier systems as the fans worked to provide additional cooling. I am not sure of the situation with the dual core versions.

Although the technical press often give Intel the edge in various tests in the real world you and I are unlikely to spot the difference.

The only other point I would make is to get as much RAM (memory) as possible Vista is memory hungry but with sufficient memory runs exceedingly well ( the standard 32 bit version of Vista can see a maximum of 3.5 Gb of RAM)
Cuimhnichibh air na daoine bho'n d'thainig sibh

Offline jillruss

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 4,562
  • Gt Gt Grandfather Shepherd from Aberdeen 1827-1910
    • View Profile
Re: Buying a new PC - advice please.
« Reply #6 on: Friday 02 January 09 21:54 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for those helpful comments.

It's comforting news - at least it seems that I'll be able to re-use my existing speakers. I need a new printer anyway, and I'd really like one of those nice LCD monitors.

Also good to know that this Athlon processor is as good as the the Intel Dual.

I've seen a package on PC World website which seems to fit the bill nicely, with Windows Vista Home Premium - and it comes with a 19" TFT Monitor (what does TFT stand for?)printer/scanner as well.

I don't play games on my PC (apart from the occasional Minesweeper!) so don't need anything fancy - it's really just for emails, internet and my family history, so am hoping that 2 GB Ram would be sufficient. What do you think?

Jill
MAJOR BRICKWALLS -
1. WILLIAM HORWOOD bn c.1779 in or near Berks. N.B. NOT s/o William & Joanna in Waltham St Lawrence.
2. BATHSHEBA BOOTHROYD bn c. 1802 W. Yorks.
3. JOSEPH SYMONDS md Sarah ? c. 1738/40 died Hambleden, Bucks 1785.
4. GEORGE BISHOP bn 1816 East Yks supposedly emigrated to US c.1853. What happened to him?

Offline Falkyrn

  • RootsChat Honorary
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,059
  • Cuimhnichibh air na daoine bho'n d'thainig sibh
    • View Profile
Re: Buying a new PC - advice please.
« Reply #7 on: Friday 02 January 09 21:59 GMT (UK) »
TFT = Thin Film Transistor

2Gb of Ram should be more than sufficient for your needs.

Cuimhnichibh air na daoine bho'n d'thainig sibh

Offline jillruss

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 4,562
  • Gt Gt Grandfather Shepherd from Aberdeen 1827-1910
    • View Profile
Re: Buying a new PC - advice please.
« Reply #8 on: Friday 02 January 09 22:04 GMT (UK) »
Thanks, Falkyrn. Is TFT pretty much the same as LCD then?

Also, just spotted a package on the Tesco site - says hard drive type is SATA - what might that be then?   :-\ (It's an HP again).

Jill

MAJOR BRICKWALLS -
1. WILLIAM HORWOOD bn c.1779 in or near Berks. N.B. NOT s/o William & Joanna in Waltham St Lawrence.
2. BATHSHEBA BOOTHROYD bn c. 1802 W. Yorks.
3. JOSEPH SYMONDS md Sarah ? c. 1738/40 died Hambleden, Bucks 1785.
4. GEORGE BISHOP bn 1816 East Yks supposedly emigrated to US c.1853. What happened to him?