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Best computer for $200 - $500

Posted on 2009-04-23
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I need to buy a computer for under $500 that is good and fast  for general web browsing, microsoft word storing music and playing video.

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Question by:masel
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CyprexxDev earned 256 total points
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This is a sale right now on Tiger Direct.  

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=4630619&sku=B69-1059&SRCCODE=WEM1909SL&cm_mmc=Email-_-Main-_-WEM1909-_-barebone 

It does not include any CD/DVD drive(s) and will have to buy a video card.  Both you can get for under $50 a piece if you want low end.  This is probably the best computer on the market for this price, but it may require some installation which requires a bit of knowledge.  The sale also ends on 4/25.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 256 total points
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This is really nothing special.  Any new computer sold today will handle these tasks just fine.
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by:CyprexxDev
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leew is correct - I wouldn't buy anything over $500 for this unless you're looking at running high end games or something.  Do not let a salesman dupe you into a computer for more than $500 (without monitor that is - with a monitor you may have to pay over $500).  Regardless of what you get, buy from a wholesaler online or a small computer shop around you.
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by:masel
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will a netbook do the job

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by:masel
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I was looking at the dell minis they dont have core 2 duo and 1 gb is that going to slow down the internet

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by:Lee W, MVP
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The netbooks are the only thing I'm not sure about.  Strictly speaking, playing AVI and MPG files, they'll work just fine.  But I have seen performance issues with online flash based video on slower systems (like when watching a TV show from hulu.com or video clip on a news site or youtube).  OTHERWISE, for everything else, a netbook should be fine.  And it MAY be fine for video too - but I can't be certain.  Flash video is used all over the place, but I can only guess that the process is inefficient and CPU intensive given the utilization of system resources when I've tried it on slower systems.

Any DESKTOP computer or laptop larger than netbook class should work just fine though.
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by:PUNKY
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 256 total points
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If you're playing back compressed video such as those made with H.264 (blu-ray, for example), you will need a better quality video card and cpu, as it is very demanding on both.  A Radeon HD series and a Core2 Duo would be recommended.

http://xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/media-playback.html
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