Trying to decided which Tower to buy (PC desktop)

We're wanting to upgrade our son's sluggish PC.

We are thinking about just buying him a new tower.

We have a lot of confusion about which processors are better than others, and if i3 and i5 are the same things as "Core Duo" or "Dual Core"

How do we know which is better?

comp
LVL 5
Tom KnowltonWeb developerAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

epichero22Commented:
If you'd like to compare CPU speeds, you can look up these CPUs on http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php.  You can click at the top of each column to sort the list and look up the CPU model number from there.  I recommend you sort the list by CPU Value from greatest to least.  That way, you can see which CPU can provide the best performance for your budget.  Also, I wouldn't go with a CPU that's less than 3,000 on the Passmark CPU mark column since anything below that is becoming obsolete.  Your current CPU is rated at 1,487 to give you an idea.

i3 and i5 are not the same thing at Dual Core or Core 2 Duo; i3 and i5 are the newer model classifications that Intel is branding with.  If you just need basic desktop performance, the i3 will suit you needs.  If you'd like to get more performance and better future proofing, go with the i5.

8 GB of RAM is a good starting point, but I would definitely go with the 500 GB hard drive since 250 is low by today's standards (I would recommend a 1 terabyte if that's within your budget as well).

Also understand that when buying a manufactured PC, you really get what you pay for.  A $250 computer will run like a $250 computer, whereas a $500 machine will be that much better.  I see the towers you listed are at the $250 range and they might be seriously lacking in one component to bring the price that low.  I would look into a computer that's on sale to see if there are better specs available.  Here's an example of such a computer with good upgrade options for down the line:

HP 500-281

Let us know if you have any questions!
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I use i5 processors with 4 cores on one CPU and they are amply fast. These are 64 bit processors and have 8Gb of memory and 7200 rpm hard drives. The laptop runs Windows 8.1 Pro and the Desktops runs Windows 7 Pro .

Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7 and never get Home, only Pro.
0
Natty GregIn Theory (IT)Commented:
Rule of thump never buy a computer without first knowing what you want to do with it, example programs you will run on it, attached devices, heavy use or light use. then decides the component of it. for example I am currently using an 6 yr old laptop running windows 8.1, with a core 2 duo T5800 processor, Ms suite install, adobe light room and Photoshop, and I'm about to install Sony Vegas pro and this running DDR3 4 gigs of memory.

running smooth, now I have no need to upgrade cause my needs haven't changed, however, if I was to get a desktop going I would use and i5 or i7 6 or 8 core  processor, make sure the power supply is no less than 500w and SSD harddisk for OS and 1terabyte for file storage.
0
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
We're wanting to upgrade our son's sluggish PC.

How old is your son, if we may ask - that is, how mature?  An investment in a new computer might better be invested in a good sturdy laptop.
0
Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
He's 14 and he'll be playing Minecraft, browsing the internet, running Dragon Naturally speaking, perhaps Word or Excel.

We're just information gathering at this point.
0
Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
He has Autism and is not very conscientious / responsible, so a laptop is out of the question.

I would definitely be a desktop.
0
nobusCommented:
i would recommend an i-5 nowadays. it is sufficient for all needed tasks; unless he wants to get in heavy gaming

here an example of a pc i made last week :
case + 600W voeding
Asus P8H77-M moederbord with Intel i5-2400  cpu
8GB Kingston RAM  2 TB HD WD
DVD-RW
0
epichero22Commented:
I still recommend the HP 500-281.  It's a good entry-level computer with decent specs and upgradeability options.

Again, you want to try and avoid computers which are priced under $300.  They typically come with one or two components which are obsolete by today's standards, hence the low price.  If you look towards spending between $400 and $500 you can get a computer that will satisfy your needs now and down the line.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
thx
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
PC

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.