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Windows 7: Buying new PC and need advise on what is most important.

27 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Buying new PC and need advise on what is most important.

I am looking for a new desktop PC. Is processor speed most important or is RAM? I surf the internet all day long and usually have many windows open at the same time so I GUESS that having more RAM is more important than a faster processor??? Also I occasionally use Excel or Word. I have about $400. to spend and don't know if I should buy a PC with 6MB of RAM and a "lesser" processor, or maybe a faster processor with only 4MB of RAM. Best website to shop???

Also, is it "easy" for a novice to install extra RAM in a desktop? I currently have a six year old PC using XP. I appreciate any advise.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Most systems come with 4GB of RAM standard - and that is ample. For a processor you should look for e.g. an i3 (i5 is even better but more expensive). Just make sure you do not get one of those old CPUs a la Pentium etc..

For your types of applications, no need to go overboard with the specs. What is nice to have though is an SSD for the OS. That you would have to install yourself afterwards - Figure $100. An SSD makes the system a lot faster and it is just so much more pleasant to work with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Thanks whs for your reply. Don't know what a SSD is or what it does. Could a novice install it in a desktop PC?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Nov 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


An SSD is a Solid State Drive. No moving parts, data is transmitted electrically. Much faster than old fashioned hard drives that spin and have a movable "arm" that seeks out the data on the drive. With a minimum amount of care I believe anyone can swap out drives. Same with RAM. Anyone should be able to do it with care.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2011   #5

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Shadowfax1776 View Post
Thanks whs for your reply. Don't know what a SSD is or what it does.


Solid-state drive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

The SSD would be installed in addition to the HDD(s) that the system came with. It is very small, produces no heat and no movement. Even if you have no addl. disk bay, you can put it anywhere into the box and attach it with Velcro (I have done that in my Dell box). All you need is power - and the PSUs usually have an extra strand plus you need a Sata cable for less than $5 like e.g. this one: - OKGEAR 18" SATA 6 Gbps Cable, Straight to Straight W/ Metal Latch, UV Blue, Backward Compatible 3 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2011   #7

Windows 7 Professional (64bit)

My 2 cents worth:
First I agree with the ram recommendation, one thing that I look for is a discrete video card. Some lower end machines have integrated video which means that it shares memory with the computer. A discrete video will typically have its own GPU and memory which can allow it to work independently.

Granted this suggestion like memory will cost extra, it all really depends on how you plan to use your computer. If it is for grandma, and all she wants to do is email, then it's probably not required.

I'm a little selfish when it comes to equipping computers, I typically over engineer it, e.g. bigger processor, extra ram, big video card and fast hard drive. I've had a SSD for a year now, and I'm spoiled. I love the speed and responsiveness.

Good Luck in your final decision.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Buying new PC and need advise on what is most important.

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