|Search this Thread|
|30th Oct 2011, 06:55 AM||Help buying a computer with LIMITED control over what computer it is! #1|
Join Date: Jul 2010
As a summery of what I'm going through computer wise, I have a lovely all-in-one computer. But since my graphics card is outdated (and really should have died before installing pets 0_o) for Sims 3, I need a new one. I'm giving the old one to my mom, and she's paying for the new one. Though I'm possibly giving her $175, depending on this is a favour or a Christmas gift. She hasn't decided yet. The computers are from a company where they sell refurbished computers at really good prices, I have to say they are amazing. This computer I have now was under $300, and it's really nice even if it doesn't meet my simming needs anymore.
Anyway, I'm getting little control over picking the computer. My mom wants to pick it out with my sister, who's she deems the computer guru. *hmph* I think it's because she wants to do the Christmas gift thing. Anyway, this means I have to give her suggestions on what to look for in a computer. And I have to do it in such a way that SHE understands. While my sister is there, her computer expertise is more in how to work the computer itself, not the parts. I'm a bit stronger in that, even though I get some of the parts mixed up in my head sometimes. Yeah, I'm human and not good at remembering things that aren't obsessions of mine.
So, I need help composing a list that will hopefully last me for longer then this one. I have all the expansions (including the purely evil pets), and one stuff pack. The lest of system requirements is outdated, especially with Pets upping the ante on the graphics. And please realize that I want my mom to understand what she's buying, so while you can give a detailed explanation for me/my sister, please add a little "layman's terms" thing that I tell my mom so she doesn't get bogged down by all the words. She's not stupid, just not that computer literate. I understand, but it makes it a pain when I have to explain why my 2 year old computer sucks for the sims and why I need (yes, need, I'm addicted I tell you!) a new one.
Also, if you can, any personal things like brands/cards/anything to avoid would be awesome, I don't want to get a new computer only for it to die a few months later due to something I could have prevented.
EDIT: Here's the first board I made, telling about the problem of my old computer. It has my specs and everything, just in case you want to check it out for some reason. Plus I have "awesomely" mutant pets pictures :P
|30th Oct 2011, 02:08 PM||#2|
Join Date: Oct 2011
Okay... let's see...
Tell her you'd like a minimum of 3GB or 4GB or RAM, depending on what they can get. 4 would be better.
CPU, they want to be looking for one that is dual or quad core (depending on budget), prefferably faster than 2Ghz.
GFX card is harder to explain to someone who is computer illiterate as far as computer hardware is concerned... which is a problem as that's the second most important part! Ideally you're going to want a 5000-series radeon, or 400-series nVidia if saving money. Tell her that higher model numbers are better.... so a Radeon 5770 is better than a 5670. The MAJOR pitfall, is that someone looks at say... a Radeon 5450 and goes "Oh, that's got 1GB of RAM so it should be ok!". It's not... it's a crap card that would probably struggle to use HALF of that memory.
So yeah... the GFX card is more difficult, but you need to get that right or The Sims 3 will hate you. I'd personally tell her to be looking for something like a Radeon 5750 or a GTA 460/470 (I'm picking older cards since I assume refurb PC's will be likely to have these). I'm not sure how to explain that though. Honestly I think you -may- need to put your foot down with the GFX card part and say you want to know what's in the computer.
EDIT: Oh! And for your power supply, try to get something that's 80+ or bronze certified. That means they have good parts and it's not likely to fry your computer if something goes wrong.
|30th Oct 2011, 05:39 PM||#3|
Those suggestions are low. Assuming that the computer will run Windows Vista or Windows 7, 4GB is the absolute minimum for RAM, and 6 or even 8 would be better. Luckily, RAM prices aren't so high as they have been recently, though they're still not down to old levels.
If you get a dual core, you need 2.4Ghz or faster for good performance. You could get away with something lower for now - but you'd just end up having to replace it again in a few years' time. A quad core can afford to be a slightly lower speed - 2.0+ isn't a bad benchmark for quads. Also remember that the series is important: an i5 or i7 (both quad cores from Intel) will be fine, but an i3, no matter the speed, won't be up to the task.
With graphics cards, higher model numbers aren't better. For GeForce, it's the second number which is most important. A 480, for example, is miles better than a 620. Also, pay attention to the letters: GTX is good, GTS is bad.
For Radeon model numbers, I'll wait for someone who's got a better idea of how their numbering system works to explain. Again, though... it's not as simple as higher = better, though there's an element of that.
That's good advice about the power supply - 80+ isn't a general quality mark, but it tells you that the supply is energy efficient, which is good for your bills, good for your temps, and means that you will be getting what's on the tin when it comes to wattage. Your mum and sister also need to make sure that the PSU has a higher wattage than that which is required by the graphics card - at least 100W higher. Brand is also very important in PSUs, since if you get a shoddy PSU, you can end up killing the whole machine. There's a list of recommended brands in the sticky at the top of this forum.
I'd agree with KhaineGB about the desirability of convincing your mum to let you know what you're getting! I understand the desire for presents to be a surprise, and in general I agree. However, in some cases, the details are so important that getting slightly the wrong thing can wreck the whole shebang, and in those cases - just like if you were buying someone a car - it's probably better to forgo the excitement in favour of making sure you get something which fits your needs for it.
"On the page, punctuation performs its grammatical function, but in the mind of the reader it does more than that. It tells the reader how to hum the tune." - Lynn Truss, Eats, Shoots and Leaves