Want advice re PC purchase .

Hi, not a PC guru by any means and don't keep up to play on where everythings at. I use my laptop for CAD, email, news reading and playing the odd game. I predominantly use Coreldraw and play older type games like Silent Hunter etc. I am looking to upgrade to a more permanant setup i.e a large screen desktop. My kids say to get something that is gaming capable . I want to get something that can do CAD without lag.

Question; what would be considered 'normal' (and able to undertake what I want it to do) now in terms of HD size, CPU speed, RAM, Core type and everything else I don't really understand, lol! I would spend probably up to around 3 . 3.5k max.

Oh yeah, one other question, is it still possible to have XP installed on a new PC!

Ta.

geek_trader_84, Feb 5, 2:00 pm

you can have any operating system you want installed
$3000-3500 will buy you a KICKASS computer.DON'T go to a retail store to get one though.get one built for you it's simple you go into a store such as pbtech for example and explain what you want to do with the computer and they'll build it to a suitable specification also you can specify quality components such as Asus motherboard or Gigabyte perhaps.intel i7 cpu, kickass graphics card and quality ram (corsair perhaps).AND it'll be cheaper and MUCH better than any retail comp you might buy

geek_drcspy, Feb 5, 2:07 pm

"Gaming capable" is the killer question. Modern games that you purchase for say $120 on DVD often require high-end video cards to play at acceptable frame-rates with lots of (mostly optional) detail.

geek_r.g.nixon, Feb 5, 2:09 pm

8GB Ram
1-2TB hdd (or an SSD [solid state drive - generally smallish as they're pretty expensive but very fast].) ANDa bigger drive for storage
CPU: I7
Graphics .whatever suits your budget and needs

and ah.to qualify my previous statement you MAY be able to get xp installed (why would you ! Its almost past its use-by-date and has limitations).however you may also have some issues with getting drivers to use with xp on newer hardware .you'd be better off wiht win7 and if you must you can install xp as a virtual machine so it runs on demand INSIDE win7

geek_drcspy, Feb 5, 2:11 pm

http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/systems/systemdetail.asp!systypeid=4 Something like that with a 24" 1080p screen keyboard and mouse would see you pretty well set up under budget. As for XP, last I saw most companies are still making drivers for it, question is why would you want to really.

geek_pyro_sniper2002, Feb 5, 2:15 pm

Ok, thanks for this. I am going to google some of the terms you have mentioned to get some background and bring me up to speed (in outline form anyway) Lol! CPU I7 . they are talking about 6 cores . the last time I looked at PC's all of the talk was dual core or something. When you say 1-2TB hdd drive - we are talking size here aye! Like my laptop is 60Gig. Cheers, I'll do some more research and if you don't mind - will come up with some more questions. Thanks.

geek_trader_84, Feb 5, 2:26 pm

yeh a 60GB hdd is 0.06TB.

1 TB = 1000GB

geek_drcspy, Feb 5, 2:29 pm

IF you want FAST get an SSD as your main operating system drive (say 240GB) then use a 1TB or larger for storage

geek_drcspy, Feb 5, 2:30 pm

re:XP -Just dont.
Get get a skin or use classic window theme to get it reasonably similar looking. You have to let go of XP oneday. For file explorers there are various alternatives. I find sometimes the "tree" of folders collapses in 7 etc.

geek_pkm66, Feb 5, 3:31 pm

1TB really equals about 915Gb ;)

geek_directorylist, Feb 5, 4:33 pm

3 to 3 and a half grand for a budget on a pc!! Wow you should be able to get a pretty damn awesome machine for that kind of money! Hell, I think the most I ever spent on a PC was $1500 cash and that got me a pretty decent system. Plus like dr says, dont go to the big department stores, they sell under powered crap at a premium price.

geek_magicmat, Feb 5, 5:31 pm


Have you ever looked into SSD as a cache like intel's "smart response technology"! It sounds brilliant but I've no experience with it. I have a gamer friend who has a mobo that supports it so she can be my guinea pig.

geek_-mung-, Feb 5, 5:51 pm

a budget of 2 grand will get you a kickass desktop

geek_fordcrzy, Feb 5, 8:01 pm

That said, I imagine a decent and large monitor will eat up some budget!

geek_-mung-, Feb 5, 8:08 pm

Hell yea! As long as you avoid the Harvey Norman and Bond and Bonds of the marketplace. (and Apple computers for that matter).

geek_magicmat, Feb 5, 8:41 pm

most people have a big screen plasma or LCD TV that they could use.

geek_fordcrzy, Feb 5, 8:49 pm

TVs are only 1080p at best, a 30" 2560x1600 monitor would be my choice.

geek_spyware, Feb 5, 9:22 pm

Very interesting reading . I wish I had known that a year ago.Personally I was happy with Bond and Bond but it is good to have some "inside" knowledge.

geek_rav413, Feb 5, 9:30 pm

I have almost always chosen the parts I wanted for my PC's based on information I got from magazines (PC Authority and Australian PC User etc) and the internet as to what gives the most bang for your buck.
I actually can and have built my own PC's but I have been lazy and paid the guys in the shop $40 - $50 to just throw it all together for me so I can take system home and only worry about installing an OS and drivers etc.
The guys on this MB have some great advice and if you choose right, you can get a PC where after a few years you can just upgrade certain parts to keep your machine relevant.
I got a great system years ago (long gone now) where I used the same case, sound card, 5.1 speakers, monitor and keyboard etc many times over but the core motherboard, CPU, GPU, Hard drive and parts that become obsolete but the rest of the parts carried over to each new 'engine' change.

Its fun choosing a decent PC, take your time and choose carefully based on informed decisions and you will get great value for money these days.

geek_magicmat, Feb 5, 9:43 pm

Nope. 'B' and 'b' mean different things.

GB and TB are ambiguous = 1TB can equal 10^12B or 2^40B depending on context

geek_vtecintegra, Feb 5, 9:46 pm