So let’s say someone I know (ahem) is ready to buy a Vista Home Premium system, to use for telecommuting (mostly browser-based), lots of Word and Excel, various other nonsense, and a fair amount of multiscreen work for various reasons. Probably no gaming. Some music, some photo-editing.
Let’s also say this person has a great 19″ LCD display and some great 7-year-old speakers and a wonderful wireless keyboard and mouse.
So now let’s say there are two systems on special at two different stores–both from the same maker (a brand this person likes), both with 400GB hard disks, both with DVD burners…
- System 1: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 4-core processor, 2GB RAM, no display, $650, from a chain this person gets along with very well.
- System 2: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ dual-core processor, 3GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 8300 GS graphics with 256MB display RAM, 19″ widescreen HD LCD display–which this person might use to make a two-display system. $780, from a chain this person can deal with but isn’t as fond of.
It’s already clear that the GeForce 8300 GS is low-end nVidia graphics–but System 1 is presumably Intel integrated graphics, of the Viiv persuasion.
So: Which would you buy? Why?
This person will probably make a decision in the next day or two. I’ll pass along any good advice. No, “get a Mac” is not useful advice.
Followup “in a day or two”: I passed along what I got here and the checking I did myself–which reveals that System 1 has room for more RAM (up to 8GB, and DDR2 PC2-5300 SDRAM goes for around $30/GB name brand at Fry’s) and a PCI-Express 16x graphics slot. I found it interesting that nobody thought a near-state-of-the-art quad-core Intel CPU was more valuable than a year-old dual-core AMD CPU.
The person was more-or-less convinced to buy System 1 and add 1GB or 2GB more RAM (experience with the person’s spouse’s notebook, with 2GB RAM and integrated graphics, suggested that graphics speed wasn’t going to be a problem–and, of course, the GPU cards keep getting cheaper)…but didn’t.
Why? Too much else going on. The person concluded that they didn’t have time for the two to four days of screwing around involved with moving files, restoring programs, etc., etc. between now and mid-January.
Anyway, thanks for your advice.