Buying a computer system/New PC


I am now using a Compaq pc with XP I bought in 2004.  I understand that in April of 2014, they are stopping updates to XP's  Can you recommend the least expensive PC, I prefer windows 7 not 8.  I would like to have as much ram as possible and a compatable hard drive.  I would not want to spend over $500-$600 if such a system can be bought in that range.  I have a good 19" monitor.

I will appreciate any suggestions you may give.  Thanks, Stephen

Can you clarify what you mean by "compatible hard drive?" Do you mean with respect to how the drive connects to the system, or something else? If you could also clarify "as much RAM as possible" - what is driving this request/requirement? (Do you have a specific number in mind?).

As far as suggesting a machine, Dell and HP generally offer desktop machines (without monitor) for around your desired budget, and they should be a performance improvement over your existing system, however if you have more specific requirements for the machine, I could make a somewhat more directed suggestion.

Finally, depending on the specifications of your existing computer, you could potentially just upgrade it to Windows 7 for less than the price of a new machine. If you can provide more information about the hardware in that machine, I can provide a definitive answer on that avenue as well (if this is something you're even interested in; 9 years is a long life for a desktop computer, and purchasing a new machine is not a bad idea at this juncture, but depending on what you already have, it may be more cost effective to just upgrade Windows).


Buying a computer system

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.


I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

15+ years of experience

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