Buying a computer system/Deciding which computer to buy

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Question
Hi Bobbert,

I want to buy a new computer system. I currently have a Dell Inspiron 1525 Intel Core 2 duo t7250 with 2,00 GHz, Windows Vista, 3,00 GB RAM and 230 GB drive size.

I often use several programs and many browser tabs at the same time. It varies a lot how difficult I make it for my computer to do what I want, but when I make it very difficult, it often can't handle it so I have to reboot the computer. Some programs I use require good graphics, others require good processing power.

I've been using several criteria to find computers that I'm interested in, which of these do you think have the best price-performance ratio? (or which shouldn't I consider):

(most of the websites are Dutch, so if anything is unclear, just ask)
Desktops:
400:
http://azerty.nl/producten/product_detail/865/670671/lenovo-thinkcentre-e73-10au

444: http://www.electronis.de/index.php?page=article&ID=209792&aid=124&pk_campaign=Id

454: http://azerty.nl/producten/product_detail/1469/667447/hp-prodesk-400-g1-microtow

475: http://azerty.nl/producten/product_detail/1469/667418/lenovo-thinkcentre-edge-73

480: https://www.bluelink.nl/product/3296A26

494: https://www.bluelink.nl/product/10AJ0002MH

523: http://azerty.nl/producten/product_detail/1469/667613/hp-prodesk-400-g1-sff-1-x-

551: http://www.sicomputers.nl/lenovo-thinkcentre-e73.html

596: http://azerty.nl/producten/product_detail/1469/667615/hp-prodesk-400-g1-microtow

601: http://azerty.nl/producten/product_detail/1469/667612/hp-prodesk-400-g1-sff-1-x-

609: https://www.bluelink.nl/product/10A7000PMH

618: http://azerty.nl/producten/product_detail/1469/667498/hp-prodesk-490-g1-microtow

647: http://www.sicomputers.nl/lenovo-thinkcentre-m73z.html

656: http://www.petdirect.nl/dell/default_product/nl033o7schn/nl_be_optiplex_7010_sff

670: http://www.salland.eu/product/440105141/hp-workstation-z800-mt-2x-quad-core-x557 http://www.staples.nl/desktops/cbs/5797587.html?cm_mmc=PCW-_-tweakers-_-feedtwea

724: https://www.bluelink.nl/product/10A7000LMH

784: http://azerty.nl/producten/product_detail/1469/667499/hp-prodesk-490-g1-microtow


Laptops:
640: http://www.acesdirect.nl/product/7519425/?c_id=17&channel_code=40&product_code=8

654: http://azerty.nl/producten/product_detail/1476/565388/lenovo-thinkpad-edge-e530-

814: http://azerty.nl/producten/product_detail/1478/653764/hp-probook-470-g1-core-i5-

826: http://www.sicomputers.nl/hp-probook-470.html


I hope you can help me decide which computer to buy. I've been able to reduce the amount of options considerably, but the less options I have left the more difficult it gets to choose between them.

Thank you very much for reading my question and trying to answer it.

Kind regards,

Rick

Answer
Before we get into talking hardware, it would be helpful to know what kinds of applications you are specifically running - what do you use the computer for beyond web browsing? Are you a gamer? Are you editing movies? Are you a programmer? etc

It would also be helpful if you could narrow down if you want a laptop or a desktop - in general a desktop will provide you with better price-to-performance and more upgrade options, but if you need mobility a laptop is the way to go. Expect to spend more on a comparable laptop, however.

As far as what you are experiencing now: the CPU and memory your current system has is entirely suitable for tasks like web browsing or watching DVDs or HD streaming content. However that statement is only true "in a vacuum" - other applications in the background can use resources, and if there exists fault with your current system's software or hardware, that likely is what explains the constant locks and reboots (in general running an application that is demanding should not lead to the machine locking or restarting; my inclination is to both blame Windows Vista and your system's power supply or cooling system for those problems, but without further testing it is impossible to actually say that is the problem (there are other potential causes, but those are what appear most likely from my position)). My point here isn't to diminish the serious-ness of the problems you are having, but to delineate between processing requirements and stability requirements - both have to be addressed when looking at a new machine.

-bob

Buying a computer system

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Bobbert

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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.

Experience

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.

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15+ years of experience

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