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#1 blizeH

blizeH

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 03-August 05
  • Location: UK

Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:17

Hi guys,

After a PC for my parents, and decided that since they have very simple requirements (HDMI output is the only thing that matters really, and that the case isn't ugly!) that getting somethnig second hand may be the way to go.

With this in mind, is the Core Duo the absolute lowest CPU I'd want to go, or is the Pentium 4 okay? Bearing in mind if it doesn't come with an OS that Windows 7 will be going onto it.

Also, which graphics card would you recommend not for gaming, but for having a HDMI output that will just let you plug that one lead into the TV and watch iPlayer or similar on there?

Cheers :)


#2 Jason S.

Jason S.

    Neowinian Senior

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:24

youre going to want to buy at least a low-end Core 2 Duo. Pentium 4 is long dead and incredibly slow compared to Core 2. Pentium 4s cant even handle HD very well.

#3 +devHead

devHead

    Get Off The Bandwagon, Put Down The Handbook

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:26

If you're going for the best value (i.e. cheapest) for the money, I would recommend an AMD CPU, unless you already have the mainboard and have to use Intel chips. A good dual-core AMD processor that's around 2.5 - 2.7 Ghz you can easily get for under $100. What is your budget?

As far as a graphics card that doesn't need to be super screaming, the Nvidia GeForce 8400 w/ 256 or 512 MB of RAM would do very well.


#4 Soldiers33

Soldiers33

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:26

yh core 2 duo is the way to go and they are cheap these days.

#5 majortom1981

majortom1981

    The crazy one

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:29

Hi guys,

After a PC for my parents, and decided that since they have very simple requirements (HDMI output is the only thing that matters really, and that the case isn't ugly!) that getting somethnig second hand may be the way to go.

With this in mind, is the Core Duo the absolute lowest CPU I'd want to go, or is the Pentium 4 okay? Bearing in mind if it doesn't come with an OS that Windows 7 will be going onto it.

Also, which graphics card would you recommend not for gaming, but for having a HDMI output that will just let you plug that one lead into the TV and watch iPlayer or similar on there?

Cheers :)


I say make core 2 duo the cheapest. You can get pc's for very cheap with a core 2 duo processor in them. Or even an amd processor. IF they want to use the hdmi port i think these processors would be a minimum.

#6 Subject Delta

Subject Delta

    Father...it's me, Eleanor

  • Joined: 25-March 09
  • Location: Kent, England

Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:31

The cheapest card that does HDMI is the ATI 2400 HD, which I think you can get for £15-20. I would recommend getting an ATI card, because they can also output high definition sound over their HDMI ports, which the nVidia equivalents cannot. Most cards don't actually have a HDMI port built in, they have an adapter that you plug into the DVI port, I think this adapter is standard issue with most ATI cards, if not you should be able to pick one up pretty cheaply.

I would also echo everyone else's concerns, your P4 may be inadequate to decode HD video, i'd recommend at least a low end Pentium dual which you can get pretty cheaply these days.

#7 OP blizeH

blizeH

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  • Joined: 03-August 05
  • Location: UK

Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:42

Some awesome replies guys, thank you very much!

Think I'll give the P4 a miss then, and go for a low end Core 2 Duo system - although their current PC with a megre 1Ghz Athlon CPU manages to run HD Quicktime videos in 720p without too much trouble (god knows how, it can't even run flash properly!)

ATI 2400 HD sounds perfect too, will maybe look out for a decent second hand system for £150 if possible (although it might be a regular Core Duo?) and whack one of those cards in there, thank you:))

#8 koppit

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  • Location: Canada

Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:54

I gave my parents a used P4 and they couldn't be happier - remember you're talking to a bunch of geeks here (usually), who think that anything old is slow. Trust me, when it comes to "parental use", I doubt a core2duo will be utilized to its fullest.

#9 Subject Delta

Subject Delta

    Father...it's me, Eleanor

  • Joined: 25-March 09
  • Location: Kent, England

Posted 27 October 2009 - 13:01

I gave my parents a used P4 and they couldn't be happier - remember you're talking to a bunch of geeks here (usually), who think that anything old is slow. Trust me, when it comes to "parental use", I doubt a core2duo will be utilized to its fullest.


The problem is that the P4 is slow compared to modern CPUs and it lacks some of the instruction sets needed to properly decode some forms of HD video. If it is a Prescott P4 it may have SSE3 and some of the newer instruction sets, but if it is one of the older P4's it needs to be upgraded to a faster CPU. With dual core CPUs based on Core 2 available for about £30 it's worth the extra expenditure to absolutely ensure smooth playback for anything that has to be decoded with the CPU. Not saying the P4 is a bad CPU by any means, I just think something more modern would suit the OP's usage a little bit more

#10 OP blizeH

blizeH

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 09:16

Again some great replies thanks guys, I think Core 2 Duo would be amazing and future proof, but I won't completely rule out the Pentium 4 if a great PC comes along at the right price!

I guess windows 7 (32bit) will be fine with a P4 anyway?

Thanks again for the advice and suggestions, really appreciate it.

#11 Chris

Chris

    Chris

  • Joined: 19-November 04
  • Location: UK

Posted 28 October 2009 - 09:30

I guess windows 7 (32bit) will be fine with a P4 anyway?


Yeah, as long as you have at least 1GB RAM it should be fine :).

#12 Argote

Argote

    Formerly known as ArtOf_War

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 09:30

Knowing your budget and location can be very helpful.

#13 rajputwarrior

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    olé olé olé olé

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 09:39

if they are trying to watch HD, just get a half decent video card that does HD decoding (pretty much any video card nowadays) and a p4 and they will be fine.

My dad rocks my old amd 64 2800 and it zooms with 2 gigs of ram using windows 7. Though having my old x1950 pro in there probably helps.

#14 Pikey

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 09:50

Nohing wrong with a Pentium 4! .. Win 7 works a treat on an old Packard Bell box I was given!

One of these ... IMedia H1519 ... I just replaced the knackered Hard-drive and a put in a better video card.

I don't know how it would go with an HDMI port though ..

#15 OP blizeH

blizeH

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  • Joined: 03-August 05
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Posted 28 October 2009 - 10:04

Ah excellent, thanks guys!

The PC in question has specs like this...

Pentium 4 3.00ghz CPU HT enabled
2GB DDR1 ram
200GB Seagate Barracuda 7200
X1550 512mb PCI express graphics


Was thinking of slotting a ATI 2400 HD in there and way I go, right? Would cost me around £150ish I think, and includes an operating system so I could sell my copy of Windows 7 (parents aren't keen on using it anyway)

I just want the best value PC I can get. They really won't use it much at all, mostly for browsing, spreadsheets and occasional streaming of stuff onto the TVs, that's about it really.

Just to give a bit of perspective, their current PC (1Ghz, 756mb RAM or something) is 100% fine for everything except it's AGP so hard to find a HDMI card, and for some reason it struggles with flash (though HD MOV is fine!)