25 posts in this topic

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 :)

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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The cheapest card that does HDMI is the ATI 2400 HD, which I think you can get for

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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 :).

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Knowing your budget and location can be very helpful.

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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.

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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 ..

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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

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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.

long dead? *looks around at 3 running p4's* maybe not :p

get your hands on a 9600gt one with purevideo technology and your hd videos will run fine

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The 9600 GSO is good enough and quite a bit cheaper than 9600 GT.

With the Adobe Flash acceleration on NVidia cards in the upcoming version 10.1, that card should take care of HD Flash video streaming on the P4.

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The Pentium 4 is a very capable processor still even though it is quite old now. It's easily capable of handling even games like Team Fortress 2 and Call of Duty 4 running on high (Even though I doubt your parents would be playing games).

You shouldn't have a problem with it.

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I assume you're handling HD video, or at least planning to (since why else would you want HDMI?)

If you are, then yeah, the P4 is not a good choice, my 3 year old C2D is faster than a 3.6Ghz P4, yet can struggle to decode HD video (depending on the codec), doing it on the GPU would help though, so if you really want to buy an old CPU then that's one possible solution.

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Don't get a Pentium 4. They suck the big wang.

If you're looking to go cheap, get a 50 dollar dual core Celeron. They're 45nm, have VT and one meg a L2 cache. Don't let the Celeron name fool you (in this case), it will walk all over that P4 by a great deal while having a lower clock speed and using less power.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16819116265

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Yeah, definitely consider the current range of Celeron and Pentiums. They are modern processors that perform very well, at a substantially lower price than a Core 2 Duo. That, 2GB of DDR2 memory, and a low-end ATI card (which are still good at hardware-accelerated video) should be pretty cheap.

There are cheap low-end AMDs as well, but the total price of motherboard and processor works out at pretty much the same for both.

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Some great advice again, thanks guys!

Mum has just decided she doesn't want second hand - so looking almost exclusively at Dells now as they 1) have Windows 7 2) look nice 3) are cheap :D

The Inspirons have Celeron 450 Processor which I assume is rubbish and costs

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Just a thought... going with a P4 and older parts may seem ideal if they're decent enough for what you'll be doing, but... should anything go wrong with those components, you're not exactly looking at an easy fix. With time, older parts become a bit more expensive as the computer industry moves forward with better and faster technologies, and these components become more and more scarce.

My best suggestion, in agreement to those who have already posted here, is to go with a lower-end modern PC. Something that's cheap and has components that are still very much in use today. That way, you save money and time for any problems that may present themselves in the hopefully-not-too-near future.

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Ahh, yeah that's a good point thank you - will tyr and get one of the new CPUs, and with that I guess newer motherboard, memory etc too!

Really like the look of the Dell Vostro Mini, but don't know if I could just put a 2400HD in there?

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i am runing a p4 now (my only comp am) ... and runs great , mind you i have not tried crisis yet

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