24 Oct 2011

My Computer Hardware Thoughts

Submitted by Stephen Winters
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   Here is the basic list of what I think we are looking for in a computer. Could you give me a price quote about how much it would cost to build us a computer. Feel free to ask any questions about anything I may have left out, or that you don’t understand..
I don't know if I listed everything. If I forgot anything we want in the computer, we can make adjustments as needed. Please include whatever else is needed to make the computer function properly.

In your estimate can you please give me the specific brand and model number of each major component so that I can research the specs online.

Here are my thoughts about each of the major components of the computer we are thinking about.

The Tower: Don't care about anything fancy, more concerned about it being functional

  • Would like it to have memory card reader on the front, preferably nearer the top.
  • Enough bays for future addition of other possible drives, blu-ray drives, etc.
    • possibly a floppy drive
  • USB ports
  • USB 2.x - 2 or more on front, 4 or more on the rear
  • USB 3.x - at least 1 or two, possibly room for more in the future
  • Openings on the front for additional Drives (DVD, Blue ray, etc.)
  • speaker/microphone jacks on the front and the back.

Power Supply
Adequate to power all the components in this computer, with enough power to add a few more items.
At least 4 RAM memory slots, housing an initial 8 Gig RAM in two of the slots, leaving the others empty for future memory addition

Cooling Fan/s
We've had problems with our current computer getting hot. Want sufficient fan/s to keep computer relatively cool.
I don't need a gaming computer, but would like a powerful enough CPU to do some reasonable video editing.
I like the idea of a quad (or more) core. Would having a quad or more core cause any problems with any programs operating correctly.

We often have half a dozen or more programs or windows open. Want enough RAM and CPU power to run it all
Also want to be able to do video editing without it slowing the computer down.
Dual Monitor support

Video Card (would consider Integrated graphics/video only if it really did a good job for video editing.
DVD Writer

Keyboard and mouse

Windows 7  64 bit (would prefer the Pro version, but would consider the Home version if necessary) One reason why we'd prefer the Pro version is that there is a Windows XP emulator that is available for Windows 7 Pro or higher. It seems like a higher probability that more of older software should run on Windows 7 Pro.
While I would like to be able for the computer to run my older Windows XP 32 bit software, we'd prefer to have the 64 bit version because we are looking towards the future. I would guess that software will be going 64 bit in the future.

Hard Drive: Minimum 1 TB, but would prefer 1.5 TB or larger
We are considering the possibility of having a small hard drive (such as 100 GB) to install the software on, and then having the larger hard drive for the data files. What do you think. Is the feasible?

What could you do for about $700 - $800 (possibly $900 if necessary). What is realistic? Perhaps you could give us 2 or 3 options that would tell us what we'd  get for what price?

VHS & other video tapes. Is there some type of available card, or other, that would allow me to import video from tapes and convert it to digital video?

My Research:
These are only a few of the articles I've been looking at
The best PC's you can build for $600 and $1200  
32-bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions
Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

We Use the Computer for:
This is primarily a business computer. We use it for
Desktop Publishing
Photo editing
Building and Maintaining our websites
Internet Research, Facebook, and surfing
Video Editing

At the moment the video editing is a secondary use, but hope to have it be more in the future.

The most important programs we use are:

  • Quickbooks
  • Quicken
  • web browsers (Firefox or Chrome, each with additional extensions)
  • Microsoft Office 2007 Word, Excel
  • LibreOffice (Open Office), Writer, Calc, Draw
  • video editing: Cyblerlink PowerDirector 9

Additional programs we use include
Gimp (Photo Manipulation)
Google Picasa
Microsoft Publisher 2007
and a number of other programs I can't remember at the moment.

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