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I need a computer under $600

GibbsGibbs Registered User regular
I just got back to college and BAM, laptop died. It sparks when you plug the power cord into the back of the laptop. Could you help me pick one out? Best Buy would be my best bet since I can go pick it up today.

In a perfect world, I would like a weaker gaming computer but I don't really see that happening.

The only thing I understand about processors from the last 4 years is that people go gaga over the Intel i series.


Does this look good?

But if you see a decent tower-only desktop on bestbuy.com, that'd be awesome to.

Any recommendations or tips?

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I've got a bad case of lovin' you.
Gibbs on

Posts

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    My only advice to you is stay away from integrated intel graphics if you want to do gaming.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Mac Mini. 500 dollars + tax.

    You can't play *much* on it, but I have a previous generation Mac Mini and I can at least play stuff like Civ 4 and Team Fortress on low detail.

    In the new generation you might do a little better.

    Jasconius on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yeah mac minis are great little dinky computers that come with pretty good warranties.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • corky842corky842 Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    You could get it from Amazon since you get free Amazon Prime as a student (free 2-day shipping on most stuff, $4 1-day shipping), so that would give you more options.

    corky842 on
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Frankly I can't think of a computer that is better than Mac Mini for 500 dollars by any measure.

    Mini's are pretty clearly subsidized to get people interested in other Mac hardware.

    It's my primary home and office computer and I have few complaints considering the price.

    Jasconius on
  • floobiefloobie Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Mac Minis are pretty good indeed. They definitely aren't mega powerful, but for typical usage, they're more than enough.

    If you want a desktop and wouldn't mind doing some gaming on it, I'd suggest building one. If you don't think you can do it yourself, I'm sure you could find a savvier friend to help you choose parts and put it together. You really do get the most bang for your buck in a desktop by building it yourself.

    And, random advice: Avoid HP, unless you're buying out of their high-end Envy range or their enterprise lineup.

    floobie on
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Woot.com has a HP Pavilion Quad Core Desktop PC at $399.99 today.
    It's refurbished and only has a 90 day warranty, but with the rest of your budget you could toss in a fairly good graphics card.

    Someone who is more knowledgeable about such things then I am will probably be by in a few minutes to let me know that this is utter crap though, and I'm a terrible person for mentioning it.

    see317 on
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited February 2011
    If you have a monitor, keyboard and mouse lying around, get the Mac Mini.

    Hell, install Windows on it if you want / are opposed to OSX for some silly reason; it handles that just fine.

    And depending on what your definition of gaming is... the Mac Mini can play most Source games from valve without a hitch, is a fantastic WoW box, and in windows you get even better game performance.

    syndalis on
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  • shadydentistshadydentist Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    You can build a better system than the Mac Mini if you're willing to put in a little work.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-overclock-athlon-ii-x3,2811.html

    This build is quoted at $511 with no operating system. If you're a student, you should be able to snag a cheap copy of Windows.

    Edit: I built my first computer ever about 2 years ago, with tons of help from the computer build thread here. I spent $700 including the monitor, and it's still playing new games pretty well.

    shadydentist on
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  • GibbsGibbs Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm more than comfortable building my own rig, I just simply didn't have the time for parts to arrive or what have you.

    And I thank you all very much for your advice, but I actually went a different route.

    My local Best Buy actually had this tower clearanced down to $375.

    And they had this GT 240 on sale for $85.

    So far, its running amazingly smooth. It is a hundred fold better than my 2007 Gateway Craptop.

    Edit: It can play Batman: AA! I think I got what I wanted.

    Gibbs on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    I've got a bad case of lovin' you.
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Congrats duder!

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • TikhonTikhon Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Your tower link is dead. You've must've gotten the last one in all of Best Buyika.

    Tikhon on
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  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm not actually a big fan of self-building after my last build. The computer worked, but for the amount of effort and nail-biting involved I would have rather just spent the extra $50 for one from a manufacturer with a proper warrantee. My motherboard was kind of a lemon in some small ways I didn't realize (background noise in front panel headphones, dead LAN within a few months) and was completely out of warrantee when those things came to light (not to mention no way am I spending hours replacing a motherboard unless something is way wrong with it).

    I can't say Mac Minis seem that cost-effective for $700. That's what I paid for the box in question or thereabouts, and it's far more powerful.

    LoneIgadzra on
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm not actually a big fan of self-building after my last build. The computer worked, but for the amount of effort and nail-biting involved I would have rather just spent the extra $50 for one from a manufacturer with a proper warrantee. My motherboard was kind of a lemon in some small ways I didn't realize (background noise in front panel headphones, dead LAN within a few months) and was completely out of warrantee when those things happened for example.

    I can't say Mac Minis seem that cost-effective for $700. That's what I paid for the box in question or thereabouts, and it's far more powerful.

    I think we were discussing the 500 dollar option, not the 700 dollar one.

    The two areas the Mac mini shines on are the impressive hardware /price/size ratio, and the fact it runs OSX.

    There is nothing in PC-ville at that form factor, at that price, at that power. It's a really neat box, but it does look like he got what he wanted in the end, which is cool.

    syndalis on
    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    syndalis wrote: »
    I'm not actually a big fan of self-building after my last build. The computer worked, but for the amount of effort and nail-biting involved I would have rather just spent the extra $50 for one from a manufacturer with a proper warrantee. My motherboard was kind of a lemon in some small ways I didn't realize (background noise in front panel headphones, dead LAN within a few months) and was completely out of warrantee when those things happened for example.

    I can't say Mac Minis seem that cost-effective for $700. That's what I paid for the box in question or thereabouts, and it's far more powerful.

    I think we were discussing the 500 dollar option, not the 700 dollar one.

    The two areas the Mac mini shines on are the impressive hardware /price/size ratio, and the fact it runs OSX.

    There is nothing in PC-ville at that form factor, at that price, at that power. It's a really neat box, but it does look like he got what he wanted in the end, which is cool.

    Well basically the point I wanted to make is that self-building is not a great way to reduce costs. Also Mac Minis cost $700 now, not $500, and yet they still have laptop graphics, 2GB RAM, laptop hard drive, etc.

    LoneIgadzra on
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Well basically the point I wanted to make is that self-building is not a great way to reduce costs.

    Yeah, it is, especially if you want a higher-end system.

    Gaslight on
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited February 2011
    Gaslight wrote: »
    Well basically the point I wanted to make is that self-building is not a great way to reduce costs.

    Yeah, it is, especially if you want a higher-end system.

    At the expense of losing any kind of cohesive warranty and avoiding software costs somehow, sure.

    Most people who quite system builder prices tend to ignore the 100-200 dollars for a legitimate OS, and the pitfalls of each component being wRrNtied separately, and many for only 90 days compared to the yeR most manufacturers give for free.

    syndalis on
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    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I avoid it because I use my old license on a new PC, no reason to buy a new one if I get rid of the old one.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I love making my pcs. I love plugging in a new gpu or sound card.

    Stormwatcher on
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  • MuridenMuriden Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    You may be able to tide yourself over with the BestBuy PC and order something decent then return the BB machine. Check the return policy and see if you can swing it.

    I've heard very good things about the Alienware M11x laptop for a decent gaming laptop that starts around $600.
    http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-m11x/pd?refid=alienware-m11x&~ck=mn

    Edit: also since you're a student, most major universities have an agreement with microsoft that will get you a copy of the OS for free.
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/academic/default
    I have copies of XP, Vista, and 7 pro for free from my school. This could save you some cash if you wanted to go the build your box route.

    Muriden on
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  • GibbsGibbs Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Is there a program out there that will run a test on my computer and tell me how well it performs?

    Gibbs on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    I've got a bad case of lovin' you.
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Gibbs wrote: »
    Is there a program out there that will run a test on my computer and tell me how well it performs?

    How well it performs in what area? According to what standard? Are we talking about gaming performance, for example? Because if that's what you mean, yes, there are benchmarks.

    Gaslight on
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