Agree with much Old Dog, but not on the "cheap 32 bit PC".
The world is quickly moving to 64 bit. All Linux variants have a 64 bit version. Apple has found a way to move OS X to 64 bit but still support 32 bit drivers. (hint: their kernel is still 32 bit so it's not a true 64 bit platform).
So the world is finally poised for that move, and it is moving, from 32bit to 64 bit. <br><br>
So I would strongly recommend Jerome get a 64 bit machine for certain. I think even "cheap" machines have a core 2 duo or the like that are 64 bit processors, but he may still find some Core duo processors that are NOT 64 bit, so Jerome should make sure. I would go with a Quad core at this stage in time. But at the minimum a fast core 2 duo. At least 2.5GHz. <br><br>
I also must say i don't agree with just getting a cheap PC. His old one is several years old, he is going to make an investment for hopefully the next several years. He shouldn't just grab the cheapest thing Walmart has IMHO. <br><br>
There are some very nice HP and Dell models out there (I only buy laptops so i tend to speak in terms of laptop specs. I got an HP core 2 duo, 2.5GHz, miminmu RAM, then i went out and filled it with 4GB of very high end fast RAM for 60.00 bucks. RAM is cheap. And it has a GeForce GPU with 512MB of RAM (minimum for Vista IMHO) and dual 7200 rpm drives. I have found after using other Vista machines the 7200 rpm drives, with the 64 bit and fast processor, gives more speed than the 5400rpm drives still found in many PCs. Sometimes a SATA drive at either speed is bottlenecked at another point downriver on the bus, but my machine is showing performance gain over several HPs that were purchased at my sites that were 5400rpm drives, the rest of the setup the same for the most part. <br><br>
So my machine with Vista Ulmate x64 is a great pair and runs very quick. No hesitation when firing off Office apps, and i have an MSDN subscription so i have VS2005, VS2008, every Office 2007 app available, SQL Server 2005 Dev. Edition and ton of other software. I can start firing this apps off (they are all on my quick launch) one after the other and they all start very fast.
DO NOT confuse smoothness for "slugishness". Mine open almost instantly but some other machines are as fast as XP or other OSes, it's just that the Aero interface and WDDM is so smooth it's sort of like a tall muscular outfielder, he appears to not be running fast, but he covers more ground than the shorter guys and it's all in that his movements are smoother and deceptive but he's faster. <br><br>
Anyway, IMHO, Jerome should get the best machine he can afford, 64 bit processor(s)....again quad core would be worth looking into now...and don't pay the OEM prices for RAM. Take whatever comes with the machine, then buy at least 4GB for that x64 Vista OS from a 3rd party and you'll find great 800MHz RAM, 4GB worth, is inexpensive. Far cheaper than buying it through the OEM. Some of them will charge like 150.00 or even 200.00 if you elect to go from the default 2GB to 4GB. They are making way too much money on that deal. Even if the 2GB comes as 4 512 modules, just take it and buy what you need seperately and throw away what came with it and you'll still be way ahead. (by throw away I didn't mean that literally. Find someone that could use it. <br><br>
This machine is going to be with you for 8 years, so make sure you love it and DO NOT be AFRAID to go X64. At this time, buying 32 bit OS is just buying the past. If you love Vista for example and are no hurry to get win7, or it has problems for a few years, you want to have a 64bit OS. They are much more stable and faster than their 32bit counterparts. Even your 32 bit Software that will run on WOW, will be faster because the kernel operations can still run at 64 bit, so you'll see performance gain evern there. With 64 bit apps, you'll definately get more speed.
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