Basic Photo Editing and Web Browsing
This is a task that works just fine on low-end computers.
I have an eMachines EL1200 desktop that originally had a single core 2650e processor. It actually ran quite well like that until I got into playing flash games on Facebook or trying to have 30-40 tabs open at once in a browser. That's when I swapped the CPU out for a 4450B (like a 4450e) and having the second core made a huge difference in how the computer "felt". Passmark score jumped from 389 with the single core to 1062 (which I understand is low, the average score is like 1250 for that 4450B CPU, and that can be attributed to the 6150SE chipset holding it back). It now has no issues with videos or flash games and you can have 50 tabs open and it's not a problem. I've had this computer for almost 4 years now and it's done very well. Initial purchase price was $250, open box, but included the monitor, speakers, keyboard, and mouse. You can still buy the EL1852-52w version for about $300-$350 at Wal-Mart, and now it comes with a Pentium E5800 Intel CPU (passmark is 2141). Still includes the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers. A terrific entry-level deal and no shipping hassles, just go to your nearest store and get one.
At any rate, just be sure to avoid single core CPU's like Celeron G440's and AMD chips like the E300/E350/E450 AMD processors which may be dual core but are painfully slow in day-to-day activities. Look up the passmark CPU scores for the processors you're looking at. Figure anything over 2500 is perfectly fast, and anything from 1500-2499 is just fine. Anything below 1500 and you'll notice it's slower than most computers and anything under 1000 will be painfully slow. Also avoid anything with that 6150SE chipset if it's an AMD. It's a bottleneck and will limit you to 4GB of memory, rarely has a PCI Express x16 slot for graphics, and isn't smooth running even with a quad-core Athlon II X4 (passmark in the 3300-3600 range).
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