Please advise- Buying a new desktop pc


Dec 15, 2010
Hi ( I hope I'm in the right part of the forum)

First, I'm a novice when it comes to computer hardware, etc. I want to buy a new desktop pc and spend $700-$900. I've had my pc for 5 years... so I'm the kind of guy who doesn't need the best and doesn't jump on the newest tech. I try to buy something that will do what I need for years to come.

Besides normal tasks I'll be using the new pc for photo editing and web site design (Photoshop CS5 + Dreamweaver CS5) and editing video from my Kodak zi8 (Adobe Premiere CS5).

I've considered building a pc but it seems more expensive than buying a prebuilt. The two desktops I'm considering are...

HP Pavilion Elite HPE-450t series $900.99 (with taxes and free shipping)

* Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
* Intel Core i7-870 quad-core processor [2.93GHz, 1MB L2 + 8MB shared L3 cache]
* 8GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM [4 DIMMs]
* 1.5TB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive from 750GB
* 1GB NVIDIA GeForce 315 [DVI, HDMI, VGA adapter]

HP Pavilion Elite HPE-410t series $692 (with taxes and free shipping)

* Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
* IntelCore i5-760 quad-core processor [2.8GHz, 1MB L2 + 8MB shared L3 cache]
* 6GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM [3 DIMMs] from 4GB
* 1TB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive from 500GB
* 512MB ATI Radeon HD 5450 [DVI, HDMI, VGA adapter]

The difference in HD space isn't really important to me because I have a 1 TB external HD. The difference in RAM is 2 GB but I could always upgrade the 6 GB system in a year or two if needed.

So... knowing what I will be using the desktop for, do you think the 410t desktop is fine with the i5 processor and 512MB Radeon card or is it worth the extra $200 to go for the 450t with the i7 processor and 1GB Nvidia GeForce? Also, I'm customizing each pc on hp's site so I can upgrade some specs.

If anyone has opinions/suggestions on other pcs that would be better buys than either of the ones I listed, please let me know.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I appreciate any guidance/ advice you guys are willing to take the time to give.

The key lies in your Photoshop and Dreamweaver work - these are RAM as well as CPU intensive.

I suggest no less than 6GB of DDR3 RAM, 1 GB video card, and the Intel i7 CPU. You will notice the difference when using the 'smudge' tool and similar tools in Photoshop.

Based on the above, the choice is clear! Good luck!


Nov 20, 2010
You definitely don't want the i5 with the 5450. You'll notice it, it's got a bit of an old GPU in there, and the i7 is a big leap from the i5, it's quad vs dual.

And no matter what you've done in looking at prebuilt vs building your own, it is ALWAYS cheaper to build your own. I built a machine, that was actually fairly comparable to my 1200 dollar HP desktop for half the price. If you know how to do it, have the necessary tools (the OS for example) and are willing to spend the time to buy the parts and put it together, it's far cheaper.

HP machines are not upgrade-friendly, in my experience. They put large, obtrusive, useless parts in there, and they do some stupid wiring. Why they would mount the optical drive at the top, HD1 in the middle, and HD2 to the bottom of the chassis is beyond me.