I'm looking to buy a computer.

Hello all, as my title indicates, I am looking to buy a computer. Now, like most of the people inhabiting this fair Earth of ours, I’m looking for something that is both affordable (frankly, something inexpensive), as well as reliable. I don’t plan on using my new purchase for much, mostly blender and to check mail. So if anyone has suggestions they’d like to voice, please do so, I would be very appreciative towards those who respond.

Also, as I am using this for blender, I plan on buying something that has a decent amount of memory. (I also want to buy a new computer because once I do, there will be tree in my house, the family, the laptop, and mine. So that can help with rendering.)

~Spleeny

iMac.

Once you go mac you never go back.

he said affordable…

I would say build a computer with parts from newegg.

You obviously have no idea what affordable means, but hey who am I to say anything since you are so much more cool and superior.

zanos, be nice.

I’m considering coughing up some dough (and a kidney) for a mac, but thats far fetched. Besides, the family computer is an iMac. I’m looking more towards a windows, because I see a lot of cool plugins on this forum that only work for windows.

I’d build one and put Linux on it. Windows is going to cost you at least an extra $100.

How inexpensive are you talking? And are you persnickety about Intel versus AMD for processors?

I would agree with building it yourself, and putting linux on it (if thats a viable option for you). Depending on where your focus with blender is and your requirements, you may be able to get great performance from an older graphics card (maybe nvidia 8800 or 8900s??) for a price much lower than that of a newer card.

Well, I’d like something not expensive, but it’s not necessary. As for building my own computer, I would have no idea how to do that. :o So I guess thats not a viable option.

So, for Linux, is it better than windows? Well, better might not be the correct word to use…how is it different?

Linux runs a different software set (and a smaller one) but tends to run software faster. Also, a bunch of windwos stuff works under Wine.

Building a computer isn’t hard, you plug stuff in the only way that it will go, and don’t force stuff too much. And everything is labeled and much of it comes with directions (if you don’t get OEM)

On the building being cheaper thing
I got a computer with
8GB of DDR3 ram
a 3.2 Ghz quad core (overclocked to 3.6 now)
Nvidia 9500
6 fans
1TB hard drive
DVD burner
Ubuntu 9.04 x64

all for under $800

I was more looking for a price range? <$300? <$500? <$800? <$1000?

As for building one, there’s plenty of information out there. As shadowbane said, after you get everything selected correctly its pretty much just plug-and-chug unless you’re doing some serious mod work or are really specializing the thing. There’s plenty of excellent guides online, and plenty of excellent resources on this forum (people who’ve built their own) if you get stuck ;).

So, for Linux, is it better than windows? Well, better might not be the correct word to use…how is it different?

That’s an incredibly loaded question. To cut through any fanboy BS you might find out there, it all comes down to what you want to do.

If you just plan on doing Blender/CG, checking email, web browsing, youtube/videos, older games that can run well on Wine (see my caveat below), etc. then Linux should be fine. You do have to do a little research, though, even with “idiot-proof” distros like Ubuntu, especially if you’re new to the way Linux works.

If you’re looking for the above want to play more bleeding edge games and have a better experience (it won’t necessarily be bad on Wine, but probably sub-par compared to a native platform), Windows would probably be a better choice.

Dont let them tell you that its easy to set things up under Linux as far as installing of windows apps goes and that they will work perfectly. From my experience I would guess that 80% of windows apps dont behave the way they should under Linux. There are always some glitches and some buttons that dont work. From my experience running things natively is the way to go unless you want to run Notepad.

But as always, give it a try.

You can always dual boot linux and windows to the same comp right?

Building a PC is dead easy, you could also ask for help, I’m sure the techie guy at your office knows how to build one.

Forums are not a good place to start if you know next to nothing. Firstly you need a budget, then make pieces fit. You cannot only build a PC with a MB, CPU and RAM. You need further help with most of the basics, e.g the PSU.

If you buy a PC from almost any OEM you will get a poor-quality, overpriced PSU. If you fail with it, you may fail with everything else, you don’t want spontaneous kernel panics, or BSODs, and you components frying up. So, as i always say, start from the inner core, Don’t forget the PSU!. Also, a good PSU, is likely to be future proof, which adds options for further expansion.

About the GNU/Linux (Correct name is GNU/Linux, you don’t want to run a PC with only Linux on it) and Windows, from a technical point of view, them both have advantages and disadvantages.
GNU/Linux is much more elegant with user space and account management, this reduces the risk from getting infected by viruses and worms. Most of the distributions are compiled against old uArchs, something that could decrease perfomance, but it’s negligible, you can always compile you own. Also, them both answers to different paradigms. GNU/Linux work with a monolithic kernel, running modules on the fly when needed, and Windows has a micro-kernel, with the (in)famous DLLs…

you can probably buy low end components for your pc, but try to buy a quality PSU and a decent Graphics card, there’s one from ATI thats both cheap and behaves really well from what i saw in some benchmarks.