Hey all! I'm in a conundrum. My handy upgraded-to-death PC has finally met it's demise, due to a very stupid hot-swap error on my part. I've been collecting gift cards for Best Buy from various point-earning programs and I've got about $400 worth. (I can spend more than that, just don't want it to go to waste). Rather than build another PC I want to go ahead and use this money at Best Buy to get a new CPU... I want to ensure that it's upgradeable, doesn't have all built-in or proprietary components, has a case big enough to fit my hand in, etc. I have monitors, mice, keyboards, etc. Don't need a "media" style PC. Don't need terabytes of space. Just need something to do some movie and audio editing, website work, occasional gaming, downloading tv shows, maintaining the family iPods, etc... I don't want it to be a wuss. I don't need bells and whistles. I have enough of those laying around from other pre-made pcs.

Unfortunately I haven't really stayed on top of things since the 90s when I managed a small network of 286s and 386's. I feel dumb, but I don't know the latest on processors and such. If anyone would take a bit of time to peruse BB's collection of towers and give your opinion, I would very much appreciate it. :cool:


Personally I would go with a DELL or HP/Compaq. Both companies have great customer service and make good long lasting product. Based on the limits of wanting something you can expand (knocks out the slim or SFF - Small Form Factor boxes) and not needing 1TB of space I would recommend the:
Dell - Inspiron Desktop / IntelĀ® PentiumĀ® Processor / 4GB Memory / 500GB Hard Drive
Model: I560-2050NBK | SKU: 9846086
Dell makes great systems and stands behind the product. You don't need more than 4GB of memory on a desktop unless you are doing heavy graphics and PC3 memory is faster than PC2. Dual core processor with 64 bit capabilities will give you a good system. Is a tower vs SFF so you have room to expand.

Thanks so much for looking and giving an opinion. No, definitely don't want the tiny cases, I never really see that as a bonus... I'd rather have expansion slots. Are pci slots a thing of the past? I was surprised to learn that some don't have them. I always liked the option with all the built-in stuff that I could still use a different sound card or adding a modem for faxing.

hi, not much need for addin pci devices nowadays for basic/and beyond computing ,the onboard sound has gotten really good ,5.1 highdef and maybe higher ,no need to add a pci sound card .onboard video has improved as well ., im not a fan of Dell/HP and Compaq towers one only one reason,case specific PSU's and motherboard ,cause a problem when you need to upgrade or replace a PSC or Motherboard ,they do have a long life usually ,so inmo if you do buy one from best buy ,go compaq ,then Dell .
would go with at least the intel i5 cpu but if money is there go for the i7

I'm seriously looking at this ASUS CM5675 in the respect that it seems upgradeable and has decent parts. I'm not sure if the price is expensive or not - HP's are considered 'budget computers' and these aren't. am I on the right track?

Dell is best one i always recommend this. Just go ahead with this one.