Recommended desktop upgrade under $250 from Gateway GT5676?

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Cetaceous

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My Gateway GT5676 desktop kicked the bucket a few months ago and I have been making due with a laptop but it is too old and slow for me to use any of my programs on it. If possible I would like to find something that is under $250.

I use my desktop primarily for Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 4, and for normal business document stuff. The only games I am likely to play are older generation games so it doesn't need to be super fast in that way. I do some light video/audio editing as well, but nothing complicated.

Also, I have about 1T worth of photos, videos, audio files and documents on the hard drives which I haven't been able to access since my computer died. I will need to be able to move those to the new machine somehow.

This computer was given to me years ago and served me fine for about 6 years and I have never bought a desktop so I don't know where to start looking! Can someone please give me some ideas of good brands/models that won't top my budget but are maybe decent enough to hold up for a couple of years? I'm ok with refurbished if it means I can get a better machine.
 

flavallee

Frank
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There are a lot of refurbished desktops with decent specs out there in the $250 - $400 price range.
But for what you want to use it for, you'll probably need a more expensive one with better specs.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to find HERE what you need.

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Gr3iz

Mark
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Be sure you can either add a second drive (possibly your existing drive from your old system) or replace the drive with a larger drive. The small form-factor systems may not have the room for a second drive.
 

Cetaceous

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Thanks @flavallee, however, I'm not even sure what to look for at this point, its been so long! I know what sounds good (the faster/bigger/stronger the better, etc) but I don't want to be paying for something I don't need if I can get away with something else. Video cards for example, I was told that the video card isn't as much of a big deal for Photoshop as opposed to gaming.

I really just need something I can do my photo editing on with CS5 and Lightroom 4, have room to store all my stuff (bringing my current hard drive in would be a plus, but not a necessity if there is another way to move my files). And, of course, online stuff (we have business websites that I create and maintain on Wordpress, etc) but as I said, I'm not really a gamer so that's not an issue, and any video or audio editing is minimal and secondary to the photo stuff.

I would, however, like to get something that will last more than a year if possible.
 

flavallee

Frank
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To add to what Mark said:

I would avoid a smaller "small form factor" and "desktop" case size and stick with a larger "minitower" or "tower" case size.
It may be larger and heavier, but it has more room inside for ventilation and for adding/removing/upgrading hardware.

Most of the refurbished ones have integrated graphics, so you may need to add a graphic card afterwards so you can have better graphic/video quality.

I'm partial to the Dell brand, but there are others.

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https://helpx.adobe.com/pl/lightroom/system-requirements.html

Lightroom 4 system requirements

Windows


Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor

Microsoft® Windows Vista® or Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 or Windows 8

2 GB of RAM

1 GB of available hard-disk space

1024 x 768 display

Internet connection required for Internet-based services*

http://prodesigntools.com/products/adobe-cs5-system-requirements.html

Photoshop CS5 / Photoshop Extended CS5 System Requirements

Photoshop CS5.1 runs 64-bit native on Mac OS X, Microsoft® Windows Vista®, and Windows® 7 platforms. It can also run in 32-bit mode across all platforms, including Windows XP. 64-bit users should realize noticeably greater gains in performance, in some cases as dramatic as ten times the previous speed.


Windows


Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor

Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 3; Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (Service Pack 2 recommended); or Windows 7

1GB of RAM

1GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on removable flash-based storage devices)

1024×768 display (1280×800 recommended) with qualified hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics card, 16-bit color, and 256MB of VRAM


Some GPU-accelerated features require graphics support for Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0

DVD-ROM drive

QuickTime 7.6.2 software required for multimedia features

Broadband Internet connection required for online services

These are minimum requirements.
Better equipment, more enjoyable work.
Find user reviews -
https://forums.adobe.com/welcome?promoid=29NMCRJT&mv=other
 

Gr3iz

Mark
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It's pretty hard to find a system these days that does *not* exceed those minimum requirements ... ;-)
 
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Of course! I agree completely with this opinion.
All you have to do is compare the minimum requirements with the refurbished equipment (post # 2 by Frank)
The buyer should be aware, however, that work comfort is increasing with better equipment and therefore it is good to get acquainted with the experiences of other users.
The thematic forum is a good place to do this.
 

flavallee

Frank
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81,607
I have a refurbished Dell OptiPlex 780 minitower desktop with these specs that I paid about $250.00 for at Newegg:
Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 3.33 GHz processor
8 GB(2 GB X 4) DDR3 RAM
1 TB SATA II hard drive
DVD+/-RW SATA disc drive
305W power supply

I spent another $50.00 or so to add a GeForce GT 720 2 GB GDDR3 graphic card to it.
I don't game or video edit, so I don't ask a lot of it.
So far, it's handled everything that I've thrown at it.
It's been one of the best investments that I've made.

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