goal: choose best computer for kezia

This is some information about buying good computers. Be sure to let
me know before you buy anything.

Desktop Computer Builds

Here is a desktop that is pretty good. Be sure to consider laptops

Here is a build that I put together for you. (You can "start your own
build" to choose and customize yourself).

It has a very good i5 CPU and GTX-970 GPU. I have a disk and monitor
so you can save there. I assume you have a keyboard and mouse you like
(make sure these work well as you use them all the time). You have to
buy windows.

This is a small cube. I really like the small form factor because you
are more likely to move it to play on the big screen TV for example
(full sized cases are HEAVY whereas small ones are much lighter).

Here is a slightly different one:

Choosing a computer

If you have a good idea of what you want to do with a computer then
choosing one is easier. There are MANY options and if you know you
want to exactly run programX it allows you eliminate some options.

Here are components of a computer system:
- CPU: the central processing unit
- Motherboard: the board that everything plugs into
- Memory: fast memory
- Disk: permanent storage
- GPU: render complex graphics and certain computations
- Power supply: turn wall outlet to nice voltages
- Case: contains everything in form factor
- DVD Reader: if you're going to install from DVD
- Operating System: Windows costs money, Linux is free
- Monitor: at least 1920x1080 resolution
- Keyboard
- Mouse
- Speakers, Microphone, Headphones

A first choice is desktop or laptop. Laptops are portable but desktops
are in general more powerful for the money spent. Laptops can be a
good deal because they come with _everything_ including Windows
pre-installed. With desktops you have to buy all these separately and
put them together. Desktops are in theory easier to upgrade but I find
that by the time you upgrade, you end up buying a whole new system. 


Becuase there are so many options, benchmarks make it easier gauge
whether the system will be powerful enough to do what you want for the
price you want to spend.

---- GPU benchmarks

For GPUs, I would stick to NVIDIA GeForce.

For gaming on laptops the best guide is (it is a BIG page and might
take a while):

This tells you how fast some of the top games will run at different
settings for pretty much ALL laptop GPUs. If you have a specific game
you want to run a certain quality, find the lowest card in the list
that can run it with green.  You pay for higher performce. Here is
some of the top GPUs in decreasing power to help narrow down the list:
gtx970m, gtx965m, gtx870m, gtx860m, gtx950m, gtx850m, gt750m, 940m,
840m, gt745m, gt730m.

Now to compare these to desktop GPUs you can use:

So looking for one of the top gtx970m laptop gpus in that list, I find
a score of 4909. Right above that is the desktop version gtx970 (no
"m" at the end) with a score of 8631. So the desktop version is about
1.7 times faster than the laptop version.  Your current laptop I
believe is an Intel HD 3000 with a score of 309. So if you went and
bought a top-of-the-line laptop with gtx970m (probably $2500), it
would be about 15 times faster. In general find the lowest card that
can comfortably run your game and then look at cards with scores
greater than or equal.

---- CPU benchmarks

For CPUs, I would stick to Intel i5 (or i3 if you need less).

Here is a good page for cpu benchmarks (google"cpu benchmarks") with a
useful best value list (cpu power per dollar spent):

It looks like the best value, powerful processor is the i5-4590 on
this chart (the first i5 at $198). The first i3 is the i3-4160 ($120).

Buying Websites

---- newegg

When searching for computer stuff the best site is:

You can search for _anything_ with their "Power Search".

Search for laptops:

Chose "Resolution" everything 1920 and above.Chose "Dedicated Card" to
get better GPUs or specifically chose the GPU you want. Hit Search and
then sort by price low to high.

If you find something on newegg, you can always price check at Amazon,
or BestBuy (if you want to pick it up locally).

You can find a laptop with a good screen and good cpu.

---- pcpartpicker

Because there are so many options in constructing a desktop, here is a
site that tries to make it easier:

Choose the "Start a System Build" and you can choose options and it
makes sure that should work together and gives you a choice of where
to buy (though I stick with newegg and amazon).