Advice for new PC and Laptop computer

    Hello there. I was wondering if any one could recommend me a desktop computer and a laptop computer. I am willing to spend around one thousand or a bit over on each of these computers. I am blind and need very powerful computers on which I will be installing a few accessibility software's which demand high capacity ram/CPU/memory/graphics. Any advice highly appreciated thanks.


    The desktop is just a case of deciding how much graphics power you need and then spending the rest of the money on the best bits you can afford. Intel seem a good choice for CPUs and motherboards at the moment, and as always your choice of graphics cards is between ATI and nvidia.

    The laptop is likely to prove the more difficult choice. As you're buying it in addition to a desktop I assume you want something fairly portable but the problem is that more powerful laptops tend to be heavier and have shorter battery life. With £1000 to spend you've also got to decide whether to go for something with nice build quality but a bit less performance like a Thinkpad, Vaio or Macbook, or something that's more powerful but doesn't feel as nice to use like an acer.

    Ideally you want better information on the performance of your software. You want to know if there are any minimum requirements like 2GB of ram or pixel shader 3.0 that may not be satisfied by a new computer, it would also be nice to know how they scale. If you double the CPU's power does your software run 50% faster, 100% faster or 200% faster? If powerful graphics are required you'll also want to know whether the software has SLI/Crossfire support (two graphics cards working in tandem) as in your price range that's going to be availible on quite a few desktops and a few laptops. If it doesn't you're better off avoiding machines with two cards or dual cards (dual cards are those with an X2 or GX2 suffix) and going for one with a powerful single card instead. The most powerful single cards currently produced are the GTX 280 for Nvidia and the 4870 for ATI, the GTX is easily the more powerful of the two.

    No offense to the op but am guessing you want it to run screen reader and voice recognition software and have no great need for high end graphics. This is not so much of a problem for the desktop but more difficult with a laptop as the top ones are aimed at gamers. However the Dell Precision range may fit the bill. I would spend £1300 on the laptop and £700 on the desktop to get similar performance.

    Original Poster

    Thanks for the above advice guise. I was thinking about using the following programmes on both of the computers: Jaws (screen reader), Zoomtext (screen magnification), Kurzweil 1000 (scanning and reading), and Dragon naturally speaking (dictation software).

    Each of these programmes Minimum Specifications

    • CPU: Intel® Pentium4® or later or AMD Athlon 64 1 GHz or later.
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM (1 GB RAM for Windows Vista™)
    • Free hard disk space: 1 GB (2 GB for localized non-English versions)
    • L2 Cache: 512 KB

    And monitor, 8-bit color or greater; 1024 x 768 resolution or greater.

    The above spec suggests that I need a fairly decent computer to run the accessibility programmes, as well as actually using other programmes.

    I would be very grateful if you could provide me some links to some computers keeping in mind the above basic spec.


    The above spec suggests that I need a fairly decent computer to run the … The above spec suggests that I need a fairly decent computer to run the accessibility programmes, as well as actually using other programmes.

    Nah, that's a low minimum spec and every normal computer you can buy new will meet it without trouble.
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