This is my first post--hopefully I have it in the right place. I have done immense amounts of googling and am starting to get frustrated sorting this out alone, so I figured the best place was to bring this to the community and see if any of you could help me out.
My parents want a new computer, and are ready to switch from XP to Linux Mint; they've seen my brother use the laptop I put Mint on and like what they see, plus they're not super enthused about Windows 7 and do not like the sound of Windows 8 whatsoever (I'm completely with them there). So I'm trying to plot what hardware to put together to build it. I'm going to do a comparison with premade systems from Dell and HP to see how the prices match up, but I'm not afraid to build my own and would like more practice, since later on I plan to build my own Mint system as well. For my parents I'm considering Mate since it sounds like Mate is more for durability/simplicity whereas Cinnamon is flashier/may not always work. If my impressions are wrong there, feel free to correct me.
The only special requirements they have beyond a basic home office machine are:
- dual monitors (my mom will be remote logging into work at times and needs two monitors to do her job easily)
- capability to start up a VM for the one or two Windows-only programs my dad requires every now and then, which have only garbage ratings in the Wine HQ database
I'm using Newegg to filter for familiarity (I bought the parts for my last computer there, but it was for an XP build so my uncle was able to provide a lot of support there, and I'm a little out of my element on this one).
Choosing a hdd is pretty basic. Since they're not doing any video or photo editing and the only databases my mom works with are lists of names and addresses, I went for this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822148764
It's comparatively inexpensive and with room to store more music as well as photos as videos taken with their digital camera.
This is the monitor my mom went for, based on size and adjustment options: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6824001434
Based on the monitor connections and some advice from geeky friends and various people on IRC, I was able to narrow down the rest of the hardware to these possibilities:
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... =Core%20i3
(I chose dual-core because unless running a VM means a quad core is essential, they're not going to be playing games, they never have more than 10 tabs open at once, and no more than six applications open ever.)
Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... chInDesc=#
Graphics card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... ark=False#
Network card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... 201000Mbps
As you can see, the narrowed list is still way too many items for me to decide between, plus I don't know what is compatible with Mint or not (the hardware database is difficult for me to navigate when I've got 91 possibilities to wade through). I like to know why
I'm selecting a specific unit, which specs matter and which don't, what makes something better than another--and whether my parents need that specific improvement. (When I have the money saved to build my own Mint setup, I'll probably need all those things they don't, too!) Also, if some filter I've placed on it makes no sense, please let me know why you think so so I can learn from this.
I'll select a tower and power supply (either as a unit or separately) after I get all this settled, but if someone has a recommendation for a mid-sized tower (I'm assuming that's the right size? it's not a tiny slimmed-down thing but neither is it a super tall server, pretty standard) with usb/audio/sd card reader in the front (those are going to be essentials for them) and power supply, I'll take those suggestions too. I'm assuming that selecting a DVD burner will not take any special consideration with regards to Mint. (Sound system, mouse, and standard keyboard being pretty interchangeable no matter the system, I'm not worrying about those right now.)
Thank you in advance!