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Buying New Computer for ArcGIS

Question asked by balkoth on Aug 20, 2014
Latest reply on Sep 17, 2015 by hethheth

I have a friend who is trying to enter the GIS field but needs a Windows computer (they're a Mac fan) for ArcGIS.  They asked me to help them pick out a computer -- they're not super tech savvy and would generally prefer to just get something they can run without a complicated set-up (and preferably reasonably cheap).  Looking around I've found the following general information:


1. CPU speed is very important and involving an SSD would help...but an SSD is beyond what they want to do at the moment, could install one for them later


2. RAM is important, heard everything from 8+ to people recommending 16+


3. Except for specific 3D imaging the graphics card isn't that important, don't need anything fancy


Looking around on Amazon for them I've found the three following desktops which look like they might work well for my friend:


A. Asus Desktop.  This is $790, has 16 GB of RAM to start (can be expanded to 32 GB), but the video card isn't very good...but it seems it might be sufficient from what I've heard.  Some user reviews indicate there may not be enough physical space in the case to improve the graphics card if that winds up being needed.


B. Dell Desktop.  This is $760 and has a better graphics card, but only 8 GB of RAM to start (can be upgraded to 16 GB).


C. Dell Desktop #2.  This is $930 but has the best graphics card of the three, comes with a hard drive twice the size (though I'm not sure if my friend will ever need the extra storage), and starts with 12 GB of RAM which may be enough (and can be upgraded to 32 GB).


Thoughts?  What would seem to make sense?  And obviously if you know of something that would work as well but is cheaper than any of those three (or same price and works better) that would also be welcome information!