Please help!!! Purchasing a Sony VAIO VGC-RA940GN9
Good afternoon everyone. First off, I am very much a newbie and I apologize in advance if my post seems redundant or otherwise trivial. After reading numerous threads I was prompted to ask for advice from members more knowledgeable than me.
I am in the market to purchase a new PC for which I plan to use primarily for internet browsing, scanning and displaying photos, PVR and general TV viewing, playing mp3s, and watching DVDs. I'm not a gamer, so features relevant to that aren't in consideration for me. Given the financial investment, I'm willing to go heavy on security features (firewall, anti-virus, etc) so I'm curious as to any suggestions anyone can offer. For most of you here, I'm sure that's pretty tame stuff - but I'm looking to have my computer serve as a complete media center so I can move it to my living room. I'm reasonably confident that a machine using Windows XP Media Edition 2005 and paired to a 32" Winbook LCD TV & PC/HDTV monitor is right for me. In addition, I really like the Epson Perfection 3490 flatbed scanner for the aforementioned digital archiving.
The PC I am 99% sure is right for me was found at Micro Center. I stopped in mid-December and was told that a new Sony model had arrived. To date, I have been unable to locate any reviews on this particular set up and would love to hear any opinions/feedback on it.
Sony VAIO VGC-RA940GN9
mobo = Intel 945P Chipset
processor = Intel Pentium D Processor 820 (Dual-Core)
processor speed = 2.8 GHz
RAM installed = 2.0GB PC-4200 Cual Channel DDR2 RAM
memory configuration = (4) 512MB DIMM
hard drive = 400GB
multimedia drives = 16x DVD-Rom and 6x DVD+R
video card = nVidia 6600 or 6800 (I can't read my notes)
sound card = Intel High Definition Audio Chipset
TV Tuner = GigaPocket MPEG2 Realtime Encoder Board with TV Tuner (NTSC)
revelant software = SonicStage Mastering Studio, PictureGear Studio, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Premiere Standard Edition, DVgate Plus, InterVideo WinDVD
So, if anyone can direct me to any additional resources for the Sony VAIO or any of the aforementioned components I would greatly appreciate it!
I'm primarily concerned with the processor speed since I've been reading a lot about 3.2 and 3.4GHz ones. I understand that this one is dual-core, so the trade-off (as I understand it) is to be able to have more operations running simultaneously.
Lastly, I was hoping that someone could clarify something for me. I heard that Windows XP Media Edition 2005 is based on XP Home rather than XP Pro and, therefore, has fewer security features than XP Pro. I am willing to accept this provided that my intended security program purchase (either Zone Alarm Instant Security 6.0 or Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2006) is good.
Thank you all in advance for your help - I really appreciate it!