Recommendations on where to purchase a new desktop?

By Rawben
Apr 14, 2013
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  1. Not sure if this is the right forum thread to post this. I'm replacing an Hp Pavillion P6597C and don't know what to purchase or where to purchase it from. I loved my Pavillion but it's crashed on me three times it's first year and again a few weeks ago under the extended warranty.

    I'm not a gamer, but do work from home on my computer daily. All my printers are Hp as well as my laptop. I've contacted Tiger Direct and they've recommended an Hp Compaq Elite 8300 (item H24-2406), plus they had a Gateway that was comparable, but I've heard pros and cons about Gateway. A former boss of mine recommended I contact Newegg and PC Mall for pricing too.

    Any recommendations would be appreciated. I'm told I should stick with at least 6GB and either an i5 (or i7) processor.

    Thanks!
  2. hood6558

    hood6558 TechSpot Booster Posts: 292   +44

    This forum is all about how to get the most out of your computing experience and we're always happy to help anyone to accomplish this, whatever their budget or intended use. We usually recommend building your own, because for the same money you'll have a better PC, with more reliable parts and a clear upgrade path. But not everyone has the time or confidence to pull it off, so for them a pre-built OEM system is the only viable option. If this describes your situation, then by all means you should go that route. But first, you should know this; the Elite 8300 and most other systems like it are built with proprietary power supplies and motherboards, so you're stuck with the cheap 320 watt power supply (but not cheap if you have to buy one from HP), and the motherboard doesn't even seem to have a standard 24 pin connector. If you click this link you'll see what I mean - http://bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c03612799/c03612799.pdf
    There are OEMs that build with standard ATX parts, such as these - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2023376&Sku=SYX-1112 RF
    http://www.ibuypower.com/lobby.aspx
    I ran the ibuypower system configurator for a system geared towards your needs, and this is a screenshot of the result - Screenshot (10).png
    A little more than $600, but much better all around. Go to ibuypower.com and try the configurator yourself, the options are extensive, and you can easily configure a system for $600 if that's you budget cap. I started by clicking on the "Intel Z77 i5/i7 $959" button, but you could also click on "Intel Z77 i5 $719".
    EDIT - I didn't include an operating system, so if you need one, be sure to select it in the configurator.
    If you do decide to build your own, let me know and I'll help you choose components. Good luck!
  3. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,725   +874

    For a work computer, I dont recommend building one. I think he is better off just saving himself a hassle and getting a HP. iBuypower is too gamer oriented.
  4. hood6558

    hood6558 TechSpot Booster Posts: 292   +44

    Even though it's a work PC, he works at home, so he should have the time, and he deserves better than HP junk. Did you look at the pics of the motherboard in the Elite 8300 (first link)? What is that? I'd be surprised if they have $200 in that system. Sure, he should buy that system, if he doesn't mind replacing it in a year or two when it fails, just like his last one.
  5. Rawben

    Rawben Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Hi! I'm a she....LOL :cool:

    I'm personally not looking at the Elite 8300 that's just what they were recommending. I'll and see what the cost is to add an operating system to the above recommendation. I don't want to replace a computer in a few years and would rather have the best that I can afford at this time. Other than crashing, my former Pavilion suited my needs for work. If I can stick in the $600 to $700 +/- range I'm happy. One desktop I was looking at was the Hp Envy h8-1500z. I'll definately look at ibuypower as you've graciously recommended. Thank you!
  6. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,725   +874

    It is solely your choice, whatever best suits you.
  7. Rawben

    Rawben Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Where I'm doubting myself is I don't want a computer that has the graphics card built into motherboard and I don't know the differences between AMD and Intel processors.
  8. hood6558

    hood6558 TechSpot Booster Posts: 292   +44

    Okay, a $50-$100 graphics card is better than any on board graphics if you are even a casual gamer, but if all you do is play HD video, on board solutions are good these days.
    The difference between AMD and Intel CPUs is that AMD is a generation or two behind Intel as far as die size, power consumption, TDP, memory speed supported, and general computing power. AMD's flagship FX-8350 (8 core) beats the Intel i5-3570K (4 core) in some benchmarks, for about the same money (~$200), but can't touch the i7-3770K (4 cores/8 threads), and has a 125w TDP vs 77w for the i5-3570K & i7-3770K. This means it consumes a lot more power under load, along with more heat, so systems with AMD chips tend towards louder fans. I believe Intel is the better choice, they have a lot more $ for R&D, and closer partnerships with hardware vendors, which results in better support and compatibility, fewer driver issues, etc. Also, the 3570K routinely outperforms the 8350 in real-world usage scenarios. In the <$130 market, the AMD a series APUs (A10-5800, A8-5600K, etc.) excel in onboard graphics, but lag behind the i3-3220 in computing performance, so are only worth consideration for low budget systems with no discrete graphics card.
    TLDR - Intel is better!
  9. learninmypc

    learninmypc TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 5,104   +223

    Pardon me, but I've only used HP pc's & find you considering them "junk" to be offensive. Not to mention all my pc's have been 2nd hand. I don't want to hijack this thread,but.....
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    The basic requirements you've specified should serve well enough for your work. Start with those, then pick the other parts as per your budget.

    FWIW, I like (and recommend) the Dell Optiplex boxes; used quite a few of them (620s onwards; the 790s and above are really what I'm referring to here) at work, and they're pretty rock solid and stable so far. See if you can get a comparable configuration to ibuypower for about the same price (very doubtful, IMHO).

    Good luck!
  11. hood6558

    hood6558 TechSpot Booster Posts: 292   +44

    Sorry you're offended, but we all have our opinions based on our experiences, and in my experience, OEM PCs are overpriced, under-performing, proprietary builds wherein the bean counters have the final say, and they say use the cheapest components available. The PC mentioned by the OP (HP Elite 8300), for example, has a non-standard motherboard, power supply, and case, which means none of the them will work with standard ATX components. Any repairs or upgrades beyond RAM and drives must use HP parts (at a huge markup), and are limited to what HP offers (not much). If you have only used HP PCs all your life, you already know this, but your knowledge of other OEMs and of the PC parts market seems very limited. If you don't have the knowledge or skills to build your own computer, there are much better options than HP, builders who use standard ATX parts that can be cheaply and easily replaced or upgraded.
    The worst thing about OEMs is the BIOS; settings are usually severely limited and rarely updated to support new hardware, so the machine quickly becomes obsolete. I stand by my statements; HP, Compaq, Dell, Gateway, Emachines, etc are all junk compared to what you can build for the same money with a little knowledge. Anyone else offended?
     
  12. learninmypc

    learninmypc TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 5,104   +223

    Ok, we've both expressed our opinion. Lets leave it at that. :)


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