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Help with Computer decision

By donnman ยท 35 replies
Dec 11, 2005
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  1. lithiumdeuterid

    lithiumdeuterid TS Rookie Posts: 88

    $1,500 is entirely too much to spend on a computer. I would recommend buying a computer from Cyberpowerinc.

    Here's what you could get for the measly price of $1,041.

    Mid tower case with 400-watt power supply
    Athlon 64 3200+ 2.0 GHz, Venice core, Socket 939 (runs quite cool)
    MSI motherboard with gigabit ethernet, 7.1 audio, PCI-express
    1 GB of PC3200 400 MHz RAM
    nVidia Geforce 6600 GT (a respectable video card, but not too insane)
    ViewSonic Q7B 17-inch LCD monitor
    80 GB hard disk drive
    16x DVD+-RW drive (also does CD-RW, of course)
    Logitech Z3 2.1 speakers (fairly modest speakers, but not pathetic)
    A normal keyboard
    Microsoft Intellimouse Optical
    A limited 3-year warranty

    There. A tower, monitor, speakers, mouse, and keyboard, all for $1,041. Plus, it will be easy for you to upgrade, unlike a Dell.

    If that doesn't seem adequate, explain what you'll be using the computer for, and I'll refine my suggestion. For instance, I don't see the point of getting an Audigy soundcard unless you're doing multitrack recording. 19" monitors are currently a better value than 20" monitors, which currently occupy the overpriced "fashionable" spot.

    Wireless keyboard and mouse? What's the point? Do you plan on sitting 10 feet away from your computer while you work? Can you even read text from that far away?

    Starter Entertainment Pack - What a waste of money.
    Sonic Digitalmedia - Ditto above
    McAfee Antivirus - Ditto above
    Windows Media Center Edition - Ditto above
  2. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    you should be aware that you can't upgrade the machine or open the box for 3 years without voiding the warranty. most local shops don't offer an overall system warranty, but individual parts are still warranted thru the mfg. most local shops aren't picky about that sort of thing, compared to the larger companies.

    i wouldn't buy a prebuilt box without knowing exactly what parts are going into it.
  3. kens8

    kens8 TS Rookie Posts: 54

    I would check out Cyberpowerinc, Alienware, Monarch Computers, or any other builder that doesn't use proprietary parts. It's not that the Dell is such a bad computer off the shelf - I've heard very good things about its off-the-shelf performance; it's that it's going to be a bad computer to have a year or two down the road when you're trying to upgrade.
  4. kens8

    kens8 TS Rookie Posts: 54

    Also, you could probably build a faster AMD machine for less. Maybe you could even save enough to be able to spring for a 7800 instead of a 6800.
  5. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    maybe with older dells, but the new dells (to my suprise) we have here at school are very up to standard. 3rd party PSUS (which use to be a proprietary part) are just regular (though underpowered) PSUs. etc etc

    a very good point

    I am in support of buying (if you cant build it) from a local shop however, at least you have a real person to bring it to incase of a breakdown. Dell support is not very good.

    ANd the AMD x2 is a much better CPU the the Intel D

  6. ingeborgdot

    ingeborgdot TechSpot Paladin Posts: 441

    Build it yourself. You will get much better warranty overall and the satisfaction of doing it yourself. The parts are better also although the xps line is much much better than dells standard line. Dell support sucks as does all other computer companies anymore so service is not an issue for me when buying. My first computer when I was learning I needed support and even a little on my second but towards the end of owning my dell when I did call for support their first response was to reformat or something stupid. Build it and they will come.
  7. kens8

    kens8 TS Rookie Posts: 54

    This is true. You can actually get better support from internet boards like this one than from most major computer companies. If you've done upgrades before, building your own is certainly a good option. If you're unsure, though, buy one that uses comercially available components (ie. DO NOT GET Dell, HP, Compaq, etc.). Someone made a good point about buying from a local builder - they will be close by to help you if you run into problems. Building and buying a desktop tends to be fairly close pricewise these days. It'll always cost a little less to build your own, though.
  8. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    yep - them local shops are a safe bet. i know that not everyone lives in a big city where pc repair shops are numerous, but you're still better off than buying from an OEM. if the place you had yours built is gone, there's another one down the street. and the standardized nature of custom PCs means that any technician in the world will be able to identify its parts and he will be able to get replacements, upgrades.
  9. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Most parts in these boxes (at least what we're using here) are standard....SATA, processor, memory. The one proprietary part is the PS because of the low-profile box and you'd need a LP AGP card...but other than that, the failure rate is not bad....better than another major brand we had used about 3 years ago.
  10. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    ahh, i know a warehouse up in lake county that will build as many pcs as a business wants, but instead of being OEMs they are starndard boxes. thier prices are better, too. dell cases, motherboards, and internal connectors are all different from standard pcs (sometimes these layouts change from model to model). they design these with the goal of making as much money as possible and fast assembly. things like performance, expandability, compatibility, and airflow aren't important to the dell execs. the same goes for the other oems.
  11. WendyD

    WendyD TS Rookie

    Tried a dell...

    Had a dell. Not happy with one problem after another. Most folks I know with dells have felt the same. Support is extremely difficult. Does it have to be a dell? :knock: keep shoppin!

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