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Choosing A Desktop Computer


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#1
911pchelp

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If this isn't the appropriate forum let me know, I'll 'move' it.

In the coming months, I plan on replacing my current desktop computer. Time frame is not fixed because am waiting until Windows 7 is available (whether a 'preloaded' PC is purchased or not).

Currently I have a Dell Dimension 4300 (1M memory, 1.6 GHz) - purchased in 2001. There are 2 internal HHDs (250Gb and 120Gb) ... the larger one (it's only 6 mos old) will be used as a 2nd HHD ... I have an HHD 'case' for the smaller, so it can be an external. My monitor is a 21"W Acer that's only a year old and I don't plan on replacing it.

The PC has given good performance so (rightly or 'wrongly') a Dell PC is towards the top of my list.

The prices have come way down since 2001 and other brands have popped-up. Which one (or ones) are better?
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#2
rshaffer61

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Personally I have never owned a named brand system.
I build my own and that way I know every component that goes into it.
By doing this also you can have the satisfaction of putting it together and watching it roar to life for the first time.
There is a great tutorial online here that you can use to guide you in building your own system.
If you are happy with the Dell systems then by all means I would suggest staying with them.
Now as far as a suggestion for what model we would need to know what the:
Primary use of the system will be:
Will there be games played on it alot
Internet cruising
Music played on it
Office use
School


This will help in finding the system that would best fit your personal needs.
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#3
911pchelp

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Thank you - have built several in the past ... two problems - sometimes its a hassle getting all the parts - and have to have self-control because its easy to spend a little more for each part (not that parts r necessarily expensive but its easy to buy more than necessary).

Not big gamer

but do a lot of:
  • surfing
  • website design/maintenance
  • upload some
  • download a lot
  • retired programmer but no office work
  • kids older so no school
  • lots of email
  • very little music/videos

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#4
rshaffer61

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Thank you - have built several in the past ... two problems - sometimes its a hassle getting all the parts - and have to have self-control because its easy to spend a little more for each part (not that parts r necessarily expensive but its easy to buy more than necessary).


I can understand this part for sure.
How much is your budget for this new system?
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#5
911pchelp

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$700 - $900
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#6
rshaffer61

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Hows this look HERE?
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#7
911pchelp

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Looks good - as I said, I'll wait until Win 7 is available (dislike Vista - my wife has it).

I see it's under the 'Home & Home Office' heading ... my current PC is from 'The Small and Medium Business' section while my father has a Dell PC that's from the 'Home' section. His PC is a 2.4GHz (circa 2004) and mine is 1.6GHz (circa 2001) - but mine has better response (does everything faster).

Is there a difference in the way the machines are built (i.e. between 'Home' and 'Business' PCs)?

BTW Thank you, rshaffer61, for your responses.

Edited by 911pchelp, 12 September 2009 - 01:54 PM.

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#8
rshaffer61

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The system are built the same for the most part. Usually it will be the software that is installed on the system that will make the difference.
Also I'm sure this system is faster then what you have now.
The Vista that comes with it is also eligible for the Win7 upgrade price. That means you can get the Win7 for a very cheap price.
Don't quote me but I think its like 10.00 for the upgrade thru the promotion.
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#9
911pchelp

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Don't trust Vista/MS ... upgrades are ify .. so I'll wait a couple of months ... from track record, it's good to wait until the first SP ... my current PC is running fine (albeit slower than I like).
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#10
rshaffer61

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Win 7 will be released the 22nd of next month.
We can work on that slowness and see if we can speed you up some if you would like. :)
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#11
911pchelp

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Release --> good news

Slowness - have been through the virus/malware removal process (ended up reinstalling Win XP Home) and my machine is somewhat faster than before I started

but

just like an auto engine - it will only go so fast.

I suspect 8 years (a circa 2001 PC) has provided a good 'bang for the bucks' spent. Have been saving up for the right time - and I think that time is approaching ... just wanted to get a feel for the current market.
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#12
rshaffer61

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The prices of system has dropped dramatically and for less then you paid for your system you can buy a system twice as good now.
  • More memory and Faster Speeds
  • Larger and Faster Hard drives
  • Faster CPU
  • Better Motherboards
  • Better Cooling

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#13
911pchelp

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So I see ... any other pointers besides 'rolling my own' and Dell?

Seems like I heard that Dell has a lower ranking now.
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#14
rshaffer61

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Gateway seems to have more of a opened end system.
This means parts can be replaced with industry standard parts instead of Priority parts just from Gateway.
I see a lot of Compaq's and HP's here.
That is not to say they are worse as any system can have issues over time.
It will also depend on what the system is used for by the owner.
I would say in order I would go with
  • Dell
  • Compaq
  • Gateway

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#15
911pchelp

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OK - looks like a good list to guide me. Thanks for your help/assistance.
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