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Looking for new computer suggestions

Discussion in 'The Attic' started by bb28, Mar 30, 2008.

    Mar 30, 2008
  1. bb28

    bb28 Meister Member

    Occupation:
    Customer Service
    Location:
    US
    Funny how last week I was thinking it was time for a new desktop. The one I have is 7+ years old. It's a Dell and I've no major issues with it. This morning it locked up on me and I went to reboot and I opened the door and thought ooooo something smells hot. :eek: Opened it up and well you know how the dust bunnies collect :rolleyes: I suspected that it was the fan,so I blew out the bunnies and let it cool off and checked to make sure the fan wasn't locked. Then I crossed my fingers and booted up. :thumbsup: The BIOS gave me a message that it was the fan but it booted and so far the fan is working as it should but who knows for how long.
    Anyway.......it's time. I thought about trying to build my own for the 1st time but now have decided to not go with that option, so I've been checking online and if you have recently made a purchase and have some recommendations, please share.
    My budget....$600-800, including the monitor. I don't need any other software than the OS and I'm not sure what to go with on that one. Vista I guess, but which one? From what little I know just Vista basic is not a great option, is that correct?

    Here are some of my other requirements. 1 Yr warranty on parts. 500 Gig Harddrive, at least 2 gigs of ram, more would be nice. Definitely a separate 7.1 soundcard other than integrated sound from the motherboard. A separate video card is preferable although I'm not a gamer so nothing too fancy there. DVD RW/CD RW. Slot for another Harddrive. Case that allows for upgrades if needed in the future. The monitor, flatscreen...best I can get for the bucks.

    Also can someone tell me....please ;) that MS Office XP works with Vista?

    I checked online at Dell.......Gateway and a few other places but the problem I'm having is that in my price range the soundcard and video cards are integrated into the motherboard.

    Anyone offer any suggestions?
    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2008
  2. Mar 30, 2008
  3. BingoT

    BingoT Nurses love to give shots

    Occupation:
    Nursing & Run Bus Trips
    Location:
    Hartford,Ct
    I would never buy a Dell again.
    10 years ago Dell was the best around.I still have my Win98 from them and it works like new today.It's better than my new Windows XP lol
    The phone support %$#@ now for Dell I think.
    Now adays because I have learned to have one built on it's own.
    Like mine if I need any help I know the friend that made it would come over anytime I wanted him.
    Have someone make one to what you like.
     
  4. Mar 30, 2008
  5. bb28

    bb28 Meister Member

    Occupation:
    Customer Service
    Location:
    US
    Thanks Bingo. I hadn't thought of checking with someone local since they usually are more expensive but it won't hurt to check.
     
  6. Mar 30, 2008
  7. BingoT

    BingoT Nurses love to give shots

    Occupation:
    Nursing & Run Bus Trips
    Location:
    Hartford,Ct
    It's just a good idea to look into.
    Like my friend he made this one with good things and it only cost me $600.00
    And I called Dell on this and they gave me a price of $1200 for the same.
    If you know someone the better.
     
  8. Mar 31, 2008
  9. winbig

    winbig Keep winning this amount.

    Occupation:
    Bum
    Location:
    Pennsylvania

    Do you know of anyone that can put the parts together for you? To be honest, the only way you're going to get a system with those specs for under $800 is if you built it yourself. :( Realistically, you're going to have a really hard time finding a system in that price range w/o integrated audio + video, along with that size hd and ram....

    A couple of suggestions though:

    You can really get by with a 320G HD...I've had both 320 and 500, and had a hard time filling up both. Even if you're doing any type of video editing, both offer plenty of space. The 320G is about $14 cheaper right now.

    2G of memory really isn't needed as well. Again, I've had both 1G and 2G systems, and really didn't notice that much of a difference when upgrading.

    But, you're spot on about the non-integrated audio + video. You can afford to get a little slower CPU & less memory (1g) if you go that route.

    For buying your own parts, a ballpark figure:

    DVD writer: ~$30
    Memory (2x512): ~$30
    Drive: $90(320) $104(500)
    Video: $60
    Sound: ~$30
    Case+psu: ~$40
    Motherboard: ~$75
    CPU: ~$100

    Total: $455

    That would leave you with ~$145-$345 for a monitor &/or getting a faster cpu, or getting better components that's already listed...

    A word to the wise: DO NOT go offline to get ANY parts. You're never going to find anything close in price that's offered online.

    As far as the OS goes, do you have a current copy of XP? If so, you don't need to worry about getting another copy. You can just install your current copy on your new system.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Mar 31, 2008
  11. bb28

    bb28 Meister Member

    Occupation:
    Customer Service
    Location:
    US
    Thank you Winbig!!!
    :):)
    PM sent.
    :thumbsup:
     
  12. Mar 31, 2008
  13. babs7262

    babs7262 Banned User

    Occupation:
    On Disability,p/t online slots reviewer
    Location:
    PA
    Dell XPS is one of the best out there. The thing is that Vista is a pain in the ass, its not dell its the vista in dell. Go Dell XPS and you will be very happy.

    HP is a huge competitor but for some reason they crap out faster than dell.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. Mar 31, 2008
  15. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    Personal preference: Gateway. (Now that Acer has bought them out, I don't know how great the computer is. CS and tech support are USA based and they even understand my southern drawl.) Personal hatred: HP.

    You might look into buying lower end w/integrated video, but make sure it has an available slot to add a good vid card and more RAM later on.

    As for HD space... if your hard drive on the old computer is still good (it may not be) you can buy a USB external box to put an extra hard drive in. Or even buy a new HD (they're reasonable right now) later, and use it as an external. I love mine. I download all my graphics files to my 60g external. Also great for backups. If need be, I can unhook it and take it to another computer.

    Also be aware tha almost no computer mfr today give you a copy of the OS disc. (I HATE that!) They have 'restore partitions' and maybe a restore disk with the stuff on it to restore it to factory default. Quite a PITA if all you need is a driver.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Mar 31, 2008
  17. RobWin

    RobWin closed account

    Occupation:
    Who knows?
    Location:
    A Vault!
    Why did I always think you were up North ?? :confused:
     
  18. Mar 31, 2008
  19. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    Now, how would I know?? :p
     
  20. Mar 31, 2008
  21. RobWin

    RobWin closed account

    Occupation:
    Who knows?
    Location:
    A Vault!
    Come on Mousey...help me out here...:lolup::lolup::lolup:
     
  22. Mar 31, 2008
  23. bryand

    bryand Beach Bum

    Occupation:
    Legal
    Location:
    Just Across the Hudson River
    Great suggestions on this thread. My 2 cents:

    To nurse your old computer longer you may want to clean your processor fan and heatsink. A Qutip and rubbing alcohol works fine. Don't unclamp the heatsink unless you have thermal paste or a thermal pad on hand. Sometimes it helps to remove the ram stick(s), blow off any dust and replace it/them. These are harmless tasks and helpful for when you build your first one from scratch!

    I last built a Pentium IV desktop about a year ago and spent about $300 before the monitor. I buy brand name parts from a shop in chinatown in Atlanta. I agree that you'll go broke at a chain computer store. But you almost have to understand how to build it in order to buy the parts because the memory, processor and certain cards have to fit slots in the main board.

    XP over Vista for the near future until software and drivers are more fully compatible. Also, for gaming and graphics, the dual core processors run faster.
     
    1 person likes this.
  24. Mar 31, 2008
  25. bb28

    bb28 Meister Member

    Occupation:
    Customer Service
    Location:
    US
    Thanks for your suggestions Bryand. I did open it up and blow it out and for now that seems to have fixed it but I'm keeping a close eye on it. ;) I'm surprised it didn't fry something major because that sucker was very hot. I didn't know that you could use a q tip and alchohol, thanks for that tip. It has 2 fans.....the one with the power supply is the one that is the problem. After reading everyones suggestions and a kindly offer from someone on the forum, I've decided I'm going to build it myself. Putting it together didn't intimidate me that much, but figuring out what components go with what, (ex. motherboard, processor, cards) is what did scare me but thanks to someone here they are going to direct me on what parts I need and also help me if I get stuck. I've added some ram, and a different soundcard and a harddrive to this old thing so I guess that qualifies me as slightly experienced or maybe a little crazy. :eek:

    I still have a couple of questions for you guru's out there. I'm still not sure what OS to go with. If I stay with XP, I need it to be the pro version because of the VPN thing at my work or should I go with Vista and I've heard the basic version has very few features and I might still have issues with my VPN. Suggestions?
    Also does office XP work with Vista?
    Another one about the OS, what do you think about going with a OEM version, I've heard they can be bought quite a bit cheaper?
    I do definitely want a 500 gig drive, I have lots of mp3's and some video's. I also already have a external drive.....Mousey that is a excellent recommendation for anyone. I know it's going to make it a lot easier to move my files to the new puter. And what you said about the major ones failing to give you the actual OS CD, that really sucks. Some of them even make you pay extra for it.

    One more thing.....if anyone happens to come across a to die for deal on a monitor, please send the link.

    Thanks everyone! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  26. Mar 31, 2008
  27. RobWin

    RobWin closed account

    Occupation:
    Who knows?
    Location:
    A Vault!
    BB, the way you enjoy music and videos if I were you I would go with the XP Pro version to include Media Center Edition, thats what I run on mine and I have it extended to the living room and also the bedroom big screens, so whatever I want to do on the computer I can also do it from those rooms...all you have to do is to add signal extender boxes...purdy cool huh !! :D
     
    1 person likes this.

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