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Author Topic: looking for new computer, suggestions welcome  (Read 2097 times)
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Azhag
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« on: February 11, 2006, 03:00:12 PM »

Hey, I'm looking for a new computer for my wife (she's currently using a P2 400 laptop...). Not looking for anything high-end, but I want the sort of minimal decent system specs (1GB ram, 80-160 GB HD, a decent $200 or so graphics card, etc).  Also need monitor, etc.

I haven't bought a system in a while... what are the best online places to buy customized systems (looking cheaper than alienware, falcon, etc).

Also, with things like Dell E310, I can configure a decent one fairly cheap but it doesn't seem to have a graphics card and doesn't like the power supply.  Are these sorts of systems easily upgradable, or do I need to start with a higher system?

Thanks guys.  Oh, and while I don't mind replacing ram or graphics card I'd rather not build it.
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DamageInc
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2006, 03:41:39 PM »

I am not a big fan of Dell's customer support, but for price and performance it's hard to beat the XPS line.

If this were a PC I'd say build your own, but since it is a laptop and you don't really want to build your own then your best bet is usually going to be online and not retail stores.

The real important thing to ask yourself is what do I need it to do now, and what will I want it to do in the next few years. IE Will the laptop be used for gaming? Will it be cutting edge gaming or games like Tetris?

Once you answer those questions you will be able to make a smart decision.

Also do you have any particular brand loyalties and do you have any brands that you have had bad experiences with in the past?
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Azhag
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2006, 03:45:42 PM »

Oh, sorry, it is a desktop, not a laptop.  It'll probably be supposed to last a while, and be used for some games, but probably not top-tier graphic hogs. I am willing to upgrade some individual parts later on in a year or two.
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DamageInc
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2006, 03:50:08 PM »

Here's a few sites to check out besides Dell

http://www.cyberpowersystem.com/Default.asp

and

http://www.abs.com/index.asp
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Azhag
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2006, 05:01:36 PM »

Arg, something decent from ABS still comes out fairly expensive.  Can get just what I want from Cyberpower, but all of the bad user reviews online scare me...
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Azhag
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2006, 09:56:14 PM »

Well, after spending a few hours playing around on different sites I bit the bullet and bought a Dell.  I figure I shouldn't need that much tech support anyways. Not great, but cheaper in any case.

Bought Dell dimension E310
XP Media center 2005 edition
Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 640 w/HT Technology (3.2GHz,800FSB)
1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 400MHz -2DIMMs
160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 48x CD-RW Drive
17 inch Ultrasharp™ 1707FP Digital Flat Panel
plus office basic, wireless adaptor, keyboard, mouse, etc
1 year warranty
15 months of Mcafee everything

Minuses - no real graphics card yet (will probably buy one soon from newegg)
Integreated sound, but the Audigy one, so at least it is serviceable

With tax/shipping it was about $1100

EDIT - Ok, turns out I was dumb, that model isn't really expandable, so I bumped it up to a XPS 400 and added the graphics card, sound card, etc plus it is dual core.
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frost
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2006, 01:46:07 PM »

where did you see bad reviews about cyberpower?
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unbreakable
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2006, 08:26:46 PM »

Check gotapex.com.  They get some crazy deals on Dell stuff.
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Azhag
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2006, 12:40:21 AM »

yeah, I used gotapex to get a couple hundred off.  if I didn't get the discout I doubt I would have used Dell.  The bad reviews were at reselleratings (or whatever it is called).  Some people had no problems, others had a lot.  Dell had some bad reviews but it was mostly just because people needed tech support (not actual problems in shipping, etc). In any case I'll keep an eye on Cyberpower for next time (when I need a cpu instead of my wife), but this time I thought I'd stick with the Dell.

For my last computer I got a Talon line from Falcon-NW before they switched to customizable Talons... then the cost increased by a lot for them.
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-Lord Ebonstone-
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2006, 02:58:19 AM »

Any more recommendations?  My laptop just shocked the crap out of me and promptly lost all USB capability, plus my builtin keyboard is broken, plus my internal soundcard is basically broken, and I'm a year out of warranty.  I figure I can maybe extract the files I need from the thing then give it to my dad's office to get repaired on the cheap and then give to some newb, while I pick up something new (I can't be without a system in college for more than a week...)

I'd sort of prefer a desktop, considering how many problems I've had with this laptop, and how vulnerable they are.  Aiming for under $2k with a monitor.  And as much as I'd like to build my own, that option is out.  I need something with a warranty.
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-Lord Ebonstone-
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2006, 11:11:54 PM »

nm, I ordered all the parts for a new system from Newegg.  It was about $400-500 cheaper that way.
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Ralph-Wiggum
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2006, 11:25:55 PM »

Quote from: "frost"
where did you see bad reviews about cyberpower?


Not the greatest of ratings.

P.S. Are http://www.Ibuypower.com and http://www.cyberpowerpc.com related?
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Nakor
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2006, 11:03:49 PM »

Hey Lord E, what did you end up getting? I'm sort of tossing around the idea of an upgrade, but I'm WAY out of the loop on processors, mb, etc.
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2006, 02:31:48 AM »

I bought (all newegg):

CASE:Cooler Master Praetorian 730
PSU:SeaSonic S12-600 (12v 600W)
MOBO:ASUS A8N-32 Deluxe (nForce4)
CPU:AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Toledo (dual core)
RAM:2GB (2x1GB) Corsair XMS
GRAPHICS:Albatron GeForce 7800GTX 256MB (first time I've gone nVidia in the past six years)
HDD:Seagate Barracuda 160GB (7200 RPM, 3.0GB/s, SATA)
OPTICAL DISK:NEC IDE DVD/CD Burner
SOUND:Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1

MONITOR:Viewsonic VA902b 19" 8ms redraw time

OS:WinXP Pro OEM

Grand Total:  $2317.91 (before tax/shipping)

I ended up saving $400-500 over Cyberpower building the same system (actually they would have used inferior parts in some instances -- they only have no-name HDDs, and their PSUs all got crappy reviews).

Assuming this system a.) runs and b.) doesn't encounter weirdo compatibility issues, it should be powerful enough to precognitively melt the faces of all who would oppose me.
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frost
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2006, 12:33:26 AM »

A buddy of mine recently received a computer from Cyberpower that he ordered.  So far so good, according to him.  Makes me strongly consider ordering with them as well.  I would like to build my own rig, but I just don't have the confidence to go through with it.  It's not putting it together that i find intimidating.  It's knowing that if i run into problems, bugs, software installation issues etc., i'll end up with a $1000 paper weight.
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