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What Computer Should I Buy?  
User currently offlineTPASXM787 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 20
Posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1544 times:

Pretty self-explanatory. My HP has died and I have a feeling they are going to give me the big F off even though I am going around and around with customer service.

I want to stay at $2k or less.

Ideas?


This is the Last Stop.
36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAllstarflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1539 times:

Are you talking laptop or desktop?

-R


User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1538 times:

Try DELL. It's a great product and you may ask for some specific configurations according with your needs.

www.dell.com

[Edited 2005-07-23 00:02:03]

User currently offlineTPASXM787 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1538 times:

Quoting Allstarflyer (Reply 1):
Are you talking laptop or desktop?

Would prefer a desktop, but a sweet laptop would work as well.



This is the Last Stop.
User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1532 times:

A working one is always a good starting point Big grin

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlineAirlinelover From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 5580 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1533 times:

Build your own.. Or if you hvae to get a pre-build, make sure it's an AMD Athlon whatever.. Intel sucks.. Look for a computer that has the most upgrade potential for the future. Dells are usually ok, but a lot of their parts are DELL SPECIFIC meaning you have to get them there..

Make sure you get:
AT LEAST 512 RAM, (I'd suggest 1 GB or more.)
100gb or larger hard drive
256 mb PCI Express video card (NOT SHARED with system memory)
DVD BURNER/CD burner combo


Chris



Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1530 times:

Quoting TPASXM787 (Reply 3):
but a sweet laptop would work as well.

DELL works well.  Wink


User currently offlineSATX From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2840 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1526 times:

Quoting Airlinelover (Reply 5):
Or if you hvae to get a pre-build, make sure it's an AMD Athlon whatever.. Intel sucks.. Look for a computer that has the most upgrade potential for the future. Dells are usually ok, but a lot of their parts are DELL SPECIFIC meaning you have to get them there..

You recommend both AMD and DELL. How is that possible? Aren't those suggestions mutually exclusive? Most suggestions on this thread are BS IMO. Read a computer magazine if you want real advice. Better yet, try to find a place that will let you try it out in the store before you buy it. Have them open up the case so you can see the inside. If you simply read-up on current trends in computer hardware, you can make most sales people look like idiots in a flash. Makes for a good laugh in any case.



Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
User currently offlineAllstarflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1520 times:

Quoting TPASXM787 (Reply 3):
Would prefer a desktop, but a sweet laptop would work as well.

If you're mobile, that's cool, but it seems like the prices on desktops have plummeted compared to laptops, if that's a factor in your decision.

Quoting TACAA320 (Reply 6):

DELL works well.

Agreed.

Quoting SATX (Reply 7):
Read a computer magazine if you want real advice.

Or try Cnet.com for reviews.

Quoting SATX (Reply 7):
Better yet, try to find a place that will let you try it out in the store before you buy it. Have them open up the case so you can see the inside. If you simply read-up on current trends in computer hardware, you can make most sales people look like idiots in a flash. Makes for a good laugh in any case.

Yeah, he's probably right. If, say, you find 3 different laptops you like in Best Buy, chances are they'll have the same models at Circuit City. If you go into both and just look for that, you'll be able to tell which salespeople are full of it and which are actually helpful. And we all know people who have computers - ask someone you trust (who won't cause you to fall into a coma by reading you the technical manual) about their experiences. When I get around to getting a laptop, it's a tossup between Dell and Toshiba (maybe Sony) due to experiences related from trusted friends/sources.

-R


User currently offlineBezoar From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 807 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1517 times:

If if were my call, I'd get a Mac. A quick look found for under 2K:

Desktop:
2GHz Dual G5 16x Dual Layer SuperDrive $1,994
512MB DDR400 128-bit SDRAM, expandable to 4GB SDRAM
160GB Serial ATA, 16x SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Three PCI Slots
ATI Radeon 9600 XT with 128MB DDR
2 single-link DVI ports, 1 FireWire 800 ports/2 FireWire 400 ports
3 USB 2.0 ports/2 USB 1.1 ports
Gigabit Ethernet, AirPort Extreme & Bluetooth Ready
Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger
(Monitor is not included, but you might be able to use one you already have.)

Notebook:
15.2'' 1.5GHz G4 Combo Drive: $1,994
15.2-inch TFT Display, 1280x854 resolution
512MB DDR333 PC 2700 SDRAM
80GB Ultra ATA/100 5400RPM
DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive
ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 with (64MB DDR)
Full size keyboard
Gigabit Ethernet, 2 USB(2.0)
1 FireWire(400), 1 FireWire(800)
Built-In Bluetooth 2.0, AirPort Extreme Built-in
Analog audio in/out, DVI and S-Video out (VGA Adapter)
Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger
(There are other Mac notebooks for less. My wife also has a 17" Powerbook, and it's a great machine, but it is more.)



"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
User currently offlineAirlinelover From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 5580 posts, RR: 23
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1514 times:

You recommend both AMD and DELL. How is that possible? Aren't those suggestions mutually exclusive? Most suggestions on this thread are BS IMO.

You obviously don't know anything about computers.. Maybe before suggesting that he finds a way to be able to laugh at salespeople, you should learn yourself.

Maybe I should be more specific..

If you can get anything, get an computer with an AMD processor. However, if you don't want to get an AMD or preferr a good brand name, dell is fine. ( I know dell's don't come with AMD's)

Chris



Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1507 times:

Quoting Airlinelover (Reply 5):
Build your own..

You obviously know who you are dealing with... NOT!!

Dell

USUALLY I say If you can wait, hawk on http://www.slickdeals.net/. but they have something pretty good from DELL RIGHT NOW  Smile

For example:

Dell Home has the Dell 2005FPW Ultrasharp 20" Widescreen LCD for $749 - 40% off coupon W34XRDP2KW2K90 (expires 7/26 or 3k uses) - $60 off $500 coupon C07TR1WFGJ18SF (expires 7/28 or 10k uses) = $389 w/ free shipping.

They also have the 1905FP Ultrasharp 19" LCD has it for $479 - 33% off ?TN8?M3G6JB5FK - $35 off $300 ZDV7X34LTDMGMG = $286. If you tack on $21 to your cart and use the $60 off $500 C07TR1WFGJ18SF coupon, the price will be $282.

40% off $999 Dell Inspiron Coupon: Works on XPS2 & 9300 Laptops
Exp: 07/25/05 Comments(18) | Tell a Friend | AIM | Top

Dell Home has 40% off $999 coupon 8NFJ8?5JRTSRWD for Inspiron Laptops. Expires 7/25 6AM or after 4000 redemptions. Free shipping on orders over $849. It works on the XPS and 9300 laptops so it's a very nice discount for those looking for a high end laptop.

The $750 off $1499 select Inspiron coupon code PNV5H9JHS57$BX is still available if you're looking for lesser configs.


User currently offlineKmh1956 From Bermuda, joined Jun 2005, 3324 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1502 times:

I've had both PCs and Macs. I have a Dell desktop, which I loathe at the moment and a mac iBook G4 which is BRILLIANT!!!

The other really nice bonus to having a Mac over a PC is that fewer viruses are written for Macs. My daughter has the Mac PowerBook G4 in college, and she and one other girl were the only ones in their dorm two years running who had working computers all year with no issues.



'Somebody tell me why I'm on my own if there's a soulmate for everyone' :Natasha Bedingfield
User currently offlineFlyAUA From Austria, joined May 2005, 4604 posts, RR: 56
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1500 times:

I'd reccommend DELL if you don't mind the dodgy questions regarding weapons of mass destruction. You'll certainly be getting what you've paid for. I've never been disappointed by the quality and longevity of their products.


Not drinking, also isn't a solution!
User currently offlineReguPilot From Puerto Rico, joined Jan 2004, 493 posts, RR: 24
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1489 times:

I would not recommend any Dell system below the 4000 series (should be 4700 now). I mean, not even the 4700 series. If you want a disposable PC, then go ahead with it. If you want a PC that will last for some years, get a higher number model that would include a PCI Xpress. I've been a PC advisor for over 7 years now (since the Pentium II Katmai core), and Dells works good if you know which model to pick. If you play flight sim (2004 version) you should pick a DX9 compliant card otherwise, you wont get the water effects and nice reflections you see on screenshots. This would be my checklist:

1. Processor Speed - AMD Athlon 64 better for gaming all the way, spend less power and run cooler then Pentiums.

2. RAM - The more RAM you can put to your system, the better it'll run. I would say that in todays market condition, more RAM is better than more processor speed. DO NOT EVEN THINK to get less than 512MB of RAM, or you will regret it for the rest of your life.

3. Video Card - If you like gaming, this is a must. And I don't mean lots of gaming. FS2004 is a very complex game that needs lots of power from a graphics card. The days of FS95 are gone. You really need a good card to get good graphics so, ifi you wanna see great smoke effects, great water effects and reflections, get a DX9 compatible card. I know most of you have DX9 in your computer, but that doesn't mean your video card can produce all of the DX9 effects. Every new DX spec is compatible with older cards but, only newer cards get to display its new effects. I should add to this important subject that if you wanna have Flight Sim running with planes looking as axes ready to cut trees, get an Intergrated Graphic Controller from Intel (like the one Dell sells with their 4700 and down models). So, what to get, PCIXpress is the latest trend. Get no less than 128MB, and if AGP is the only option, get not less than a GeForce FX 5200, or a Radeon 9600 graphics processor.

4. Hard Drive Space - If you like FlightSim.. at least 40GB must be assigned to it. That is only with like 20 freeware planes and sounds and panels. If you have a 20GB iPod, add that to th 40's. If you like working with pictures, at leat 5GB's.. and if you like working with video, then at least another 40's are needed. So, adding them up, I would recommend getting no less than 100GB of hard drive space, being a Serial ATA a better option, since they spin faster than their IDE (PATA) counterparts. An IDE with 7200 RPM and 8MB cache works pretty good.

5. Upgreadability - If you're ready to spend another $1,000 in a new PC in the next 2 or 3 years, forget about this part. If you'll like to add like $200 every 3 years to it.. make sure its ready for upgrades and enhancements in the future.

6. Warranty

8 - Price - It all comes down to price. So try to make a balance by getting the PC you need without expending more then needed.

10- The rest of the components are your choice, and really do not represent a big thread to the PC's performance.

Please correct me if I had said something wrong, and hope this helps!

- Ragu


User currently offlineWardialer From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1182 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1484 times:

Dont just go by the brand names...or, how the "pretty" the case looks. If your good or talented on building PCs just build your own. If not, I'll give you some tips on how how to buy a PC.

1. First, check what type of CPU speed, motherboard speed it is. The faster the better. I would say something like a PIV Intel 3.6GhZ processor or, if your into graphics, I would say AMD or AMD-64...AMDs for a basic networking type computing is not a good idea to have. Because AMDs tend to burn out faster and it requires two or more CPU fans. Go with Intel if your NOT going to use the computer for graphics.

2. The higher the RAM the better. Go with a 512MB L-1 Cache memory.

3. Hard drive. A 7200rpm and seek time of between 4ms to 6ms is good enough. The lower the seek time the better but more pricey...The size is up to you of course.

4. You have to decide what OS are you going to use. I would go with Linux or Windows XP-Professional. Only go with Linux if your proficient at it...

But do not go by the looks of the case or the brand name. Its senseless...I would just go by the insides and specifications..


User currently offlineReguPilot From Puerto Rico, joined Jan 2004, 493 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1474 times:

Quoting Wardialer (Reply 15):
Because AMDs tend to burn out faster and it requires two or more CPU fans. Go with Intel if your NOT going to use the computer for graphics.

Industry wide, it is well known that AMD processors run actually cooler than Intel's. Even Intel had confirmed that, and it is one of the reasons why they haven't been able to go beyond the current 3.4Ghz mark. Besides, AMD run way faster. A 2.2Ghz Athlon makes the work of a 3.4Ghz Pentium 4 and more.
Pentium 4 with Hyper Threading, however, works better for multi-threaded applications, like Maya or 3D Studio MAX.

Check this article: Live Stress Test Rundown: AMD vs. Intel from where I quote: "Buying Tips: AMD More Efficient"
Also, this other one: The AMD and Intel Energy Crisis

Quoting Wardialer (Reply 15):
Go with a 512MB L-1 Cache memory.

This is mis leading. Cache and RAM are 2 different things. The Caché memory is a very expensive and very high speed memory used in the processor (and on mostly everything) but only in processors and hard drives is where manufacturers specify it. Latest Pentium 4 CPU's carry 2MB of L2 Caché. L1 caché is actually much faster and way more expensive than the already superfast L2 cache and as such is smaller than the L2. Consumer processors have gone way up to 2MB of caché these days, imagine them with 512MB!!!! ---- RAM is what you're actually talking about.

Quoting Wardialer (Reply 15):
A 7200rpm and seek time of between 4ms to 6ms is good enough.

This is actually a high performance expensive Serial ATA or SCSI Hard Drive, which would actually spins at 10,000RPM's not 7,200RPMs. AVG Seek Time of a 7200 RPM is around 8ms.

Quoting Wardialer (Reply 15):
But do not go by the looks of the case or the brand name. Its senseless...I would just go by the insides and specifications

Couldn't agree with you more with that statement.



-Ragu

[Edited 2005-07-23 02:57:53]

User currently offlineACAfan From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 710 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1465 times:



$1,299

http://www.apple.com/imac/



Freddie Laker ... May be at peace with his maker ... But he is a persona non grata ... with IATA
User currently offlineB744F From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1451 times:

If you don't know much about computers, get a dell. it comes with good support and everything is setup for you out of the box.

Macs are good if you don't want to play games or use popular software but want to be "different"

If you know your computers, buy the parts yourself for half the price and build your own.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21418 posts, RR: 54
Reply 19, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1442 times:

Sure, Macs are very nicely designed, are even fun to work with and are generally solid and reliable.

But the main reason to get a Mac is the operating system. Whatever PC you´re buying or building, you´re always stuck with the same crummy Windows when it gets right down to it (unless you want to make system maintenance your new hobby and use Linux instead).

Many people simply believe that a computer will always be hostile, inexplicable and unstable; But that´s actually not true.

The usual comment from most people who checked out MacOS X after having used Windows for years is "Why didn´t I do this much earlier already? I can´t imagine going back!"

It takes a bit more than five minutes in the store to get the real difference; But after a few hours of using it, I doubt that you´d want to step back down to Windows.

You´ve got the chance now - take it!


User currently offlineReguPilot From Puerto Rico, joined Jan 2004, 493 posts, RR: 24
Reply 20, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days ago) and read 1434 times:

Adding to all of the saliva I have written before, I would strongly recommend a Mac. That is unless you wanna fly FS2004, since there's no FS2004 for Mac, althought X-Plane does work on Mac.

What Klaus and every Mac user says, its true.

-Ragu


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21418 posts, RR: 54
Reply 21, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days ago) and read 1431 times:

Quoting B744F (Reply 18):
Macs are good if you don't want to play games or use popular software but want to be "different"

I see some still believe in those ancient myths...  Yeah sure

Sure, for games you´re better served with a playstation; But you´ll find that the software that´s "popular" on the Mac is generally more useful and less trouble than the one for the same task under Windows. It´s generally the bottom 80% quality-wise that´s "missing" under MacOS. Which means I´m not actually "missing" anything...!  crazy 

Even the standard software that comes with a Mac is not the Windows-usual stunted crap that´s simply an inept placeholder for something you´ll have to buy (or steal) yourself later - it´s a bunch of full-featured full-version Applications that just works the way you need it to. Generally with a lot less fiddling and frustration than you´re probably used to now.

The same is true for the operating system - instead of a stunted Windows version ("make your own recovery disk!"), you get a full version of MacOS X which differs from the heavy-duty server OS only by missing special server admin tools - the whole server infrastructure is still there if you should need it. With every Mac!


User currently offlineFlyPIJets From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 875 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days ago) and read 1420 times:

If you have a $2k budget - move to the Mac, you won't regret it. It can take a little time to get use to using a Mac, but the time is well spent. I made the leap several years back and don't regret it at all. I now have 3 Macs. Once you give up on the M$ crap and quit trying to use your Mac like it was a PC, you'll come to the same realization everyone else has, Macs are awesome, from a user point of view, a network admin, programmer, IT manager... they are well thought out computers.

There is no reason not to use, if you have a PC application you must use, run Virtual PC (will run at native speeds when the new intel Macs come out).

I recommend a iMac G5 and load it up with as much RAM as you can afford. (640 mb of RAM is a good sweet spot).

PowerBook G4 if you need a notebook.

[Edited 2005-07-23 05:14:45]


DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, F28, 717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, IL-62, L-1011, MD-82/83, YS-11, DHC-8, PA-28-161, ERJ 135/145, E-1
User currently offlineSATX From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2840 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days ago) and read 1417 times:

Quoting Airlinelover (Reply 10):
You obviously don't know anything about computers.. Maybe before suggesting that he finds a way to be able to laugh at salespeople, you should learn yourself.

I'm no guru, but I've learned plenty about wintel desktops and the sales people who try to pawn them off with overpriced warrantees and peripherals. I've built a dozen or so workstations and a few servers from scratch with parts of my own choosing for family and friends. I've also worked as a full-time computer sales person and then an A+ certified computer technician for a few years in a previous life. Although I haven't bothered to keep up with computers since then, I can still wing my way through most issues I come across, and whenever I'm in doubt I simply consult the web since I usually know enough to separate the truth from the BS.



Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
User currently offlineTPASXM787 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 20
Reply 24, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1347 times:

Ok, not that anyone cares...but here's what I got:

Sony Vaio
3 ghz Pentium 4 with Hyper Threading
1 GB Ram
250 GB Hard Drive
17' HD Flat Panel (made it worth every penny right here...incredible!)

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...7B&DCMP=CJ_DF&HQS=DT_VGCRB42GKIT7B



This is the Last Stop.
25 Post contains images TedTAce : I think you did pretty well Enjoy and let us know how it goes
26 Ryanb741 : Apple all the way. Mac OS 10.4 is the best thing since, well Mac OS 10.3! Don't buy a Powerbook though. I bought one 13 months ago, the Motherboard sc
27 TedTAce : Thanks for reading the thread!!!
28 SATX : From the link: Price after savings: $ 1299.98 Prices sure have dropped from when I was selling these things many moons ago. I can remember when a 17"
29 TPASXM787 : My girlfriend has a 15" powerbook and is having nothing but problems too. she is already on her second one since Marchand this one seems to be shot t
30 B744F : What a waste of time
31 SATX : Oh? And what would you recommend?
32 B744F : MCSE as a start, then certified in different OS' such as Server 2003 possibly. Then move on to Linux, Mac certs if you want to have tons of job offers
33 SATX : For a basic repair/installation tech, A+ was simple and fun, mainly just to see who in our department could get the highest score. A+ didn't result in
34 Kmh1956 : My daughter has had her PowerBook for over two years now, and has not had one problem with it. She's thrilled to death with it!
35 ReguPilot : Awesome system!! Now, If this: "Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 900 224MB Max. dynamically allocated shared video memory" is still part of your con
36 Post contains images TPASXM787 : amazingly it runs like a champ...my hp had a 128mb card that i bought and it ran like crap....however i don't plan on keeping this one for long...time
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