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View Full Version : Need help purchasing a computer.


ibemadskillzz
11-13-2004, 03:44 PM
To all of computer geniuse. I'm new to computers. I am about to purchase a new computer. I'm not sure which one to buy. I'm probably going to purchase a AMD Athlon XP. Should I purchase a Hewlett packard or Compaq presario? They both have the same stuff inside, but I'm not sure which one is better. And which one is the best out of these: Intel Pentium 4, Intel Celeron, AMD 64, AMD Athlon XP? can someone put those in order from the best to the worst? Thanks
And please give reasons if you pick Compaq or HP.
thanks in advance.

perfmode
11-13-2004, 03:50 PM
Neither. Don't buy one from a vendor. Config one @ www.newegg.com or something.

jun
11-13-2004, 09:41 PM
If you don't really know too much about computer it might not be a bad idea to purshase from a big company. They do seem to have good warranty and tech support (of course, the waiting time is always too long). I recommend Dell personally.

tennis-n-sc
11-14-2004, 02:32 PM
Depends a lot on what you intend to use it for. Jun has some good advice but you sound a little unfamilar with the termnologies. I would find a larger company and talk with one of the consultants. Another consideration is how much do you want to spend. All t hings being equal, I would get the least costly machine that met my needs. I have found Dell to be very informative about listening to what I want and making recommendations. Whatever you get, it will be outdated in with better, cheaper models in two years. Good luck.

jayserinos99
11-14-2004, 07:25 PM
i'd only go with a big name brand if i were to purchase a laptop. for desktops, i'd go with the route perfmode stated earlier and go to a nice online site like newegg. one thing i like about newegg is their return policy and also their wishlist. you can create a list of parts you need for your computer.

as for processors, i haven't kept up in a while but the amd chips are very good. i used to run an athlon xp 2800+ and that ran fine for what i needed it for (coding and gaming).

what you need to ask yourself is what tennis-n-sc said; what do you need the computer for? if you will use it for office and email applications, then an athlon xp should be fine for you along with at least 256MB memory. if you need a little more power (say gaming, video and photo applications), then get a better processor and more memory. plan on downloading a lot of stuff? get yourself a nice big hard drive; serial ata may be the new thing but most people only need ide anyway. you may also want to burn dvds so a nice dvd-rw is in order and they're very cheap too; that is unless you decide to wait for dual-layer dvd-rw to become mainstream (they should be now right?). good luck!

jun
11-14-2004, 07:55 PM
from my experience, if you were to buy a laptom, go with big name (dell or whatever).

The reason being is that desktop is less prone to have problems, while laptops are more sensitive to problems since each parts are smaller and delicate. And if you buy laptop MAKE SURE you get WARRANTY for AS LONG AS you can....You never know when your screen will crack, or drop it by accidently etc etc..

mlee2
11-14-2004, 08:32 PM
i ditto the recommendation for dell. b.est overall

The difference between athlon and pentium is that athlon tends to overheat, so you'd want an A.C environment if you get that.

Deuce
11-15-2004, 12:13 AM
Every two years or so, I go out and buy a used computer for less than $60 or $70. The computers I buy are about 3 years old - companies sell them off to these used computer stores as they 'update'. I've got a Dell Pentium 2 or 3 now.

Most people are sucked into buying WAY more computer than they actually require. As a consequence, most people spend WAY more money than they need to.

"Some people make their pride in how much their dinner costs. I make my pride in how little mine costs." ~ Henry Thoreau.

perfmode
11-15-2004, 02:32 AM
i'd only go with a big name brand if i were to purchase a laptop. for desktops, i'd go with the route perfmode stated earlier and go to a nice online site like newegg. one thing i like about newegg is their return policy and also their wishlist. you can create a list of parts you need for your computer.

as for processors, i haven't kept up in a while but the amd chips are very good. i used to run an athlon xp 2800+ and that ran fine for what i needed it for (coding and gaming).

what you need to ask yourself is what tennis-n-sc said; what do you need the computer for? if you will use it for office and email applications, then an athlon xp should be fine for you along with at least 256MB memory. if you need a little more power (say gaming, video and photo applications), then get a better processor and more memory. plan on downloading a lot of stuff? get yourself a nice big hard drive; serial ata may be the new thing but most people only need ide anyway. you may also want to burn dvds so a nice dvd-rw is in order and they're very cheap too; that is unless you decide to wait for dual-layer dvd-rw to become mainstream (they should be now right?). good luck!

Exactly. The only reason to go with a company like Dell is for laptops. Otherwise, DIY.

perfmode
11-15-2004, 02:34 AM
i ditto the recommendation for dell. b.est overall

The difference between athlon and pentium is that athlon tends to overheat, so you'd want an A.C environment if you get that.

That's not true. Pentium 4 Prescotts are way hotter than AthlonXP's. How do you think they got the nickname "Press-hot"?

thejerk
11-19-2004, 07:30 PM
Go with athlon and build it yourself. It will be a big pain at first but you will learn more and have a better computer in the long run. Even taking into account costumer support.

mctennis
12-06-2004, 03:43 PM
Get a Mac computer.PC's are all a pain to deal with and use, viruses, updating firewalls, trojan viruses, "you have preformed an illegal operation" messages, email worms, programs not functioning properly..etc..what's fun about using a PC if you are constantly neding it worked on if you aren't a computer guru.

Craig Sheppard
12-06-2004, 06:13 PM
I have recommended many a computer to new people, mothers, older people, etc. I haven't come across a better deal than the Dell Outlet. You get full Dell service, a full warranty, for less money than a new Dell. Yes they're refurbished machines, but this usually means they were simply returned--everything is guaranteed just like a normal Dell. You'll need to check the site every now and then since their stock changes quickly. I'm a programmer and have happily used systems from the Dell Outlet for a few years now.

http://www.delloutlet.com

The reason I recommend Dell Outlet over a home-built system is SERVICE. Service is something most people don't consider. Dell has a 2 or 3 year package for on-site and telephone support. Just as an example, my mother's video card failed, and she had no idea what was wrong. A service rep was able to walk her through the problem and send her a new card, which the rep explained how to replace. If you are a new user and need some help, I STRONGLY recommend you buy a service contract with your new PC, if you can afford it.

No, I don't work for Dell. To answer your questions as well, the AMD 64 will probably be the most powerful system. Followed closely by the P-4 and the Athlon XP. Those last 2 are very similar. The Intel Celeron is a ways back from the other 3. If you plan to keep the system for a while or intend to do "higher powered" type activties like games, I don't recommend the Celeron. Your "typical" computer will be about a Pentium 4 with about a 2.8 GHz processor. The 3 GHz and faster processors are on the higher end, and worth it for the more intensive activities (games, graphics, etc), if you plan on doing that. Be confident though, that almost any computer these days in the $500+ range will serve you well for web surfing, doing "office" type stuff, etc.

Good luck,
Craig

Power Game
12-06-2004, 06:47 PM
Hi Craig,
Do you think you could help me out? I'm in the market for a tablet PC. I was looking at the Toshiba machines and they look very nice with the centrino technology. MY options are

1. Get a refurbished Toshiba Tablet PC, $1600
I'm leaning towards this because i really like the idea of a tablet pc

2. Get a new and slightly faster Toshiba Tecra Laptop and a digitizier pad (as kind of a tablet replacement) $1450 + $150.
This appeals to me because battery life is 2x that of the tablet (11 hrs) and it's brand new and faster.

Any comments are appreciated

Thanks

perfmode
12-06-2004, 07:07 PM
Hi Craig,
Do you think you could help me out? I'm in the market for a tablet PC. I was looking at the Toshiba machines and they look very nice with the centrino processors. MY options are

1. Get a refurbished Toshiba Tablet PC, $1600
I'm leaning towards this because i really like the idea of a tablet pc

2. Get a new and slightly faster Toshiba Tecra Laptop and a digitizier pad $1450 + $150.
This appeals to me because battery life is 2x the tablet (11 hrs) and it brand new and faster.

Any comments are appreciated

Thanks

"centrino's" aren't processors. this is the term used for a computer with an intel cpu, chipset and wi-fi all-in-one.

Power Game
12-06-2004, 07:22 PM
"centrino's" aren't processors. this is the term used for a computer with an intel cpu, chipset and wi-fi all-in-one.

Yeah I know its the whole combo, but when I say centrino processor most people know what I'm talking about. Come to think of it, I'll edit. Thanks for the heads up.

Craig Sheppard
12-06-2004, 07:40 PM
Power Game,

What are you looking to use the tablet for? The reason I ask is there's a reason that tablets haven't exploded in popularity... err, there just not that compelling of a package. You kind of hit the nail on the head, they're expensive, and the battery life isn't very good. It's a neat concept, especially for things like e-books or drawing/graphics.

However, if you're looking for it to do drawing and graphics, I'd save your money to get a Wacom pen tablet instead of a tablet PC. You'll get a better PC/laptop, and you'll have a digitizer that's been a standard of artists for a long time (think Wacom pads date back to the '80s/early '90s).

But just to be accurate, you should think about what you're going to use it for. If you just think the tablets are cool (heck I do too), I'd really try to check the urge to get one... $1600's a lot to put down for something that may be a fad. In fact, the only group I know of that use tablets is in a hospital, where they have to do a lot of mobile data entry, and they can point and click easier with a tablet. Other than that I've never seen one used professionally.

BTW, just re-read your post--I agree when you say "like the idea of a tablet". Not being flip here--there are lots of great ideas in theory. I'd ask yourself if there was a real need to actually have tablet instead of a digitizer. If you can think of one, go for the tablet. If not, get the regular laptop + Wacom pen tablet.

http://www.wacom.com

Craig

Power Game
12-06-2004, 08:17 PM
Hi Craig,

Sorry if my first post wasn't clear....

Right now I'm a business student and going on to med school. I wanted a tablet mainly for notetaking when I'm at clinical sites as well as during lectures. I am interested in a tablet because of it's handwriting recognition, which would allow me to write more than type, which is also useful when it comes to editing literature and papers.

I don't do much graphics/drawing on the computer, so all I need is the digitizer to have handwriting recognition capabilities, which I know not all do. Could you suggest one?

Averatec also has a tablet pc for pretty cheap $1300, the only concerns are that the processor is AMD XPM2200, which from what I understand is not specifically geared towards being mobile like centrino. Also, it has mixed reviews on Cnet, some are really scary.
http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=10377802&loc=101&sp=1


Feel free to suggest any laptop:
Needs, concerns are:
1. Portability, No more than 6 lbs
2. Centrino technology
3. Some form of handwriting recognition
4. Capability for lots of high quality presentations, no games or anything
5. Around $1400-$1650 plus warranty

Looked at:
Toshiba Tecra M2 (new) ~$1400
Toshiba Portege M205 (refurbished) ~$1600
Averatec C3500 (new) ~$1300

mctennis
12-06-2004, 08:45 PM
Dell service is HORRIBLE. You talk to someone in India that states their name as an American name and never helps you out and always transfer you around and around til you get fed up and hang up. Two fellow co-workers have ended up talking their computers to a local service store ( NOT free mind you since it isn't a DEll dealer) they paid out of pocket to get the problem fixed since you MUST go their their 24/7 service line. That is the only DEll experience I've had. Just food for thought. Their prices may be good BUT the service is the key to any product. The two folks will never buy another Dell again.

perfmode
12-08-2004, 05:04 PM
Dell service is HORRIBLE. You talk to someone in India that states their name as an American name and never helps you out and always transfer you around and around til you get fed up and hang up. Two fellow co-workers have ended up talking their computers to a local service store ( NOT free mind you since it isn't a DEll dealer) they paid out of pocket to get the problem fixed since you MUST go their their 24/7 service line. That is the only DEll experience I've had. Just food for thought. Their prices may be good BUT the service is the key to any product. The two folks will never buy another Dell again.

Yep. I can't stand getting my calls thrown out there. They aren't helpful at all. They still have a few american people working the phone lines but your chances are one in a million.

mlee2
12-08-2004, 05:11 PM
I sent in my laptop to Dell with no problems, one week total to get everything fixed: including shipping time.

You need to know your computer no., order no., and customer no. to make things a lot faster.

I used the email support line and had no problems. Be clear and concise, then everything is alright.