PDA

View Full Version : Any Computer Gurus Here?


TripleB
12-05-2005, 10:48 AM
My computer had to be put to sleep over the weekend so I’m in the market for something cheap….ie: under $702.

It’s been 5 years since I’ve even looked at new computers so I know exactly nothing about what’s out there. I’ll be using it for word processing, editing photos, cataloging MP3 and CDs, playing computer golf, researching on the internet, burning CDs and DVDs, using Palm Pilot software….so obviously I don’t need anything too fancy.

The only model I know a lot about is the Dell B110 I’ve been looking at $701.68:

Intel Celeron 2.53GHz; Windows XP, 512MB SDRAM, 80GB HD, Adobe 6.0, 16x DVD/CD Burner, Micorsoft Works Suite 2006, Sonic Digital Media, MyDVD Plus, Total Solution Advanced DVD and Photo Editing, 1/1/1 warranty

I saw a couple in the Best Buy sales paper but really know nothing about them other than what I read in the paper:

e-Machines AMD Sempron Processor 3104, 17" Flat Screen, Printer, 512MB, 160 GB, 8 in 1 Media Card, DVD/CD-RW combo: $360

HP S7210N Intel Celeron MProcessor 370, 15" LCD Flat Panel Monitor, 512MB, 200GB, 9 in 1 Media Card, Double Layer Multiformat LightScribe DVDRW drive: $570 17" monitor cost is $460

Gateway 838GM Intel Pentium 4 Processor 630, 17" Flat Screen Monitor, Printer, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, 512 MB, 200 GB, 8 in 1 Media Card, Double Layer DVDRW drive: $660

HP A1224N Intel Pentium 4 Processor 519, 17" Flat Screen, Photo Printer, Windows XP Media Center, 1024MB, 200GB, Double Layer DVDRW drive: $680

HP A1210N, AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3500+, Enhanced Virus Protection, 15" Flat Screen, Printer, Windows XP Media Center, 512MB, 200GB, DVDRW Drive, 9 in 1 Media Card: $680

All the ones from Best Buy are after Rebates.

Can anyone please guide me to a very good {but under $701.68} computer?
Thanks.

TripleB

Return_Ace
12-05-2005, 12:30 PM
well cheapest is usually build it urself only downside is you lose out on warranty but most manufacturers usually have something like 1 year warranty, but if you're asking us for help i take it you don't know much about computers then :/ and since i haven't got a clue bout the american shops i can't comment, but something to look out for:

Processor: Celerons are usually good bargains or some of the older P4's 'll do, AMD's are bargains as long as you dont' go for top spec, something like a 3500+ should do and you should have a good option to upgrade, semprons are polly gonna get pushed aside afer a bit.

RAM: minimum 512mb, ideally 1gb

Hard Drive: 80gb should suffice, if you got a lot of stuff then 120 maybe? i can't see much use for anything else...

Optical Drive: You'll probably want a good combo DVD n CD ±RW drive, some manufacturers make them like sony, they're the most convineient since you don't need 2 drives, although they may be a lil more pricey.


From your list i'd probably go for something like the AMD HP, which i'd probably mod maybe buy another 512 stick for it (shoudl be pretty cheap) or i'd buy the Gateway which i'd proly buy another stick too.

Masamusou
12-05-2005, 01:43 PM
A few additional notes onto the post by Return_Ace. The Celerons are cheaper than similar speed P4's because they actually run slower. I'm not sure the exact specs these days, but in the past, Celeron ran at about 2/3 of the speed of a similar speed P4. With that being said, the Celeron chips are the bargain basement chips that will get basic tasks down as long as you don't expect to play any graphically intense games. Personally, I am completely against buying a pre-built IBM system because anything you can get in a store will include onboard video, which saps some of your RAM in order to use it. The only systems I would buy in store is a Mac (Just bought a new Powerbook G4 for school on Thursday). For your uses however I would suggest minimum of 1GB of RAM (Windows sucks up RAM), a DVD RW drive (mine is an aftermarket Mad Dog Dual Layer drive that I got for about $60). If you are worried about space definately get a flat panel LCD monitor, they are very nice. I would stay away from Celeron and Semprons simply because they aren't quite as good. If I was forced to choose between those options, I would go with one of the last 2, probably the Pentium 4 one. The 9-in-1 reader thing isn't too helpful. If you have a digital camera with an SD card you can just buy a small $10 card reader or just use the original cables. My personal IBM desktop is a P4 3.0 GHz, 1GB Ram, 250GB HD for Windows XP Pro, 160GB HD for Linspire 5.0, 160GB External for Linspire, 120GB External for Windows, ATI (don't remember the exact number) Video Card with 256MB DDR RAM, Sound Blaster Platinum, 52X CD-RW and 8x4x32 Dual Layer DVD-RW, and a firewire card for my camcorder. When I originally built the computer from parts it cost me just over $900 2 years ago (only started with a 160GB HD, found the rest laying around the house and decided to use them). Again, out of those choices, I would probably go with the HP A1224N (only if a gun was placed to my head to choose one). You may want to check around at some computer sites that will custom build a computer for you, you go through an online page and choose the components that you want. I believe portatech.com has one of those options. I don't know for sure how much they would cost, but you could look into it.

cadfael_tex
12-05-2005, 03:49 PM
If you feel up to building your own, which I would suggest also. Give me an email and I can tell you where to start. It is really not all that difficult. The harderst part is finding the parts that go together in the best way and I can help you with that if you like.

cadfaelx4@yahoo.com

matchpoint
12-05-2005, 04:21 PM
If you feel up to building your own, which I would suggest also. Give me an email and I can tell you where to start. It is really not all that difficult. The harderst part is finding the parts that go together in the best way and I can help you with that if you like.
cadfaelx4@yahoo.com

I admire you guys courage to build your own computer but I would not recommend it for to someone who just wants to have a decent machine to use and did not want to deal with the challenges ahead. Just think of the nightmare you're going to have with your warranties, parts compatibilities and having to buy software that might would have come free with the machine. Besides with the deals you have now, you're probably going to save 20 dollars building it yourself if it doesn't make it more expensive.:mrgreen:

cadfael_tex
12-05-2005, 04:26 PM
I've built two computers for friends recently to replace the Dells they had. They were total junk. When I opened the case to see if I could fix them, they looked like they were put together by trained monkeys. One of them was less than a year old and had problems from the start which should have been covered under waranty but weren't. You don't save much building your own on the low end but you don't get a machine cobbled together from old stock on the comp company's shelves either. Not only do you get a better machine but it's fun to do. It's seems daunting but it really isn't -really.

FedererUberAlles
12-05-2005, 04:30 PM
I can put togethor a pretty nice computer for $700, but we can go dual core for $1,100. =)

Masamusou
12-05-2005, 04:32 PM
matchpoints, it's not always the money, it's the performance. For TripleB's needs, buying any of the systems is perfectly fine, but for me, having 256MB of my RAM being eaten by my video card is completely unacceptable. If you know what you are doing, it's not that complicated. The warranty is probably the biggest issue for TripleB, which means any of the options he was looking as would work, but out of those I would choose one of the P4's or the Athlon 64. Building it yourself just gives you a lot more options as to what you want exactly. It would be impossible for me to find an equal computer without paying someone to build it. I just cut out the middle man.

cadfael_tex
12-05-2005, 04:36 PM
If you're aren't in the mood to build one, the only off the shelf what I would recommend to you in your price range would be the Apple Mac Mini. Does everything you want to do out of the box and intellegently.

fishuuuuu
12-05-2005, 04:40 PM
If you'll email me I can link you to a website where you can get a lot of coupon code discounts on DELL desktops and laptops.

Masamusou
12-05-2005, 04:44 PM
I personally can't argue against an Apple. I love my little Powerbook, cost quite a bit (1500), but it's so nice for school. Just pop it open in the chemical engineering lounge and start working. I'm not sure if TripleB's PalmPilot will be compatible with the Mac OSX. I believe most Palm Pilot's are windows based. Just curious because I honestly don't know if it would work or not.

cadfael_tex
12-05-2005, 04:46 PM
PalmPilot will work with Mac using MarkSpace's Missing Sync software. There is also software to sync Blackberry's with a Mac.

nViATi
12-05-2005, 04:48 PM
I personally can't argue against an Apple. I love my little Powerbook, cost quite a bit (1500), but it's so nice for school. Just pop it open in the chemical engineering lounge and start working. I'm not sure if TripleB's PalmPilot will be compatible with the Mac OSX. I believe most Palm Pilot's are windows based. Just curious because I honestly don't know if it would work or not.
The Palm OS is not Window based. Also, I'm pretty sure there are programs for syncing a Palm OS system to a Mac.

Masamusou
12-05-2005, 04:49 PM
Ok, I figured it was possible, but I just didn't know for sure. I'm assuming the Missing Sync software is fairly easy to use because TripleB seems like the easier the better. Thanks for answering the question about the compatibility.

jeefreak
12-05-2005, 05:39 PM
http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_attrib.php/page_id=9/sortby=priceA/start=125

If you want to buy parts and build your own PC I would suggest looking through pricegrabber.com or pricewatch.com

cadfael_tex
12-05-2005, 05:50 PM
Try newegg, that's always where I find the best service and price.

fishuuuuu
12-05-2005, 06:07 PM
Dimension 9150 computer with 17" Dell e173FP LCD monitor. This Intel 945P based computer comes with a faster 3.2Ghz Pentium 4 Processor 540 HT, 512MB of Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533Mhz, larger 160GB S-ATA 7200RPM hard drive, FREE upgrade to 16x DVD-Rom & 48x CD-RW drives, 128MB ATI Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory PCIe x16 video card, integrated 7.1 channel audio, faster 10/100/100 networking, Windows XP Home, 1 year warranty for $629 after rebate at my link ... contact me if you want it!

doriancito
12-05-2005, 06:11 PM
i think you might want to look for little bit more of RAM, 512 seemed a lot when i got my computer...but no games are demanding mroe..same for softwares..like autocad...etc. so id look for something of 1024RAM as for the HD i wouldnt look for too much space as it is onyl music and foto's which will occupy most of it, so 80 GB is cool. The processor wouldnt have to be the latest..remember you are only running music, word, and burning...which is nothing for a normal 2.(anything) processor just keep in mind to get a "prescott" series if posible made by intel..they get very hot so id put 1 more cooler in the case. Then...lets see..oh i know some guys will say "what you say 2.(something) and he wants to burn DVD's??" well for your information guys burning Cd's/DVD's doesnt boost your processor but your RAM! a 2.(somethin) plus 1024 RAM is the best you can get for 2.(something) processors.
Then if you want to watch any movies id recomend a good display maybe a 19" LCD display made by Dell..they have some really good deals of them at E bay. But if you want to keep your computer for a long time..id recomend not intel but AMD processor any kind over 2,400 of 64 bits since Windows is launching this new OS for 64 bit processor's to make them work faster. i say 2,400 "mhz" or 2.4 "gig" because AMD never works at its best they usually work 200 mhz less.
here goes a web page with the lowest prices we have in latin america for computer parts.. its in portuguese i hope it helps.. www.navenet.com thats the cheapest it gets for us. They have ALLL and i mean AAAALLL their atalogue is uploaded every hour so psot up new products and prices.

FedererUberAlles
12-05-2005, 06:11 PM
Get an eMac on e-bay, or something like that. Actually, you can get a refurbished eMac for a pretty good price. All in one CRT and computer with good specs. Remember, clock speed means nothing when comparing PPC (Apple/IBM POWER) processors to x86 processors (the ones typically found in windows boxes/most *nix machines). This is probably your best bet. (http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/71207/wo/uV2UcTpwowP62Tt3cxMraGbMZJs/1.0.0.19.1.0.8.7.3.5.1.1.12.1.5.1.1.5.0)

This isn't bad either. (http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/71207/wo/uV2UcTpwowP62Tt3cxMraGbMZJs/1.0.0.19.1.0.8.7.3.5.1.1.12.1.5.1.0.5.0)

FedererUberAlles
12-05-2005, 06:13 PM
Don't buy a dell or anything like that. Total price gauging. Learn how to build your own computer, and buy parts from a place like newegg.com. Dell is a total fraudulent rip off.

doriancito
12-05-2005, 06:24 PM
Mac is really good for graphics, music and burning id say the best....the problem is not all software is compatible with it same for hardware..

fishuuuuu
12-05-2005, 06:27 PM
Don't buy a dell or anything like that. Total price gauging. Learn how to build your own computer, and buy parts from a place like newegg.com. Dell is a total fraudulent rip off.

I don't get how those Apple computers you linked are anything superior to the specs I posted? And they're more expensive?

FedererUberAlles
12-05-2005, 06:29 PM
Obviously you know nothing about computers...

bennieboi
12-05-2005, 06:30 PM
hey, there's a great website i know that makes custom computers, i don'nt know if they're really that great, i'm poor so i can't afford a new better computer. most are gaming pc's.

cyberpowersystem.com

FedererUberAlles
12-05-2005, 06:37 PM
Oh crap! TirpleB, where do you live in North Carolina? i live in North Raleigh. Maybe we could figure something out in regards to a custom build.

fishuuuuu
12-05-2005, 06:44 PM
Obviously you know nothing about computers...

Obviously you understand nothing about tact. But while we're here lets look at some plain facts. BBB was looking at combos from BestBuy ... that implies what good ol buddy? That he would like to buy a whole computer ... preassembled. I was just telling him about a deal that intrigued me and might intrigued him too. I never said I was the all-knowing wizard of computers, but that I saw that. Obviously, you need to calm down.

meh
12-05-2005, 06:45 PM
if you must buy, get either of the two HP's that you listed last, the ones with the Pentium 4 519 and AMD 64 3500. Those are obviously the two best for the money, in terms of specs. For cheaper retail boxes, you won't get any gfx or sound cards, so that might be annoying. however, both of those run on Media Center 2005, which will be a pain to operate unless you want a "10-foot" interface, ie. control your pc from the couch. so if you don't expect your pc to be in the living room, Media Center is the worst thing you can do...

if you are hesitant about building a pc yourself, and don't know any precautionary procedures while building (ie. don't walk across carpet holding your components, ground yourself) then you should buy. however, you can also ask a friend/coworker to build for you, or go to a smaller shop and ask them to construct one, or just go to a retail store and buy. if you insist on saving money and not having to deal with the annoying software and other crap that comes loaded on retail PCs, then build, and be sure to have somebody knowledgeable oversee your work

if you do choose the oem route, understand that you also have warranties on each of your components. procs and mobos have lengthy warranties, and many online companies, especially Newegg, are generous regarding RMA's.

a few sites to keep in mind, if going the oem route:
http://www.newegg.com (http://www.newegg.com/) (easily the best online store)
http://www.zipzoomfly.com
and http://www.tigerdirect.com

you just missed the black friday sale, so you just missed the best prices of the year, but christmas prices aren't too bad...

FedererUberAlles
12-05-2005, 06:49 PM
Obviously you understand nothing about tact. But while we're here lets look at some plain facts. BBB was looking at combos from BestBuy ... that implies what good ol buddy? That he would like to buy a whole computer ... preassembled. I was just telling him about a deal that intrigued me and might intrigued him too. I never said I was the all-knowing wizard of computers, but that I saw that. Obviously, you need to calm down.

You're obviously quite butthurt.

dmastous
12-05-2005, 06:50 PM
I built my last computer from parts bought at Newegg. That was almost 3 years ago. You really don't want to do that until you research things like what's the best, most cost effective RAM? Then which motherboard will be compatible with that and the processor you decide upon. Athelon or Intel? What speed? How many peripherals will you need? Do you want good video or graphics? Do you need it for gaming?
If you can't answer these questions you should think about buying a pre-built machine from Dell or HP or some other company, or do some studying because what I've brought up is just the tip of the iceberg.

meh
12-05-2005, 06:55 PM
bennieboi, Cyberpower is just a smaller computer retailer. companies such as cyberpower, abs, elite, hypersonic, overdrive, polywell, velocity micro, winbook, xi, and zt group use exactly the same components available to anybody from a retailer like newegg, except that they are assembled professionally, come with a warranty, and have a little company badge. they have a small fee tacked on, but they usually utilize better components than the larger pc manufacturers do. larger companies, such as dell, gateway, & HP have deals with component manufacturers, and thus use the crappiest components available...boutiques will tend to use better components. therefore, they will generally start at higher prices (since building a pc isn't worth it if the cost is small) but for higher-end machines, they will turn out a better deal than Dell will be able to

fishuuuuu
12-05-2005, 07:03 PM
You're obviously quite butthurt.

How did you know? :confused:

=)

nViATi
12-05-2005, 08:12 PM
1. Ignore doriancito
2. Try the slickdeals.net forums. The guys there are very knowledgable with computers. In addition, after you find a good computer, you can goto the slick deals, hot deals, or help me find a deals section to find a good price on it.
http://forums.slickdeals.net/

matchpoint
12-05-2005, 08:54 PM
matchpoints, it's not always the money, it's the performance. For TripleB's needs, buying any of the systems is perfectly fine, but for me, having 256MB of my RAM being eaten by my video card is completely unacceptable. If you know what you are doing, it's not that complicated. The warranty is probably the biggest issue for TripleB, which means any of the options he was looking as would work, but out of those I would choose one of the P4's or the Athlon 64. Building it yourself just gives you a lot more options as to what you want exactly. It would be impossible for me to find an equal computer without paying someone to build it. I just cut out the middle man.

Obviously there are a lot of computer experts here that will walk through TripleB in putting up his supercomputer that will be used for word processing, browsing the web, synching his palm pilot and a very process intensive, a memory hog that requires a super high resolution game of GOLF, wow!!!
You guys make sure you are on stand-by when TripleB starts shopping for parts, give him advise for compatibility and ready to fly by his house when he can't get his system to work. Plus you have to loan him a pirated copy of your software because it's going to cost him some money to buy software additionally, plus be ready for a technical support when TripleB needs some help because his software doesn't work. Don't forget to share your mp3's too.
:p

Masamusou
12-05-2005, 09:11 PM
matchpoint, I think you may have missed the point. I have said multiple times, that for TripleB's purpose, buying a computer is perfectly fine. I was merely stating that just because building a computer does not always save a vast amount of money, in some cases it is worth it. Maybe not so for TripleB, but for others, as is evidenced from the responses. Unfortunately, I have built computers for others, provided all the software, and done tech support, it was a nice little side job while I was in high school. I say unfortunately because the people that I did it for were completely computer illiterate (as in deleting half the registry because they "didn't need it"). Eventually I got to the point where I password locked anything that they could do to mess up the major components of the OS. It did take away some of the functionality, but they never used it, so they never realized it. It isn't that difficult to find someone that can put a decent computer together for $700. If you have really any idea of what you are doing on a computer and just avoid being stupid, for the most part, the computer will be fine. It's when people start deleting Windows sys32 files and registry files that things get bad. I'm sure most people have enough sense not to mess with those things if they don't know what they are doing, but some aren't. I have on multiple occasion recommended machines that can be purchased from many different places. Also, believe it or not, my software that I used in computers for other people was 100% legit, not all that software you wind up with on a new Dell computer is necessary anyway. Who really NEEDS the "Dell Multimedia Software" when there are perfectly functionable alternatives?

fishuuuuu
12-05-2005, 09:21 PM
Obviously there are a lot of computer experts here that will walk through TripleB in putting up his supercomputer that will be used for word processing, browsing the web, synching his palm pilot and a very process intensive, a memory hog that requires a super high resolution game of GOLF, wow!!!
You guys make sure you are on stand-by when TripleB starts shopping for parts, give him advise for compatibility and ready to fly by his house when he can't get his system to work. Plus you have to loan him a pirated copy of your software because it's going to cost him some money to buy software additionally, plus be ready for a technical support when TripleB needs some help because his software doesn't work. Don't forget to share your mp3's too.
:p

My sentiments exactly against uberalles's argument. But to each his own, I think the proposed deal from Dell I suggest is the best you can get for now in terms of a price/productivity ratio.

Deuce
12-05-2005, 10:00 PM
34 responses, and I haven't seen one which suggests buying a used computer.

Are we honestly such an insecure consumer-driven society that we must have 'the latest' everything to maintain our phony 'social status'?

What BBB is looking for can be very easily accomplished with a second (or third) hand computer. And the way that the computer industry turns out new products, used computer shops are popping up everywhere.

I know for a fact that BBB could get a used computer that will do everything he has listed - and much more - and he could get it for about $100 - perhaps even less. He could even get a Dell. This would be a computer which is 2 or 3 years 'old', and which has proven itself to be efficient (unlike a new computer). These computers are bought mainly from companies who are updating their stock. Not only would this save him a considerable amount of money, but it would also recycle an old computer which would otherwise go into an already overfilled landfill.

And the only thing he'd have to forfeit in buying a used computer is a phony 'social status' among persons whose opinion is of little worth. Meanwhile, he'd gain the respect of the more responsible and intelligent contingent.

FedererUberAlles
12-06-2005, 02:02 AM
Okay, so we went overboard. :p I can build a computer to do all of the things you want for about $200-300, TripleB.

FedererUberAlles
12-06-2005, 02:06 AM
34 responses, and I haven't seen one which suggests buying a used computer.

Are we honestly such an insecure consumer-driven society that we must have 'the latest' everything to maintain our phony 'social status'?

What BBB is looking for can be very easily accomplished with a second (or third) hand computer. And the way that the computer industry turns out new products, used computer shops are popping up everywhere.

I know for a fact that BBB could get a used computer that will do everything he has listed - and much more - and he could get it for about $100 - perhaps even less. He could even get a Dell. This would be a computer which is 2 or 3 years 'old', and which has proven itself to be efficient (unlike a new computer). These computers are bought mainly from companies who are updating their stock. Not only would this save him a considerable amount of money, but it would also recycle an old computer which would otherwise go into an already overfilled landfill.

And the only thing he'd have to forfeit in buying a used computer is a phony 'social status' among persons whose opinion is of little worth. Meanwhile, he'd gain the respect of the more responsible and intelligent contingent.

It's not about social status. Jesus christ.

matchpoint
12-06-2005, 09:57 AM
34 responses, and I haven't seen one which suggests buying a used computer.

Are we honestly such an insecure consumer-driven society that we must have 'the latest' everything to maintain our phony 'social status'?

What BBB is looking for can be very easily accomplished with a second (or third) hand computer. And the way that the computer industry turns out new products, used computer shops are popping up everywhere.

I know for a fact that BBB could get a used computer that will do everything he has listed - and much more - and he could get it for about $100 - perhaps even less. He could even get a Dell. This would be a computer which is 2 or 3 years 'old', and which has proven itself to be efficient (unlike a new computer). These computers are bought mainly from companies who are updating their stock. Not only would this save him a considerable amount of money, but it would also recycle an old computer which would otherwise go into an already overfilled landfill.

And the only thing he'd have to forfeit in buying a used computer is a phony 'social status' among persons whose opinion is of little worth. Meanwhile, he'd gain the respect of the more responsible and intelligent contingent.

Deuce,

For 100 dollars, I've got a system for you. You just have to add $50 shipping charge. I promise you it works, it's a Dell with a 17" monitor and even has a CD burner with it. But forget the price you'll be giving mother earth a big favor.

PS. You can play golf with it. ;)