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TripleB
12-06-2005, 05:50 AM
I want to say thanks to all the helpful information you gave me on my last post about Computer Help. I read all the information and have decided a couple things: 1) I prefer not to build my own (probably get a lot more for my money but I'm not comfortable in doing it); 2) I prefer to go with a Windows based computer (the school where I work is all Windows based so I prefer to have it hat home); and 3) I've noticed I can get a lot more for my money if I don't go with Dell.

I've found four systems at Best Buy that looking intriguing and fall under that $700 max I was looking for (at least after rebates they do). If you can, please offer any and all advice on which would be the better system to go with.

Here's a brief summary of each:

Compaq Presario 3400+ SR1620 with 17” Flatscreen CRT monitor and HP Photo Printer $460
Windows XP Home
AMD Sempron Processor
2.0 GHz
1600 MHz Sys Bus
128KB Cache
512MB Sys Memory
160GB Hard Drive
Up to 128MB Video Memory
Double Layer Recordable DVD/CD
Digital Media Reader
7 USB Ports
4 Expansion Bays
4 Expansion Slots
2 IEEE 1394 Ports
Software: MS Works 8, Money ’05, Compaq Organize, Adobe 7, Sonic Digital Medial Plus, InterVideo Win DVD 5, HP Image Zone, Express 1.5, Apple Itunes

Gateway 630 838GM with 17” Flatscreen CRT monitor and Canon PIXMA printer $660
Windows XP Media Center 2005
Intel Pentium 4 with HT Technology
3.0 GHz
800 MHZ Sys Bus
2 MB Cache
512MB Sys Memory
200GB Hard Drive
Up to 224MB Video Memory
Double Layer Recordable DVD/CD
Digital Media Reader
7 USB Ports
6 Expansion Bays
4 Expansion Slots
3 IEEE 1394 Ports
Software: MS Picture It!, MS Works 8, Money 2005, Media Player 10, Adobe 7, CyberLink Power DVD, Nero 6, QuickTime, Real Network Real Player, Gateway BigFix

HP Pavillion 3500+ a1210n with HP 15” Flat Panel TFT LCD Monitor and HP Photo printer $680
Windows XP Media Center 2005
AMD Athlon 64
2.2 GHz
2000 MHz Sys Bus
512KB Cache
200GB Hard Drive
Up to 256MB Video Memory
Double Layer Recordable DVD/CD with Light Scribe Compatability
Digital Media Reader
7 USB Ports
4 Expansion Bays
4 Expansion Slots
2 IEEE 1394 Ports
Software: Microsoft Works 8, Money 2005, Quicken ’05, HP Image Zone Plus, Sonic Digital Media Plus, InterVideo Win DVD 5, muvee autoProducer, Adobe 6.0, Apple Itunes

HP Pavillion 519K a1224n with HP 17” FlatScreen CRT Monitor and HP Photo printer $680
Windows XP Media Center 2005
Inter Pentium 4
3.06 GHz
533 MHz Sys Bus
1MB Cache
1 G Hard Drive
Up to 128MB Video Memory
Double Layer Recordable DVD/CD with Light Scribe Compatability
Digital Media Reader
7 USB Ports
4 Expansion Bays
3 Expansion Slots
2 IEEE 1394 Ports
Software: Microsoft Works 8, Money 2005, Quicken ’05, Adobe 7, muvee autoProducer, InterVideo Win DVD 5, Sonic Digital Media Plus, HP Image Zone Plus, Apple Itunes

Thanks for all your help.

TripleB

cadfael_tex
12-06-2005, 05:57 AM
I think any of them would be a good choice for you. I'm leaning toward the HP 3500+ mostly because of the processor. I think it will work fine for what your needs are.

POGO
12-06-2005, 06:05 AM
BBB,

Since you work in the educational field, doesn't your school provide discounts on computer and software purchases? Look into it, as you may save even more money.

Sometimes, specially if one is not too computer savy in troubleshooting and repair, investing on a computer with good tech support and warranty would be the best choice.

From my experience Dell is by far the best in tech support and warranty service. We have used Dell computers on the majority of schools we have setup computer labs and network. Dell is quick to send replacement parts and deploy their own tech on site to fix any problems.

doriancito
12-06-2005, 06:33 AM
go for the Gateway 630

TripleB
12-06-2005, 06:49 AM
BBB,

Since you work in the educational field, doesn't your school provide discounts on computer and software purchases? Look into it, as you may save even more money.

Sometimes, specially if one is not too computer savy in troubleshooting and repair, investing on a computer with good tech support and warranty would be the best choice.

From my experience Dell is by far the best in tech support and warranty service. We have used Dell computers on the majority of schools we have setup computer labs and network. Dell is quick to send replacement parts and deploy their own tech on site to fix any problems.

Thanks for the advice. I'm checking into the discount for Dell computers...I e-mailed our "computer" person but they had to e-mail someone at our central office.

Our school had been going with Gateway for the longest time and within the last year or so we have switched over to Dell computers because of the poor Gateway build and the lack of support from Gateway.

TripleB

Return_Ace
12-06-2005, 08:08 AM
well, they're all pretty nice, now personally i'd go for either the gateway or the HP3500+ cos both of those are pretty good spec, and if needed you can upgrade to a more mordern processor if you feel the need. The other two are actually older processors (not the sempron but it's not gonna go far...) which can be replaced but will have a limit as to how much it can be upgraded.
I've also seen something a little worrying which is the fact they fail to specify a proper graphics card, and seem to say "up to so&so" this kinda leaves me to believe they might be using intergrated graphics. This is fine if you're only going to be using basic software such as word etc. however "if" you want to play a few new games, you'll find your fps very low. But not only on games, some graphics intensive applications such as photoshop could also run moreslowly with intergrated graphics.

Fee
12-06-2005, 08:18 AM
According to PC Mag and Consumer reports, Dell has a decent reputation for building desktops and they have decent support. Gateway, on the other hand, just plain sucks (and I say this from personal experience too). Do a Google search for 'gateway sucks' or 'never buy a Gateway' or something like that and see what comes up.

TripleB
12-06-2005, 09:10 AM
After looking a little deeper into Dell, I can get the following system for $711:

Dell B110 Desktop with 17" Conventional CRT Monitor
Windows XP Home Edition
Intel Celeron D325
2.53 GHz
400 MHz Sys Bus
128KB Cache
512MB Sys Memory
160GB Hard Drive
Up To 128 Video Memory
Double Layer Recordable DVD/CD with Light Scribe
No Digital Media Reader
6 USB Ports
4 Expansion Bays
3 Expansion Slots
1 IEEE 1394 Port
Software: MS Works Suite 6.0, Sonic Digital Media, MyDVD Plus, Total Photo and Music, Word Perfect, Adobe 6.0, Corel Photo 6

Not sure if it's better or worse than the other four systems or not. Looking at the specs it looks to be a little less for the money but not by much.

TripleB

TripleB
12-06-2005, 10:01 AM
At this time I think I'm leaning toward one of the two HP models. Looking at the two models the major differences I see are:

3500+ / 519K

15" Flat Panel LCD Monitor / 17" FlatScreen CRT
AMD Athlon 64 / Intel Pentium 4
2.2 GHz / 3.06 GHz
Sys Bus: 2000 MHz / 533 MHz
512KB Cache / 1GB Cache
Video Memory: Up to 256MB / Up to 128MB
Audio: Built in 6 Channel / High Definition 7.1 supported

What does all of this mean?

TripleB

cadfael_tex
12-06-2005, 10:09 AM
At this time I think I'm leaning toward one of the two HP models. Looking at the two models the major differences I see are:

3500+ / 519K

15" Flat Panel LCD Monitor / 17" FlatScreen CRT
AMD Athlon 64 / Intel Pentium 4
2.06 GHz / 3.06 GHz
Sys Bus: 2000 MHz / 533 MHz
512KB Cache / 1GB Cache
Video Memory: Up to 256MB / Up to 128MB
Audio: Built in 6 Channel / High Definition 7.1 supported

What does all of this mean?

TripleB

I'll take'm one by one if you don't mind (at least the relevant ones)
LCD monitor, besides taking up much less space on your desk, uses less power.
I prefer the Athlon 64, runs cooler, and if you notice on the next line, runs at a lower clock speed (2.06 versus 3.06). The 3500 refers to the 3.5 ghz that AMD states the Intel equivalent would be so if you believe there marketing (which I have to say is somewhat accurate) then the AMD 3500 machine is faster.

Cache and Bus speed are not going to be too noticeable to you so I wouldn't make a decision based on those.

Video memory is on board taking away system resources and unless you're playing high level video games isn't going to make that much difference.

Built in audio also is a wash. It the difference in 5.1 versys 7.1 sound? This only makes a difference in case you were planning on hooking up a 7.1 (bass plus 7 satelites speakers) system to your computer.

MY 2 cents.

TripleB
12-06-2005, 10:59 AM
I'll take'm one by one if you don't mind (at least the relevant ones)
LCD monitor, besides taking up much less space on your desk, uses less power.
I prefer the Athlon 64, runs cooler, and if you notice on the next line, runs at a lower clock speed (2.06 versus 3.06). The 3500 refers to the 3.5 ghz that AMD states the Intel equivalent would be so if you believe there marketing (which I have to say is somewhat accurate) then the AMD 3500 machine is faster.

Cache and Bus speed are not going to be too noticeable to you so I wouldn't make a decision based on those.

Video memory is on board taking away system resources and unless you're playing high level video games isn't going to make that much difference.

Built in audio also is a wash. It the difference in 5.1 versys 7.1 sound? This only makes a difference in case you were planning on hooking up a 7.1 (bass plus 7 satelites speakers) system to your computer.

MY 2 cents.

I MADE A BIG MISTAKE....THE HP PAVILLION 519K (a1224n) HAS A 3.06 GHz PROCESSOR SPEED!!! {I listed it originally as 2.06}

TripleB

FedererUberAlles
12-06-2005, 11:29 AM
Where do you live in North Carolina? I live in North Raleigh. I could definitely assemble a system similar to one of those for less, I think, and then drop it off/pick up/whatever.

nViATi
12-06-2005, 03:30 PM
I'd go for a system with an Athlon 64 processor.

meh
12-06-2005, 05:22 PM
another vote for the AMD based system.

Intel simply cannot compete with AMD when it comes to performance.

ShooterMcMarco
12-06-2005, 05:50 PM
At this time I think I'm leaning toward one of the two HP models. Looking at the two models the major differences I see are:

3500+ / 519K

15" Flat Panel LCD Monitor / 17" FlatScreen CRT
AMD Athlon 64 / Intel Pentium 4
2.2 GHz / 3.06 GHz
Sys Bus: 2000 MHz / 533 MHz
512KB Cache / 1GB Cache
Video Memory: Up to 256MB / Up to 128MB
Audio: Built in 6 Channel / High Definition 7.1 supported

What does all of this mean?

TripleB


3500+ /519k - basically it runs at 2.2ghz 519k is likely the amount of L2 cache (in other words, really high speed memory the CPU uses)

system bus - is kind of like the highway all the devices in the computer use to communicate with each other. this actually more important than CPU clock speed.

video memory - is memory (RAM) that a video card uses. if it doesn't specify what kind of video card it has, chances are its something proprietary.

high def 7.1 means you can support 6 sattellite speakers and a subwoofer

edit: For what its worth, i prefer AMD over Intel because the architecture allows for better graphics rendering.

scotus
12-06-2005, 06:07 PM
I have had various laptops. Toshiba, Gateway, HP, Compaq, and Dell. As far as reliability goes, Dell is head and shoulders above the others. Toshiba is okay, but I won't buy another computer from the other companies. I hear IBM is also good.

FedererUberAlles
12-06-2005, 06:40 PM
3500+ /519k - basically it runs at 2.2ghz 519k is likely the amount of L2 cache (in other words, really high speed memory the CPU uses)

system bus - is kind of like the highway all the devices in the computer use to communicate with each other. this actually more important than CPU clock speed.

video memory - is memory (RAM) that a video card uses. if it doesn't specify what kind of video card it has, chances are its something proprietary.

high def 7.1 means you can support 6 sattellite speakers and a subwoofer

edit: For what its worth, i prefer AMD over Intel because the architecture allows for better graphics rendering.

AMD and Intel, in this case, both use x86 architecture.

ShooterMcMarco
12-06-2005, 07:24 PM
AMD and Intel, in this case, both use x86 architecture.

That doesn't explain why AMD's 2.2 ghz is more efficient than intel's 3.6 ghz. AMD processors uses on-board memory controllers which improve overall speed. Also if you notice, Intel is slowly integrating the same features as AMD (such as the NX bit, and shorter pipelines, 64 bit). AMD is also cheaper :mrgreen:

Deuce
12-06-2005, 10:17 PM
TripleB wrote:
What does all of this mean?

It means that the most practical choice by far is to buy a used computer.

I guarantee that you can get a used computer that will perform all the tasks you listed, and much more, for about $100.

There must be a reason that you're not even considering this option. What's the reason?

meh
12-06-2005, 10:30 PM
AMD and Intel, in this case, both use x86 architecture.

naw, man, AMD 64's are the x64 architecture...

AMD system bus is faster bc the memory controller is integrated onto the proc itself, while Intel needs to bus the data to a relatively distant location on the motherboard. And despite all the specs, AMD does pull out much, much better performance than Intel does. Benchmarks comparing AMD's and Intel's new dual-core procs: http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10442_7-6389077-1.html?tag=promo1. AMD absolutely dominates.

Shooter, the VRAM in this case is not proprietary; rather, it's the onboard video chipset. Unlike a discrete video card, onboard video will take it's VRAM off of the system's RAM. You didn't list the amount of RAM that would be installed on each computer, but for mundane purposes, you'll unlikely need very much VRAM.

RAM is the easiest component to install, so if the installed RAM is 512 mb or under, consider raising it to 756 or 1024 mb later, on your own.

For the audio, they're both basically the same. They're both onboard audio, which sucks. bad. You can hear all of the component noises from inside the case, and it constantly squeals and hisses and the clarity is horrible. However, if you're going to use the cheap bundled speakers, and your ears aren't sensitive to sound very much, then it won't be an issue. My dad isn't bothered by the squeaking of onboard sound, but I think it's distracting and it hurts my ears...

Other than the processor and the monitor, both PC's are the same, so it's your choice.

However, you might want to watch out about the software. Both pc's come loaded with XP media center 05. If you haven't used a 10ft interface before, Media Center may be confusing, and frankly, if you aren't gonna playback much multimedia, it's incredibly annoying. Also, both pc's come with Works 8, instead of Office. Works only has MS Word bundled, and a stripped down spreadsheet app. It doesn't include a presentation app. Since you're associated with education, you should be able to pick up MS Office 2003 for a relatively cheap price, if you need Excel and Powerpoint.

meh
12-06-2005, 10:38 PM
TripleB wrote:
What does all of this mean?

It means that the most practical choice by far is to buy a used computer.

I guarantee that you can get a used computer that will perform all the tasks you listed, and much more, for about $100.

There must be a reason that you're not even considering this option. What's the reason?

it means that nobody sells used computers, and nobody wants used computers. computers are not cars, the same economics cannot be applied. electronics should not be purchased used. they grow out of date much faster than other things. used computers will most likely have beat out, run-too-long, virus-infested, and otherwise abused hard drives. they will have dust caking the case, requiring a lengthy cleanup process. not worth it. And I guarantee that you won't be able to find a used PC, unless you convince a neighbor to sell it to you. And I guarantee that a used PC for $100 will not be able to support Windows Vista when it comes out in 2006. Additionally, if BBB wanted to scrounge money to that extent, he can spend $200 to buy a relatively up-to-date PC, with a monitor and printer.

Deuce, I know you are intelligent and your comments are generally enlightening. But i seem to remember that you were the one asking TW that the copy/paste function didn't work...With all due respect, you don't really offer anything constructive on this thread

Deuce
12-06-2005, 11:46 PM
it means that nobody sells used computers, and nobody wants used computers. computers are not cars, the same economics cannot be applied. electronics should not be purchased used. they grow out of date much faster than other things. used computers will most likely have beat out, run-too-long, virus-infested, and otherwise abused hard drives. they will have dust caking the case, requiring a lengthy cleanup process. not worth it. And I guarantee that you won't be able to find a used PC, unless you convince a neighbor to sell it to you. And I guarantee that a used PC for $100 will not be able to support Windows Vista when it comes out in 2006. Additionally, if BBB wanted to scrounge money to that extent, he can spend $200 to buy a relatively up-to-date PC, with a monitor and printer.

Deuce, I know you are intelligent and your comments are generally enlightening. But i seem to remember that you were the one asking TW that the copy/paste function didn't work...With all due respect, you don't really offer anything constructive on this thread

Indeed, I'm the one who was wondering why there is no 'copy' button on the 'compose' page - because it makes more sense to have a copy button than to have the same idiotic 'smiley' things in two different 'boxes' on the 'compose' page.

I'm also the one who has bought three used computers in the past seven years (never bought a new one in my life), and who has had far, far fewer problems with my used computers than people I know have had with their new computers.

I'm also the one who knows that used computer stores are popping up everywhere.

I'm also the one who realisez that most people buy FAR MORE computer than they will ever use. After careful and lengthy study, I attribute this to 'peer pressure' and 'status seeking'.

I'm also the one who knows that 'TripleB' will be able to perform every task he listed - and much more - on a used $100 computer.

I'm also the one who realizes that there are fewer moving parts in a computer than in other electronic devices (like VCRs and toasters, for example), and that in a computer, unlike most other electronic devices, most every part can be independently replaced if ever they should malfunction.

Now, I think that was a rather constructive contribution...

meh
12-07-2005, 12:11 AM
Is replacing every single malfunctioning part on a used PC really worth it...once you're finished, the case will the only original component. And, btw, in case you've never done an upgrade on a retail PC, it is incredibly inconvenient. Retail PC's come in mini-towers, and if you've ever tried swapping out a HD on a retail PC, come back and type a reply with your bloody, scraped-up fingers finishing a job that should have taken about 10 minutes in an hour.

Additionally, manufacturers don't provide the exact specs for the components they use, such as the chipset, motherboard, etc...which are the most important. So, if any damage occurs to any of the core components, then the entire thing has to be replaced, bc most manufacturers are proprietary gits and enjoy incompatability with other components.

How many moving parts does a toaster have? A spring to move up the little tray? One? Two at most, if you include the button. A PC has a spinning hard drive, a spinning optical drive, a fan on the power supply, a chipset fan, and a heatsink, as a bare minimum. If you want your computer not to fry itself within 10 minutes, then you need to add at least one case fan. Most people will have more than one HD, or more than one optical drive, or a floppy drive...each are moving components. Then, if you have a video card, you need another fan on that...and if you want that many components to coexist inside the case, you'll probably need another case fan...

What kind of study did you conduct? Where do you live? Demographics, age, occupation, race, and other factors all affect what kind of computer you buy. Generally, a farmer living in Kansas would have less need for a better PC than somebody living in Silicon Valley would, as I do... Your conclusions based on your neighbors' and friends' usage aren't representative of man as a whole, however much you'd like to think it is...

I've never seen a used computer store in my life. I live in Silicon Valley, tech capital of the US. There is no demand, especially when it costs $200 to buy an up-to-date PC with a LCD and a printer...

Obviously, BBB can perform his tasks on my 133mhz Pentium 1 PC with an astounding 32 mb of RAM rusting downstairs in my garage as well as on a box with an AMD X2 4800+ with 8 GB of RAM, dual Geforce 7800GTX's in SLI. But for how long will a used PC last? You've bought 3 PCs in 7 yrs, giving each PC a life of a little over two years... I build a new box about every four years, and never have I used top-of-the-line components...in fact, the PCs that BBB was looking at cost more than my own.

And finally, there is no copy button on the compose page because it's a simple keyboard shortcut...Ctrl+C and then Ctrl+V. Just because you don't use smilies doesn't mean others don't, and I'm not aware of any universal keyboard shortcuts for the 15+ smilies on my right...

ShooterMcMarco
12-07-2005, 12:14 AM
Shooter, the VRAM in this case is not proprietary; rather, it's the onboard video chipset. Unlike a discrete video card, onboard video will take it's VRAM off of the system's RAM.

yeah, i thats what i was talking about, i should have worded it differently. AMD >>>> intel. AMD is raising the bar with the dual core 64 bit processors. Intel is the one doing the catching up.

Deuce
12-07-2005, 01:01 AM
Is replacing every single malfunctioning part on a used PC really worth it...once you're finished, the case will the only original component. And, btw, in case you've never done an upgrade on a retail PC, it is incredibly inconvenient. Retail PC's come in mini-towers, and if you've ever tried swapping out a HD on a retail PC, come back and type a reply with your bloody, scraped-up fingers finishing a job that should have taken about 10 minutes in an hour.

Additionally, manufacturers don't provide the exact specs for the components they use, such as the chipset, motherboard, etc...which are the most important. So, if any damage occurs to any of the core components, then the entire thing has to be replaced, bc most manufacturers are proprietary gits and enjoy incompatability with other components.

How many moving parts does a toaster have? A spring to move up the little tray? One? Two at most, if you include the button. A PC has a spinning hard drive, a spinning optical drive, a fan on the power supply, a chipset fan, and a heatsink, as a bare minimum. If you want your computer not to fry itself within 10 minutes, then you need to add at least one case fan. Most people will have more than one HD, or more than one optical drive, or a floppy drive...each are moving components. Then, if you have a video card, you need another fan on that...and if you want that many components to coexist inside the case, you'll probably need another case fan...

What kind of study did you conduct? Where do you live? Demographics, age, occupation, race, and other factors all affect what kind of computer you buy. Generally, a farmer living in Kansas would have less need for a better PC than somebody living in Silicon Valley would, as I do... Your conclusions based on your neighbors' and friends' usage aren't representative of man as a whole, however much you'd like to think it is...

I've never seen a used computer store in my life. I live in Silicon Valley, tech capital of the US. There is no demand, especially when it costs $200 to buy an up-to-date PC with a LCD and a printer...

Obviously, BBB can perform his tasks on my 133mhz Pentium 1 PC with an astounding 32 mb of RAM rusting downstairs in my garage as well as on a box with an AMD X2 4800+ with 8 GB of RAM, dual Geforce 7800GTX's in SLI. But for how long will a used PC last? You've bought 3 PCs in 7 yrs, giving each PC a life of a little over two years... I build a new box about every four years, and never have I used top-of-the-line components...in fact, the PCs that BBB was looking at cost more than my own.

And finally, there is no copy button on the compose page because it's a simple keyboard shortcut...Ctrl+C and then Ctrl+V. Just because you don't use smilies doesn't mean others don't, and I'm not aware of any universal keyboard shortcuts for the 15+ smilies on my right...

You're right - having two separate 'smiley' boxes which contain the same 'smileys' in each box makes far more sense and is far more important that a 'copy' button. To a certain type of person. Others, however, realize that 'compose' pages typically include a 'copy' button - it's rather basic, and would very likely be used more often than the 'smiley' buttons.

Yes, I've had 3 computers in 7 years, which is fewer computers in that period of time than others I know have bought (new). Not once did I buy one due to the previous one breaking - it was simply to 'keep up' with the rapidly changing software - whose 'progress' has slowed down considerably in the past two years or so - at least for the stuff I'm using. And I quite believe that 3 computers in the past 7 years is below the average number over that time period, given the huge difference in computers 7 years ago to now. And there is no question that I spent much, much less money on computers in the past 7 years than the average person has.

Also, as I previously stated, I've had fewer problems with my computers than have others I know with new computers. Significantly fewer, actually. One guy I know had his power supply literally catch fire - in a new computer which wasn't yet a year old. Ruined all the data on his hard drive.

You ask... "Is replacing every single malfunctioning part on a used PC really worth it...once you're finished, the case will the only original component. "? Of course, buying a used computer doesn't mean that the parts are any more likely to malfunction than they are on a new computer - which is obviously what you're implying here. In fact, I, personally, have more faith in a used computer because their parts have proven themselves to be without malfunction, unlike those on a new computer.

You go on... "in case you've never done an upgrade on a retail PC, it is incredibly inconvenient. Retail PC's come in mini-towers, and if you've ever tried swapping out a HD on a retail PC, come back and type a reply with your bloody, scraped-up fingers finishing a job that should have taken about 10 minutes in an hour."
I've replaced a few hard drives on my computers (after all, hard drives were once all of about 400 MB), and I've added a CD burner, and later a DVD burner... I've put in various 'cards', and a modem... all without even the slightest hint of bloodshed. I found it to be surprisingly simple and easy. It's pretty basic stuff, really. (Just remember to unplug the computer before doing this yourself, people.)

When I say that the vast majority of people buy far more computer than they will ever use, it is based on my direct observations. People buy the newest, latest, greatest - because that's what the marketing - and people like you - tell them that they need. Meanwhile, they're using it for some word processing, photo storage, and internet use. It's similar to the many people who go and pay $200 for the latest, greatest, most 'technologically sophisticated' racquet - and they don't know how to hit the ball over the net more than twice without netting it or sending it over yonder fence.

For some reason, there is a 'shame' in this culture attached to buying used items. In a healthy culture, the opposite would be true - people would take pride in both saving money and in being more ecologically responsible. Ours is very much a consumer driven, disposable culture - and this is what we should be ashamed of.

It's interesting that you are so passionately against used computers - trying your best to give them a 'leper-like' reputation. It's a very oddly defensive reaction to my rather simple suggestion that a used computer makes sense economically and ecologically.

Do you sell new computers? Do you work in the industry? I'm simply wondering why you feel so threatened by the mention of used computers.

Noelle
12-07-2005, 01:18 AM
Deuce, it seems that TripleB is set on buying a new computer. I'm sure he's read your statements on the benefits of buying a used computer, but he started this new thread stating what he was already considering (i.e. new computers from HP).

From personal experience it takes a little bit more effort selecting a used computer that isn't run down. :( At least with a new computer, TripleB has some security about the reliability of the parts in it.

meh
12-07-2005, 01:18 AM
Just wondering, do you own a used computer shop? No, I am not in the industry...I'm still a student. Just as I am charged as "passionately against" used PC's, why do you intensely advocate them? You treat new products, as a whole, with fear; just as an ancient monarch would have a lackey test his food, you seem to require somebody else to finish the product's life before you use it; even though it is the same action, it is in an entirely different circumstance and necessity.

You seem to be blessed with completely functional products...apparently technology has not malfunctioned in your life for the last 7 years. My year-old sound card fried, and so has my friend's 2-year-old HD, among several other cases. Both components were successfully burned in, no? Check online to reveal the rest of the world's infrequent, but frustrating, experiences with failed technology.You have a fallible faith in retail products...

I'm not threatened, I'd just like to know what you have against using a new product...


BTW, TripleB, I recommend that you buy the AMD-based HP box...happy purchasing

Deuce
12-07-2005, 01:35 AM
Just wondering, do you own a used computer shop? No, I am not in the industry...I'm still a student. Just as I am charged as "passionately against" used PC's, why do you intensely advocate them? You treat new products, as a whole, with fear; just as an ancient monarch would have a lackey test his food, you seem to require somebody else to finish the product's life before you use it; even though it is the same action, it is in an entirely different circumstance and necessity.

You seem to be blessed with completely functional products...apparently technology has not malfunctioned in your life for the last 7 years. My year-old sound card fried, and so has my friend's 2-year-old HD, among several other cases. Both components were successfully burned in, no? Check online to reveal the rest of the world's infrequent, but frustrating, experiences with failed technology.You have a fallible faith in retail products...

I'm not threatened, I'd just like to know what you have against using a new product...


BTW, TripleB, I recommend that you buy the AMD-based HP box...happy purchasing

I feel that the majority of persons in this culture have been brainwashed by 'slick marketing' to believe that they 'need' a new (insert product here) every 'X' years. When one ignores the marketing hypes, and simply considers the real facts, one will see that this 'needing the newest stuff' is far from being true.

I also feel that everything should, as much as is possible, be used until it is no longer usable. This makes perfect sense to me. Far more so than does buying a new car, or new computer, or even a new toaster, every 2 or 3 years, when the one you're replacing is still perfectly functional.

Again, because it rarely makes sense economically to replace perfectly functional items with brand new ones, I see the main reason that people are constantly buying new things to replace slightly used things is due to a combination of marketing, insecurity, peer pressure, and a seeking of status.

Seems to me, as well, that there'd be a lot less garbage on (and in) the planet if people applied the theory of using things until they no longer function - or, at the very least, used things for much longer periods than they do now. In this sense, I feel a responsibility to encourage such responsibility.

And no, I don't own a used computer shop.



Deuce, it seems that TripleB is set on buying a new computer. I'm sure he's read your statements on the benefits of buying a used computer, but he started this new thread stating what he was already considering (i.e. new computers from HP).


Yes, and it seems that I am merely trying to open people's eyes to the fact that buying a used computer is a viable and practical - and ecological - option.

FedererUberAlles
12-07-2005, 02:24 AM
naw, man, AMD 64's are the x64 architecture...

AMD system bus is faster bc the memory controller is integrated onto the proc itself, while Intel needs to bus the data to a relatively distant location on the motherboard. And despite all the specs, AMD does pull out much, much better performance than Intel does. Benchmarks comparing AMD's and Intel's new dual-core procs: http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10442_7-6389077-1.html?tag=promo1. AMD absolutely dominates.

Shooter, the VRAM in this case is not proprietary; rather, it's the onboard video chipset. Unlike a discrete video card, onboard video will take it's VRAM off of the system's RAM. You didn't list the amount of RAM that would be installed on each computer, but for mundane purposes, you'll unlikely need very much VRAM.

RAM is the easiest component to install, so if the installed RAM is 512 mb or under, consider raising it to 756 or 1024 mb later, on your own.

For the audio, they're both basically the same. They're both onboard audio, which sucks. bad. You can hear all of the component noises from inside the case, and it constantly squeals and hisses and the clarity is horrible. However, if you're going to use the cheap bundled speakers, and your ears aren't sensitive to sound very much, then it won't be an issue. My dad isn't bothered by the squeaking of onboard sound, but I think it's distracting and it hurts my ears...

Other than the processor and the monitor, both PC's are the same, so it's your choice.

However, you might want to watch out about the software. Both pc's come loaded with XP media center 05. If you haven't used a 10ft interface before, Media Center may be confusing, and frankly, if you aren't gonna playback much multimedia, it's incredibly annoying. Also, both pc's come with Works 8, instead of Office. Works only has MS Word bundled, and a stripped down spreadsheet app. It doesn't include a presentation app. Since you're associated with education, you should be able to pick up MS Office 2003 for a relatively cheap price, if you need Excel and Powerpoint.

Actually, the architecture is still x86. It's just x86-64bit.



And Deuce, you keep moaning about people being brainwashed.... I'm an environmentalist, and I do think that retaining old computers and reusing them is nice, but unfortunately, this is too unrealistic. Computers are becoming obsolete at an exponential rate. It takes four HOURS to decode a DVD on my downstairs computer! This computer was top of the line three years ago, too. It's quite possible that TripleB will begin to do more on his computer from what he originally stated, so getting the minimum isn't going to be very beneficial in the future.

Again, because it rarely makes sense economically to replace perfectly functional items with brand new ones, I see the main reason that people are constantly buying new things to replace slightly used things is due to a combination of marketing, insecurity, peer pressure, and a seeking of status.

Okay, I want to meet the person that has a good computer and is considered cool.

Most importantly, I don't think you should buy a computer from a big company. Sure, there is a warranty, but that is basically useless. We bought a Dell after having a computer that was nearly completely broken (Pentium II IBM) about three years ago. When did we need the warranty? Never. I bet you could get a friend with knowledge of computers, or yourself if you're willing to learn a little bit, to build the machine at a much lesser price.

(Just remember to unplug the computer before doing this yourself, people.)

Actually, the power cable grounds the computer, assuming it is off, strangely enough.

TripleB
12-07-2005, 03:53 AM
Thanks for everyone's help here with my computer delima. After spending numerous hours over the past couple days reading all the information I could find (from my post, computer sites, various magazines, etc.) and hours yesterday reading and re-reading all the information I had gotten, I narrowed my choices down to either the HP 3500+ or the HP 519.

After spending another 2 hours at Best Buy last night, I decided to go with the HP 519 for a couple reasons:

1) Although the 3500+ would be better for high intensity games, I feel the 519 will be better for everything my 9 year old daughter (and myself for that matter) will be using it for over the next couple years. Plus, if I could play high quality games on my computer what excuse would I have for purchasing a PS3, an X-Box 360, or a new Nintendo system :mrgreen:

2) I like the fact of having 1GB Memory.

3) I like the fact that the 519 came with both a DVD drive and a Recordable DVD drive.

4) I like the idea of having 1MB of cache memory.

5) Basically the 519 had more things of what I found important than the 3500+.

But then again....I have 14 days to try the HP 519 out and if I decide it's not for me I can return it ;)

Thanks again for all your help.

TripleB

scotus
12-07-2005, 07:37 AM
But then again....I have 14 days to try the HP 519 out and if I decide it's not for me I can return it ;)
TripleB

That depends on which store you buy it from. Check the fine line to make sure they don't charge you a restocking fee. It could be 15-20%.

TripleB
12-07-2005, 07:42 AM
That depends on which store you buy it from. Check the fine line to make sure they don't charge you a restocking fee. It could be 15-20%.

I double checked that before I put up my last response :D . They charge a 10-15% on laptop computers only...whew!!!

TripleB

scotus
12-07-2005, 08:06 AM
I have purchased computers both new and used. In terms of reliability, I have had bad experience with 2 used ones and 2 new ones. With the used ones, you are usually out of luck when it malfunctions, but then again, if you purchased it for pennies on the dollar, then you wouldn't feel all that bad. Trying to replace parts on an old computer can be tricky. Parts for old computers tend to be more expensive than parts for new ones. With new computers, you can usually fall back on the warranty, should problems arise.

For those who only do word processing, internet browsing and some picture editing, Deuce is right. A used computer is fine. I leave an old used HP laptop in my library carrel and use it for research. It's a low-end Pentium II that I paid $70 for, but for running MS Word, EndNote, Acrobat, and IE, it's more than good enough. Plus, should anyone break into my carrel and steal it, my loss would be minimal.

But I also have a Pentium 4 that I use for editing videos and creating dvds, and I know for sure that my Pentium 2 laptop cannot handle this kind of workload. Thank goodness, I'm not into games, but I hear that video games also require substantial computing powers.

Did I look into a used Pentium 4 computer? Yes, I did. But the price difference between used and brand-new was so insignificant that I concluded that a new one with a full warranty was the wiser choice. I even doubled the warranty period with MasterCard's free warranty extension.

These days some brand-new laptops are priced well below $400 (granted they are more entry-level), and for many people it would make a lot of sense to buy these.

As for me, I will continue to buy both new and used computers in the future.