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need advice on buying a new computer


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#1 allecb

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 02:42 AM

okay so let me explain a bit. my computer i have right now is over 14 years old, and its showing its age. i dont do much on it. web browse, play music, maybe the occasional game (nothing major, just starcraft or something like that) and view pictures/watch movies. my computer is sooo slow! i'd say it'd take about 10 seconds for firefox to open up. 15 seconds for winamp to open up. i mean its slow. even opening up the start menu there is some delay. (not to mention my cd drive doesnt even work!)

can someone suggest me a good computer in the price range of 300-400?

my computer:
intell pentium 3 processor
1.01 ghz
384 mb of ram

some that i was looking at:
computer one.
computer two

bascially, i just want the computer to be faster. a lot faster. and able to play a few games. ports for usb/headphones would be GREAT if they were in the front of the computer, cause i have to put my computer in this shelf and its a pain to have to pull it out, connect a cord, disconnect, etc.

i know those computers have vista (id prefer xp) and i heard vista takes up a lot of memory? so i dont know if those are any good. but if you guys could atleast let me know if those are good computers, or maybe suggest a better one that is in my budget? id much appreciate it. thanks!!

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#2 dpunisher

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 07:10 AM

Of the two systems the HP is the better machine. Running Vista with less than 2gigs of memory (especially with integrated graphics) can be a lesson in masochism. The HP has a full speed PCI Express x16 slot so you can upgrade to a real videocard. Purchasing a machine on that budget is tough, but the HP will be better out of the box and has much better upgrade possibilities.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

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#3 dc3

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 10:25 AM

I definitely would go for the HP, better CPU, more RAM. As for adding a dedicated graphics card, most cards are pretty power hungry, you need to see what the wattage and what the total amperage is on the 12V rail/s.

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#4 allecb

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 11:47 AM

how come you guys keep talking about the video card/integrated graphics? is the one on the HP not good enough or something?

how much better is that computer than mine? do you think its worth the buy?

#5 garmanma

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 12:14 PM

No offense meant, but anything built today will be a vast improvement over a 14 year old computer.

If you buy a computer with onboard video and it doesn't have an extra expansion slot, that means you're stuck with that configuration. If you get one with a video card and after a while you decide you want to improve your graphics for a newer game, you can do so

Hp has a better track record than eMachines.
I you keep your eyes open, you might run across a sale where you can get a new, not refurbished, with a i year garantee
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#6 allecb

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 12:37 PM

No offense meant, but anything built today will be a vast improvement over a 14 year old computer.

If you buy a computer with onboard video and it doesn't have an extra expansion slot, that means you're stuck with that configuration. If you get one with a video card and after a while you decide you want to improve your graphics for a newer game, you can do so

Hp has a better track record than eMachines.
I you keep your eyes open, you might run across a sale where you can get a new, not refurbished, with a i year garantee

haha, no dont worry you cant offend me when it comes to my computer or the knowledge that i have with them, im not in denial or anything.

what exactly makes computers "break?" cause ive had this computer for a very long time, and i havent ever had to replace anything (well the cd- drive is dust but...)

and like i said, im more than open to other computers. i just dont know a good one from a bad one. i know to look for the ram and processor, but after i look at that i dont really know if the computer will be a good computer or a bad one.

thats one bad thing about the HP. i think its like home-built. well not home-built, but they build mass quantites of it, and then sell them. its not an actual factory product. and plus like you said, its refurb.

Edited by allecb, 09 October 2008 - 12:39 PM.


#7 hamluis

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 12:48 PM

FWIW: I think the Inspiron 530 is a much better buy than the two you seem to have earmarked.

No monitor with either of your choices...LCD included in price of Inspiron 530.

http://www.dell.com/content/products/produ...;l=en&s=dhs

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#8 allecb

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 12:49 PM

one computer
two computer
three computer

okay. out of all five. best one? sorry... :huh: :thumbsup:

#9 allecb

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 12:50 PM

FWIW: I think the Inspiron 530 is a much better buy than the two you seem to have earmarked.

No monitor with either of your choices...LCD included in price of Inspiron 530.

http://www.dell.com/content/products/produ...;l=en&s=dhs

Louis


oh no, not another one! :thumbsup:

what makes that any better?

#10 allecb

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 12:59 PM

the Dell Inspiron 530s is only 279 without the monitor (which i wouldnt need cause i have one already ..just to save money) and its getting good reviews. plus its new and has a warranty.

should i just go with that? it seems affordable, and a big upgrade from mine considering it has double the ram, and faster processor. one thing i noticed is its not dual core processor? isnt that kind of bad? the base model comes with this: Intel® Celeron® processor 450 (2.2GHz, 800 FSB) if i add this for 60 more dollars would it make much of a difference? Intel® Pentium® dual-core processor E2200 (1MB L2, 2.2GHz, 800 FS

i know to some of you, it might not be that great but i think of it like this. i was used to driving an old 1988 plymouth sundance. its kind of like a civic hatchback. then i got a 1995 toyota camry v6 with sunroof and leather. its tons faster, and feels tons luxurious. definately nothing to a mercedes, but levels ahead of the car i used to have. is that what this dell would be like for me?cause if so, then i think i should just go with the dell than fork over the extra 150-250 for one of the other mentioned computers when all i use this one for is movies,videos, photos, browsing.

Edited by allecb, 09 October 2008 - 01:08 PM.


#11 garmanma

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 01:35 PM

In all honesty, I'd go with the Dell.
By the way, the first 2 computers you linked to were refurbished. Which is not a bad thing, but I'd still go with the new one with a one year warranty.

The important thing to do is:
Register your computer with Dell

Read you manual thoroughly then take it, the CD's that came with it plus all of the paperwork that came with it, and put it in a secure place where you will remember where it's at. Also, copy all of the numbers off of various stickers on the back of the computer. Keys, service tag number, whatever.

Keep the interior lint and dust free. Overheating will kill a computer. Here's a link on how to do that:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/cleaning-the-inside-of-your-pc/

Last but most important-Keep Windows Updates, anti-virus updates and anti-spyware updates current.
After your free Norton anti-virus runs out, don't forget to renew it or look in our freeware section for replacements:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic3616.html

You should enjoy your computer for a long time

Edited by garmanma, 09 October 2008 - 01:37 PM.

Mark
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#12 hamluis

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 03:52 PM

I think we need to be realistic :thumbsup:.

Going from a PIII to a Sempron...will be quite a change.

If money is no object...then I would always suggest for buyers to purchase on impulse and get what they want. If money is a consideration, then I think the concept of "value" ought to be implemented by the buyer.

I can't tell you what "value" means in your world...I can only tell you what it means in my world, which is probably significantly different from yours.

Whichever system you choose to buy...please put away all documentation and CDs in a safe place. You will need them at some point in the future.

Happy purchase :huh:.

Louis

#13 tg1911

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 09:13 PM

Also, with the Dell running Vista, I would load up with the maximum memory the computer will take (4GB).
I would purchase the additional RAM from somewhere else, besides Dell.
You'll be able to find it cheaper from some place like, NewEgg.

Stick with one of these manufacturers:
Crucial
Kingston
Corsair
A-Data
G.Skill
GeIL
Mushkin
OCZ
Patriot
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#14 dc3

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 10:03 PM

I haven't looked at the specs on this machine, but I would be surprised if the RAM can't be run in dual channel which has a large advantage, it's faster. But to run the RAM in dual channel there must be an even number of modules, and they need to have the same specs for the best performance. You will need to find out what the modules are that are installed in you new machine, and then match the specs for those modules.

tg1911 is right on, Dell is a lot more expensive than Newegg.

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#15 allecb

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 10:22 PM

Also, with the Dell running Vista, I would load up with the maximum memory the computer will take (4GB).
I would purchase the additional RAM from somewhere else, besides Dell.
You'll be able to find it cheaper from some place like, NewEgg.

Stick with one of these manufacturers:
Crucial
Kingston
Corsair
A-Data
G.Skill
GeIL
Mushkin
OCZ
Patriot



2gb isnt enough ram on that dell computer?
nothing would be more upsetting than for me to spend a 300 dollars on a new computer expecting it to be a vast improvement over what i have now, and have it be just a bit better because vista is such a hog with memory.




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