I am buying a new desktop PC and need advice on just about everything. I am not unexperienced as a PC user, however, it has been a long time since i've had to think about buying my own desktop since i've been using ones provided by the company I work for, and my own maching is a laptop.
I am aware, that building one's own machine is far better from a point of view of price, unfortunately this is not an option since I simply don't have the time to launch into such a project.
General Info on Usage: I often use programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Flash at the same time. The PC therefore needs to be able to multitask. I work on large, high-resolution images in Photoshop and want to minimise processing time when saving, loading, or applying an effect. I am not a serious gamer - although I would like to be able to mess around with Doom3 (mainly out of a sense of nostalgia for Doom2). Other than that the PC will mainly be used for MP3 related use (transfering to external device quickly, ripping from cd, burnind CD-R and DVD-ROM), internet related programs, and Microsoft Office (particularly Word and Powerpoint).
1) What brand/make/manufacturer do you recommend?
THIS IS MY MAIN QUESTION
I am looking for a solid, powerful, no-frills machine. I am much more attracted by reliability and raw processing power than any gimicky "family-fun" type accessories. In the case of my laptop I opted for the Toshiba Satellite series based on the advice of a friend, and am very happy with it.
In my experience I have found Dell and Compaq PCs to be nice to look at but lacking in power and reliability. I have heard bad stories about them crashing very often when asked to multitask. Do you agree? What about other big names such as Hewlett-Packard?
I used to own a Fujitsu-Siemens which I was very happy with. Does anyone know how they are at present?
Perhaps an analogy might help (however it might open up a can of worms): if we take the example of MP3 harddrive players, I am looking for something along the lines of an iRiver H140/H340 rather than and Apple iPOD 4th Gen. Powerful, sturdy, reliable, feature-packed, cost effective. (Although I see this as an accurate analogy, it is not meant to insult. I am willing to defend it in a different thread if necessary - I'm sure there will be more than one disgruntled iPod user! - by the way I have nothing against Apple and hear their computers are excellent) Another analogy might be Linux -v- Windows (this one I can't defend as I admit to never having used Linux - just repeating what I've heard this time!!!)
I think I will go for a Pentium 4 as price isn't so much of an issue (within reason!) and all around it seems the best. Is this accurate? Please advice on additional aspects such as Hyper-threading and clock-speed. Is there anything else to
consider with the processor? What is the chipset?
3) MOBOs & RAM & CACHE
I know practically nothing about MOTHERBOARDS and CACHE, and all I know about RAM is that the more I seem to have the faster things seem to process. In other words: HELP ME!!!
4) Don't want to be outdated too soon!
Please let me know if there is anything that isn't usually packaged with a PC that might become important in the next year or two. Examples from the last last few months and years are Firewire connections, and DUAL-LAYER DVD Burners.
Any other tips would be greatly appreciated. Any good URLs which offer comparisons etc would also be great!
WHEW! That was a long one - if anyone made it down to the end after all that waffle - THANK YOU for reading and for your suggestions!
PS - If it makes a difference to your advice on manufacturers etc - I am in Europe (IRELAND).
Edited by eogmp3, 06 September 2004 - 12:04 PM.