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Iron Cowboy

New Desktop Computer

34 posts in this topic

I need to upgrade my desktop computer. wife is starting online classes and ours is about 3+ years old. Anybody buy one recently and done the research? I need to keep it in the $500 to $700 range and want the best bang for the buck.I think the bundle deals at best buy etc. arent the best deal. any help is appreciated.

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I'd go Dell.com and check their offers, they are pretty aggressive.

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I'd also check Dell, but have you considered a laptop?

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laptops are a lot more and we like the home p.c more. do have an older laptop though. I will check out the dells. is everything with windows vista now? I heard there were problems with it?

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The one I'm using right now is an eMachine from Walmart. I bought it about a year ago, and it came loaded with Windows XP for about $300. I think eMachines are owned by Gateway, and mine works just fine. I already had a monitor, so I just bought the computer.

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You should be able to find a good laptop in your price range. I picked one up in March for under $700. It has Vista on it and I haven't had any issues. I think that when you buy now with Vista, a lot of places include an upgrade to Windows 7 when it comes out (I believe this fall) as part of the purchase.

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I've been very pleased with my Dell. As far as laptops go, yes they are getting very competitively priced with desktops. Don't cut yourself short by not checking them out.

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FWIW - Spend the extra money and max out the RAM. Vista is memory hungry and needs at least 2 gig to run even adequate. I am pretty sure 7 will be as well... I am not a Vista fan...

Laptops are nice if you need to move them, but if you don't, I recommend getting at least a 24" lcd monitor...or two, ha! smile Working on a laptop keyboard stinks if you ask me, and I do use both. Can always get docking station, but that kinda defeats the purpose of having laptop, IMO.

I personally would not care too much about brands. Go for the numbers (highest "numbers" for the least cost, ha!), but if you can, look closer at the components. I.e. using crappy Intel video, or ATi or nVidia? Using cheap sound? Is power supply wimpy? That might be more than you want to check, and if that is case, you can "usually" be safe getting Dell as they usually use good stuff, except for the cheapy price ones.

I have Alienware, Dell, homemade and one from a shop right now, and a Dell laptop. The Alienware is my solid workhorse, but spendy. The Dell laptop is nice. I make games... wink

For just some surfing and word docs, occassional game, get anything and it will work smile Just get enough ram, and then add a bit more wink

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I'm not sure if this is the case any more but I've heard some bad things about emachines.

My parents had one awhile back and apparently the internal fan wasn't strong enough to keep things cool and the computer ended up getting fried. When they had a professional look at it he confirmed the problem and said that is a very common problem with emachines.

Perhaps they have addressed the problem by now but its worth considering. To get the price of a computer down they need to cut costs somewhere, you just never know what part they cheaped out on and what the ramifications are going to be.

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I, 2nd, 3rd... Dell. I have hand many (Mac now) and have not one thing bad to say about them. My wife has a Dell laptop I gave her over 6 years ago and she is just waiting for it to die because she wants a new one.

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That might be a problem with eMachines - don't know, but it's a lot quieter than my last one, so that may be the reason. Anyway, you just reminded me I should probably clean it... smile

I usually run my computers with the sides removed, with the hopes that they will run a little cooler.

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You can also always get a $12 extra fan and slap it in there. Easy to go, and they just plug right into harnesses. You can get silent fans too, for just a bit more $$. I always put extra fans in, mainly to help cool down the video cards.

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The computer I have now goes into sort of an "idle" mode when it's not working, it seems.. You can hear it speed up and slow down when it's not working - never noticed that with my previous computers.

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I have not understood the "problems" with Vista. I have been using it for about 1-1/2 years and so far I am very pleased. I agree with the upgrade to 2 gig RAM at the very least.

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I'm not the biggest fan of Vista, I loved the simplicity of XP. It hasn't had too many problems on my computer though, I just wish Microsoft would realize that some people don't need all the bells and whistles in the world, just something that's simple, easy, and doesn't have problems.

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That's why I stayed with XP - no reason to upgrade, that I could see...

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I just bouight 2 of the DELL Laptop Inspirons from ?????? not sure if I can say the store...but they are $499 and are more than adequate for college.

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I have not understood the "problems" with Vista. I have been using it for about 1-1/2 years and so far I am very pleased. I agree with the upgrade to 2 gig RAM at the very least.

Hey Bob. It is slow for one thing. I have plenty of RAM too. It just takes a while to "crank up". Just load a CD next to XP and and you see the time it takes to crunch through and just pull it up in Computer view. I have 64-bit and 32-bit. Many older, and some newer, apps still don't like 64-bit, but its getting better.

I also do not find it as intuitive as I think it should be. Maybe because I am too used to the funkiness of XP wink I used it since before it was released, even created a "Learn Vista" application using the Develpers Network Beta versions.

But many love it, and that's cool. I just happen to not be a fan, and those above are just a few reasons. I like many things about it, but not enough to have it as my main OS on my main computer.

And yep, IF you don't have at LEAST 2 gig RAM, don't even bother trying to use it smile having more makes it tolerable, IMO, but not "nice", haha!

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Unless you are a hardcore gamer, do Autocad, Photoshop, or high end video or audio processing, just about anything out there will work for office applications and the internet.

Computers are commodities these days. None of the PC companies make their own parts anymore. They all come out of the big fabs overseas.

Just make sure if you get 4 GB or more of RAM you get a 64 bit OS.You'll need it to use all your memory. Window 7 will be out by the end of the year.

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BoxMN Vista can open up already installed programs in less than half the time that XP can. The reason it uses so much memory at idle is that your most commonly used applications are already preloaded to some degree.

As far as getting a new system, the vast majority are better off getting a bundle. I build my own but then again I do gaming plus my copy of Vista Ultimate + Office 2007 cost me a total $7 through UMN. You won't be able to get software + hardware separately for that price.

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Dell is running back to school specials with free printers and free shipping.

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Nick, I am not talking necessarily about apps, but about simply viewing contents of a disc - navigating to different folder, etc... Maybe my systems are bad... smile Either way, I just don't like it. I am glad many do.

Either way, sorry for taking it off topic with Vista. Any old computer will work for surfing and common office apps.

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An Apple is worth EVERY PENNY YOU'LL PAY FOR IT!

Yes, I've used and owned them both. I go home and hug my iMac every night.

Did I say it's worth the extra money?

Get what you pay for.

Blah.Blah.Blah.

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All computers pretty much have the same parts. I don't buy name brand at all. Someone said to max out the RAM. This is something you need to do in my opinion. I like to have four gigs of ram in my system. Check out General Nano Systems for a small home town company that makes quality computers. But you can get by with cheaper ones and be just as happy with them.

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