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Old 12-11-07, 05:57 PM   #1
Toxanadu
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what computer to buy.

looking for a desktop for the house. i don tknow much about computers. i want somthing cheap, yet "pretty good." Im thinking of spending on the lines of 500 for the computer itself (not the monitor). im not a gamer, i just go online check e-mail, forums, youtube, shop for shiz, ebay, facebook, cycling.tv, download some song -that type of thing.

i currently use my laptop for the house computer, its a mac.

any suggestions?
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Old 12-11-07, 06:01 PM   #2
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Go to CNet.com and read some reviews. Their editores rated an HP Slimline 3020 very highly last time I checked as I recall.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:32 PM   #3
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mac mini. Been using mine for going on 2 years and never had a problem with it. My old pc just gets fired up when I need to "backup" a dvd....
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Old 12-11-07, 06:38 PM   #4
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Im getting a Nokia N800 for work to try
to not have any interaction with people at all !

w00t !
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Old 12-11-07, 06:47 PM   #5
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You can get a Dell Inspiron 530 without a monitor and speakers, and with a Pentium dual core CPU and your choice of Vista or XP operating system for as little as $409. Other models with lesser CPUs are even cheaper.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:50 PM   #6
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I'll second a mini-mac, but it's a little over $500 without monitor. Or get one of those Dell's running Linux since you're not playing games.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:53 PM   #7
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After dealing with or, trying to deal with Dells misnomered 'customer service'
on a warranty issue I would use an abacus before buying from them again.
If you have to lower yourself to PC, HP has excellent customer service .
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Old 12-11-07, 07:00 PM   #8
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so i should stick with mac?

last time i owned a pc, my computer was always infested with bots, and the like. does that still happen?
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Old 12-11-07, 07:04 PM   #9
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Build your own with parts from Newegg.com.
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Old 12-11-07, 07:05 PM   #10
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yes, even more so.

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does that still happen?
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Old 12-11-07, 07:24 PM   #11
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Why not stay with the mac? My MacBook is my only computer.
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Old 12-11-07, 07:51 PM   #12
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After dealing with or, trying to deal with Dells misnomered 'customer service'
on a warranty issue I would use an abacus before buying from them again.
If you have to lower yourself to PC, HP has excellent customer service .
I can't comment on Dell's customer service...I've had my Dimension 8200 since 2002, and I've never dealt with them because I've never had any problems with it...unlike my HP laptop.
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Old 12-11-07, 07:55 PM   #13
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so i should stick with mac?

last time i owned a pc, my computer was always infested with bots, and the like. does that still happen?
People claim it does, but I've never had any viruses, worms, or any other nasties infest my computer.
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Old 12-11-07, 07:59 PM   #14
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Build your own with parts from Newegg.com.
That's only cost efficient with higher end parts.
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Old 12-11-07, 08:25 PM   #15
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I've found that buying an inexpensive HP system that does what you need, then adding RAM and a beefier video card is almost always better than building your machine yourself, unless you are doing a very high end machine, or something extremely custom.

Don't forget that you should consider buying an OEM copy of the OS you want when you buy the PC, as there is a noticable cost difference, although you can't xfer the copy to a new machine.

I'm buying a laptop because all my courses next semester are paper pukers, and thanks to my schedule, I'm stuck at school from 9:00am to 9:45pm, with breaks too short to drive home and catch a nap, so accessing a home machine for a quick draft fix is out of the question. Of course, I'm not going to rely on the computer labs, because they are usually full.

Of course, the laptop will ship with Vista, so the first thing I'm doing is dd-ing the image off (so I can restore it later if need be), formatting the HDD, and installing a less resource intensive OS such as Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008 when it gets released.

Last edited by mlts22; 12-11-07 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 12-12-07, 08:36 AM   #16
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Build your own with parts from Newegg.com.
+1 thats what I did.
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Old 12-12-07, 09:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
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last time i owned a pc, my computer was always infested with bots, and the like. does that still happen?
I've been running McAfee security suite (because Comcast offers it for free with their cable internet) and I haven't had any security problems. No bots or bugs at all.

As for computers, I don't know what the girl spent on it, but she just bought an HP Pavillion Elite. I didn't used to be a fan of pre-built machines, but HP seems to have really gotten their shiz together. If you're not into gaming, then look at some of their models that don't have as powerful a video card.
The other option, as people have said, is to build your own. If you know the components you need, a parted out build can be cheaper than a top model pre-built. With a mid-range machine, look at upgrading a low-end pre-built machine. Get one of those $299 Best Buy deals, and spend the money to deck it out a little better.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:50 PM   #18
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Get a machine that has at least an Intel Duocore 2.0ghz CPU and 1 GB of ram, and as little 'exta/add-on software' as possible, and you'll be fine.

I've been running 'No script' and 'flashblock' plug-ins for firefox and don't get any ad or spyware problems. Macs are nice but overpriced. Only get one if you want to feel special.
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Old 12-12-07, 04:33 PM   #19
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Get a machine that has at least an Intel Duocore 2.0ghz CPU and 1 GB of ram, and as little 'exta/add-on software' as possible, and you'll be fine.
Yeah, these are at a great price-point on the used-market now that the Core2duo is out. I'd suggest sticking with a Mac since that's what you've been using. You can find used Mac Minis for about $350-500 on fleaBay. You can even upgrade to a Core2duo later if you want for a 30-50% boost in speed.

Unfortunately, the only other thing above that is a big jump to the MacPro with twin dual-core Xeons. I was looking at replicating one from PC parts myself, but an Intel dual-Xeon server board and two Xeon CPUs alone ends up costing over $1500. So a used MacPro for $1500-2000 is a much better deal.
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Old 12-12-07, 04:46 PM   #20
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Yeah, these are at a great price-point on the used-market now that the Core2duo is out. I'd suggest sticking with a Mac since that's what you've been using. You can find used Mac Minis for about $350-500 on fleaBay. You can even upgrade to a Core2duo later if you want for a 30-50% boost in speed.

Unfortunately, the only other thing above that is a big jump to the MacPro with twin dual-core Xeons. I was looking at replicating one from PC parts myself, but an Intel dual-Xeon server board and two Xeon CPUs alone ends up costing over $1500. So a used MacPro for $1500-2000 is a much better deal.
A mac mini is great if your used to macs but be careful about the upgrading to different processor. The swap isn't the problem but the disassembly of a Mini is horrendously tedious and difficult. I had to disassemble two for ram upgrades and took the good part of an hour and 2-3 people helping. I used the wire method where you use 18 wires to disengage the clips with wires harnessed from the twisted pairs of some network cable. There is also another method using putty knives but I didn't have any on hand. I say get a mini but don't mess with it unless you're confident you can handle the work.
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Old 12-12-07, 04:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post
After dealing with or, trying to deal with Dells misnomered 'customer service'
on a warranty issue I would use an abacus before buying from them again.
If you have to lower yourself to PC, HP has excellent customer service .
Depends on what warranty you get Gold protection with onsite service is great. You have a problem, they come out to you and replace the part no questions asked. It's even better if you know the number to call to get bumped up to second tier support where the person on the phone actually knows what he/she is talking about. Saved us when a surge fried the Mobo on one of our office staff computers. It was in the last 6 mos of the 3-yr protection and the tech came out the next day and we were back up and running within 30 mins.
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Old 12-12-07, 05:08 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxanadu View Post
looking for a desktop for the house. i don tknow much about computers. i want somthing cheap, yet "pretty good." Im thinking of spending on the lines of 500 for the computer itself (not the monitor). im not a gamer, i just go online check e-mail, forums, youtube, shop for shiz, ebay, facebook, cycling.tv, download some song -that type of thing.

i currently use my laptop for the house computer, its a mac.

any suggestions?
don't buy a computer. You will regret it. BUILT IT YOURSELF! Check out TigerDirect.com That's where I get all of my parts from. It's cheaper, you don't get all that ***** that they install "to increase the value of the computer." GOD I HATE THAT!!!!! anyways. AND you get to pick EXACTLY what you want.
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Old 12-13-07, 10:40 AM   #23
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don't buy a computer. You will regret it. BUILT IT YOURSELF! Check out TigerDirect.com That's where I get all of my parts from. It's cheaper, you don't get all that ***** that they install "to increase the value of the computer." GOD I HATE THAT!!!!! anyways. AND you get to pick EXACTLY what you want.
Perhaps you didn't read the part where the OP says he doesn't know much about computers....
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Old 12-13-07, 01:36 PM   #24
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You can get a laptop from dell for as little as $549 or a desktop from $399. For basic needs it's enough.

Would recommend Windows XP. Which means you might need to buy under a 'business' from dell, just put in your full name in company info when ordering online.
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Old 12-13-07, 02:53 PM   #25
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Mac mini or 17" iMac.
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