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  • Looking at new PCs....

    My home computer is having some issues, so I am thinking about replacing it. While I would entertain the thought of a Mac, I'll most likely stay with the Windows world for now...I just can't bring myself to shell out the cash for the Mac just yet.

    I'm currently looking at 3 different machines, though I wouldn't say that I'm opposed to going elsewhere for the right deal. I built my last PC, but it sounds like it is harder and harder to do it cost effectively, and there is something to be said for having a warranty on the machine as a whole. So here are the current candidates:

    HP Elite 9750 at Best Buy - $950-$1020

    Quad-core AMD Phenom proc, 8GB DDR2 RAM, 750GB HD, NVIDIA 9500GS graphics w/ 512MB dedicated memory, LightScribe DVD+/-R RW, built-in wireless N, 19" LCD and all-in-one printer.

    Pros: Sounds like quite the beast, LightScribe would be nice though I don't know I'd use it, lots of RAM and decent-sized HD, includes a printer (HP F4280 - not a big consideration for me). I could also put it on my Best Buy card and take advantage of 18 month no interest financing to not take the hit all at once.

    Cons: I've read that the more powerful HP boxes have undersized power supplies and heat issues. Monitor is a bit small, but I might be able to upgrade to a 22" widescreen for $70. And for some reason I just don't get all warm and fuzzy over HP home computers.

    Dell Studio Mini-Tower - ~$965 after friend's 18% discount


    PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Quad processor Q8200 (4MB L2, 2.33GHz, 1333FSB)
    OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1, 64-Bit
    WARRANTY & SERVICE 1Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis
    MONITOR 22 inch E228WFP Widescreen Digital Flat Panel
    MEMORY 6GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 4DIMMs
    HARD DRIVE 750GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cacheâ„¢
    OPTICAL DRIVE Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 16x DVD+/-RW w/ dbl layer write capable
    VIDEO CARD nVidia GeForce 9800GT
    SOUND Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
    KEYBOARD & MOUSE Dell Multimedia Keyboard and Premium Optical USB Mouse
    MEDIA READER Integrated 16-in-1 Media Card Reader

    Pros: Good price, 22" digital flat panel monitor, NVIDIA 9800GT graphics
    Cons: Slower processor than other options, no 'extras', no free financing

    Dell Studio XPS ~$1215 after friend's discount

    Operating System Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1, 64-Bit
    Processors Intel® Core™i7-920 Processor(8MB L2 Cache, 2.66GHz)
    Memory 6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 6 DIMMs
    Keyboard Dell USB Consumer Multimedia Keyboard
    Monitor Dell 24 inch Consumerâ„¢ S2409W Flat Panel, Adjustable Stand
    Video Card ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
    Hard Drives 750GB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
    Floppy Drive or Media Card Reader No Floppy Drive or Media Reader Included
    Mouse Dell Premium Laser Mouse
    Network Card Integrated 10/1000 Ethernet
    Modem (External) No Modem Option
    Adobe Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9.0 Multi-Language
    Optical Drives Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 16x DVD+/-RW w/ dbl layer write capability
    Sound Card Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
    Speaker No speakers (Speakers are required to hear audio from your system)
    Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed) No Productivity software pre-installed
    Security Software McAfee SecurityCenter with anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, 15-months
    Hardware Support Services 2Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis
    Service 1 Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year

    Pros: newest processor technology, 24" monitor, ATI 4850 graphics
    Cons: a little pricier than the other options, no 'extras' except for online data storage, no free financing

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Randy

  • #2
    First, I agree with the statement that "Speakers are required to hear audio from your system." :D

    I build a lot of computers and I actually like the longer warranty that the individual parts have rather than the 1 or 2 year warranty on the computer. The hard drives have 5 year warranties, the memory has a lifetime warranty, and other items usually have a 3 year warranty.

    Last week I built a computer with an Intel i7-920 computer for our office. It will not be overclocked. A few months ago I built a cheaper computer for home use with an E8500 processor. This one is overclocked. I compared the speeds and the overclocked computer and the i7-920 are almost identical in speed (using Super Pi). However, the E8500 was a much cheaper computer to build.

    Regarding your computer options, I would go with the third option.

    Comment


    • #3
      I just priced out a computer at newegg.com with similar specs to Option 3 and came up with around $1400. Option 3 looks like a good system for a very reasonable price.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would second the building your own pc. It is not hard and is fun. Also, once you get a good case and powersupply you can keep those and upgrade the components instead of buying an all new pc. I also like my computers to be very quiet. An excellent resource is:
        www.silentpcreview.com

        Apple computers are very nice and quiet and also within your budget:
        http://www.amazon.com/Apple-MB323LL-...3264134&sr=8-2

        Comment


        • #5
          For not that much more you can switch to Mac. I was an ardent Windows user, but finally got fed up with the maintenance that Windows seems to require.

          I finally got a mac in November....love it. Excellent build quality, and fast even at lower specs than equivalently speced pc's.
          Never Argue With An idiot. They'll Lower You To Their Level And Then Beat You With Experience!

          Comment


          • #6
            For the prices you listed and since you are interested in a Mac, then go Mac. Now if you wanted to do a PC for around ~$500 I'd say stick to windows.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the replies, all. For those suggesting going Mac, help me out a little. To get a Mac Pro in anything close to the configs I've posted here, with only 2GB of RAM because of their outrageous pricing on adding memory, I am at around $2600 without a monitor. Or would iMacs be comparable to what I have spec'd here? I do get some minimal discount, I believe, through my employer, but it doesn't amount to too much, if I remember correctly. Anyway, I'm just trying to figure out how the price can be in the same ballpark...

              Also, I built the PC I am currently using, and it has served me well for around 5 years. And your point regarding warranties is well taken, mojave. I might enjoy doing it again, but I don't know if I want to put the time and effort in it. It is still very tempting, though...there certainly is some satisfaction in doing it. :)

              And again, thanks to everyone for the input...I appreciate it! And if any others have some thoughts, please don't hesitate......

              Randy

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TechFan
                Thanks for the replies, all. For those suggesting going Mac, help me out a little. To get a Mac Pro in anything close to the configs I've posted here, with only 2GB of RAM because of their outrageous pricing on adding memory, I am at around $2600 without a monitor. Or would iMacs be comparable to what I have spec'd here? I do get some minimal discount, I believe, through my employer, but it doesn't amount to too much, if I remember correctly. Anyway, I'm just trying to figure out how the price can be in the same ballpark...

                Also, I built the PC I am currently using, and it has served me well for around 5 years. And your point regarding warranties is well taken, mojave. I might enjoy doing it again, but I don't have if I want to put the time and effort in it. It is still very tempting, though...there certainly is some satisfaction in doing it. :)

                And again, thanks to everyone for the input...I appreciate it! And if any others have some thoughts, please don't hesitate......

                Randy
                You don't want a mac pro, it is a power hog designed for those that are doing graphics on the mac. Apple has failed to come out with a consumer tower so you should be looking at the imac or mac mini if you just want basic performance.

                Comment


                • #9
                  or a laptop....that's what I did. When I want a desktop feel, I just use an external monitor. Best of both worlds!!
                  Never Argue With An idiot. They'll Lower You To Their Level And Then Beat You With Experience!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TechFan
                    Thanks for the replies, all. For those suggesting going Mac, help me out a little. To get a Mac Pro in anything close to the configs I've posted here, with only 2GB of RAM because of their outrageous pricing on adding memory, I am at around $2600 without a monitor. Or would iMacs be comparable to what I have spec'd here? I do get some minimal discount, I believe, through my employer, but it doesn't amount to too much, if I remember correctly. Anyway, I'm just trying to figure out how the price can be in the same ballpark...

                    Also, I built the PC I am currently using, and it has served me well for around 5 years. And your point regarding warranties is well taken, mojave. I might enjoy doing it again, but I don't know if I want to put the time and effort in it. It is still very tempting, though...there certainly is some satisfaction in doing it. :)

                    And again, thanks to everyone for the input...I appreciate it! And if any others have some thoughts, please don't hesitate......

                    Randy
                    Randy,

                    Not sure you are aware of this, but the Apple store (online) offers refurbished MACs. Constantly changing selection. Pretty decent savings.
                    Ray

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Mr. Randy Sir,

                      Option 3 looks good to me...less hassle. ;) :)
                      Hugh
                      MELODY US Distributor
                      www.angelcityaudio.com

                      A man is only as good as his words.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How the hell do you do a quick reply in this forum? :D

                        I think you can use any old PC RAM for the MAC. We did it for my buddy's MAC laptop (old one, can't remember which).

                        So the Macs you guys are talking about with similar performance/price...do those include a monitor? I'm guessing that Mac monitors are pretty expensive.
                        PhenomeNhan Audio Video

                        Your authorized ONIX dealer for the Great States of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.!
                        [email protected]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hugh
                          Mr. Randy Sir,

                          Option 3 looks good to me...less hassle. ;) :)
                          Hey, quiet. HP rules! :D

                          Randy, you can always use Dell or HP coupons on techbargain.com or similar sites. Often time, you can run into a 30% off sale.
                          PhenomeNhan Audio Video

                          Your authorized ONIX dealer for the Great States of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.!
                          [email protected]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PhenomeNhan
                            Hey, quiet. HP rules! :D

                            Randy, you can always use Dell or HP coupons on techbargain.com or similar sites. Often time, you can run into a 30% off sale.
                            Agreed.

                            IF you can wait until Christmas, it'll be even BETTER. :D
                            Hugh
                            MELODY US Distributor
                            www.angelcityaudio.com

                            A man is only as good as his words.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              While I also roll my own PCs now, there's no denying that you can usually buy it cheaper from Dell/HP etc. and get them to service it etc. One of the "problems" with dyi is that most of the time I get too swayed by the enthusiast tech sites like Anandtech, Extremetech etc. The sites are great, but usually geared more toward the performance-oriented audience like the serious gamers. You might save yourself some bucks by honestly looking at what you use your PC for, and configuring it accordingly. Having a fixed budget, rather than a fluctuating one because some component looks really good and you must have it, really helps too.

                              Happy hunting.

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