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advice on a new computer

Topic closed. 38 replies. Last post 10 years ago by amsoly41.

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SirMetro's avatar - center
East of Atlanta
United States
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August 11, 2004
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Posted: February 7, 2007, 10:31 am - IP Logged

thanks everyone....

trying to decide between an hp that was listed here or the e-machine.what is the difference between the two?

Don't leave out the PowerPC system (basically...it's MicroCenter's House Brand) Good machine for the money, comes with all the required CD's to allow you to fully restore the system should it bomb and it also comes with your basic phone support.

Like I noted earlier, I already have one and if I get the extra $$$, the next one I buy will also be a PowerPC...great machine for the money.

As for the differences, basically, if all three systems are made equal with hard drive, memory, CD/DVD burner, USB ports it would come down to price like this here. And they all pretty much have the same basic warranty.

HP -----------> $409 (to 499) (with rebates) http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0254381

Compaq ----> $409 (before rebate/owned by HP) http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?pfp=BROWSE&N=200005+502366&Ne=502360&Ns=display%5Fprice%7C0&product_code=343739&Pn=Presario_sr2150nx_Minitower

e-Machine --> $399 (owned by Gateway) http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?pfp=BROWSE&N=200005+401159&Ne=400000&Ns=display%5Fprice%7C0&product_code=343748&Pn=T3604_Minitower 

PowerPC ---> $299 (that's walk out price, no mail-in rebate required) http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0252581

Your money, but for me, I would put $50 into the extra half-gig memory and $130 into a basic flat screen monitor and a few bucks towards one of those 8 in 1 readers that can read all of those variations of memory sticks. Again, just my two cents worth.

Only cool thing about the HP is the LightScribe CD/DVD burner and you can grab one of those for around $50 or so and it takes about 5 minutes to install. If you take ALL 4 machines I listed above and rip the name plates off, you could NOT tell the difference between them. So the real question, just how much do you want to spend?

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    Coastal Georgia
    United States
    Member #2653
    October 30, 2003
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    Posted: February 7, 2007, 10:59 am - IP Logged

    Both members have good suggestions.  I once asked a similar question on a Tech Board and got many different responses.  I'm not very technical, so it was interesting, but I did my homework and had to decide what was good for me by using Google and reading reviews. I mean, let's say you are in the market for a car and you ask the same question.  People who care about the horsepower/torque ratio will give you a different answer than people who just want basic transportation.  A family person might tell you to get an SUV or a minivan.  Someone who likes a pickup for carrying stuff or tows a boat...well you get what I'm saying. 

    The only suggestion I will give you initially is to get a desktop and monitor, not a laptop.  This is just my very humble opinion based on my experience owning both.  I'm positive thousands of people will disagree with me for a number of reasons.   I am currently using a Toshiba Satellite.  It's just fine, but you get much more bang for your buck with a desktop.  I realize you can always add another keyboard, mouse, speakers, more USB ports, etc. to a laptop, but if you always use your computer in the house and rarely move it, that's my suggestion, since you want to stay within a budget.

    Regarding Vista, I've been helping my sister pick out a computer and all the models I've looked at have at least Vista Home Basic.   

    RE: RAM memory.  I agree with Konane, especially since most PCs have shared video and that can use up a lot of RAM, but I wouldn't pass up a great deal if memory was the only drawback.  My laptop was $899 by itself when I bought it Aug 05 during a Back To School sale for $499 (after a ton of rebates) with a free D-Link router, a free Icon carrying case and a free Canon Pixma printer.  I was able to run XP, SP2 with 256MB, but I immediately ordered 512MB from Crucial.com. Highly recommend this company.

    If I were to go out today and buy a new desktop and I had a $500-$600 price range in mind, this might be what I'd get currently on sale on CircuitCity.com for $549. You can add a 17" LCD monitor and a printer for another $70 bucks! (total of $619)  There are 2 packages if you decide to go to this site. One is for a CRT monitor, which I would never buy, esp when you can get a 17" LCD for less than $100.  (when I order something online, I usually pick it up at the store anyway)

     

    HP Pavilion Desktop PC HP A1700N

    • AMD Athlon 64 X2  3800+
    • 250GB hard drive
    • LightScribe-enabled
    • 1GB of DDR2 memory
    • Burns DVDs and CDs
    • Windows Vista Home Premium

     

    Just one more thing.  Assume from prior posts that you have some technical knowledge, probably more than I do, but I always like to help people when I've made mistakes.  When I bought my laptop I didn't realize that most printers do not come with the cables any more.  So of course I didn't want to wait and drove to Office Max up the road and spent around $29 for a USB cable.  I've seen them online for a few bucks. Amazon has Belkin cables for around $8.  You might already have them, but I thought I'd mention it.

    JXP, thanks for the tip on Crucial.com.
    I ordered a memory upgrade for one of my laptops today..

    DD

     

                                   

                  

     

     

      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
      Wandering Aimlessly
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      Posted: February 7, 2007, 11:54 am - IP Logged

      JXP, thanks for the tip on Crucial.com.
      I ordered a memory upgrade for one of my laptops today..

      DD

      You're very welcome, DD.  Did you use their memory advisor tool?  I've been using Crucial for years. My desktop came with 48MB (one 16 dimm and one 32) so I added a 128MB Dimm when I upgraded to 98SE from 95.  As I said before, it still runs great, but a 266mhz processor is too slow. It's fine for composing letters or for dialup as a backup, but not for downloading. I start pulling my hair out when it's loading.  When I bought my laptop, the people at Toshiba were clueless. Seriously, they couldn't help me and gave me the wrong information.  It was my first laptop and I didn't realize that it has non-removable RAM installed under the keyboard (non-removable for the consumer)  The model was so new, I couldn't find any info online either. When I finally gave up staring at the diagram (which was generic) I called Crucial and was connected to one of their techs.  Problem solved.

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        Coastal Georgia
        United States
        Member #2653
        October 30, 2003
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        Posted: February 7, 2007, 12:28 pm - IP Logged

        I did use their memory advisor tool, and it was a great help...
        I had one of my laptops in the shop for a little tune up and they wanted to install more memory. They wanted $150 for a 256 MB stick and I was able to find the same for $80 at Crucial.
        I can do it myself pretty easily.

        DD

         

                                       

                      

         

         

          LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
          Tennessee
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          October 15, 2004
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          Posted: February 7, 2007, 10:12 pm - IP Logged

          i'm going tomorrow to office depot.think i'm going to get an HP with vista.i went there today and looking at right 900 dollars for the monitor plus the other stuff that comes with it.these prices of 500 or 600 must be without the monitor or maybe without vista.i have yet to find an HP that cheap with the whole thing included.any more advice or dialogue is welcome and appreciated.

            amsoly41's avatar - ron paul_gold_standard.jpg
            Tennessee
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            October 29, 2005
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            Posted: February 8, 2007, 7:00 am - IP Logged

            HP makes some good stuff.

            I would recomend picking up some blank DVD disks (+R or -R and not +RW or -RW)

            to make your Backup disks (HP has a good tool to back up the machine)

            it will backup to around 15 CD's or 3 DVD's (that was with XP)

            it may take more with VISTA

            It took me around 2 1/2 hours to backup a new HP machine with XP (3 +R DVD's)

            It is well worth it

            I would not skip backing up the machine (I am not saying you won't. I just know a lot of people put it off until it is to late.)

            Wink

              buckike's avatar - Lottery-027.jpg
              Ill.
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              Posted: February 8, 2007, 10:38 am - IP Logged

              I like to go to the computer shows check to see if one will be in your area, The one in my area have

              hundreds of venders competing ,The prices are lowere  there than the stores. They have all kinds of parts,ink,pinters ect.

                awwcrap's avatar - moon
                ky
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                Posted: February 8, 2007, 5:17 pm - IP Logged

                My cp was built by a good friend,,,,100's cheaper than computers purchased at a store or mail order..

                  LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                  Tennessee
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                  Posted: February 8, 2007, 7:28 pm - IP Logged

                  i have yet to hook it up but today i bought a EMACHINES T5082 - Desktop PC

                  Amazon.com: EMACHINES T5082 - Desktop PC: Electronics

                   

                  This doesn't seem like too bad of a choice does it??

                    four4me's avatar - gate1
                    MD
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                    Posted: February 8, 2007, 10:23 pm - IP Logged

                    i have yet to hook it up but today i bought a EMACHINES T5082 - Desktop PC

                    Amazon.com: EMACHINES T5082 - Desktop PC: Electronics

                     

                    This doesn't seem like too bad of a choice does it??

                    512MB of PC4200 DDR2 SDRAM (expandable to 2GB)

                    put 1 gig of ram in it and you'll be thrilled to no end.

                      LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                      Tennessee
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                      Posted: February 9, 2007, 1:13 am - IP Logged

                      mcafee scan came with this computer.it says free for 90 days then it starts charging so i didn't except.what is the best thing to use on a new computer.

                        justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                        Wandering Aimlessly
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                        Posted: February 9, 2007, 1:35 am - IP Logged

                        mcafee scan came with this computer.it says free for 90 days then it starts charging so i didn't except.what is the best thing to use on a new computer.

                        I've tried just about everything.  I had Norton Internet Security for a year, then tried McAfee but uninstalled it. Now using AVG 7 which is a free download.  I also run Windows Defender which is also a free download.  McAfee is a memory hog.  At least that was my experience.

                        Oops. I just noticed you will be running Vista, so I don't know what's recommended.  My suggestion is to download the different free programs to see what you want to buy.  Windows One Care has a free 90 day trial if you like something that defrags and runs lots of checks for you automatically. I had some trouble with it, but it was in its very early stages. Again, don't know if it's for Vista. (assume there's a version for Vista.)  You'll have to go to the web site. 

                        Edit:  four4me is right - too much protection will slow you down.  I don't run everything at once.

                          four4me's avatar - gate1
                          MD
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                          Posted: February 9, 2007, 1:36 am - IP Logged

                          mcafee scan came with this computer.it says free for 90 days then it starts charging so i didn't except.what is the best thing to use on a new computer.

                          if your using aol macfee comes free with aol 9.0 security edition or aol 9.0VR

                          you don't need to load every virus proteion on the market on your pc. doing that slows things down. unless you know how to turn them on and off.

                            SirMetro's avatar - center
                            East of Atlanta
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                            August 11, 2004
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                            Posted: February 9, 2007, 9:35 am - IP Logged

                            mcafee scan came with this computer.it says free for 90 days then it starts charging so i didn't except.what is the best thing to use on a new computer.

                            Best thing to use on any computer is common sense.

                            I have 2 computers at home and neither have ever had a virus and I do not run a virus program on either.

                            At the office, I am the only one who has not had their computer infected by something.

                            All said and done, due dillegence, install the free tool bar from Yahoo and the basic set-up with your computer. Then simply pay attention to what sites you visit. I have personally found MSN's web sites to be the most natorious for pop-ups. Once I convinced everyone at the office to stop going to MSN's web site or sponsored sites, pop-ups and virus's started disappearing. I have heard similiar compliants about Google, but since I don't use Google, I don't know about any problems from it.

                            Also, do a search for "Spybot - Search & Destroy" great little freebie (they  do appreciate donations) to get rid of pop-ups that Yahoo toolbar can't stop.

                              SirMetro's avatar - center
                              East of Atlanta
                              United States
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                              Posted: February 9, 2007, 9:45 am - IP Logged

                              I like to go to the computer shows check to see if one will be in your area, The one in my area have

                              hundreds of venders competing ,The prices are lowere  there than the stores. They have all kinds of parts,ink,pinters ect.

                              A few years back, I use to participate as a vendor at those type of computer shows. Was great fast cash (and awesome profits). If you think they are not making money, think again.

                              Word of WARNING to everyone. Be VERY VERY leary about super cheap prices on name brand software such as Microsoft Office, VISTA, or any other typically high dollar software that generally exceeds several hundered dollars.

                              At computer shows, you will find 3 types of software, Authentic, OEM and Fake

                              Authentic is what you find on the shelves in the stores and the prices will be really close to that of any store

                              OEM is software that would normally get shipped with a new computer. How this works is, a computer maker goes to Microsoft and buys 10,000 copys of say MS Office Basic. He sells 5,000 computers, but the buyers don't want the software. So he is stuck with 5,000 copies of software which the Computer maker then turns around and dumps on a wholesaler. This is how you find really good and cheap software at great prices ($50 to 75 for MS Office Basic)

                              Fake (aka pirated) is where someone has gotten a ton of CD's and just burned several hundered copies. The packaging is typically cheap (to non-existant). Avoid this software, not only is it illegal, once it's figured out, you don't get support and your just out of the cash you spent on it. Also, know that if you had bought it for a business you own, you are putting yourself at risk for fines and penalties that can run as high as $100,000 per software item. It is just not worth it.

                              If you want good software and you have local computer shows to attend, look for either of the first two, Authentic or OEM (which is also authentic, just a  heck of a lot cheaper).

                              Good Luck to all,

                              Sir Metro