Help me spend some money

Discussion in 'Computers' started by CaseyLS, Feb 14, 2004.

  1. CaseyLS

    CaseyLS Second Unit

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    Hey guys,

    I am getting a decent return from my SFA and I have decided to chuck my current computer. I am looking to spend between 600-800 dollars. I want to go prebuilt because I have very limited knowledge of the workings of a computer.
    What I have:
    Speakers
    Mouse
    Monitor
    Keyboard

    All I really need is the PC. I have looked at Dell, ZTGroup and Cyberpower Inc. I have heard a lot of positive feedback on Dell but I haven't heard much of the other two.

    Any feedback would br great, thanks,

    Casey
     
  2. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    You haven't said what you're planning to do with the new computer.

    Is this going to be a word processing / Web browsing machine?

    A gaming box?

    A machine for turning home video tapes into DVD-Video discs?

    Without knowing the application, it's hard to say what components you should look for, or where you should allocate your money.
     
  3. CaseyLS

    CaseyLS Second Unit

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    Good point-
    For the most part, I want something I will be able to play all the latest games on. So I realize RAM and video cards will be very important. I will also use it to write papers for school, but my main focus is on gaming.
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Hi. I think a lot of this has to do with your brand preference. Many computer users have specific brands that they won't look at due to some bad experience. If you haven't had any of these experiences, then I guess you're a lucky one. If you have no preference at all, I would suggest looking at the Compaq S6000Z series. I just went to their website and built the following:

    AMD Athlon XP 3000+
    MS XP Professional
    512MB RAM
    160GB hd (free-upgrade offer)
    16x DVD-Rom
    48x CD-writer
    128MB ATI graphics card

    This came out to $778 - $50 (mail-in rebate).

    From the prices I've seen recently I think this is about the best for your needs. Stay away from Celeron processors. They are tempting because they are cheap, but for gaming they are not a good idea.

    Also, you mentioned you're in school. Are you in college or high school? The reason I ask is that my college has a deal with Dell where all students get 5%-10% off any purchase, so you might look into something like that.
     
  5. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    As someone who built his own pc's for a couple of years, as well as for friends and family, I can say, stay away from Dell, Compaq, Gateway if you desire any kind of machine built for performance. They make slow, stable machines that always are poor performers with the equipment they use, not matter what parts you throw in them. I don't know how they do it, but if I built the same machine with separate parts I ordered myself, I'd gaurantee 20% better performance than whatever these brands put out and would be just as stable. I'd look for someone that builds PC's and have yours built within your budget.
    Try here: http://www.cyberpowerinc.com/. You can get a great machine for your budget.
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    How is CYBERPOWER's reputation?

    I just built a top-of-the-line system for $2K
     
  7. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i dont know how that would happen either, particularly because it wouldnt. given the same parts, the machine will have the same performance, no matter what your opinion of these companies is. all of those companies sell basic 'slow and stable' machines, so do most other computer companies on the planet. but i know that dell sells some pretty sweet gaming oriented machines as well. for $600-$800, you wont get the best gaming machine out there, no matter who builds it. try to stretch the budget on your video card and cpu. dell is successful for a reason, and if i ever stop building my own PCs, i'll go back to buying from them. ive had 3 over the years, all very reliable with minimal to no problems.

    CJ
     
  8. Bob_Bo

    Bob_Bo Agent

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    You'll almost always get a better machine if you build your own, provided you have the skill, knowledge and desire to do so.

    For anyone that just wants to plug and play, I can heartily recommend Dell, for both their price/performance, stability and support.

    I'd suggest a minimum of 512 Megs of Ram and a decent vid card like the 128MB DDR ATI RADEON 9800 PRO for your gaming needs.

    Good luck!
     
  9. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    I have no personal experience with them, but know of them through MaximumPC magazine, which I subscribe to. I jumped online real fast to check them out to at least include one option for the poster, but I would do more research for other custom PC builders before buying. They have a rating of 8.35 at reseller ratings. There are horror stories and success stories like any business.

    Bob,
    I know for gaming you want the best card you can afford, but a 9800Pro will be more than 25% of his budget. A 9600 Pro or GForce 5600-5700 is probably more realistic
     
  10. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    You know what guys? I answered my own question.

    I have a top-of-the-line Dell circa 2003.

    It's a great computer, and granted, Dell has
    been very good in its tech support department --
    especially handling a recall on its fan unit.

    However....

    I'm sorta looking at new computers (I buy a new
    one every year - 2 years) and this very thread has
    sparked these thoughts....

    1. I would stay away from CYBERPOWER. I did some
    on-line research and the company has gotten some
    less than favorable feedback. They seem to sell
    more "glitz" for the money than pure hardware. Lots
    of neon lighting and see-through cases rather than
    solid hardware.

    The company I found a lot of people glowing over?

    http://www.abspc.com

    Most likely, THAT is who will be building my
    next computer.

    I am eyeing their Athalon 64FX processor machine.

    Their site is very customizable as far as
    building your dream machine, and I hear their
    tech support is second-to-none. Their units even
    come with standard 1-year in-home service.
     
  11. Chuck Stephens

    Chuck Stephens Stunt Coordinator

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    Ron, I think you have the wrong address there. I think that this is the link you meant to put: http://www.abspc.com/
     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Chuck,

    My apologies. Thanks for the updated link.

    I went and fixed my original.
     
  13. Bob_Bo

    Bob_Bo Agent

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    Ahh yes, you're absolutley right, Wayne. I didn't check the upgrade price of the 9800 ($200 Dell Dimension 4600). Either of the other cards suggested would be a good fit for the price.
     
  14. CaseyLS

    CaseyLS Second Unit

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    Thanks for your help guys. I posted the same thread in a few other forums and ABS keeps popping up so I have checked them out. I will probably end up ordering one from them at the end of the week, if my SFA return check comes in.
     

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