Recommendations on a new PC

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andre F, Jun 11, 2002.

  1. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

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    I know this kind of question is asked a lot around so I figured I'd ask it one more time. I'm starting to think about a new PC and with all the extra stock on hand a lot of PC makers are staring to lower prices. Should I build my own and or should I buy direct from somebody? If you think I should build then I must say that I need some kind of guide to get me through tricky parts and must also mention my lack of time for this kind of thing. If you think I should buy direct then from whom would you suggest. I currently have a Dell and a Gateway (my employeer owns this...) and have not really had any major problems with either company, Compaq on the other hand I do not like. Anyway, here is my criteria for a new machine.

    Price range: $1,500 - $2000

    CPU: 2ghz and up
    RAM: 256mb to 512mb
    Harddrive: 80 to 120 gb 7200rpm
    Monitor: 21" and the flatter the better
    CD-RW and DVD capabilities
    Sound card: nothing intergrated, could use recommendations
    Video card: I could use some recommendations but I'd at
    least like something with 64mb
    Speakers: at lest two with a sub woofer
    Modem: not too picky
    NIC: not too picky
    Windows XP Home

    So, can I do it or do I need to adjust my budget or expectations? Thanks in advance.
    -Andre F
     
  2. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    You can EASILY get within this price range if you build it yourself and even can make it if you go with Dell. If you build yourself you will be around 1500-1700 depending on the video, sound card, & OS Dells price looks to be about 2000 with shipping.

    KyleS
     
  3. Masood Ali

    Masood Ali Supporting Actor

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    Just to give you some personal advice, which I learned the hard way. Buying a computer is like buying a domestic car. It will drop its value very quickly.

    Unless you're a professional, and need certain components for work, you shouldn't spend more than $1000 (w/o monitor) on ANY PC. After $1000, diminishing returns kicks in, and you'll spend way more to get smaller returns in performance.

    Buying top-of-the-line everything will cost you about $3000; buying smartly will get you 90% of that performance, and you get to keep $2000 in your pocket.

    At Newegg.com, I priced out a higher-end system for ~$1100 including shipping. Keep in mind, this is without a monitor, which you should spend $200-$300, for a 19"-21" tube. Dell.com has good deals on non-flat tubes, while other sites (check computing forums) have deals on flat-tubes.

    P4 2.0A 512k w/ Vantec Heatsink (I recommend a better heatsink ONLY if you plan to overclock)
    ABIT P4-266C (You can also get a newer board that supports the 533MHz FSB natively, probably for around $100)
    512MB Corsair PC2100
    80GB Maxtor 7200RPM
    Chieftec Case (Antec SX1030 clone) w/ 400W RaidMax PSU
    Lite-On 16x/48x DVD-ROM (great DAE speed, overall excellent drive)
    Lite-On 40x/12x/48x CD-RW (another simply excellent drive)
    Sony 1.44 Floppy
    MS Office Keyboard
    MS Intellimouse Optical
    Hercules GameTheaterXP 6.1 Sound Card
    ATI Radeon 8500 64MB Graphics Card
    MS Windows XP Home Edition

    You can trim a little fat off the system, like getting 'only' a 32x CD-RW (translates into 15-20 seconds extra burning time); lesser sound card (like a SB Live or TB Santa Cruz); less memory (256MB); smaller hard drive; etc. It would save you about a $100-$200. I would keep the Radeon 8500 since it's a steal at $99, unless you want to spring for a Geforce4 Ti4400 (it's nearest competitor).
     
  4. Masood Ali

    Masood Ali Supporting Actor

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    Also keep in mind that you'll pay about twice as much for the same system at Dell.

    Building it can seem intimidating, but there are forums that will help you along the way. It's MUCH better to build in the long run, because you'll begin to solve computing problems on your own instead of paying some collared-shirt at CompUSA a ridiculous fee to poke around your computer.
     
  5. Masood Ali

    Masood Ali Supporting Actor

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    Ken, it looks like you'll be getting another Dell, because the only person that can build you a cheaper, better computer would be yourself. There are other custom PC makers out there, but over the past year, I've noticed Dell having better deals more often on their PCs.
     
  6. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Agreed Ken Dell is really the only game in town right now with Gateway still in the unknown area.

     

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