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Thread: New computer. Need advise.

  1. #1
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    New computer. Need advise.

    Ok, first let me state, I am not into computers and will never be. They are not at all interesting to me, just the information that they can bring me.

    What I really don't want is a techical lecture that takes off with a few computer geeks talking to themselves. Hate to sound selfish, but this thread is about me and what I need. And right now I need help.

    Last time I bought a computer I had more money and just checked all the boxes and told them I wanted the Arnold Swartzanegger model so I have this totally outdated dual processor Dell, that in 14 years has used about 14% of its memory. Its getting close to useless and it has still cost me $314 a year. I want to take a different tact this time....

    Most bang for the buck! Replace sooner.....

    Reliability and service are important as well.

    I have been reading all day, took the day off, and I still have not reached a conclusion. I like Systemax and Lotus as they are at least assembled in the USA, but that is not a deal breaker either. Couldn't find out a lot about either company from anyone that did not sell them.

    Requirements? I am just using the internet to harass people on a few forums, looking for materials, and keeping track of my business, that not being so difficult a task these days. No gaming or graphic design so no big loads. I may tackle a cad program again when I get more time, but god knows when that will be.

    I have an idea that an Intel i3 and about 4-8 gb ram are about right, but feel free to straighten me out. I am thinking Windows 7 Pro, and I like the office programs I have now so adding that. Beyond that am I missing anything?

    Any screaming deals?

    Remember I am a computer illiterate, so talk slow....

    Thanks, Larry

  2. #2
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    Larry,

    The last few years we've been buying Dell computers from Costco.

    We find them to be a pretty good bang for the buck.

    Performance wise they've done ok.

    Good luck with it.

    PHM

  3. #3
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    why not buy a Dell as they have many models with some at the lower end the spectrum that will do exactly what you want...or HP for that matter.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Edgerton View Post
    Ok, first let me state, I am not into computers and will never be. They are not at all interesting to me, just the information that they can bring me.

    What I really don't want is a techical lecture that takes off with a few computer geeks talking to themselves. Hate to sound selfish, but this thread is about me and what I need. And right now I need help.













    Last time I bought a computer I had more money and just checked all the boxes and told them I wanted the Arnold Swartzanegger model so I have this totally outdated dual processor Dell, that in 14 years has used about 14% of its memory. Its getting close to useless and it has still cost me $314 a year. I want to take a different tact this time....

    Most bang for the buck! Replace sooner.....

    Reliability and service are important as well.

    I have been reading all day, took the day off, and I still have not reached a conclusion. I like Systemax and Lotus as they are at least assembled in the USA, but that is not a deal breaker either. Couldn't find out a lot about either company from anyone that did not sell them.

    Requirements? I am just using the internet to harass people on a few forums, looking for materials, and keeping track of my business, that not being so difficult a task these days. No gaming or graphic design so no big loads. I may tackle a cad program again when I get more time, but god knows when that will be.

    I have an idea that an Intel i3 and about 4-8 gb ram are about right, but feel free to straighten me out. I am thinking Windows 7 Pro, and I like the office programs I have now so adding that. Beyond that am I missing anything?

    Any screaming deals?

    Remember I am a computer illiterate, so talk slow....

    Thanks, Larry

    Larry, I just bought this about 2 months ago and couldn't be happier.

    Check it out.

    Tim

  5. #5
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    First, you failed to mention Laptop or Desktop--kind of critical.

    Second, there's really no reason to have Windows 7 Pro for anything you listed. It'll just cost you more.

    I doubt you can buy a new computer that won't do everything you want to do.

    The last several computers I've bought for home I've just gone out and looked, got a feel for what was decent price-wise and felt reasonably well made and bought that. My own home laptop is actually my old work laptop (a Dell) I paid $150 for or something like that. My wife's laptop, now about 4 years old I paid $525 for (an HP) My shop PC was a bargain priced HP desktop from Staples right about a year ago. I just saw something similar for a great price when I was in there a week or so ago. All run Sketchup just fine for anything I've designed. Even my daughter's laptop, a $400 Acer from Walmart is pretty decent--my only regret there is had we waited another 2 months we could have gotten a nicer machine for that price or a similar machine for $300 as there was a price drop right after.

    Problem wise, the Dell Laptop was almost completely replaced under warranty when work owned it. Even some case parts. The HP desktop lost a hard drive which is completely not HP's fault. The HP laptop had an issue with blue screens recently that I thought was a heat issue but it turned out to just be a driver that needed replacing. The Acer has been trouble free other than it won't wake itself for backups much to my frustration. We previously had an Dell home PC that had numerous parts replaced under warranty. Note that I think Dell is part-happy if they are sending out a tech for on-site support. They'd rather replace every possible part that could be causing the problem than send a tech out a second time.

    I think 4GB RAM is plenty for what you've listed. Don't buy a more expensive machine just to get the RAM. Its usually a better deal to buy with less RAM, and buy your RAM separately, even if you throw away what's in it.

    I don't know what you've got for an office suite now but Office Home and Student is a good buy when purchased with the machine unless you need Access and/or Outlook. Bite the bullet and upgrade as loading an ancient suite on a 64 bit machine is borrowed time. Yes its different and takes some getting used to. If you are using Open Office move to the newest Libre Office on the new machine.


  6. #6
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    Speaking slow.....buy an iPad3.

  7. #7
    For what you will do with a computer any will do. Just pick your price. First two computers I over purchased because I did not know better. The lap top I am on now was a bargain ,opening price point unit. Found it does 100% what I want just like the expensive units.

    I have owned 3 computers over the last 15 years. Still using two of them. All have been Gateway brand. Never a hardware issue with any of them. And no Software or bug issue that I would consider beyond normal.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  8. #8
    I started to relate my numerous and ridiculous experiences with Dell technical support but realized—they probably won’t believe a company could still be in business with such atrocious service.
    No Dell.jpg


  9. #9
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    I really like the HP machines available at Staples.

    A Dual core machine isn't exactly outdated. My system is a single core I built 8 years ago. Serves me fine.
    Double the memory in the one you have, vacuum the dust out of it while it's open, and you'll think you have a new machine.

    Adding memory MIGHT give your computer the hick-ups. The problem being Windows might think it's installed on a different machine. The memory addition changes the hardware signature.
    Backup all you want to save, and re-install the OS. That alone will speed a computer up.
    Last edited by Myk Rian; 03-05-2012 at 6:41 PM.
    Never, under any circumstances, combine a sleeping pill, and laxative on the same night.

  10. #10
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    Myk, I'm still on Windows 98. Local geek looked at it and said it is not able to run Windows 7, and I am no longer able to update most things. My world keeps getting smaller.

    http://www.productshippingcenter.com...p?Base=1882595

    Here is one I was looking at to give an idea what I am after.

    Matt, good comments, may have kept me from my normal solution. I started out looking at cheap and was up over a grand. Well, maybe I will need that........

    Thanks, Larry

  11. #11
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    Your configuration looks pretty good, but I might make a couple changes. An I3 CPU, and Win 7 home Premium. The internal card reader is nice for transferring pictures from cameras.
    You can always install Open Office for free. It does the same as MS Office.
    Last edited by Myk Rian; 03-05-2012 at 7:06 PM.
    Never, under any circumstances, combine a sleeping pill, and laxative on the same night.

  12. #12
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    Check out these at Staples. The most expensive is $450.

    http://www.staples.com/HP-Pavilion-p...product_444697
    http://www.staples.com/HP-Pavilion-p...product_432730
    http://www.staples.com/HP-Pavilion-p...product_432775

    Then use the money you saved on the PC and buy a huge LED monitor. I just got one of these for work:
    http://www.staples.com/Acer-24-S242H...product_922460

    Open Office (now Libre Office as mentioned above) vs. MS Office--depends on the situation. Home use yes pretty much. Work, not so much, especially more esoteric features of Excel, macros, integration with other products, etc. Switching between them if you use one at home and one at work--awful. There's just enough differences to be really annoying. Kind of like Apple iOS vs. Android. I would be happy with either, but when I had both it was annoying.


  13. #13
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    http://www.pcrush.com/product/Deskto...57&clnk=765159

    Heres another one I was looking at. More what Myk was talking about.

    Matt, we don't have any Staples up here, just OfficeMax, and they have already ticked me off.

  14. #14
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    The last few years I have been video recording our Senior Center stage productions. I then edit and produce a DVD that most of the actors (150 sold last year) purchase for themselves and family, etc.
    After all, they can't see how the production turns out since they are in it.
    Anyway, that system at pcrush looks like something I would consider for working with those huge HiDef files my camcorder makes. Nice system that should carry you through many years of good service.

    By the way, some scenes from our productions are here. http://www.youtube.com/user/axlmyk
    I am Production Manager and lighting tech. Lots of fun.
    Last edited by Myk Rian; 03-05-2012 at 10:04 PM.
    Never, under any circumstances, combine a sleeping pill, and laxative on the same night.

  15. #15
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    Larry, be mindful that your old programs may not run on the new machine. I have some that will, and some that won't. Win 7 Pro does get you the ability to run some older programs that the lesser Win 7's won't. If you will never use more than 4 gig of ram, go with the 32 bit version. If you want more, you have to go 64 bit.
    I've had good luck assembling my last 4 computers. My last one was built with Win 98, and was upgraded to Win 2K and was at least 10 years old when I replaced it. Still in my closet as it still works. May use it in the shop one day. My wife's first one was identical to my first one, but slightly slower processor. It is still working and runs her old DOS music education programs that won't run under XP. much less Win 7. Her current one is an early dual core running XP. My last one built last spring came in about 1000 bucks, and that includes a 24" monitor. Only thing I kept out of the old computer was a newer power supply that it didn't need. But this may be more than you want to tackle.
    I will say this, if I was doing the computer thing again with what I learned in the past year with the one I built, and the laptop I got last September, I'd opt for a more powerful laptop, and get a big monitor to plug into it for use at home. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...Exclusively Irish! When Irish Eyes are smiling....They're usually up to something!!
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