Advice on New PC from Retail Store

If you had to choose, would you buy a Dell or an HP desktop pc?

  • Dell

    Votes: 2 33.3%
  • HP

    Votes: 4 66.7%

  • Total voters
    6
  • Poll closed .
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bartnj

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 17, 2012
Messages
14
I am looking at buying some PCs from a retail big-box outlet, not sure which one yet, but the towers by themselves are priced somewhere in the $400-$600 range and come with Windows 8.

Looking at the configurations, if I wanted to buy a middle of the road configured PC and slightly upgrade it do minor audio editing and enable fast video, I have considered most of them will need:

1. Better Power Supply from the basic 250-300W that most come with.
2. Upgrade the Audio and Video buy adding cards, not looking for massive gaming power, just "better" than onboard.
3. Adding a modest sized HDD for the OS and using the pre installed 1-2 Tb HDD for data (SSD? Never used one yet)
4. Increasing RAM to at least 8Gb (if needed, most of the models I am looking at have 8Gb).

I would appreciate and comments or advice on anything else to look for, and ideas on these upgrades that don't break the bank.

Thanks!

Bart
 

bartnj

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 17, 2012
Messages
14
Thanks...


I don't have the time to "build my own" and although I'm I could, I've never built an entire computer from scratch.

I was looking for advice on medium range audio/video cards, performance increases with busting budgets, etc.
 

Triple6

Rob
Moderator
Joined
Dec 26, 2002
Messages
52,933
Buying a junk consumer HP, Dells aren't much better, and doing all those upgrades would cost as much or more than having a shop custom build you a PC with what you desire, you'd also get a better warranty and no junk software that all big OEM systems come with. Have you checked local computer shops to see what they offer?

Also, unless you are into music production onboard audio is more then sufficient these days, the days of Creative cards being required for good music or gaming are long gone.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
350
you'd also get a better warranty and no junk software that all big OEM systems come with
Plus, once you remove the warranty sticker from a Dell/HP desktop, your warranty is long gone. Not to mention most systems only have a 1 year warranty (which is worthless at times).

This includes the upgrades. If you upgrade the power supply to a "non-HP" or "non-Dell" approved one, kiss your current warranty goodbye. Although, you'd get a better warranty on the parts you've replaced.

Not to mention, most OEM BIOS's are crippled to hell and back and updates are rare if there are issues. Their solution? Buy a new system.

It's cheaper to build your own. Most hard drives have a 3-5 year warranty, good memory (Kingston, Mushkin, G.Skill, Crucial, Patriot, GeIL, Corsair) and processors have a lifetime warranty, power supplies have a few years, etc. Parts have come down in price and you can build a rocking system for ~$600 with a minimum of a 2 year warranty on all the parts in it.
 

bartnj

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 17, 2012
Messages
14
Thank you both. I think you have me convinced. The point about the better warranties (and them not being voided) makes perfect sense. Especially since I will be the one servicing and maintaining these machines.

I'm pretty positive about being able to build them. I've been a break/fix guy for a long time. Never got around to builds, though. Just like the plumber's leaky faucet at home, I use whatever scraps I come across for my home pc use.

As far as motherboards w/Intel chips; the current i3 - 15 chip seem to be in my price range.

Any suggestions of favorites?

Thanks again.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2004
Messages
7,800
The way things are going, I would go quad core. Be it i5, or AMD...

What will you be using the PC for primarily?

For me, when I built this PC about 2 years ago, I built it for Visual Studio on a budget, and it screams for that! Light gaming is also good, BF3 plays smooth, Sim City 4 has no issues :D
 
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