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Buying the new PC

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Cosmic, Dec 5, 2003.

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  1. Cosmic

    Cosmic Thread Starter

    May 5, 2003
    It is time to get a new PC. My present one is coming on 5 years old and is not worth attempting any sort of upgrade. Still runs OK, Win98 but showing its age.

    Thinking of getting the new one here.


    Looking to choose between the Affordable AMD or Affordable PIV (Intel) basic package as listed with my changes to upgrade / add to customize for my needs.

    Want to stay under ~$600-700 for the system. Use my old monitor.

    So something like:

    300W Mid Tower

    Motherboard ???? (What to choose here ????)

    512 Ram (Upgrade)

    30 GB Hard Drive (Which manufacturer is best ????)

    32x12x40x12 CDRW/DVD Comb (Upgrade)

    3.5 Floppy Drive

    32 MD 3D Video (Should I consider any upgrade ????)

    3D Sound Card

    10/100 Network

    56K Modem/Mouse/Keyboard/Speakers

    Of the listed Motherboards which is best? I don't need blinding speed. Only do your typical surfing. Sometimes play some on line games, cards, etc. Thinking the first two choices under each category.

    The 30 GB hard drive should be fine for me. I should have a choice between Western Digital, IBM, Maxtor, Seagate. Which should be preferred? Also thinking of adding another hard drive D using the same drive as C in a mobile rack and getting maybe up to 3 additional drives to swap out. 1 for backup, 1 for general storage and 1 as a spare for C. Plan on keeping this system for my typical 5 years. These racks are new, never used, not hot swappable, but that isn't all that important to me.

    I have the mobile racks and this fellow has let me use my own hardware to help build the system in the past. Also have a 100MB Iomega Zip drive to stick in so I can move info around between all my other PC's. Would make this PC compatible with a lot of info I got on a zillion 100MB disk(s) library.

    What operating system? WinME or WinXp?

    Would an upgrade to the Video make sense at these prices? I plan to use my old 19" monitor.

    The vendor should throw it all together and I should get the standard warranty on the new parts. If I brought everything and came prepared it wasn't a problem before. Don't expect it to be this time. The other plus is the guy is local, so any problems that might arise are a lot easier to deal with in future.

    What have I missed that might be nice to add? Does this seem like a reasonable yeoman type system for the money?? Should I be looking at another vendor / system. Being super fancy is not important to me. More important is reliability and never being in a position to lose my data or system due to some bug or crash. Plus these systems have some expansion ability and you tend to get a complete set of software and docs. They give you all the software / docs for all parts that make up the system.

    Guess I should buy the new system before my old one crashes and gives up the ghost. TIA
  2. Kyle015


    Nov 30, 2003
    Buying a PC is very expensive. If at all possible, you should build a PC. For the same price as a bought one, you could build one that is 5X better! Plus, it is good for experience... If you have any friends that build PC's, you can ask them for help, or find a website that tells you how to do it. I bet about 75% of the people that use techguy.org have built a PC before. Anyone have anything they want to add to this?
  3. Kerri Ann

    Kerri Ann

    Aug 18, 2003
    msi microstar motherboard
    seagate would be my choice for the hard drive, but not scsi- should be ata. if you can't do seagate, western digital i guess....
    no need for extra hard drive- partition one hard drive- you can treat partitions the same as multiple hard drives.
    win me- everyone else will tel you xp- but if all you're planning on doing is internet and apps, xp is too much in my opinion- millenium edition is simple, very easy to use. xp may be more suitable however for transfering data, not sure about that one.
    i think the site you chose is kinda overpricing the deal though... wish i could build you one, but i doubt you live nearby.
    as for sound- built in sound on the motherboard is always plenty for me, but i don't have big fancy speakers either. in fact, i don't have any speakers at all right now... :)
    the cpu is up to you really, i work with alot of amd athlons these days- they are more affordable, but pentiums seem to always come out a little ahead in all the reviews i read... to me though, it's not worth the extra price...
  4. Kerri Ann

    Kerri Ann

    Aug 18, 2003
    one more thing... about what kyle said...

    i learned how to build pcs on my own, just from the help of people on this site (thanks! ;) ), and reasearching it on the web. google helps alot too...
  5. Cosmic

    Cosmic Thread Starter

    May 5, 2003
    Thanks for all that.

    The money part of it isn't a super deal breaker. In a way, I am not paying, made the money in the stock market. In general I am not really up for the hassle of building a PC. Don't know what the real savings might be. This vendor throws PC's together everyday, better than my hacking, I'm sure.

    I did do a rough estimate of what it might cost as parts. My problem is I have to pretty well buy all the parts. The time and effort is worth something too. I have little suitable hardware other than I mentioned before to use to cut costs. I can haggle a bit and get the final costs down. I would guess might cost $650 for exactly what I listed, can live with that price. Plus can get some deducts on things like their speakers, mouse (a whopping $12). By the time you get all the shipping, fees and total bill as built, what could the difference really be?

    I want all the extra hard drives for a reason. Piece of mind and I am prepared to pay for it. 30 GB drives should be cheap from him, ~ $30. One major problem I have with the old system is making full complete independent easy backups. I don't want to keep data on the Drive C or really depend on it. A drive failure just can wipe you out. I figure extra drives are very cheap insurance. Want to be able to recover "As Was" with minimum hassle.

    This vendor has been good. Get to deal with one stop for everything. Warranty is worth something. He usually don't use junk or something that causes problems. No real hardware problem on the older system for 5 years.

    I still have those questions about selecting between MOBO / CPU, etc.

    Want to really avoid hardware that is known to be bad, prone to failure or people have being having problems. Conversely want to select hardware that is known to be superior. If it works will be worth the money, if I get everything <$700.

    I like Win98 but today Microsoft has pulled a lot of the Web support so it is not an option. Never used WinMe but wonder if Microsoft won't do the same to it, Uncle Bill knows how to make people pay. Maybe the safer choice is WinXP but I have played with it on a neighbors computer and it didn't seem very user friendly.
  6. catlady13


    Aug 4, 2003
    HI Cosmic, I would also go with the Seagate hard drive and I love my msi motherboard. I am using XP pro right now and have also used windows 98 , 95 , 98Se and ME .. ME was fun and is easier to formt with than 98 because it has more of the drivers so you don't have to hunt around as much but honestly I have found XP far , far more stable than 98SE or ME. BUT I did find windows 98SE to be more stable than ME barring the old windows 98 shutdown problem and there is a patch for that. I can run the living daylights out of this XP machine without crashing it and I do video and download all sorts of junk from kazaalite and install it .
  7. MustBNuts


    Aug 21, 2003
    Also, if you are having someone put together a system for you, don't forget to utilize what's in your current box: modem, hd (depending on size it could be used as your master with just the os and progs installed on it, data on a slave), sound card, graphics card, etc. If you're not a gamer or have special graphics/sound needs, your current hardware would probably work just fine... and what else would you do with it anyway. It's easier to live with the old "doorstop" if most of the guts have been taken out and are being used.

  8. darkelf_18


    Jul 26, 2003
    Hey Cosmic, take a look at My Sig below, all those parts you see cost me under $550 including a KDS 17inch monitor and 400watt Powersupply. Ok so if you went and bought all those parts you would then have, at least $150 left, then you could take it to a PC Repair shop and have them put it together.
    Also if you do take it to a shop, tell them that a kid put a whole PC together in under 10 minutes, so it shouldn't take them three or four hours to do it. So if they charge $30-50 an hour that means you should get the whole thing bought and built for $700 or less. Trust me its worth it.

    And if you do what you want I would really suggest a ASUS MoBo and a Maxtor drive.
  9. Kerri Ann

    Kerri Ann

    Aug 18, 2003
    asus is definately my second choice, only because msi boards are usually more colorful, and less expensive. but if cost wasn't considered, and my case didn't have a window on one side, i'd get an asus for sure.
    and PLEASE PLEASE don't get a dell, compaq or hp!!! if you decide not to build, buy a sony maybe. it's a lesser of the evils....
  10. imAmushroom


    Dec 3, 2003
    I agree with Keri Ann "Don't get Dell, Compaq, HP,E-Machines or Gateway" (Don't buy anything from a name brand store) If you must buy a package system, help your local economy and find a system integration store near you. There are privately owned stores near you that build their own brand computers that use retail parts NOT proprietary, scaled down parts.
    The advantage is you can find out what parts are in it and you can request certain brand parts.
    You can work deals with them (ie. haggle), also ask if you can get a price break if they use parts from your computer (Keyboard,HD, CD.... Another benefit is if you have problems with your new computer they know everything that is in it and are right around the corner.

    My choice of mother board is ASUS for reliability, stability and support(y)
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