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Thread: OT: desktop PCs

  1. #1
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    Hi peeps,

    I'm considering a new desktop. I currently have an Evesham. I need it to do the basic stuff, and also to record and edit music files (nothing ultra sophisticated).

    Or perhaps I should be looking at a Mac?

    Any suggestions for an inexpensive but reliable one, please?

    Thanks for any help

  2. #2
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    A PC is only as stable as the person using it and the software installed on it. A mac, on the other hand, is equally unstable for everyone ;-)

    Serioously Shirley, the best POC is a self built one as the process of building it helps enormously with fault diagnosis when the inevitable does occur. It doesn't really matter who manufactures the system as the internal hardware is all pretty much the same anyway, so if you're worried about problems concentrate more on who provides the best support and repair service (preferably on-site) rather than the brand name. Evesham have a good name still, and it's no coincidence that Dell are now the world's largest suppliers. I'd recommend making sure any new system you buy is "Vista Compatible" as the next generation of Micro$oft's OS is due soon.

  3. #3
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    Thanks, Dave

    I quite like the self-build idea. In the past I've done a fair bit of ferreting around inside my PC, including installing a new motherboard. I've not done that for a few years, though. Still, I'm sure I could get back into it.

    Do you know of a reliable guide? A book would be good, but online would be good too.

  4. #4
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    Sorry Shirley, don't know a decent guide off the top of my head - been self building for years. TBH if you can install and configure a motherboard the rest is straightforward anyway - and mobos generally come with a reasonable instruction set. The more difficult part is the OS configuration. If you are going to self build check Microsoft's Vista compatibility list for hardware before buying for future proofing. I use www.aria.co.uk for components.

  5. #5
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks I'll take a look.

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch druidh's Avatar
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    I'd echo DMs comments about Dell. I've always done home-builds before and was perfectly happy adding cards & cables etc. However, I was offered a cheap PC through the (now defunct) Govt backed scheme and it had to be a Dell. I have to say that it has all worked out very well.

    I'd say that there's better integration of components, the support from Dell (I decided to rebuild the software stack) was excellent, and the whole machine is much quieter than my home-builds due to some Dell-specific parts and design. It has also been (touch wood) very reliable. Looking at the all-in price, I doubt there's really much to be saved nowadays (and for a fee, Dell will actually come over and transfer files etc for you).

    I don't think you fully lose the ability to think for yourself either as it will still accept additional (standard) components such as disks and cards.

  7. #7
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    Very interesting and helpful, thanks, druidh. I've been thinking about a Dell for a long time: I almost bought one last time. Perhaps that's the way to go after all - quiet is good, after all!

    I thought there used to be a site for reduced price Dells but I couldn't see it when I took a look earlier today. Does anyone know whether it still exists?

  8. #8
    ‹bermensch druidh's Avatar
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  9. #9
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    Thanks again, druidh! I'll go and have a drool

  10. #10
    Initiate
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    I have bought two machines from Leapfrog in Bolton (Try here). They have excellent reviews on Romulus2 (or they did when I could get into Romulus2). My machines have been utterly reliable since day one and when the time comes I will return there for renewal or upgrade. If you have a chat with them they will build you the machine you want/need and you won't get the "free" stuff you don't need. Their support is highly regarded. However, they may cost you slightly more than the cheapest t'internet option but when the inevitable happens I am confident their support will be easier to access than some call centre on the other side of the world.

    Iunderstand that Dell use components which are unique to Dell so if they fail they have to be replaced by Dell bits which are not always easy or cheap to obtain.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    If you buy a computer from Dell over the internet, you have to check a box promising not to use it to develop weapons of mass destruction.

  12. #12
    ‹bermensch john hee (www.walkaboutintheuk.co.uk)'s Avatar
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    My employer uses Dells exclusively. Our techies think they're very eay to open up and ferret about the inside, all nicely laid out and the parts are easy to get to.

    I guess the main issue may be the availability of upgrade bits down the line?

  13. #13
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    Over the last few years Dell have reduced the number of proprietory parts, and all the major components now are industry standard (eg SATA HDD, Graphics Cards etc)

  14. #14
    Mini Goon
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    Dave

    Unfortunately Dell don't use the ATX form factor.

  15. #15
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    I know their mobos are non standard, but don't they still use SATA drives?

  16. #16
    Mini Goon
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    AFAIK only the case/motherboard/power supply is non standard.

  17. #17
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    Thought so, so effectively it's only a motherboard or power supply failure that would require potentially expensive replacement in the long term, and witha 3 year on-site or swap out warranty it shouldn't be a problem.

  18. #18
    Ultra King Weird Darren's Avatar
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    Dave,
    wrote "A PC is only as stable as the person using it", well in PW's case then she's on a loser before she starts )

  19. #19
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    Can anyone please tell me what:

    16 X DVD +/- RW

    means?

    Ta....

  20. #20
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    Hey, watchit WD..... grrrr!

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