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Thread: OT: desktop PCs

  1. #21
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    Also, what sort of HD size do y'all think I should be looking for?

  2. #22
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    16xDVD+/- RW means the DVD writer will take both + and - format disks, writes at 16 speed and is compatible with both R (write once only) and RW (Rewritable) disks.

  3. #23
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    The HDD size depends on things like how many photos/how much music you want to store. Personally I use a 160Gb internal drive with an 300Gb external drive for backup/extras, but I have about 80Gb of music and about 10,000 photos. I reckon around 200Gb should easily see you through and 160 will probably do.

    Before you ask ....... bare minimum of 512 Mb of RAM, and preferably 1 Gb (sometimes shown as 1024Mb). Minimum of 128Mb onboard memory on the graphics card.

  4. #24
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    Many thanks

  5. #25
    Ultra King Weird Darren's Avatar
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    Rest my case...

  6. #26
    ‹bermensch Ben Bloggs's Avatar
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    Peewiglet- im going to go against the flow here and suggest ignoring all these computer geeks.

    I have to say that I've been using Macs for 6 years now, my family have 4 of them and I think they are perfect as home computers, the only extra software required is Microsoft office (if you want full compatibility with word files etc- mainly usefull for college for me).

    Everything works out of the box. We recently got a new iMac and all software comes loaded on already. In the (very short) setup process it can transfer all your files from your old computer for you using an ethernet or fire wire cable. Our internet router required just a username and password to set up (our laptops required even less setup than that for wireless internet).

    You have plenty of bundled software; Garageband for recording music (perfectly adequate for a musician mainly recording for their own enjoyment), iPhoto works well for photo viewing and basic editing, iTunes for listening to and (legally) downloading music.

    Built-in webcam,bluetooth and wireless. Oh, and it can be controlled by remote control (for doing a slideshow to show friends and family photos of your trips/for watching DVDs/for controlling iTunes...).

    It's all just so easy, and it works. Plus, if you really want a larger hard drive, or more Ram, apple build to order too. Plus tech support are very useful (my first MacBook had a bug, so they replaced it no problem). Oh, and you know they look beautiful. No horrible grey box sitting on the floor with a wire hanging out for the monitor... it's all packed into one flatscreen machine.

    Look here. The cheapest one is £679 but I'd reccommend the next one up (£799)- see, its not even like they cost more than PCs anymore.

    Oh, and if you are really into that horrible crashing interface called Windows, that'll run on the iMac too.

  7. #27
    ‹bermensch john hee (www.walkaboutintheuk.co.uk)'s Avatar
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    Ben - not use XP recently then? No more crashs for me these days
    ;-)

  8. #28
    ‹bermensch druidh's Avatar
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    Ben - you forgot to tell PW about all the good mapping/GPS software available for Macs. . . .


    Oh - and all the standard components. . .

  9. #29
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    In the (very short) setup process it can transfer all your files from your old computer for you using an ethernet or fire wire cable. You can do the same with Windows PC
    Built-in webcam,bluetooth and wireless. Oh, and it can be controlled by remote control (for doing a slideshow to show friends and family photos of your trips/for watching DVDs/for controlling iTunes...). You can do the same with a Windows PC - bluetooth and wifi are built into some motherboards, and the remote control can also control the onboard Digital/Terrestrial TV Tuner
    Oh, and if you are really into that horrible crashing interface called Windows, that'll run on the iMac too.....You could always run it at full speed with less crashes than a Mac natively by using a Windows PC
    Plus, if you really want a larger hard drive, or more Ram, apple build to order too. You can do the same with a Windows PC, and don't need the manufacturer to do it for you as it's simple to do youjrself if you need it at a later date.
    Plus tech support are very useful (my first MacBook had a bug, so they replaced it no problem). .......No need to say anything ;-)
    No horrible grey box sitting on the floor You can have a PC in pretty much any shape, colour or design. Most people think mine's just part of the TV/stereo system.
    ignoring all these computer geeks...... strange how the minority seem to think the majority of the world's computer users are geeks ;-)
    with a wire hanging out for the monitor... it's all packed into one flatscreen machine.....With a Windows PC you can connect to your choice of monitor not be stuck with a built in one. Mine connects to a 40" widescreen LCD TV/Monitor.
    Other advantages of a PC over a Mac:
    Faster Processors
    A choice of software
    Mapping/GPS software that's easy to use
    Standard, easy to get parts
    Macs are soooo good they've now started using the same chipset as a Windows PC - at least with Windows you know the software/hardware will still be around in years to come



  10. #30
    Ultra King Weird Darren's Avatar
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    Before we get into a good old Windows vs Macs debate.
    A Mac would be a good option PW, especially with the new intel based ones that are out. The new intel based Macs even run Windows is you want (although you will have to buy a version of Windows to do this). Which gives the best of both worlds,but you would need to factor that into the costs (upto an extra £200 for the XP Home).
    Nice thing that the Mac has going in it's favour is the fact you get some nice bundled intergrated software for doing podcast/photo/video type stuff with. And the biggie for it, virtually nil spyware/virus problem for it.

    But each has their merits, and you should forget any stupid bickering between supporters of the two camps, and choose based on which best does what you want it to do, and how much you are prepared to pay.

    If you really want a PC I'd hang on until the manufacturers are shipping PC's with Vista on (next year). You will avoid all the hassle of doing an upgrade then, or even finding out that the PC you got that is only months old may not be as Vista Ready as you and the manufacturer thought.

    But agree with Dave the larger the better for disk space and RAM.

    Oh Dave has risen to the bait already

  11. #31
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    To be totally fair........Macs are OK, but their historic superiority has disappeared over the last few years as PCs have improved.

    While a Mac will come with some free software you have to remember: Either you pay £200+ for the Windows software to run your existing applications and access your existing data or lose it all

  12. #32
    Ultra King Weird Darren's Avatar
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    Dave don't be totally all doom and gloom on the lose it all.
    If most of the data is mp3,jpeg or movies then you won't loose it.
    It's things like MS Office docs that could be the stumbling block. But even then they could be moved over to a format that can be read by other software packages.

  13. #33
    ‹bermensch Ben Bloggs's Avatar
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    Exactly- most of my "important" information is MP3, Jpeg or word documents. The first two can be read in thousands of different applications, and the student edition of microsoft office for mac was only about £95 and can be installed on 3 computers at a time.

    For something that works straight out of the box and does day-to-day tasks well, I don't see why people are so anti-mac. Alot of my mates main argument it "there are no games for mac", which is fair enough, though I didnt think PCs were meant for games really, that's why Playstations exist.

    Im not trying to spark a Mac vs. PC debate, I just personally find Macs easier to use, and not at all limiting for the average home user. Obviously if you are a serious photographer or musician you will have to fork out for specialist software on either platform, but an average user will have no problems on Mac, nor will they have any trouble switching interfaces. Plus Macs dont get viruses (yet).


  14. #34
    Initiate
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    PW - aren't you a Geko 201 and GPS Mapping software user? I think you will run into difficulties with a Mac - what ever other fine qualities they have.

  15. #35
    Initiate The Doctor's Avatar
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    I've been running Memory Maps and Anquets on a Mac for the last 2 years with no problems, and thats using Virtual PC.And total integration with my iPaq using Missing Sync.


    So there...

  16. #36
    ‹bermensch Ben Bloggs's Avatar
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    So to answer Peewiglet's question in the first post;

    Yes you should certainly have a look at the new iMacs, or even the Mac Mini if you have a monitor/keyboard/mouse you are happy with. They're well worth a look and in no way lag behind PCs.

  17. #37
    Goon
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    Mr Mycroft's stout defence of PCs over Macs failed to mention one salient point: PCs generally get all sorts of viruses, bugs, glitches and god knows what else and most of the time they don't work very well. Macs don't suffer from these problems.

    If you want to spend half your life being a computer nerd get a PC if you just want a computer that works, is cheap and looks fantastic get a Mac.

  18. #38
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    I haven't read the entire thread, but the only desktop PCs I've ever bought have been eMachines - I think they may be PC World's own brand, or something like that. Anyway, they're 'budget' PCs and you usually get a lot for your money.

    Performance-wise they're excellent. I've purchased 3 eMachines PCs over the years, and all 3 are still going strong. My parents are currently using the first one I ever bought, and I'm typing this on the second one I got, which I bought about 5 years ago. Still going extremely strongly. Downstairs I have a 3rd eMachines PC that I bought at the end of last year, which I use almost exclusively for photography purposes.

    Conversely, my girlfriend's dad bought a top-of-the-range Sony Vaio PC a couple of years ago. He's had nothing but trouble with it, and a couple of months ago it finally died. My sister bought a Dell last year, and quite frankly it's been terrible. Good price, but it's turned out to be a nightmare.

    Don't let the lack of a brand name put you off - check out eMachines.

  19. #39
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    PCs generally get all sorts of viruses, bugs, glitches and god knows what else

    I totally accept that used to be the case........but things have changed. A decent anti virus program and Microsoft's auto update system has made those problems a thing of the past. - Oh and they're free!

    One problem is that Mac users have based their opinions on how PCs used to be and not looked at them recently. I use both in my work - and have based my advice on value for money for the job required, based on PRESENT technology not out of date reputation. I haven't had a virus , or a bug or glitch sufficient to crash my PC, in the last 2 and a half years.

  20. #40
    ‹bermensch Hamish Fenton's Avatar
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    as long as you download regularly the updates from microsoft and updates for your antivirus and/or internet security software you shouldn't have a problem with viruses etc. windows XP is far more stable than any of the previos versions of windows that i have experience of using (2, 3.0, 3.1, 95, 98, 2000).

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