Computer geeks/know-it-alls-What brand is best?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Ty McNeely, Jun 4, 2003.

  1. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    My mom has given me the choice of any decently priced (ha!) computer. My question is - What brand is best, or what brand(s) would you prefer and which would you definitely stay away from?

    I've narrowed the choices down to Gateway and Dell, and I think I've found a pretty good machine (the difference in the performance is almost nil and the difference in price is $.97. :D)

    Anyways....what does everybody recommend?
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Cow, or stoner kid?
  3. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000

    Har har :rolleyes:

    It's a shame he was a stoner because I actually found him quite entertaining. Much better than the new moron they've got doing it.
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    good riddance if you ask me.

    while I am not a PC guy, either one of those computers will be fine.

    I have heard pretty much the same gripes and blessings for both company.

    but with much of the PC world, you never know if you might just get a lemon, and there is nothing you can do.

    I'd go with whichever one offers the better package, not just specs.
    like if gateway is offering a discounted printer and free ram, go for them, unless Dell is offering those plus free shipping or something.

    ya know?
  5. Or put it together yourself. You can easily knock $1000 off the price.
  6. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I doubt you can knock $1000 off, but probably some hundreds. On the negative side, if you assemble or get it assembled yourself, you don't get the load of software that name brands carry. Now, it's rather easy to find soft from the internet but it'll take a moment, so it might be better to buy a name brand machine if you don't know what you are doing.

    So, pick a machine with most complete software pack. Preferably one with MS Office. On hardware side: AMD-powered machines usually have better price/power ratio. You can't never have too much HD space. You will want a cd burner - they cost $50 in stores, so it's not that bad. And also, you want atleast 512MB of RAM - a 256MB module is around $50 in stores.

    Also, check hardware upgradeability. Preferably buy a machine with motherboard on which you can throw better processor later on, when their prices come down - much cheaper than swapping both M/B and processor.
  7. If you're going for a high-end gaming system, you won't knock $1000 off, but you can save a few hundred if you have patience and use Building one yourself also gives you the added benefit of knowing every component in the system in case something goes wrong.

    However, DONT ignore name brands if you want performance. A cheap motherboard is no replacement for an Asus or Abit, and if you're serious about game-playing, pony up for an nVidia or ATI. I have an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro, and it's fantastic. You can skimp on hard drives, mouse, keyboard, CD burners, DVD-roms...they're all pretty much the same nowadays.

    However, without knowing what you're looking to do with this system, I can't really say which would be a better fit for you. If it's general purpose, what WR said is fine...pick the best deal.

    (Note: I'm definitely a computer geek :) )
  8. You will only save if you are going for a higher end system. Out of Dell and Gateway, I would go Dell. I really dislike Gateway systems, they tend to try and sell you obsolete crap. I build systems on the side. I will only build higher end systems. If someone wants a basic system, I always tell them to go with Dell.
  9. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
  10. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I have had nothing but trouble with my Gateway. While I am not familiar with the Dell line at all, if you purchase anything BUT a Gateway, you might be better off. My own experiences may be unique to the brand, but I wouldn't recommed Gateway to my worst enemy.

    Since I've had it, my Gateway's hard drive crashed TWICE, with no explanation. Tech support was happy enough to send me a new, blank one. Great. All my files are lost, but at least I had a new one. And, while they did send me the drives free of charge, that shouldn't happen, especially to a computer that is less than a year old. (When it happened.) I also lost a power supply, to which they responded, "Yeah, those'll go out on you." :rolleyes:

    I know some people like Gateways, and can say nothing but good things about them. Cool. But I would buy the Dell.
  11. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I build my own... usually recycling randow bits of the previous... but when friends, relatives or employers ask what to buy, I say Dell
  12. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I've only dealt with two people: Gateway, and my tech buddy who built my machine, and my brothers machine.

    Gateway has been incomperable in their customer service, waiting looong hours trying to fix problems we've had over the years. IN fact, my mom became almost a household name at Gateway Tech Support.

    The machines my fried Ryan built... never had an issue. Never had to call him once.

    I'm sold on building them yourself, or having a computer place do it. The advantages to a Corp. built one is support anywhere...the in house places might only be in one city.

    Once I figure out what I'm doing for my next computer, I'm gonna have a techie build it for me.
  13. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    Well, it appears dell is without a doubt the way to go. The Gateway machine seemed much more appealing in its specs, but with this kind of reputation even if it does have a 3-year warranty thats not enough.

    I really, really like the idea of building my own machine and I do think I'm mostly capable of doing it, but my worst fear is that I'll end up doing something wrong and not be able to get it fixed.

    Also, I'm definitely not looking for the "Ultimate Gaming PC", but I do want to have a decent video card (the Dell had an nVidia) for VERY casual gaming if I feel the need. My current computer was bought as basically nothing but a work machine, and when I decided I wanted to play a few games on it, all hell broke loose with it. It couldn't handle anything and decided it didn't wanna do anything it all. So, I basically want to just BE ABLE to game with it if I feel like it, but nothing mind-boggling.

    The setup I had was:

    60 GB Ultra ATA 7200 RPM HD
    2.6 GHz Intel Pent. 4
    512 MB ram
    128MB ATI Radeon 9800
    17 in flatscreen
    4-year warranty

    160 GB Ultra ATA 7200 RPM HD w/ 8MB performance enhancing cache (whatever that is!)
    2.6 GHz Intel Pent. 4
    512 MB ram
    128MB nVidia GeForce4
    17in flatscreen
    3-year warranty

    I could have gotten a processor up to a 3.0 GHz, but don't have the extra $$$.

    Anyways, that's what I've come up with. Mom says I'm gonna hafta either shave off some things from this one or pick up the slack myself cuz she can't pay for all of it:(

    What is the "8MB Performance Enhancing Cache" and is it worth any extra money (if it's more expensive, which, with a name like that, it MUST be)
  14. MattyN


    May 26, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    gateway vs dell?

    i would definitely go w/ dell...
  15. Out of those two I'd go with the Dell.

    But building your own isn't all that hard, there are a lot of DIY guides on the net(check this page for tons of info)

    Only prob with the Dell is the smallish harddrive, but adding one later is easy.

    edit: the 8Mb cache memory on the gateway doesn't boost performace that much, according to a review at (it's a Western Digital Caviar SE). The dell drives only have 2Mb of cache, but you only need more if you're going to do SERIOUS things like server stuff, and have lots of harddrives.
  16. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    If you're going with a turnkey package deal system instead of an assemble your own type, Dell is the only choice. Over the years I've had experience with Compaq, Gateway, Packard Bell, and Dell. While they all have their pros and cons and issues with their gear, I personally found Dell's after the sale technical support to be unsurpassed. They have earned my business for a long time.
  17. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    There are other choices
  18. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Conventional wisdom (among my computer-smart friends) is that Gateway has seriously gone downhill in recent years.
  19. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Thank God for CompUSA!!!!!

    I love that place!!
  20. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I like the way you think;)

    But if I had to choose between a dell or a gateway, I'd definitely go with Dell. A few of my friends have gateways and all of them crapped out.