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Where Should I Buy A Computer From?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Jan 21, 2005.


  1. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I visted the Dell website after seeing they offer pcs as low as $350, and I plan on getting one for my B-day. But after visiting a few other sites, I noticed that HP, Gateway, and Dell each charge more or less for particular options. Are there other good, trustworthy places to buy from online? It would be mostly for standard internet/word processing use and I'd really like to do some home recordings on it.

    These are the things I was looking for:
    15 or 17" flatscreen monitor
    Has to have a printer, even a cheap one is fine
    512 dual ram (my current pc has 95 :eek: )
    40-80 gig of memory (my current pc has 7gig :eek: :eek: )
    A standard XP OS
    I want a good processor, so I imagine I should get a Pentium 4 over a Celeron. Does it make that big a difference?
    Cheap speakers
    DVD rom drive and CD-rw drive (maybe a DVD drive and a DVD-rw drive)
    I plan on adding a M-Audio soundcard at some point, so I think the standard intergrated sound would be fine
    Floppy drive
    Microsoft Works programs

    I was hoping to keep it around $850 or less, but I don't know if I can. Any advice? Places to look? I certainly can't build it myself.
     
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA

    Actually....on that first point up there....40-80GB hard drive is what you are meaning.

    Pentium is definitely better than Celeron. Pentium and Celeron are like Fender and Squire. Celeron is a cheaper knock off of a Pentium, but still made by Intel.

    You can score the exact PC you want from Dell for $450-500 right now. I don't like Gateways...something about the whole bovine theme just turns me off. HP makes a good PC, we use those at work for all of our SFF's. All the bigger developer machines are Dell's though.

    -Mike
     
  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Yeah, that's what I meant. I'm a technical idiot :)
     
  4. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA

    I wouldn't go that far. Just call yourself a newbie...just like when you first learned bass. You'll catch on quick enough.

    -Mike
     
  5. Only

    Only

    Sep 8, 2002
    Warrensburg, MO
    The thing about Dell is that the tech support after you buy a PC is TERRIBLE. It's legendary in an industry that's legendary for being terrible.

    If you can live with that, Dell computers themselves are great. You can get one that easily beats all your required notes for cheap...In fact, the only thing on there that's expensive is the flat screen monitor....Unless you're talking standard type monitor with a flat screen, and not the super-thin types. Then you're fine.
     
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    No, I mean I'm a technical idiot :) I've been working with computers on a daily basis for 18 years now. I can usually catch on to software-related stuff quickly, but hardware gets me caught up.
     
  7. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Bryan,

    If you know of any little local computer places that have a good rep I'd talk to them, tell them what you want and see if they can get you something with comparable specs and price. This is a good option because you KNOW where you can go for tech support and not be put on hold. I have a good little place just around the corner from me and they have competitive prices.

    brad cook
     
  8. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    +1. the Dell would be a fine, but ^^ would be better.
     
  9. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    There's a lot of little places around here, but that sort of scares me. Lots of small businesses go under where I live, and if the place I bought from either went belly up or tried to scam me, as there's not much way to tell their reputation, I'd be out. A bigger company, while a little more expensive and not as customizable, is in the public eye more and needs to be more reliable. I will look around though :)
     
  10. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Just about every brand of PC is trash. HP and COmpaq are teh same thing with a different sticker- crap in a box. Dell is a little smoother crap in a box, but still not good. Just about everyone uses low-grade generic parts. Eitehr ge ta custom built computer or get a Mac.
     
  11. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    This is not always true. I have two compaqs. One is a laptop I bought for school, the other is a desktop I bought for a good solid home machine. There was another thread talking about the advantages/disadvantages of built vs. bought machines. For internet and watching movies, most manufactured machines are just fine. If you are into gaming and developing, then obviously built is better. For someone who is not into hardware, a bought machine is fine. My Compaq laptop is a tank. I have beat the hell out of it, carried it without a case, took it home-school home-school a lot. It has had it's hiccups, but every machine will. Guaranteed. Whether it be virii, ad/spyware, or cosmic rays mucking thinns up.

    For Bryan, a good fast machine with an AMD athlon or Pentium would be great. I use AMD exclusively myself. Get a large hard drive, plenty of memory, and he'll be fine with a Dell. The only problem with bought machines is their tech support. It has been farmed out to India, mostly. It is sometimes hard to understand them. But you also usually get good bundled software with the bought machine. So, in this case, my opinion is leaning towards a dell or an HP (which is also Compaq).
     
  12. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    It's hardly that clear cut.
     
  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I had a Mac Powerbook back in 8th-11th grade. Worked great, almost never froze, a comple bitch to deal with the lack of compatibility. Not to mentin beyond my price range. PC is fine.
     
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If it's Dell, it's swell. My company has bought hundreds of them, and they do as well or better than most in reliability. I've heard Gateway has problems in that regard. One thing I like about Dell is, if you buy the in-home service thingy (which I do), some hoser comes out and fixes your computer usually within 24 hours. This makes me happy.
     
  15. JonTheBassGuy

    JonTheBassGuy

    Dec 12, 2004
  16. craigers2

    craigers2

    Sep 26, 2001
    Cleveland
    I used to work in Chicago for CDW 6 years ago. They are one of the largest online/mailorder computer companies. You might want to check out their website (www.cdw.com) or give them a call if you are in the market for a new computer. The best thing to do is they have a lot of discounted "B-Stock" computers. They still carry the full factory warranties, but because they have been returned, you can save a bunch of money. I'd give them a call and talk to one of the reps there.
     
  17. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    People say bad stuff about HP but I had an HP laptop for several years and it was great. I sold my parents my old HP desktop a few years ago and it's still doing great too. One time, many years back, I fell for the emachines thing and I realized after having it for two days that it was a POS. So I took it back to Microcenter and the person at the customer service counter said they get more Compaqs back with problems than anything else. This was a long time ago though.

    brad cook
     
  18. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    The Compaq problem was pretty bad back then. Now that they are owned by HP, their quality has been just fine.
     
  19. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
  20. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut

    Okay. Mike, will you be my friend?