Anybody buy a new desktop computer lately? Mine is on the way out the door, with constant shutdowns, slowness, and just general death rattling. I built it myself almost 4 years ago, and while it's treated me well, I came into some money and would like to upgrade. I don't need anything huge, just for productivity and the occasional game, but I don't want something that's going to be bottom of the line in a few months. There's no need for a $4,000 Alienware computer, but I also don't want a $500 Compaq.
I've been looking at stores (CompUSA, Best Buy, etc...) and online at sites such as Dell, but what other companies should I look at? Additionally, has anybody had good experiences with a computer bought from one of the retail stores? In doing research, it looks like they scrimp on the power supply and some little stuff, which would mean more money on top of what I already pay (as well as taking the time out to install the new power supply, etc...).
It seems that the review websites (pcworld, cnet) all either rate the budget PCs or the really expensive ones, but nothing in between, so I thought I'd ask some of the experts here.
Originally posted by Roy.It seems that the review websites (pcworld, cnet) all either rate the budget PCs or the really expensive ones, but nothing in between, so I thought I'd ask some of the experts here.
This is one of the reasons I build my own computer with parts I buy online. I can choose the parts that I like to have and they're likely standard so that upgrading is easier. Of course the downside is that it may seem too risky to newbies and support is spread out amongst the separate hardware manufacturers. I usually read reviews to see if the potential hardware I get is useful.
Those ShopNBC computers are too expensive. You may find a mid-ranged computer for well under $1000 somewhere, especially if those computers doesn't use non-standard parts. I would also look into shops selling computers bundled with a Linux-based OS unless you absolutely depend on Windows programs. Unfortunately, I don't know of any offhand since I built/upgraded my current comp.
I'm running a five-year old HP Pavillion with an AMD processor that I'm to this day quite happy with. Only changes to the original machine have been maximizing the RAM, a new hard drive, adding a PCI Ethernet adapter, and I've replaced the case fan three times.
If you don't do a lot of upgrading, I think they're good machines.
I bought my daughter an off-lease computer from tigerdirect.com for Christmas, but it came without monitor or software (which was how I wanted it). They have a large range of options from barebones kits to CPU/HDD/keyboard/mouse to Desktop Bundles. I can't say their prices are "teh BEST EVAR!!1!", but I got what I wanted for a decent price, especially after rebate.
"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning." --Rick Cook
We've bought from Tiger Direct at work, as well. I just bought a low priced PC ($299 less $50 rebate) for home use, also. Since I already have my software and monitor, NOT getting those things was fine.
Here's the current deal on gotapex.com's deal page...
DellSB - Dimension 5150 with 2.8Ghz Pentium D 820 Dual Core, 512MB DDR2, 80GB HD, DVD-Rom & CD-RW Drives, 1 Year Warranty for $569 including 19" LCD Monitor! (Posted by: Apex) There`s a $430 instant savings on this computer with no rebate to send in, and you get Dell`s 19" e196FP LCD monitor with fast 8ms response ($259 value). You get one with a 2.8Ghz Pentium 820 Dual Core processor ($100 value), 512MB of dual channel DDR2 SDRAM, 80GB S-ATA 7200RPM hard drive, 16x DVD-ROM & 48x CD-RW, integrated 7.1 channel audio, 10/100 networking, Windows XP Home, and a 1 year warranty.
I have this system with more RAM and a widescreen LCD instead of the 19" flatscreen. Still, you are going to have a hard time beating this price for a dual core system with monitor. If you need Windows XP Media center edition, wait a few days. Dell Home runs specials with GotApex as well - and they tend to offer XP Media center in their bundles.
For our PCs, we use DVD Audio Ripper ($29). For our Macs, we use Audio Hijack Pro ($32). However, the cheapest way to do it would be to record the audio output of your TV or DVD into the mic or line input of your computer.