PC buying advice

  Kenickie 10:36 01 Jul 2009

Hello, I wonder if you can help me.

My current desktop is about 5 1/2 years old. It's very slow, and I got the blue screen of death this morning, so I'd like a replacement.

My requirements are pretty basic, and so I don't want to pay over £500. I just want to be able to watch films, listen to music downloaded TV, use the internet, and do wordprocessing, use spreadsheets etc. I don't play PC games so I assume I don't need a posh graphics card. One thing I was wondering about was whether it'd be worth getting a decent sound card (and if so, what would this be) for watching films and listening to music? I have a set of Creative Lab speakers from my current PC, so I assume I could use them with any sound card, or would this not be the case?

Also, I have a few OS questions. Some give you the option of Vista or XP: which is better? With Vista, is it worth paying extra for the premium one? And most companys have the 32 bit and 64 bit ones for the same price: should you always go for the 64 bit?

Finally, what companies are reliable? Most of the smaller online retailers that get good reviews in magazines seem to have poor reputations for customer service. Are Dell worth paying a premium for? Are there any 'real-life' shops that provide good service and value for money?

  ztronicsalien 11:18 01 Jul 2009

I would suggest you to build your own computer at home for as per your specifications. You need not do anything special just look out for internet guide to how to build computer at home and get all the accessories and just assemble it.

This will be reasonable as well as you can build system according to your needs.


  Kenickie 11:20 01 Jul 2009

Thanks, but I'm a real computer novice so definitely wouldn't feel comfortable with building a PC myself. I want to buy a ready-made one, so I can just turn it on and go.

  HondaMan 12:05 01 Jul 2009

or something similar as I child, then you can build a computer. There are only about 9 bits to go in, plus the software. Give it a go, you don't know until you've tried!

  Kenickie 12:08 01 Jul 2009

Ok, but I really don't have the time or inclination to learn how, so I would rather buy one that is done for me.

I have never had Meccano. ;)

  retep888 14:54 01 Jul 2009

This DELL from PCWorld click here should fulfill your needs with plenty to spare, and you still get some change from your £500 budget.

If you want a slightly bigger monitor then go gor this one from DELL directly,though a bit over your budget. click here

You can plug in your Creative Lab speakers without any problems into the onboard integrated 7.1 HD sound card on both systems.

Base on your basic requirements you don't need to worry about the techy bits such as 32 or 64 bit OS.(both systems come with Vista Home)

There are couple of things you may be interested to know.
1. The system from DELL comes with a basic 1 year collect & return warranty.

2. System from PCWorld you'll have to make sure you'll get a same or similar warranty condition(possibly from DELL),try not to accept any extra more insurance options unless you want to.

  Kenickie 14:58 01 Jul 2009

Thanks, that's very useful. I will check out the warranty agreement with PC world.

Is the PC World one the same price as buying from Dell direct, or would going to Dell save me a bit of money?

  Kenickie 15:02 01 Jul 2009

As far as I can see, it's more expensive coming from Dell (I think I am looking at the right model) which doesn't make sense to me? Is it because PC World sell in higher volume or something?

  retep888 15:25 01 Jul 2009

Dell sell this system through PCWorld exclusively.

I tried configuring the same specs on Dell site and it costs more.:-)

Just stick to your budget and don't accept any extra insurance option you don't need.

  Kenickie 15:27 01 Jul 2009

Thank you. You have been very helpful!

I think I would rather buy from PC World as I assume I can take it back into any store if it breaks down, rather than having to try and post it back to Dell if I bought it direct from them.

  Kenickie 15:31 01 Jul 2009

Oh, one last thing: will PC World give me a free upgrade to Win 7 when it comes out? If not, should I look for a company that does?

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