Request Advice on Computer Retailers

  E3 20:17 26 Jan 2004

I’m currently in the market for a new PC and I have a budget of around £1,700. Having purchased a number of pc magazines I’ve found a few nice systems I’m interested in. However, after searching this forum for information about the companies that build said systems I’m somewhat confused as to which one to go for as there are many complaints directed towards them. I realise that these negative comments are the unfortunate minority of consumers who’ve been treated badly, but it leaves me worried about which company to go with when I’m spending so much cash.

After several disappointing systems (Packard Bell, Patriot, Medion, etc.) from high street stores (Dixons, PC World, et al) and recommendations from friends to buy online I’m wondering which companies have good reputations.

So, my question to the forum gurus would be - out of all the mainstream mail/web order computer firms which is the best, or if not ‘the best’ which is the least worst? (More a service/reliability question then a performance one).

Also, if anyone knows of any good systems (mainly for gaming and image editing) in my price range, I’d be grateful of any suggestions.

Thanks for your time!

  preston 21:57 26 Jan 2004

Try mesh computers, Dell, fujitsu seimens, eveshams. no matter who you ask in the forums, we all have our preferences. The best thing to do is, do a lot of homework, check out this and other mags for info.If you decide to order online make sure that you print out any info that you get from the site of your prefered choice,so you know what your rights are, incase of problems.
good luck

  Stuartli 09:04 27 Jan 2004

If you browse through this or any similar forum you will find examples of complaints about most of the well-known and not so well-known, computer system suppliers.

What you have to appreciate is that human nature being what it is, it's generally only the small number with complaints who air their grievances.

Thousands of other people who have received excellent service merely take it as read - comparatively few therefore feel compelled to extend praise for excellence, unless it is exceptional.

  JerryJay 09:46 27 Jan 2004

Some of systems configurations in Mesh seems very good. A friend of mine got one Mesh, very nice and reasonablly priced. There are some problems reported in this here. As they produced a lot of boxes, it is understable to have some problems. So do other big players. For me, DIY is the best. For that sort of budget, you could wait a few days for Intel's new processors.

  scotty 11:24 27 Jan 2004


The best way to find the sort of information you require is to read the summary reports produced by the large surveys carried out by the likes of Which, PC Pro etc. This avoids the difficulties of making sense of the opinions of a few individuals.

Try searching the PC Pro site for PC Pro Reliability and Service Awards 2003.

  Aspman 12:05 27 Jan 2004

What do you plan to use the system for. It is a lot of money and you possibly don't need to spend all of that. If you have any confidence in It a all I would recommend DIY. It is by far the best way to pick and choose from the best quality componants out there. With that budget you are into the latest Pentiums or Athlon64 processors.

  Stuartli 15:30 27 Jan 2004

System builders buy CPUs, hardware etc at prices that are a fraction of those paid by anyone building a system themselves.

That's why, for example, buying a BareBones system, such as those sold by Scan of Bolton (click here) under its Systems link from Asus, MSI etc, and adding the handful of components still required, will allow you to "build" a useful system yourself at a reasonable price.

  anniel 15:47 27 Jan 2004

to go down this route. However, my main concern is after sales technical service. The big companies are likely to stay in business for a long time.

Has anyone experience of using the small PC builders and how did you get on?

  wee eddie 18:40 27 Jan 2004

Well with lots of money any way.

Get in contact with this merry little crew. Tell them what you want to do with it and I don't think they'll disappoint you.

click here

  E3 18:40 28 Jan 2004

Thanks for the responses!

I'm glad a few people mentioned Mesh as that's currently my front runner. But as I said previously, searching for 'Mesh' on this forum doesn't make for comfortable reading. I'll just have to trust those posts are from a minority and hope for the best.

I plan to use the system mainly for gaming, with Half Life 2 and Doom3 being released this year (hopefully!) I want something that's going to be great for games now and for at least the next year - maybe two - before I upgrade again. I also do a lot of graphical work and manipulation of large scanned images so it'd be nice to have something to cope with that too. Of course with visuals in mind over 25% my money will likely go on a top end monitor. I just read a review in another magazine for the Mesh Matrix64 3400+ Ultra, it's an extra £300 but the system sounds execellent... very tempting.

Anyway, thanks for the advice, gave me some useful pointers.

  georgemac 18:54 28 Jan 2004

my brother bought a mesh in dec 2002, has never needed support or service, worked straight out of the box and excellent so far

my friends just had a mesh delivered in January, worked stright out of the box and is a very nice machine, when I loaded some software the serial hard drive seemed to fly, xp 3000 with serial ata seemed a lot faster than my xp2000 with ATA133

the only thing I was not aware of with mesh was something raised in a thread here about the warranty, on-site is only if a major component fails which can be diagnosed at home, if not it is RTB.

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