Which system should I buy (new user be gentle)

  shanks1 13:12 10 Jan 2003
  shanks1 13:12 10 Jan 2003

In need of some advice as I am quite new to the game, all I really need out of a pc is to be able to surf the net and download a few cd`s and on occasion maybe play the odd game. I have looked around for ages and seen two good systems, one is a budget option from Watford for £500 inc vatspec:
Aries Intel 2.0Ghz PC System
2.0GHz Intel Celeron Processor (with P4 technology - S478)
512Mb High Speed Memory
60Gb UDMA Fast Hard Drive with buffer
17" SVGA Digital Colour Monitor
16x DVD Rom Drive
40x12x48 CD-RW Drive
128 bit 3D AGP Graphics solution with
upto 64Mb (max) frame buffer
3D Sound Blaster compatible Sound
56K Data/Fax/Voice Modem with FREE Internet Access
4 x USB Ports, High Speed Serial and Parallel ports
10/100 Fast Ethernet ready Network
Aries EasySpace Keyboard & Mouse
FULL OFFICE SUITE (Word processor, Spreadsheet, Database & Drawing)
MS Windows XP Home - Reliability you can count on! (pre-installed for your convenience)
6 year Warranty - 1st year Parts & Labour, 5 yrs labour only (upg. to 3 years Parts & Labour & 3 years labour only for £39.95)

the other from Carrera at £820 both inc vat
AMD Athlon Processor AMD Athlon 2400 XP
Carrera 'G' Case (BLACK)
ASUS A7V333 Motherboard
15" Neovo F15 TFT Monitor
256MB DDR 333Mhz High Performance Memory
60GB 7200prm HDD
No Extra HDD
48x16x48 CDRW Burnproof
GeForce 4 Ti 4200 64Mb Graphics
Integrated 6 Channel Sound System
Cyber Acoustics CA-3000E Speakers
5 years (3 Year On-Site, 2 years RTB)
tv card

which would you lot go for ?

sorry its a bit long but advice greatly appreciated as you lot seem to know a lot more about this than me.

  graham 13:30 10 Jan 2003

first one

  golfpro 13:43 10 Jan 2003

I had this problem a couple of years ago, when I bought my first PC. My criteria was almost the same as yours, but I must say usage has incresed quite dramaticly in the last 12 months. I first went to one or two local computer supermarkets, my feeling was, "Wana compuer John, thisl do ya nicely mate", no questions on my needs or advice. My next port of call was a small, (advice of a mate) computer dealer who spent about an hour with me asking questions, what am I going to use it for, how much room have I got, who is going to use it Etc.Etc. and at the end produced something not for my imediate needs but for the future should my requirements change. Guess where I bought, in the last year advice has been great and free, service has been superb and quick. Have a look round but don't forget the small (expert) dealer, they may be a bit more expensive (not a lot) but after sales!!!!!! for the extra softwear go where you like.

  MichelleC 15:04 10 Jan 2003

And just as important look at what sort of support you'll get when - sorry I mean if - things go wrong.

  961 15:23 10 Jan 2003

Model 9505 Athlon XP 1800 @ £551 inc vat from
click here upgrading the warranty to first year on site.
See links on this site re Carrera and Watford

Golfpro. I agree.

  Andsome 20:18 10 Jan 2003

I must have made dozens of postings agreeing with all that you said. The problem is that it is now more difficult to search the site, otherwise you could look at them.

  pj123 16:24 18 Jan 2003

Try here click here you can also get advice from them by telephone.

  DieSse 01:06 19 Jan 2003

The first one sounds like excellent value for a good, fast, well equipped system, without going "over-the-top" in specification or performance.

  Totally-braindead 02:11 19 Jan 2003

I too would go for the first one although you might want to check 2 things out first.
1 - windows preinstalled, great but do they supply all the backup disks ie windows xp disk
2 - how much more would it cost to get a motherboard with an AGP slot as I assume from the description and price that it has on board graphics

Apart from those 2 small queries it sounds like a reasonable specification (the reason I mentioned replacing the motherboard is I've seen a few people disappointed because they couldn't run a particular game because the on board graphics basically aren't up to it. If you buy a system with a seperate graphics card then you can upgrade the graphics card rather than buy and have to basically build a new system. By this I mean instead of just buying and installing a graphics card you have to buy a new mainboard as well as having to build it all up again and install all the drivers and software for the new motherboard)
Also check out Novatech.co.uk and see what they have. Got an email from them for a system for £350 inc VAT although the offer does end Monday. They do other systems though.
Good luck with whatever you go for.

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