Buying a new PC - need help!

  So Simple 20:08 27 Nov 2006
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It was all looking so simple, great spec award winning PC from PC Nextday. Then I visited a few forums and realised it wasn't going to be so simple!
I don't want to spend more than £5-600(excl screen/keyboard etc) and want to get a decent family PC that can cope with most day to day tasks a student wife and two kids are likely to throw at it. I'm not looking for an extreme gaming machine(yes I know your are chuckling at my mention of gaming and a budget of £500!)

I think I want a dual core, but do I really need one?
Should I go for an Intel or Athlon - does it really matter?

Which companies should I be looking at as they all seem to have their critics. I have been considering Watford - Aries, Eclipse, Dell, Evesham etc, is there anyone else I should be looking at?

Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

  skidzy 20:13 27 Nov 2006

For me,it has to be Dell.

Two from them now and absolutely brilliant to date.

Customer service has been good regarding the sale and follow up.

Though i havnt had any hardware issues,so cannot comment on the aftersales.

This would do your family needs just about perfect.
DimensionTM E520 click here

  anskyber 20:14 27 Nov 2006

The one mentioned here (OK without a screen) is very good spec indeed. I know many who swear by them. (No not at them)click here

  anskyber 20:16 27 Nov 2006

PS I in fact have a thoroughly reliable Dell and I would buy one again without hesitation.

  Totally-braindead 20:23 27 Nov 2006

The Intel dual cores are cheaper than the AMD dual cores. With your budget I would suggest either a AMD Athlon 64 or an Intel Dual Core.
Whatever you buy and this includes Dell which has been mentioned do make sure it has at least an AGP slot, better still a PCI Express slot.
If it doesn't then I wouldn't buy it because you cannot then upgrade the graphics and you did say you were looking for a family PC that could play games as well.
I think the one mentioned in this thread is good value click here but it will be very limited stock so if you did decide to get one you would really need to be there when the store opens.

  Totally-braindead 20:24 27 Nov 2006

Also consider Novatech click here

  So Simple 21:32 27 Nov 2006

Thanks for the advice so far, it is really appreciated.

Couple more questions:
Why does the initial Dell price look good, but increase by approx £100 as soon as you look closely?

Am I right in thinking a 'Core2Duo' is the latest processor and a Pentium D Dual Core is the previous version?
Is there a significant difference between these two and the Athlon processors or is it a matter of preference (and cash!)

The Novatech PC's look pretty impressive for the money, but any ideas about their service?

  anskyber 21:36 27 Nov 2006

Why does the initial Dell price look good, but increase by approx £100 as soon as you look closely?




You need to deselect the 3 year at home cover, it adds it automatically.

Am I right in thinking a 'Core2Duo' is the latest processor and a Pentium D Dual Core is the previous version?


yes.

Is there a significant difference between these two and the Athlon processors or is it a matter of preference (and cash!)


generally core duo will outperform Athlon.

  anskyber 21:37 27 Nov 2006

For some core duo v Athlon comparisons. click here

  User-312386 21:38 27 Nov 2006

Don't touch the Pentium D

Core2duo is the way to go, or AmdAM2

With regards to Novatech they are very good computers, but they are "shown with optional monitor", meaning you have to purchase a monitor on top of the price shown

  skidzy 21:43 27 Nov 2006

One more bit of advice So Simple.

The last machine i bought from Dell was a laptop,i was advised by forum members at PCA to ring them first and not buy online.
You can haggle a little bit,but do your rearch first as to what accessories or upgrades you need.Online they quoted £100 for dvd rewriter installed as opposed to dvd rom,i paid £35 after the phone call.

I saved around £70.00 and got the utilities discs free,they were charging £5 a disc.

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