Which PC should I buy ?

  Geoffreybubbles 09:13 26 Mar 2003

I work in education, and want to keep ahead of the kids technology-wise (not an easy thing !), but also use it for home office work. Not interested in gaming, but want something that won't be obsolete before I get it home. Any ideas ? I know this is the 24 million dollar question, but at least give me a well respected make ! Thanks.

  bfoc 09:50 26 Mar 2003

Firstly, try to thing exactly how you will use it and how you might like to use it in the future. I know it's difficult but, for instance, if you were thinking that at some time you might want to do some video editing that would have a major impact on what machine would suit you.

Secondly, try to decide how important support and assistance is to you and also what type. So, do you want an on-site warranty, is telephone support which is available 6 days a week something that you would prefer or would you like to purchase the computer locally?

Thirdly, think about how much space you have available and where might you want to use it. Some people like using the computer to play DVD's or as an alternate TV. Some people will have their computers in their living room and would like them as unobtrusive as possible and of course some people will opt for laptops for portability

Fourthly, ask yourself whether you are likely to want to add things to your system in the future.

Sorry about giving you more 'questions'!

In essence if you believe that all you will do is use the computer for some Word Pro and simple Spreadsheets and you won't really want to expand it much you can get very good value by opting for a machine which has sound and graphics built into the motherboard. On the other hand if you might want to do anything with music, photographic/video editing and/or you feel you might want to expand it in the future then getting a machine which has individual components would probably make more sense.

One answer I will give is about 'makes'. You will get many different opinions from people in this forum and they will be all based on their own experiences and are well woth listening to. I have bought machines from different suppliers and have helped numbers of other people when they have been buying. I usually recommend Evesham computers and have never regretted it, and my recent personal experience of some problems on a new machine, which were sorted out very satisfactorily, reinforced my opinon! Their 3 year warranty is good and the support lines are open on a Saturday!

If though, you have a good local computer shop that can be an excellent option, since they should be able to advise and assist you and if there is a problem they are very handy!

  Eagie 09:52 26 Mar 2003

As a general rule, I would say spend as much as you can afford. You usually get what you pay for with computers and even if you don't need a high specification now you surely will in the future. So get as big a hard drive as possible, lots of memory (RAM) and a fast processor.

I've always spent around a £1,000 personally.

I'll leave it to others more wise than I to advise on makes. I haven't much experience of different makes so can't give you a rounded view.

Good luck in the hunt.

  Belatucadrus 09:58 26 Mar 2003

If you don't want to buy something that will be obsolete by the time you get it home then don't buy a PC. If you aren't going to use it for gaming then you don't really need a top end machine. I recently purchased a Medion PC with a 1.7mhz P4 as an end of line clearance from Dabs, it's more than sufficient for my needs. The only other application I can think of that really requires fast chips and large ram is video editing. If I was buying again I would look at Mesh, good results in the PCA customer satisfaction survey, 3 year warranty on site and a full copy of Windows not one of those recovery disks.

  Ritchbee 14:35 26 Mar 2003

I just purchased one from Shepley computers and would highly recommend them.

You tell them what you want and they will build it for you around the budget you have to spend.

I ordered mine and recived it within 7 days.

click here

Ask for Terry Williams

I found Mesh and Evesham a waste of time.

  MartinT-B 15:51 26 Mar 2003

Build your own!

Not difficult, and if you're worried do research and go on a one day practical 'hands on' course. There's one in Swiss COttage (London) for £79.00 which I did.

I built mine last Saturday and got EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED.

Now, it was expensive, but that's because I spent a lot of money on things that are important to me.
A Lian-li Black Aluminium case is £120.00, but you can pick up a decent case for £20 - £30.00 if you don't mind Beige :)

I also spent a lot of money on my MoBO (Motherboard) Asus A7N8X Deluxe = approx £120.00 too, but it is pretty damn good and as it has 5.1 nVidia Soundstorm on-board I don't need a sound card, it also has 6 USB2, 2 Fire-wire, 2 SATA Controllers (which will take over from IDE/ATA133 for HDDs soon), 2 10/100 ethernet connectors and 3 fan headers (for CPU, Case and Powersupply)all on-board, saving me money on extra PCI cards. Further it has Asus COP which is over-heating protection to shut the PC down before any damage is done to my PC.

I also got a Samsung DVD, Plextor CD-R/RW, Teac Floppy drives all in black to match the case, Black Keyboard/mouse, a Radeon 9500 graphics card, and a creative v92 modem.

My final purchase is a bit of a compromise - I got an Hitachi 19" monitor as I can't afford the black TFT I want to match everything else.

Total was £1300.00 Incl CPU, Heatsink and other 'sundries' like XP Pro. All bought on the internet at 10-25% cheaper than the shops (XP Pro £99.00 + VAT)

I don't have a scanner or printer as I don't need either.

  Andsome 16:06 26 Mar 2003

If you have a good local shop you cannot beat that. Most of the commercial builders offer you so called FREE software that maybe you don't want. It is never free, but is included in their costings. You can have a machine built within a few days to your own agreed spec, with only what you want on it according to your needs. It will not be delivered by a courier, having been thrown about in their warehouses en-route. Any problems, and you won't be kept waiting on premium rate telephone helpines. You just pop back into the shop. You won't wait in all day for an engineer who never shows up in answer to a problem, and you won't be sent replacement parts in the post, with a request that you fit them yourself. Do a good search of the threads on this site, and you will see numerous complaints about ALL the big company's. Yes, you will see some praise as well, but are you prepared to enter a lottery with your hard earned cash? Ask around and get first hand opinions on your local dealers. If you live any where near to South staffs let me know, and I will put you on to a FIRST CLASS COMPANY.

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