Buying advice beyond PCA

  cliffo27 22:47 06 Apr 2010

Hi, I've been wanting to get a new PC for months now and been constantly checking the best buy charts. I'm looking for the best PC I can get for £750 and one that is still good for gaming despite the relatively low price (for a gaming PC anyway)

I liked the look of the new Palicomp but have read terrible things about them on these forums. I liked the previous Arbico best buy but know the spec and monitor are better with the Palicomp, plus there is the Chillbast in 2nd place not to mention other manufactures not featured on PCA, ie Cougar-extreme and Novatech.

All these options have left me very confused about what I should be buying, please somebody point me in the right direction, what is the current TRUE best buy for £750 taking into account the customer service, company and reliability!?


  The Kestrel 22:55 06 Apr 2010

If you know which cpu, graphics card etc. you would like in your new PC try Cougar. With their website you can configure your PC and see how the total price changes by which components you choose. This way you can put together a PC with all the components you would like and see if it comes within your budget.

I bought my present PC from Cougar a couple of years ago and can thoroughly recommend them for build quality and customer service. They are very happy to discuss configuring a PC over the 'phone and are very knowledgeable.

  wiz-king 05:42 07 Apr 2010

Too many people have widely differant uses and views on a PC to be able to give you a 'best buy'.
You want the PC - you must decide.

  iscanut 10:13 07 Apr 2010

Cougar !

  ame 10:16 07 Apr 2010

There is never one obvious choice, I'm afraid. If the Chillblast is in 2nd place and you have searched for threads about after-sales service with them and are happy, why not go with that? That is assuming you don't want to go with kestrel's advice and spec it all yourself, or indeed you end up with something too expensive if you do that. Better to have a pc that works and have good customer care than a relatively cheap, potentially whizz-bang pc that literally does just that, as others have found out to their cost with other companies.

  Woolwell 10:38 07 Apr 2010

It is often difficult to tell from forums whether a supplier is good or bad. There are some suppliers that are clearly bad, other suppliers that have customers who have had bad experiences voicing their concerns and the satisfied ones keeping quiet. The Kestrel and iscanut recommend Cougar but I wont buy from them again. Friendly service but the initial computer supplied had slightly different specs than ordered and then the motherboard failed after just over a year. I may be in a minority of one! I suggest you read reviews, take them with a pinch of salt and then decide. As ame states there is never one obvious choice.

  ZigZag24 11:01 07 Apr 2010

It can be so confusing when looking to purchase a computer. There are so may companies out there and when asking for advice what one person may recommend another may not.

You can only listen to people advice, research and then it s up to you to decide. On these forums there are numerous companies discussed - Cube247, Mesh, Cougar, Novatech.

What I would say is that when researching you will find numerous postive and negative feedback, usually the majority will be negative comments, angry customers are always the first to voice their opinions.

  birdface 11:29 07 Apr 2010

I think what cliffo27 is referring to is certain computers recommended by PCA but the actual company selling them had pretty poor reviews.
I think maybe he is just looking for a good computer from a good company that is recommended by previous users.
I have never bought from any mentioned but the one most recommended by others was usually Novatech.
Maybe cliffo27 is a bit like me I have no idea as what to order on those type of sites all different parts and pieces and you have to choose.
Maybe thats why I buy mine from E-buyer or Amazon no hastle the choice is made for you.
I think he is just looking for recommendations of a good computer around about the price he wants to pay and from a good company.
Then of course the choice is up to him.

  cliffo27 12:39 07 Apr 2010

Thanks for all the advice and suggestions. I think Buteman has hit the nail on the head, recommendations of a good system from a good company would be much appreciated - Think maybe the Chillblast could be best choice as they seem more reliable than Palicomp, unless somebody knows different!?

Woolwell mentioned that there are some suppliers who are clearly bad, who are these companies? I only seem to read bad things about Mesh (but think this is a case of people only sharing bad experiences).

I am interested in the whole Cougar idea as know what minimum Processor, Graphics card etc I want but where I get lost is what kind of heatsink and cooling paste and the smaller details like that. I worry that I would end up with a great CPU but cheap cooling fans, poor PSU, a bad case and it just wouldn't run properly!

  Woolwell 13:08 07 Apr 2010

For reportedly bad suppliers look through the consumerwatch forum.

  The Kestrel 13:49 07 Apr 2010


If you are unsure of certain components give Cougar a ring. You'll probably speak to Mario, the boss, he will talk you through your ideas and make suggestions. There won't be any hard sell from him and you can still say no at the end of the process, so nothing lost by trying.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Samsung Galaxy S9 review

Artist Helen Friel on designing paper models for everyone to make

What to expect at Apple's 27 March education event

Idées cadeaux pour geeks et tech addicts