Buying a new pc - advice please

  PeteThePete 09:23 23 Mar 2005


My sister is thinking about finally getting herself a pc, and I was wondering what people's thoughts were on where she should get it from... would you recommend going to somewhere like PC World and buying an off-the-shelf pc, or trying a small independant business who could maybe build her a pc to the specs she wants/needs ?

She's not looking for anything state of the art, but she does play the occassional game so I guess a half-decent graphics card might be needed. She won't need a monitor or printer as I will be giving her those.

Thanks for any advice/tips you can give.

  pauldonovan 10:33 23 Mar 2005

I often find myself recommending DIFFERENT suppliers to friends/family/acquaintances than I would use myself simply because I will be less likely to rely on their after-sales service.

For example, I use Dell, Evesham and have had good experiences but some people prefer a shop that you can go into and 'moan' if there's a problem.

My experience with PC World (and that of other people too if you look on the web) has been fairly poor in terms of after-sales, and they often direct you to the manufacturer - which I believe is probably outside what they have to do if you have a fault.

I'd be very tempted by the offers that Dell have at the moment and I've always had good experience with them, or Evesham also.



  Aspman 10:49 23 Mar 2005

I would probably not look to hard for Pc with a good seperate gfx card. On board graphics have come a long way in the last few years. If she is going to play the odd game only then I would just look for a basic PC but make sure it is capable of having a gfx card added in the future.

<Personal opinion>I think AMD processors offer better value for money. In the budget line I'm not keen on Intel Celeron based systems but I've heard good things about AMD's Sempron line of CPUS. Up the range Intel P4 are very fast processors but they are expensive, I'd go with AMD Athlon 64 based systems. Others will disagree.</personal opinion>

MAke sure you get at least 256Mb ram for running XP. 512 is better but don't pay over the odds for it. You can add it yourself cheaply later. A 40Gb hard drive is very usable don't be impressed by 160Gb drives in machines they're not expensive to add later. Same with DVD writers, prices for these are dropping rapidly.

Keep an eye in the papers for systems in adverts. These tend to be better than general models on the websites.

Don't pay for extended warranties you'll get the help you need right here in this forum.

  wint 12:52 23 Mar 2005

Evesham. I am very happy with mine. My son and two friends also are very happy with their Evesham PCs.

On saying that, I also have a Medion (you know, the Aldi special) which is about 3 years old and is a good machine.

  Stuartli 13:09 23 Mar 2005

E-Buyer has been offering an Acer 2.8MHz Sempron well equipped unit for approximately £270 (about £60 less than anywhere else), along with Maxview 17in monitors for £47 and £59 depending on spec (all including VAT).

Unfortunately the Acer unit appears to have been sold out (hardly surprising in view of the spec) and the next best is a 2.6MHz version, but with a 40GB rather than 80GB hard drive. A CD rewriter would cost about £18-£20 extra:

click here

  TomJerry 14:14 23 Mar 2005

(1) it has a lot of good offers now, not the cheapest, but not too far

(2) she can see it before buy it

(3) she can take back when something wrong

(4) if something terribly wrong, she can take back and shout on somebody in shop (instead of shouting at you because your recommendation)

(5) they have machines suitable be for any money except for gaming crazy boys

  pauldonovan 15:16 23 Mar 2005

Are you sure with PC World? You can but they often refer you to manufacturers in my experience (especially with laptops) and they can be very rude and unhelpful.

I guess few suppliers are keen once they've made a sale though.

  TomJerry 15:32 23 Mar 2005

this is better than a vitural support team in India

  pauldonovan 18:43 23 Mar 2005

...and just give her the manufacturers number, as I experienced with them, but I take your point!

  shellship 21:28 23 Mar 2005

The most expensive option but probably the best for her is to go to the nearest independent builder who will provide just what she (you?) want. They will help her with learning and always be there if something goes wrong. Going to Dell means good reliability and excellent price but perhaps not fro a novice.

  polo 23:56 23 Mar 2005

Take alook at click here and confogure just what she needs at a very good price.

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