Targa 3500+ Ultra versus Aldi Medion MD8385

  Wilham 16:31 30 Jul 2005

Lidl has the Targa on offer from Monday 1st Aug. My own desktop and laptop are both dodgy, I will be in trouble if both fail, so I thought I'd go for this PC tower, priced at £799.

I have just seen that Aldi are offering a Medion Titanium MD8385 base station this Thursday, 4th August, priced £499.99.

I would normally opt for the higher spec machine, but here the £300 price difference is very high. Would there be a comparison/review of these pc's anywhere on the web, or can anyone comment?

I'm not into games, but very much I would like good quality sound. Two little external 120 watt loudspeakers in the Lidl advert aren't encouraging; maybe I'm just old fashioned and they can indeed provide high fidelity music?

Thanks for any advice or comment. W

  Diodorus Siculus 19:11 30 Jul 2005

Both will do more than most people willn eed - personally I would go with the Aldi Medion machine and upgrade any components that I think need changing. For example, a decent soundcard and speakers can be added for a hundred pounds or so.

  Wilham 21:05 30 Jul 2005

Diodorus Siculus: Regarding the 'Sound ' specs, I'm lost there. For instance, the Targa sound properties list...

"7.1 digital sound with analogue IN/OUT and digital SPDIF INReal ALC 850 Audio AC'97 Codec"

I suppose the above is similar to the job of a sound card. In what ways can an expensive card be better? I really would like to know the answer. My older son banters words with me, not over sound cards ('cos neither of us knows much about them) but over the musical quality from his vinyl records and old turntables. I'm amused, I think it's a cult.

Another Q... What's the point of the ad describing the supplied Targa speakers as 120 watts if the PC can only deliver (say) a tenth of that power? I admit that knowingly I've not heard music from more than three speakers at once, viz... LH, RH and subwoffer between.

So does either the Lidl or Aldi 'off the shelf' produce hi-fi?

  Quiet Life 18:14 31 Jul 2005

Targa . It is not what it says it has but also what is has not.
I bought their last offering a 3400.(Looks like as if it is a downgraded 3500 as 3400 939 not listed by AMD .
No system fans.(Contrary to AMD and Gigabytes recomendations)
No restart button.
No case speaker.
Case was a cheap one sided OEM with the DVD rom diodes not visible in the front panel.
Most parts were "Targa" editions and made specially for them.
With a passively cooled GPU and no system fans I suffer from overheating and my complaints not yet resolved by Targa.
Watch this space for progress!!
The on board sound chip will give excellent sound with decent speakers. I never bothered unpacking the Targa ones.
Quiet Life

  Wilham 18:52 31 Jul 2005

Quiet Life: Your comments are most informed, helpful, and are much appreciated.

I'm frantically searching for reviews, especially any benchmarks for either machine, ...but so far with no success.

Thanks, W

  Alan2 22:36 31 Jul 2005

I have also been looking at those PCs and following enquiries of Targa discovered that the 3500+ has only one spare PCI slot, the other "two" being occupied. Also I noticed that the same model offered in Lidl's EU outlets sells for the equivalent of about £100 less. ie €999. [€ = Euro / in case it doesn't display]

I am awaiting answers to questions posed to Medion regarding the MD8385 and the 17" TFT monitor being offered at £139.99.

  Mysticnas 22:47 31 Jul 2005

There's a great deal of difference between onboard sound (AC97 Codec bog standard) and a seperate sound card like the Creative Audigy 2.

I know it's silly, but it's like comparing a ferrari to a ford. They both get you from a-b, both can have fancy bells and whistles.

However, you rev up the engine on a ferrari copring it to the ford, they'll sound very different!

I could go on about all the technical stuff but it'll probably make no difference. At the end of the day it depends on what you find appropriate. If you're quite fussy with sound quality then you'll be sorely dissapointed with on board sound.

Then again, if you buy a decent sound card and plug in a bog standard set of speakers it'll be a waste of money.

Best thing to do is to buy a system, try the on board sound, and if that doesn't hit the spot then look to investing in a decent sound card and a set of speakers.

  Quiet Life 00:11 01 Aug 2005

The model presently being offered outside UK at €999 is the 3400 which also has only 512ram, a 250 HDD and 2 year guarantee. The rest is the same. You get a lot for your money and the performance is good. The cooling and the non visible DVD Rom diodes are the only faults I have found. I think both are serious faults but if they have taken care of these in this later model and with a three year guarantee it is good value. The one spare PCI slot is available for a sound card but Mysticnas is right first try the onboard sound with a decent set of speakers.
I thought the onboard sound was pretty good and certainly no problem with volume .
Quiet Life

  Wilham 21:39 02 Aug 2005

I made a posting,- overnight it has vanished...maybe my hardware. In effect I said that when I went to buy the Targa, Lidl had sold out.

I shall leave open this thread in case there are comments on Aldi's Medion MD8385 offer this Thursday.

Thanks to all for info, Quiet Life on Targa is particularly perceptive.

  jahfish 10:52 03 Aug 2005

in response to the postings here I'd like to know if there's any info on the spec of the ALDI pc - what motherboard for example? Also I'm unsure why it's a 533mhz rather than 800? like most higher spec - presumably because the hardware isn't quite up to speed. Also I'm pretty sure it uses onboard sound?Anyone any info?

  Rakti 20:58 04 Aug 2005


I was all set to buy one, when I realised that the Pentium 4 processor 519 does'nt support HT (Hyper Threading technology) which I believe helps when when processing more than one task.

I'm really not sure how much practical difference this would make, though. Thing is, I intend to keep my next PC for quite a long time, and don't want to make a mistake.

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