Time for a new PC - Windows XP

  cactusjack 21:29 15 May 2008


I have posted in an earlier thread regarding my Dell XPS 610 PC and how Vista was terrible with it - up to 5 minutes+ to open an application at certain times, with no specific pattern of lag. Different applications would lag at different times. After that, I returned the machine to Dell two days after getting it, the delivery man has just collected earlier this evening. Hopefully, Dell will offer me a refund without any problems (since I am within the 7 day window).

Based on my 2 day experience, I dislike Vista. I could not fault Dell for the machine itself - the hardware seemed good, and the hardware 'worked' out of the box - except for huge lag times caused by Vista.

1) Firstly, I would like to know, is this typical of Vista? - or may be Vista was having a bad reaction to one of the hardware components within the machine.

2) Secondly, I am after a new PC now once Dell refunds me. But I would prefer Windows XP. Is there a cut off point for when manufacturers can no longer offer XP?

3) I have looked at Novatech (who have a good reputation), but I can't customise the machines on their site. I spent approx £1400 on my Dell PC, with dual 768MB graphics cards, quad core processor and 4GB RAM. So it is a high end system I am after.

4) I have looked at Cougar Extreme, given their good reputation. However, for their support option, it says only labour is covered. If a part goes wrong, then the customer has to pay. That scares me a bit - what if several components failed - that would be like paying for half of a new PC again!

5) I have looked at Cyberpower and Chillblast. However, I don't know enough about either company. Like Cougar, neither company offers onsite support, which I guess is nice perk to have (saves you having to repack the PC, etc). Is it likely that either of the small companies will be around in a few years? - I know that sounds harsh...

6) Does anyone know of a larger retailer that offers Windows XP based customisable gaming PCs?

  ventanas 21:50 15 May 2008

Is it typical, that depends on the spec. I've now got Vista on four machines, three of them Dells, and on all it goes like a train. Absolutely leaves XP standing in all areas. If your PC had a reasonable spec - say more than 2Gb ram and at least a dual core then the problem is not with Vista. There must have been a faulty component somewhere. Both my desktops have 4Gb ram, and the two laptops have 2Gb. Personally I would give it another go. As I said I doubt if Vista is to blame here.

As for XP I think its next month that it finally becomes history, except under certain circumstances when the business version can be downgraded.

  Rob_08 23:04 15 May 2008

XP wont be consigned to history, they only just released SP3. Itll be used long after Vista.

  Totally-braindead 23:15 15 May 2008

Novatech still sell XP machines but they are not really customisable. Worth a look though, you might find one you like.
I did think Dell gave XP as an option, I presume they no longer do that?

Two of the Vista PCs I have seen have really crawled BUT one had only 1 gig of memory and had onboard graphics and the other had a poor processor and 512mb of memory.

I have seen another PC same spec as the one with the 1 gig of memory but it has 2 gig and its like comparing chalk and cheese. Very responsive and quite useable but I have to say that my older AMD 3500+ with 1 gig of memory is still faster than the Vista PC with 2 gig of memory and a faster dual core processor.

Can only comment on what I have seen and thats my opinion of the three Vista PCs I have seen.

  Horik 08:30 16 May 2008

Cougar Extreme still currently have the option to have XP as your OS in their custom builds.

Incidentally, the computer engineer who lives next door to me warned me last year to keep away from Vista for 5 years! This was before MS announced plans to release Windows 7 around 2010. He now says it's not worth bothering with at all and advises people to stick with XP until Windows 7 is released.

  spuds 08:32 16 May 2008

I was speaking to Dell sales the other day, they still supply XP if the customer requires it. They can also supply Linux. All the options should be found in the customised category specification list.

According to the Dell person, they will also supply a computer without o/s, leaving the customer to install their own. But of course, if you went this way, any software faults would be your responsibility to resolve.

  iscanut 09:50 16 May 2008

I think Cougar warranty covers parts for up to 13 months from delivery

  GaT7 10:28 16 May 2008

I've noticed the higher-end Dells are selling with ATI Cards now. Probably not much in it, but I'd prefer the nVidia cards myself (this coming from someone who has used ATI cards for the last 3 years).

Concerning the PC itself, I'd go for the Chillblast & the Fusion Juggernaut click here in particular - suggested in your earlier thread click here as well (this coming from someone who suggests Dells most of the time on here).

But if you need the 3-4 year on-site warranty, I suppose the best bet is a Dell. Couple of 10% off vouchers to use for either XPS 630 or XPS 420 systems (expires 21/05/08) - TJT8?WHNCW09DJ. And don't forget Quidco click here for a further 5% excl VAT & del. Thus for a £1300 PC (excl VAT), that's a TOTAL saving of just under £200.

"likely that either of the small companies will be around in a few years?" - I don't think anyone can answer that one! G

  JumpingJack 12:08 16 May 2008

Most of the custom pc sites offer XP Pro still, such as

This is a good custom pc site click here

Novatech have been mentioned a lot in the forums click here as have arbico recently
click here. Worth taking a look around.

  Rob_08 16:32 16 May 2008

Novatech are superb and the after sales is fantastic.

  cactusjack 20:02 16 May 2008

Wow, thank you all for such a quick response.

Nuts, when you say: "I think Cougar warranty covers parts for up to 13 months from delivery", that puts them back into the running for me :-)

So I guess its Cougar vs Cyberpower vs Chillblast...

I saw an earlier thread recommending Cyberpower and Chillblast.

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