Millenium Computers - deal or no deal?

  The Thread Baron 13:21 28 Dec 2008

I'm about to purchase a new desktop which will mainly be used for web surfing, digital photography and occasional desktop publishing. I'm currently using a very cheap HP laptop (running Vista) that's painfully slow with Photoshop, Acrobat and Publisher. I don't have a big budget but want something reasonably quick that won't be completely out of date in 2 years time.

I'm thinking along the lines of a couple of core 2 duo's, a graphics card with at least 256mb, a hard drive with about 500gb and a 19" widescreen monitor. Having done some research Millenium Computers seem to offer good value and have mostly positive feedback on eBay. The options I'm looking at are:

click here

click here

click here

Obviously there will be upgrades such as a monitor or graphics card to add. What do you think?

  The Thread Baron 13:36 28 Dec 2008

that I have Windows XP to install.

  Pineman100 17:23 28 Dec 2008

Before you spend that much money, have you considered increasing the memory in your HP laptop? What's its current spec?

You might find that a memory upgrade, plus:

* Turn off the Aero interface
* Turn off the sidebar
* Turn off indexing

will speed up your Vista considerably.

It's worth a try before spend several hundred pounds of your-earned cash!

And if that still doesn't give you as much speed as you want, then why not dump Vista altogether and run XP on your current machine, since you already have it?

  The Thread Baron 18:12 28 Dec 2008

It's an HP 530 with a 1.46gb Celeron M, a 1mb cache and 512 MB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, and it's always been as slow as Steptoe's horse.

It was only ever an interim solution anyway since the motherboard of my old Novatech desktop died. I'm committed to a new desktop now as I've promised the laptop to my daughter!

  The Thread Baron 19:41 28 Dec 2008

Hello? Anybody there? A piece of tumbleweed just blew across my screen.....

  tullie 19:46 28 Dec 2008

Do you expect instand advice?

  bluesbrother 01:55 29 Dec 2008

Don't know what kind of prices those systems were going for or how much your budget can stretch to, but for me the E8400 is more than enough. At least untill the extreme range drops a bit in price.

From the price list of my local computer shop (and very similar to my comp.)

Core 2 Duo E8400 Retail £139.99
Geil 'Black Dragon' 2 x 1GB 1066MHz Dual Channel Modules £ 39.99
Seagate 500GB 3.5" SATA Hard Drive £ 52.50
Palit GeForce 9500GT Super 512MB PCIe £ 46.50
Asus P5KPL-AM £ 42.50
Gigabyte GZ-X1 Black Midi Tower Case 500w PSU £ 39.99
Total £361.47

PS I'd love to know how you got Vista to run on those specs. With all the bells and whistles Vista used 2Gb of memory on my machine.

  The Thread Baron 07:39 29 Dec 2008

It came with Vista pre-installed, along with a free copy of War and Peace for those long booting-up and waiting for it to do something moments. It also came with only 2 USB1 ports so printing and downloading photos is a pretty laborious process.

Check out the prices on the links I posted - way cheaper than your local shop!

  Pineman100 13:53 29 Dec 2008

OK, at that spec I can well understand that you definitely want a new computer!

However, if you're passing the old slowcoach on to your daughter, I still think it would be a good plan to put XP on to it first. After all, your new machine should have a spec well able to run Vista (which will presumably come preinstalled).

  The Thread Baron 06:20 30 Dec 2008

As I have XP I was intending to purchase it without the OS thus saving 50 quid. I may give your suggestion some thought though!

Any thoughts on which of the options mentioned in my first post I should go for?

  MarvintheAndroid 13:00 30 Dec 2008

Unless you really don't mind what you are getting, I would say AVOID.

The reasons for this are as follows;

You said you wanted a 256MB graphics card, two of your choices don't have that, they are integrated graphics. The one system (top one) which has a graphics card doesn't state in the ad how much memory it has (although I think it will be 256MB), and also has a load of stuff about NVidia driver architecture pasted at the bottom. This does not apply to ATI cards, so clearly you can't trust the advert.

The ATI 2400HD is about a £15 graphics card, hardly worth installing. You wouldn't guess that from the hype.

All the detail provided is the manufacturers blurb about the individual components, there is no real information about the system as a whole.

Only one of the three systems has the 500GB HDD you wanted, and one of them only has 2GB of RAM which is the bare minimum for Vista (but OK for XP).

I suggest look around at recognised system builders where you have a physical address you can go to if things go wrong. You should be able to get something for around the same money. Start by taking a look at the barebones bundles at Novatech click here

The feedback is favourable, but remember you can't leave negative feedback if you didn't understand what you were buying.


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