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Old 01-09-2013, 10:22 AM   #1
GeckoFriend
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PC Recommendations Sought

I'm going to need to buy a new PC soon and am looking for recommendations. My current PC is a Dell Inspiron but I don't think I want another Dell; I've had quite a few problems with it.

I don't do anything gaphics intensive except occasonal games, primarily hidden objects. I do want a PC that has an upgradeable graphics card since that has been an issue.

I also need to decide between Windows 7 and 8. I currently run Vista and have had no issues but do feel it's better to upgrade to a newer system.

I know there was a fairly recent thread on this same subject but can't find it now. A pointer to that thread would be helpful.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can offer.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:09 PM   #2
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Cant help on that,my pc is no WC.
But all computers this day,s have reasonable video cards.
Later you can always buy a better one.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:15 PM   #3
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I think we need some more details before we can make good recommendations. The low-end consumer boxes are awfully similar from Dell, HP, Acer, Toshiba, Lenovo, etcetera. Business class machines are more expensive but are more rugged and come with better support.

For <$1K laptops there has been a long-running thread at Ars Technica -- http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtop...5382&start=720

Are we talking we're talking desktop or laptop?
What is your budget?
What size/weight, or for desktops do you need a monitor (do you need better color fidelity or a wide vieing angle?)?
Aside from Windows 7 (or 8) do you have any hardware must-haves (e.g. firewire port, USB 3, memory card reader, latest wifi standard, front-facing ports,...)?
For a laptop, how important is battery life?

Integrated graphics have come a long way (Intel HD4000 is pretty good right now) but if you're buying a desktop they normally allow the addition of a separate graphics card later. This choice is a bigger deal in laptops, which normally don't allow adding/changing a video card later.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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Just my 2c. I disagree about all being equal. I bought a Lenove desktop in November. What distinguished it from the rest was the ability to upgrade -- pcie slots, empty drive bay, aboundant power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penforhire/wizwor View Post
I think we need some more details before we can make good recommendations.

- Are we talking we're talking desktop or laptop?
- What is your budget?
- What size/weight, or for desktops do you need a monitor?
- Aside from Windows 7 (or 8) do you have any hardware must-haves?
- firewire port
- USB 3
- memory card reader
- latest wifi standard
- front-facing ports
- For a laptop
- target battery life
- screen size
- weight
- do you need an optical drive? blu-ray?
- For a Desktop
- size
- will you upgrade (if so, what)
- Apps
- what games will you play (specific is better)
- what programs will you run
- will you run background programs (playon, plex, etc.)
- will you watch movies
If you are not going to upgrade and have modest display requirements, I'd probably go with a laptop. A 17" screen on the right laptop is pretty close to a portable desktop these days. You will appreciate the built in 'battery backup' and portability without spending much more or losing much in the way of performance.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. Some more iformation:

Laptop - no specific hardware requirements, 15" - 17", battery life not a high priority, don't know what an optical drive is so probably don't need one

Budget - definitely less than $1000 and preferably less than $800
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeckoFriend View Post
don't know what an optical drive is so probably don't need one
That would be a DVD(R-RW) or Blu-Ray drive.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:02 PM   #7
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I'll not give a specific brand recommendation, but I'll suggest you take a close look at the keyboard of any laptop you're considering.

Few things are as frustrating to me as typing on a keyboard that's not designed with the kinds of shift and backspace keys that I like. Many laptops today come with shift and backspace keys that are the size of regular letters, and I prefer them to be at least twice the width of a regular letter.

I'm only mentioning this because it's an easy thing to overlook until you've already bought the laptop and are using it for the first time.

Granted, you'd probably get used to whatever keyboard you end up with, but I for one prefer to avoid the adjustment period if I can.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:14 PM   #8
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I've given up on desktops. My needs are completely covered with a laptop.

My last two have been Sony Vaio's and both were below $600. First one was replaced when the DVD drive started to refuse to write and at the time I really needed a writable DVD. Still sitting in storage and except for the drive, works fine. The one I'm typing on has been around for a couple of years.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:29 PM   #9
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You'll have a hard time finding a laptop where you can upgrade the graphic card. They are pretty much non existent.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:09 PM   #10
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I would suggest that you not even think about Windows 8 unless you get a touch screen. Àlthough it is much faster and will improve performance on most hardware, unless you are running it on a touch screen device, the new interface will most likely be extremely frustrating.

If you do want a touch interface, I would definitely recommend the Lenovo yoga 14 which I love. It has all the bells and whistles, weighs only 3.5 lbs and can be used as an ultrabook laptop, tablet or tented display. For the light weight, you give up a DVD drive, but you do get a very responsive touch screen, Bluetooth, HDMI and almost instant startup.

Cheers
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgaiser View Post
I've given up on desktops. My needs are completely covered with a laptop.

My last two have been Sony Vaio's and both were below $600. First one was replaced when the DVD drive started to refuse to write and at the time I really needed a writable DVD. Still sitting in storage and except for the drive, works fine. The one I'm typing on has been around for a couple of years.
very easy to replace the drive/drives yourself on most laptops.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:31 PM   #12
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I keep telling myself I need a new PC but never do anything about it. I own a Gateway DX4710 from 2008. It's been a lemon for me. I've replaced about everything but the motherboard and CPU and I've gone through three hard drives since I got it. Last thing I had to do was remove the graphics card I put it in because it was drawing too power all of sudden. I suspect the Motherboard has a short in it but I just can't justify getting a new PC when this one works and does what I need it to do.

Sure I can't do much gaming on it but for books, facebook, email and surfing it works fine. I'll probably go with a laptop next now I no longer play Sims. I just need to stop using my PC money on eReaders and Tablets.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:00 PM   #13
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Check out this place.

www.pcsforeveryone.com

My last three pc's have come from this place.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeckoFriend View Post
Thanks for the responses. Some more iformation:

Laptop - no specific hardware requirements, 15" - 17", battery life not a high priority, don't know what an optical drive is so probably don't need one

Budget - definitely less than $1000 and preferably less than $800
$1k is a pretty generous budget. Even $800 is going to buy a lot of laptop.

We still need some information if you are going to be thrilled with the recommendation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penforhire/wizwor View Post
I think we need some more details before we can make good recommendations.

- For a laptop
- do you need an optical drive? blu-ray?
- Apps
- what games will you play (specific is better)
- what programs will you run
- will you run background programs (playon, plex, etc.)
- will you watch movies
An optical drive plays discs -- DVDs or Blu-Rays. If you want to watch movies that come on disc or install software from disc, you're going to want one of these. You can get an external (esata or usb) drive, but that will cost more and you will have more to store and lug.

We need to know what kinds of games and programs you will be running because that information will drive selection of CPU, video chip, memory, and operating system.

Since you are thinking of a laptop and have a pretty decent budget, I think you should at least consider a high end tablet or a touch screen. I say this because I think touch is going to be a big part of everything going forward and, if you are going to spend that much money for a web browser, I don't want you feeling buyers remorse in six months.

The apps you want to run will drive this decision.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blossom View Post
I keep telling myself I need a new PC but never do anything about it. I own a Gateway DX4710 from 2008. It's been a lemon for me. I've replaced about everything but the motherboard and CPU and I've gone through three hard drives since I got it. Last thing I had to do was remove the graphics card I put it in because it was drawing too power all of sudden. I suspect the Motherboard has a short in it but I just can't justify getting a new PC when this one works and does what I need it to do.
People who upgrade tend to ignore the power supply. Most machines not intended for gamers provide just enough power to drive the purchased hardware. Plug a couple usb disks and a lava lamp in and the power supply is over extended. Add some RAM, upgrade the CPU, plug in a joystick, or upgrade the disk and you are straining the power supply. Perpetual brownouts will ruin your disks and system board.
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