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Any PC Suggestions?


bickle
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My brother is looking for a new PC, and I'm having problems coming up with a good suggestion. If it was me, I'd build it. But I think he'd be better off with a pre-made PC, so he has as few technical worries as possible. Basically he's just looking for a PC to play some current games on, at a decent price, with decent tech support.

 

Any suggestions?

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But I think he'd be better off with a pre-made PC, so he has as few technical worries as possible.

 

I dunno about that theory. I bought my Mom a PC from Dell a few years ago with that same thought in mind. At the time I wasn't into PC's at all. I was still using an aging Celeron 300a, 256megs of ram, etc PC. So instead of doing my homework and just building her one from scratch I decided to just "make it easy" and order a pre-built from Dell since their reputation for support had high ratings and whatnot. It wound up being a mistake in the end. I wont even go into the tech support call I had to make on her behalf once. Lets just say they made my Mom feel dumb for asking certain questions and I wasn't too happy about it. :) Anyway my point is when you build your own PC you know exactlly what you are puting into it. Install only what software you want on there. You want to keep a nice clean system running and that is hard to do with a pre-built system that comes bundles with tons of pre-loaded software shit that is usually trial only (gotta pay for full version). My advice would be to order all the parts from either a local PC shop or online and put it together yourself. Do it with your brother so he can better understand what does what and maybe next time he can do it on his own. Or just do what I did and pay the guy at a local shop $50 to put everything together for you. Yup I'm lazy like that. I always advise against ordering pre-built systems because 1) they always toss in cheap parts somewhere along the line and 2) tech support is NEVER as good as advertised in my experience. You'd be surprised how cheap you can build your own computer for and you will wind up with a much nicer system in the end. I hear these new Core duo Intel chips are the beez kneez. Check into building a system around one of those.

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I also went with a local shop recently, and had them put together the parts that I selected. Since I ordered the parts from them, I spent more than I would by going to Newegg, but it was slightly cheaper than ordering a complete system from an online vendor.

 

I researched a lot before ordering, and found the hardocp.com site very helpful. They do a lot of reviews of online vendors, including tech support. The forums on the site are also informative, and there's guy with the title of Velocity Micro CEO who reads those forums regularly and if someone starts a thread about problems with one of his systems, he usually responds quickly and the problem is fixed in no time. I'm not sure if its all 100% real, or just a clever merketing ploy, so take that for whatever its worth. But it almost sold me on one of their systems. I just didn't like the selection they offered. So if your doing some research for your brother, thats a good place to start, for both build your owns and online vendor decisions.

 

I got a Core duo in my new machine. I'm not tech savy enough to give it a review with benchmarks, framerates and all that jazz, all I know is that it is very fast when I bring up pictues in photoshop and rip music from cds, and I've maxed settings on FEAR and it plays great. On my old machine, Rise of Nations would slow to a crawl in large battles, but on this new one, there's not even a stutter. I don't know if its just the Core duo, or other things like USB 2 and 2 gig memory...but also it used to take well over 5 minutes to load a memory card of digital photos on my old machine by connecting the camera via USB 1 and downloading them. Now I pop the card in a reader, the photos pop up in an instant, and save to the hard drive just as quick. Beez kneez indeed.

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My brother is looking for a new PC, and I'm having problems coming up with a good suggestion. If it was me, I'd build it. But I think he'd be better off with a pre-made PC, so he has as few technical worries as possible. Basically he's just looking for a PC to play some current games on, at a decent price, with decent tech support.

 

Any suggestions?

 

 

I think I know where you're coming from. I hate being technical support for machines I build.

 

Outpost.com had some refurbed HP/compaq media center PCs for $329 a while back - A64 3700+, 1GB RAM, 200GB HDD, PCIe slot, etc...

 

ubid has some of em:

 

http://www.ubid.com/actn/opn/getpage.asp?AuctionId=10783877&uwb=93730#Warranty

 

 

I got my dad to pick up a Dell B110 + a 19" LCD. 2.4ghz Celery, 256MB RAM, 80GB drive, etc for $330. But no PCIe slots on 'em.

 

To be honest the Dell was more of a PITA than my own system. Lots of annoying proprietary software. He had to bring the box back to me so I could uninstall stuff - when it wasn't connected to the internet Sonic Update Manager (whatever the hell that was for) kept asking for an update disc :bh You'd hit cancel and it would ask again. Had to cancel like 6+ times to get it to stop :bh And it was nagging him to buy McCaffee antivirus/firewall/etc. I think I have it cleaned up now, but argh :(

 

I don't know that he's better off with a pre-built, but you're probably better off with a pre-built for him :D

 

If so, just go with a system on a good deal from BB, CC, etc. That way he has a couple of routes for service. Just make sure it has a PCIe slot. That way you can toss a video card in it for a reasonable price - video card prices from OEMs and B&M stores suck. Even with a wimpy PSU you can toss a 7600GT in it - low power requirements, decent performance.

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My gaming buddies have all ended up purchasing an HP machine with the latest video card, ram and hot processor. I saw one for <$800 new with a super fast dual core x2 AMD 2 gig memory and a decent video card.

 

I can also attest to the fact that I don't like to be the tech support for machines I build.

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I don't know that he's better off with a pre-built, but you're probably better off with a pre-built for him :D

 

Well said. :D

 

That HardOCP site has been very helpful. Some of the systems, like ABS seem like a pretty good deal. I like how they evaluate the entire experience, and not just the fps. It's actually got me considering picking up a system for myself. I must be getting old, because I'm not balking at the idea of paying a little extra to have someone else put it together so I don't have to worry about it. :eh

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