Skip to comments.What Kind of Computer? (Pure vanity)
Posted on 04/15/2002 6:21:31 AM PDT by American Dreamer
OK, all of you out there in internet land...
The wife and I need to buy a new computer. Rather than let the boys down at Circuit City and/or Best Buy push the most expensive one onto us (with a lot of bells and whistles we don't need), I thought I'd see what my fellow Freepers recommend. We are looking for one that will not break our bank or be outdated next month.
OUR NEEDS: We use our current system for surfing the web, creating documents, and the rest of the "basics". With the new system we will be doing a lot of digital photography, and possibly a home-based business. A DVD player is a desired option, along with a CD-burner. We don't do a whole lot of gaming or graphic-intensive stuff, but it would be nice to know we could if we wanted.
So, what do you folks recommend? Most important, what should we stay away from? Words like Celeron and Pentium mean nothing to me (yeah, it's a wonder I can even turn one of these beasts on!) Anyone know of any "deals" out there?
I just bought a laptop from them and it's a great machine.
Things to look for:
Go with a Pentium 4(or AMD Athalon) --avoid the cheaper Celeron You don't need a top end machine, but go for a 1.0 GHz chip or higher if your budget will allow --800 Mhz as a minimum.
Get plenty of RAM--no less than 128 Meg--256 Meg better.
Get a CD burner in addition to a CD-ROM--you will want to make your own CDs. Skip a DVD.
At least a 20 Gig hard drive --that will probably meet most of your needs
Consider if offered a "legacy free" mother board--all USB ports and none of the traditional serial, printer and PS2 plugs. Just about all periferals are going USB. If USB standard 2 is offered go for that--much faster.
My personal preference is for a Mac G4 running OS X and I reccommend that you give an OS X machine a spin just for fun. Mac's Superdrive that can burn DVDs etc is expensive but desireable.
I just ordered one for my business: Kentucky Combat Arms Pro-Gun Semi-Automatic Pistol, Rifle and Assault Weapons Training Compound and Constitutional Law Center for the Development of a UN Free Sovereign Republic.
The delivery is running a little slow however. :)
The warranty on them is the same as buying one new, and the prices are much better.
As a rule, refurbs are company returns - for instance, my company demo'd 20 Dell workstations and decided not to purchase that particular model. We ship 'em back to Dell, they check them out and be sure that everything is in good shape, and then resell them as refurbs.
Top quality, standard format components (so you can replace anything that fails quickly and off the shelf), reasonably priced, and the owner absolutely stands behind what he sells.
Bottom line: try changing the motherboard or powersupply on a DELL sometime - you will have to buy it from DELL. Whats more, they are matched - so you can only use a DELL powersupply w/ the DELL motherboard. I entertain the possibility that what DELL is using w/ these components is an industry standard, but if it is, FINDING compatable boards is still a nightmare, and one will always pay a high premium for hardware outside the mainstream.
I am actually an HP fan, with *extreme* reservations: if you can get an HP that works out of the box, you are probably OK.
I've run into some HP's that contain ASUS A7V-VM boards (which are considered to be VERY good, usually), so HP can include great components for the money.
On the other hand, i've also heard horror stories from people w/ HPs...
I own an HP and am reasonably satisfied, but not as satisfied as with my other computer, one i built myself with the ABIT BP6 board, with DUAL overclocked 366MHz celerons running at 550MHz (has been running quite well for about a year - running SETI) I'm typing this in from it right now)
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