I'm in need of computer buying advice.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by $5HotRod, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. $5HotRod

    $5HotRod Trailbreaker Fan

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    Hello,

    I'm looking to buy a Desktop PC for around the $500 price range. The main function of this is to run SolidWorks and Pro-Engineer, both are Computer Aided Drawing packages, without the damn thing crashing (no not both programs at the same time). I already have a monitor, mouse, and keyboard and would prefer if the operating system was Windows XP home. Any suggestions where to get one of these things?
     
  2. Jux

    Jux Please, call me Steve. Veteran

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    What are the minimum requirements of those programs?
     
  3. Pimpimus Prime

    Pimpimus Prime (┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐) TFW2005 Supporter

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    Good luck finding a computer that runs Solidworks and Pro-E (well) for $500.

    If you don't want to build your own system, buy a Dell. You can usally find a pretty good deal through websites like techbargains.com.
     
  4. jet convoy

    jet convoy Beast Wars Forever!!!

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    I don't think your $500 mark is very realistic.
     
  5. King Starscream

    King Starscream <b><font color=blue>The Royal Seeker</font></b> Veteran

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    At $500, you're looking at barebones territory. And even then, you're only looking at the case, power supply, motherboard, processor, and maybe some RAM. If there's a hard drive it's not gonna be more than 100GB, and for you to do any decent CAD work you're going to need a high end graphics card like an ATI Fire GL card or a NVidia Quadro FX card and that averages between $400 to $800. You're either going to wind up with a agonizing slow or crashing computer at that price or you need to up you budget.
     
  6. Jux

    Jux Please, call me Steve. Veteran

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    Yeah, a quick look at even the minimum requirements for those programs show that your $500 mark is far below what you should expect to pay. Working on Dell.com, I couldn't get a price lower than $1,150, and that's not including the recommended video cards for SolidWorks.
     
  7. Hound_Dawg

    Hound_Dawg Shinki,Braves,TF's Oh my!

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    If you buy a dell and want good service for the system do one of 2 things, purchase as a small business and you can proably get better support for your system. OR make sure you get gold tech support for your system. Look for the refurbashed system, most of them are ones that people bought and then returned cuz they didn't make payments or fussed about not getting a mouse and ended up getting a system exchange, these are good systems, with great warranties for the most part.

    If you have questions about it, I can tell you what i know from having worked there and how to avoid the harrasment of pushy sales or stupid hard to use websites.
     
  8. $5HotRod

    $5HotRod Trailbreaker Fan

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    Yeah, I figured it would be barebones, which is fine for me. I have a good DVD/CD reader/burner already. I also completely forgot about a good graphics card which I'll definitely need. As for system requirements for Solidworks for the Student Edition:

    Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional (SP2 or earlier), Windows 2000 (SP4 or newer)
    Intel Pentium® or AMD Athlon® - class processor
    512 MB RAM or greater required
    (512 MB to 1 GB or greater recommended)
    2.5 GB minimum available hard disk space Pointing device
    DVD drive
    Internet Explorer 6.0 or later
    Microsoft Excel 2000, 2002, or 2003 required for Bills of Material or design tables
    A tested OpenGL workstation graphics card and driver combination.

    For Pro Engineer Wildfire 3.0:

    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 2000/XP (Home and Professional – 32 bit)

    Main Memory: 256 MB (512 MB or higher recommended)

    Available Disk Space: 900MB (Pro/E), 1.2 GB (Pro/E &Pro/M)

    Swap Space: 500 MB (1024 MB or higher recommended)

    CPU Speed: Pentium III 700 MHz (1 GHz or higher recommended)

    Graphics Card: Must support OpenGL

    Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1 or later

    Network: Microsoft TCP/IP, Ethernet network adapter

    Monitor: 1024 X 768 (or higher) resolution support with 24-bit or greater color

    File Systems: NTFS

    Mouse: Microsoft approved 3 button mouse

    Installation (Pro/M): For Windows 2000 and Windows XP install using the i486_nt executable

    Distribution Media: CD-ROM orDVD Drive

    Languages: When installing the product you will have the option to select from the following languages – English, French, German, Japanese, Italian (Pro/E only) or Spanish (Pro/E only)


    I don't need the latest and greatest, just something that will allow me to run the programs well so they're not ungodly slow. I've been looking at some websites such as...

    www.newegg.com and www.spartantech.com

    I had Solidworks before and it ran pretty well on my system. A little slow but bearable. I could even do animation, rotate, and all of the other really complicated programs on it.

    Pro-E just kicked my systems' collective ass. I got a free 30-day trial for it and I could bring up the program and pull up a pretty complex model but as soon as I tried to rotate it...phbtttt...my system just crapped. Utterly crapped. So Pro-E is pretty much the bitch here.

    Newegg has already made systems and my Dad got my Mom a pretty kickass computer for around $500 but I don't know about its video card so I have to look at that. Spartantech allows you to pick what goes in there and they'll build and test it for you but the problem is you really have to know what the hell you're doing, which I obviously don't and need to learn (too many damn numbers with no labels).

    Thanks for the help so far and if you know any other computer guys who don't mind pointing a rookie in the right direction, send them on this way.
     
  9. King Starscream

    King Starscream <b><font color=blue>The Royal Seeker</font></b> Veteran

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    Well, as far as shopping goes, I would also recommend Tiger Direct. They have overstock clearance and you might be able to find a steal or two. I was able to get what I wanted for a little under 600.
     
  10. $5HotRod

    $5HotRod Trailbreaker Fan

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    Is TigerDirect reputable? I've heard in the past that their rep isn't too good but I was never told why.
     
  11. King Starscream

    King Starscream <b><font color=blue>The Royal Seeker</font></b> Veteran

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    I've made three purchases with TigerDirect in the past two months and I got my stuff within 2-4 days with just standard (ground) shipping. I checked both PC World and Consumer Reports and both them and New Egg get really stellar ratings in terms of overall customer satisfaction, selection, and price.
     

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