Looking for advice on buying a new PC...

Discussion in 'Video Games and Technology' started by Vector Sigma, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Vector Sigma

    Vector Sigma <b><i><font color=FFFF00>Crazy Colon Burner!!!!</b Veteran

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    Hi guys, so my laptop (Acer Aspire 1801WSMi_2.93) has done me well these last few years through uni, but now I have a flat and a job and frankly I'm sick of it sounding like a vaccum cleaner and the fact that it's only got 512mb ram and a 128mb graphics card which isn't what you'd call future proof for gaming, or even able to play current games.

    So I'm looking to get a desktop thats a pretty good spec and likely to last a while, or atleast be capable of being upgraded in the right parts so that it's not obsolete within 3 years or so.

    I'd appreciate advice from anyone who knows more than me about pc's, which would be most of you, ok, that would be all of you.

    What I'm specifically looking for is an idea of some good specs I should have in mind when shopping around, with the following as my basic remit:

    Processor good enough to be something that will still be useful years down the line.
    Graphics card that can cope for the moment and some way into the future.
    Enough RAM to be useful (I understand you should go with different amounts depending on the version of vista you use?).
    Quiet.
    Oh and preferably I don't want to spend more than £800, but thats somewhat flexible.

    I also know nothing about which version of vista to go for or monitors, the laptop has a 17" widescreen, which has been lovely, and always seemed large enough.

    A tall order prehaps, but all advice is appreciated.

    And UK guys, if you have any ideas of a place I could get something like this that won't murder my bank balance, that'd be great. The stuff that comet.co.uk do looks pretty good, but hell, what do I know!...
     
  2. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

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    Dell do good offers every month! GO FORTH AND SPEND!
     
  3. Boardwise

    Boardwise is scary - Sig Killer - M Super Mod

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    I would agree with what the Jumpstarter said about Dell.

    Hopefully Yak will see this and be able to help you you.
    He's good like that.
     
  4. yodafett

    yodafett Well-Known Member

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    Dell has good deals. Tigerdirect has one now for US$299 with a 500GB HD, Lightscribe DVD, dual core 3.0, and 8GB of RAM. No monitor though.
     
  5. Vector Sigma

    Vector Sigma <b><i><font color=FFFF00>Crazy Colon Burner!!!!</b Veteran

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    Ok, so dell might be a plan. But any idas on actual specs? Anyone? Anyone at all...
     
  6. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

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    Having a nose at Dell's site -

    Dell Dell XPS 430 Desktop Product Details

    If I was spending around £800, i'd take the first on the left customised with 4gig of 1333mhz RAM and a 64-Bit copy of Windows. That comes out at £678.

    Take your monitor business elsewhere thougth, the bundle prices are daylight robbery. The £120 you'll have left after the machine is about the sort of money that'll get you a decent 19", something like this -

    Samsung T190 19" Widescreen LCD Monitor (LS19TWHSUV)

    It might even be worth having a nose in your local PCW/Currys to see what they are up to as well, they're suprisingly decent thesedays compared to what they used to be 4 or 5 years ago.

    As far as long term upgradability goes, the CPU will be a sticking point since Intel are changing sockets with thier upcoming new ranges. Quad 2.4 is plenty thougth and those chips are beastly overclockers, assuming Dell's mobos let you touch that stuff. Otherwise, RAM stays on the market for donkeys if you ever want more and PCI-E slots for video cards arn't going to be disappearing anytime soon.
     
  7. Shin-Gouki

    Shin-Gouki Rebuilding Veteran

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    Yeah if you are going the pre-built route get a Dell. That's what I tell pretty much everyone that does not have me build one for them.
     
  8. Deonasis

    Deonasis Well-Known Member

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    How about using the i7 CPU instead of the Quad Core?

    Looking at the desktop on the left of the page:
    Dell Studio XPS Desktop Product Details

    It costs about the same as the quad. If the i7's graphics bundle were better (upgradeable if you want to squeeze under $800), would this have any advantages over the quad package?
    e.g. trichannel ram, latest/future mobo, i7's also decent for overclocking?
     
  9. AnimatedFan

    AnimatedFan Banned

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    *sighs* I don't trust Dells, but that comes from several bad cases of personal experience.
    I can, however, recommend HP/Compaq. They seem to be work horses and run for quite some time.

    Plus, they can be customized to fit your needs just like Dell's site. (They tend to be more affordable as well.)

    Also...have you considered building one yourself? It's quite affordable these days.
    And as for Vista...
    Basic is worthless, spend the extra dough.
    Home Premium seems to cover all of the daily bases, includes Media Center.
    Ultimate has all the bells and whistles of Home Premium and Business.
    If you can afford it, Ultimate would be the way to go. (Newegg has affordable parts and OEM discs of Ultimate for rather low prices in comparison to bigbox PCs.)
     
  10. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

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    The i7 box with the video upgrade would be better, but he's got to get a monitor within that £800 since he's coming from a laptop. If another 100 presented itself, then i'd be recommending the i7 now with a view to upgrading the RAM with more and faster at a later date when DDR3 prices have dived.
     
  11. Vector Sigma

    Vector Sigma <b><i><font color=FFFF00>Crazy Colon Burner!!!!</b Veteran

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    Thanks very much for the input everyone :) 

    If the whole set up were going to do me better in the long run, I think I can put down the extra 100 or so required...
     
  12. oddsey

    oddsey Fuzzy Wuzzy was a woman?

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    Have you tried a local computer fair?
    You will find much better deals than at a standard retailer.
     
  13. Vector Sigma

    Vector Sigma <b><i><font color=FFFF00>Crazy Colon Burner!!!!</b Veteran

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    Local computer fair? I've never even heard of one of those before, where do such things happen?...

    *EDIT* Found one in Bristol next Sunday, I'll pop along to that then and see what I can find, cheers!...
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  14. Boardwise

    Boardwise is scary - Sig Killer - M Super Mod

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    Ebay:
    There are ones held around London
     
  15. oddsey

    oddsey Fuzzy Wuzzy was a woman?

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    No problem.

    Just be aware that some of the dealers may be from different areas of the country. I'd advise finding one that has premises fairly close to where you live, just in case of any problems with the system. You don't want to have to drive a great distance to get owt sorted.
    If you are unsure, just ask one of the organisers/people on the door. They should be able to tell you who are local/regulars.
     
  16. Vector Sigma

    Vector Sigma <b><i><font color=FFFF00>Crazy Colon Burner!!!!</b Veteran

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    Yeah, yeah, zombie thread.

    Anyway. The computer fair I went to was a giant waste of time, and am back to looking online. I've found the following setup from MESH computers which I'm pretty happy with. Comes in at £ 1254.99 (For anyone who read this the last time, yes, my budget has increased, I'd like something pretty decent and likely to last), but I'm going to ask them for a quote without the monitor, I think I can get something better and undoubtedly cheaper (and smaller, don't need 22") elsewhere. But I'd appreciate peoples thoughts on the setup. Is there anything glaringly wrong with it? And I know very little about operating systems, so is it really worth going for 64bit over 32?

    XGS i7 920SL
    Intel® Core™ i7 920 Quad Core Processor (2.66GHz,8MB Cache,4.8GT/s)
    Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium SP1, 64-bit + Windows 7 Upgrade Option - English [upg £ -5.00]
    Midi Tower XGS Gaming Chassis - Black / Black Mesh + 550W PSU
    Performance Pack - OCZ Vendetta Heat pipe quiet cooling, Performance updates, specialist cabling [upg £ 49.00]
    ASUS P6T SE Mainboard - Intel Core™ i7 & i7 Extreme Edition - ATX
    8GB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM - ( 4x2GB )
    2x 750GB Serial ATA2 Hard Drive with 32MB Buffer (1.5TB Total) [upg £ 55.00]
    Samsung 22x Dual Layer DVD Writer Super Format +R/-R/RW/RAM
    1GB ATi HD4850 Graphics accelerator - DVI, DirectX 10.1 PCI Express 2
    22" Iiyama ProLite E2208HDS-1 (1920x1080) Full HD Monitor (DVI,VGA,WS,Spkrs - 5ms)
    7.1 High Definition onboard sound card - for 8 Channel Cinema sound
    Hercules XPS 2.1 12 - 2.1 Speakers with Subwoofer [upg £ 20.00]
    Logitech Cordless Keyboard & Cordless Optical Mouse
    Free Microsoft® Works® 8.5 + Limited Microsoft Office Trial
    Free Cyberlink Video Editing Utility Suite - 7 titles (oem)
    BullGuard Internet Security 8.5 - 90 Day Trial - AntiVirus/Firewall/Backup/Spamfilter
    10x USB 2.0 Ports (6 ports at back panel, 4 ports at mid-board) - ASUS P6T SE
    2x IEEE1394 Firewire (onboard)
    Gigabit LAN, featuring AI NET2 - ASUS P6T SE
    3 Years RTB Hardware Warranty - (1st year parts & labour, years 2 & 3 labour only) [upg £ 17.01]

    Also comes with Microsoft® Office® 2007 Home & Student and a 6 socket surge protected plug.

    Any thoughts?...
     
  17. Vector Sigma

    Vector Sigma <b><i><font color=FFFF00>Crazy Colon Burner!!!!</b Veteran

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    Double post...
     

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