£600 PCSpecialist or Independent shop Desktop?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Phil.LFC, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. Phil.LFC

    Phil.LFC
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    Having decided against a Dell, mainly due to CS issues, I think I'm going to go with someone like PCSpecialist. I'm also considering using my local independent PC shop as it's only a mile away, and they seem very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They said to go to them with a spec and they'd give me a price. Would anyone recommend using a local shop? I really like the idea of being able to pop round and speak to someone face to face if I have any problems. I'd also be able to return the PC easily if required. They don't offer their own custom builder facility online so that's why I have used PCSpecialist, although I realise there are a few others I could try.

    Regarding the spec, I mainly use the PC for internet browsing (VM Broadband), storing photos, using iTunes/ipods, general office type stuff, and the kids use it for basic games. I do not intend to play games on the PC, I'll use the PS3 for that! I may also use it to watch TV (Sky), but this is not important.

    I mainly want a new one because my current one is getting very slow. It is an Evesham Axis with an AMD Athlon 1.4gHz processor, 512mb RAM, 40gb Hard drive (which is almost full). It has been upgraded to XP.

    I have come to the decision, after much research, that I want to stick with XP, mainly to make the change a lot easier, plus my main reason for buying a new PC is to speed things up. I'm quite happy with XP and whilst I still have the chance to buy a new PC with it, I think that's what I'll do. XP SP3 is coming soon too, which will hopefully add a few features and offer some slight speed increase too I believe.
    Would the following spec be noticeably quicker running XP instead of Vista?

    This is the current spec I am thinking of. Any opinions/advice/recommendations would be much appreciated:

    Processor (CPU)
    Intel® Core™2 Duo E6750 (2 X 2.66GHz) 1333MHz FSB/4MB L2 Cache

    Memory (RAM)
    2GB CORSAIR XMS2 800MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY! (2x1GB)

    Motherboard
    ASUS® P5K: DDR2, SATAII, 2 xPCI-e x16, 3 PCI, PCI-e x1

    Operating System
    WINDOWS® XP Home (inc. Genuine CD & License) (£59)

    USB Options
    8 x USB 2.0 PORTS (6 REAR + 2 FRONT) AS STANDARD

    Memory - 1st Hard Disk
    400GB SERIAL ATA II HARD DRIVE WITH 16MB CACHE (7200rpm)

    2nd Hard Disk
    NONE

    3rd Hard Disk
    NONE

    1st CD/DVD Drive
    16x DVD-ROM WITH 48x CD-ROM

    2nd CD/DVD Drive
    20x Dual Layer LightScribe DVD Writer ±R/±RW/RAM

    Graphics Card
    256MB RADEON HD 2400 PRO PCI Express + DVI

    2nd Graphics Card
    NONE

    Sound Card
    Onboard 7.1 Realtek ALC883 High Definition Audio (P5K)

    Modem
    NONE, I WILL BE USING BROADBAND

    Network Facilities
    WIRELESS 54Mbps NETWORK CARD (£12)

    Floppy Disk Drive
    NONE

    Memory Card Reader
    INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (READS XD, MS, CF, SD, etc)

    Case
    Stylish Silver/Black Trident case + 2 front USB

    Power Supply & Case Cooling
    500W (Peak) Quiet Dual Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£25)

    Processor Cooling
    SUPER QUIET 19 dBA INTEL CPU COOLER (£14)

    Firewire & Video Editing
    3 PORT IEEE 1394a FIREWIRE PCI CARD (£9)

    TV Card
    DIGITAL SATELLITE TV CARD (Connect Satellite to your PC) £24


    £601, delivered (PCSpecialist)

    I haven't included a monitor as I'm quite happy with my 17" HP for the time being, but will probably upgrade sometime in the near future.

    The reason I've opted for the TV card is that I have a Sky box in the room. I presume this card allows me to connect it to the monitor?

    Thanks in advance for any advice,

    Phil
     

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