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Buying a new PC and...

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by General Panic, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. General Panic

    General Panic
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    Hi guys
    Buying a new PC as the old one now over 2 years old and i want Half life 2 to look amazing after the long wait.
    Narrowed my choice down to 2 models. One a Dell Dimension XPS (designed for gamers appartantly) but has all the kit inside i want. i.e NVidia Gforce Ultra 6800GT card , 1 gb memory and a P4 3.2 chip.
    Also looked at a create your own pc web site who can do exactly the same components as Dell but for £200 less and here's my question , has anyone heard antthing about http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/ this company?
    I tried Googling and no joy but £200 is a fair bit of cash on a £1200 machine to save but also loose if this company turns out to be pants.

    Or of course if any pc gamers here have just got themselfs a new rigg and can other advice it would be muchly appreciated. Have a newish 17" TFT just now so really just looking for a base unit.

    Cheers and roll on November 16th. :smashin:

    Panic
     
  2. Kopite4Ever

    Kopite4Ever
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    for me personally if i was building a gaming system id go down the AMD64 route (which is what i have done :D ) this will bode very well with the 6800 (again i have it sitting in front of me :D ) :smashin: have a look at some benchmarks between P4 and the AMD64. some people prefer the P4 some dont but ive had my AMD64 for about 2-months after upgrading from a P4 and im totally satisfied. yes u cant use Hyperthreading but who wants to Browse, rip and mp and run virus scans at once on a gaming pc :zonked:

    just my 2p.

    ps nice Graphics card what brand is it ?
     
  3. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    I'm in the same boat, but ruled out XPSs due to price pretty quickly.

    All the 'other' major UK sellers (mesh, evesham, carrera, JAL blah blah) are about the same price.

    I think I'll buy an Athlon 64 without a 6800 - just a normal windows card. Then buy the 6800/x800 later on. That gives me much more flexibility in getting a good price for the PC.

    (I am considering a P4 as I don't play that many games on PC, but I do use windows apps a lot, and I think P4s do better there)
     
  4. Kopite4Ever

    Kopite4Ever
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    as his post was gearing towards more gaming thats why i reccomended that. i picked A64 due to heavy ammounts of healthy pc gaming :) im sure hawklord will be hear to back me up. if your going to get a "normal" GFx card i dont think you can go wrong with An Ati 9800 tbh. arguabley the best bang for buck card out at the mo and plays all things at a decent level assuming your othet components are up to the job
     
  5. BlueOrange25

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  6. monkeyleader

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    I got myself a Dell a few months back - not the XPS but a Deimension .. I must admit one of the nice things is the support line - its broken, please come fix it - yer I could have got my PC for about £150 cheaper if Id have shopped around but then again I would not have got the 3 years NBD on site support .. and working for who I do we get a corporate discount of another 5-10% :) I managed to pick myself a P4 3Hghz 1gb DDR RAM, 120Gb SATA HDD etc etc for under £900 ... was well impressed ...

    Also u may want to give them a ring and see if you can leave some option out like the screen for example - could knock £70 of it etc ... worth a 5 min call !
     
  7. MRW

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    Hi guys,

    I was in the same position about 2 months back.

    I didn't want the hassle and worry of building my own PC from components, but wanted a very very good rig, but the cost of buying one from a retailer was prohibitive.

    So I looked into building it myself, and that's what I did in the end.

    I got an AMD64 3500+, Asus A8V deluxe, 1 GB of 2-2-2-5 fast RAM, 19" TFT 16ms monitor, Sapphire Radeon X800XT Platinum Edition, 2 x 160GB hard drives plus some other bits and bobs for £1700 including VAT and delivery.

    I reckon I've saved myself at least £1000 by building it myself, looking at the spec and comparing the cost of buying a pre-built one against buying the components myself. Although it was a difficult task (I had never put one together before) I'm glad that I've done it now.

    If you're interested, my other threads are here and here.

    Cheers.
     
  8. General Panic

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    Having just spent 35 mins with a nice chappie in India (a la Dell's Indian call centre) i managed to get them to knock £100 of the monitor/pc package price giving a total of £1200 which is now just £100 more than the "unknown".
    My feeling is now to go for the Dell.

    Thanks for everyone elses thoughts.
    I was tempted to try to build my own , after 12 years i feel i could cope but don't need the potential hassles or knowing me , disasters.
     
  9. General Panic

    General Panic
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    God this PC buying is not as enjoyable as i had hoped for.
    Now in a conundrum over Intel/AMD and Nvidia/ATI.
    A "computer" expert at works has suggested i go for an AMD 3500 coupled with an NVideo 6800GT 256mb for best performance and apparantly in future upgrades link 2 Nvidia cards together for super speed.
    The Dell i had almost ordered was an Intel P4 3.4 (550) coupled with the ATI X800XT 256mb card.
    Price wise i've found Evesham computers offer either or with £20 difference in the 2 setups.

    Anyone any other opinions on either setup berfore i go for the Dell one (just because i like the case more :) )

    Cheers again.

    Panic
     
  10. Kopite4Ever

    Kopite4Ever
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    your "computer" expert in my opinion is right. go for a socket 939 AMD64 3500 processor and a nvidia 6800GT. if i was doing it again it would go that route again and again. im very pleased with my setup and will play any game you throw at it with ease. make sure the PSU is a good one or it could potentially mess up the 6800GT. definatly recommend a gig of ram. try to get a matching pair of dual channel RAM as it will give you a 5% - 10% increase in performance (only works on socket 939)

    good luck
     
  11. General Panic

    General Panic
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    Cheers Bauer
    PSU's are not something like Dell and Evesham seem to mention right enough. 1gb of ram was what i was aiming at and both companies offer matched pairs so that's fine but the AMD route looks like Evesham Micros then as Dell don't appear to do AMD chips.
    My last PC was from Evesham so i'm quite happy with their service record and just noticed their open today so i'll give em a bell.
     
  12. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    Another happy A64 3500+ and Geforce 6800GT owner here. Can't fault it and if you buy the bits and assemble yourself should be able save a few bob too:thumbsup:An added bonus is that you can pick the components for optimum performance and your asured that they're quality too. Pre assembled machine can use cheaper and inferior components that look the same on paper but aren't as good. You can choose the style of case it all goes in too :D

    I went for a nice piano black antec sonata case with a 380w antec true power psu (<£80):-

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Antec_Cases.html

    review here:-

    http://techreport.com/reviews/2004q1/antec-sonata/index.x?pg=1
     
  13. Sinzer

    Sinzer
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    Don't buy off Dell. If you are gonna splash out 1200 hundred quid and only need a base unit, buy an alienware. Dell and other retailers like them are notorious for supplying cheap components.

    Preferably build your own, it really is not difficult and you get a lot more for your money.
     
  14. Marc

    Marc
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    i have to agree with Sinzer, if a branded pc is a cheap price it's usually because something in there is cheap, usually they advertise the ram, cpu and graphics card and leave off the fact that the motherboard and soundcard are both rubbish, and that the hard disks and ram are out of date. Alienware are the best of the best but they cost a bomb, so i usually recommend building your own. It's fun to learn how everything goes together, and you'll know a lot more about pc's afterwards, which will prevent anyone ever ripping you off in future, and it's much easier upgrading something you built yourself than something that was built for you.
     
  15. LiquidTV

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    I priced a build your own spec PC & it was massively expensive amounting to over £2500!! I sent MESH details of the same exact components I required & this came to £1800. This is because large companies such as MESH buy components in large quantities.

    To be honest I would like to have built my own PC so I could have perhaps chosen the make of the components & maybe a different tower case, but for an extra £700 is it really worth it?? This is what I requested a quote for;

    Case: MESH ATX MidiTower with tool free access (4 External bays)
    Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition
    Motherboard Features: ASUS A8V Deluxe Athlon 64 Mainboard - 2000MHz SB, Dual LAN, IEEE 1394, SATA
    Processor: AMD Athlon 64 FX 55 (939PIN)
    Memory: 2048Mb PC3200 DDR Memory 400MHz
    Floppy + Portable Storage Options: 1.44MB Floppy Drive
    Hard Drives: 600GB (2x300) Ultra Fast Hard Drive
    Video Card: Upgrade to 256MB nVIDIA GeForce FX 6800 Ultra - TV Out + DVI
    Monitor 1: None
    Optical Drives: SONY 16x Dual Layer DVD-Re-Writable +R/-R/RW & SONY 16x DVD-ROM Drive
    Sound: Creative Soundblaster AUDIGY 2 ZS Platinum Internal
    Speakers: None
    MP3 Players: None
    Modem: BT ISDN card
    Keyboard & Mouse: None
    Video Editing: None
    Software: Microsoft® Works® 8.0
    Wi-Fi: None
    Game Selection: None
    Warranty: 1 years On Site Warranty + 2 years Back-to-Base (Mainland UK only - Terms Apply) at £29
    Delivery: Insured Del within Mainland UK (+ £39) at £39
     
  16. Marc

    Marc
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    hmm well the motherboard, hard disks, ram, dvd writer and soundcard come to £760 approx, the CPU, i dunno cos i cant find one but i'm guessing £500 approx and the graphics card £300 approx, case less than £100; not sure where you came up with £2500. If you're building your own though, it's alway best to go 1 less than the best, because the current newest item is always heavily overpriced, yet not much better than what came before. If you were to change your spec a bit, you could knock a few hundred off that price.
     
  17. gandley

    gandley
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    You have got to be carefull with current socket 939 MB.
    the NF3 ULTRA boards are complete tat. a quick look at many forums shows the terrible problems guys are having getting them to work. Lots of dual channel issues.
    Think the Asus AV8(?) VIA board is one of the most reliable. The reat of the 939 boards are dire to say the least
    (abits third eye joby seems ok)So many stability issues.
    Some do get good boards. With NFORCE4 just about to hit shelfs it might be worth waiting as the Asus chipset is supposed to be awesome with rock stability and PCIe.

    But avoid the gigabyte NF3 ultra at all costs.
     
  18. Marc

    Marc
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    another reason to go for something that's been around a little longer perhaps
     
  19. gandley

    gandley
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    I know people slate intel at present but my old rig is intel based and runs flawless. its based on the canterwood chipset 875P. on an abit IC7-g max 3. overclocked to 3750 mgz and its 100% stable. Intel just make the best chipsets even if the cpus arent the quickest now.
    But i keep using the old system as its much better than my new FX-55 system wich i am having alot of trouble with. In fact i have canned any further advancement till the Nforce4 is out wich has the correct stepping needed to get dual channel mem to run properly.

    The intel rig only scores a little lower as well in alot of the benchmarks i have run. :

    There just isnt a stand out skt939 MB at present.(somthing amd has always suffered with except for some great Nforce2 chipsets)
    and so far i have RMAed about six boards that are defective, never ever had this with intel. I whish i hadnt change now, but im glad i kept my intel rig as back up :thumbsup:
    The Abit ic7-g max 3 is the best mobo i have ever owned, its a beauty then add a 3.4 northwood and its fast enough for any game -application today
     
  20. LiquidTV

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    Marc Angelus,
    I have just priced the exact same spec using components from Dabs.Com & is a few quid short of £2400 (see below). The point is I want a high spec machine so yes I will have to pay more. Having said that, I'm pretty sure MESH would still work out cheaper using a lower spec than if you were to build your own.

    As stated, I would love to build my own PC but it works out so expensive. I also want to take advantage of 0% which MESH offers over 6 months.



    Case: Coolermaster Stacker £130
    Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition £165
    Motherboard Features: ASUS A8V Deluxe Athlon 64 Mainboard - 2000MHz SB, Dual LAN, IEEE 1394, SATA £85
    Processor: AMD Athlon 64 FX 55 (939PIN) £560
    Memory: 2048Mb PC3200 DDR Memory 400MHz £510
    Floppy + Portable Storage Options: 1.44MB Floppy Drive £7
    Hard Drives: 600GB (2x300) Ultra Fast Hard Drive £320
    Video Card: Upgrade to 256MB nVIDIA GeForce FX 6800 Ultra - TV Out + DVI £370
    Monitor 1: None
    Optical Drives: SONY 16x Dual Layer DVD-Re-Writable +R/-R/RW & SONY 16x DVD-ROM Drive £67
    Sound: Creative Soundblaster AUDIGY 2 ZS Platinum Internal £127
    Speakers: None
    MP3 Players: None
    Modem: BT ISDN card
    Keyboard & Mouse: None
    Video Editing: None
    Software: Microsoft® Works® 8.0 £37
    Wi-Fi: None
    Game Selection: None
    Warranty: 1 years On Site Warranty + 2 years Back-to-Base (Mainland UK only - Terms Apply) at your own risk!!
    Delivery: £9

    Grand Total £2390
     
  21. Sinzer

    Sinzer
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    MESH are a very good supplier, I have got a lot of friends to buy from them and all have been very happy. Most probably the only large computer supplier I would trust.

    Super helpful if you ring them up too to customise your spec of the PC.
     
  22. General Panic

    General Panic
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    After spending 10 days trawling the web and phone calls to Indian call centres advice from peeps in here , i finally plumped for good old made in Britain work and tried to order my new pc from "PCSpecialist" only to get told "we don't take credit cards sorry" .
    Christ on a bike!!!! , who doesn't take cards in this day and age in the credit card capital of the world????
    Back to square one as i ruled out the other companies in favour of this one or of course i just save up the cash required and send them a cheque :(

    Sorry for the rant i just need to go and cool down a bit now.
     
  23. Marc

    Marc
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    if they don't take credit cards, i wouldn't recommend using them at all. It could either mean they have no credit with the bank, which is never a good sign with a company, or they are well in debt with the bank already, which is probably even worse. (credit and debit card payments with smallish companies normally go straight to the bank who then give (most of) it back to the company). Also you are not insured with a cheque, and if they decide to not give you the pc, you're more or less screwed.
     
  24. General Panic

    General Panic
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    Cheers Marc , that's the thought that came to me as well. I've taken Sinzer's advice , phoned Mesh and ordered an AMD 3500 base unit with a gig of ram and an ATI Radeon X800XT 256mb card. Delivery in just over 2 weeks.
    Time to relax now :)
     
  25. Marc

    Marc
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    sounds like an great pc :) make sure to update us on it's performance once you get it, and if you need any help with anything, just shout!
     

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