PC upgrade advice please

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Ian J, Aug 26, 2002.

  1. Ian J

    Ian J
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    My AMD 266MHz pc has given sterling service for five or so years but I was thinking that it may be time for an upgrade and I was surprised at how cheap computers now seem to be. I don't need the top of the range as I don't do heavy graphics work or play games and came across the following from microdirect.co.uk

    Athlon XP 1600
    32 x 12 x 48 CD-Rewriter
    16 x DVD Drive
    Keyboard & Mouse
    Ntwk, Modem, Spkrs & Sound
    256Mb PC 133 Ram
    40Gb 5400 rpm HDD

    All this for £351 inc Vat which seems excellent value.

    I notice that the ad doesn't tell you what type of motherboard is fitted nor the make of hard disk. Does this really matter.

    I have Windows 98 and a 17" monitor so don't need them.

    Any advice gratefully received.
     
  2. Gambit

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    Ian, I would suggest www.dell.co.uk purely because they do good machines, have good service (from my expirience) and sometimes do killer "deal of the day" type things but you might not be able to match that spec at that price with them. Check it out though.
     
  3. stevegreen

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    Ian,

    I would always advise people to have a PC 'made' for them rather than buying a package from the likes of PC world, where you never know what make of Motherboard of hard drive you are getting anyway (in general).

    Plus , it's always cheaper to 'do your own thing' and you dont get all this 'free' software pre-loaded.

    I think if you have been using a 266Mhz machine for so long you will notice a massive improvement by upgrading to a 1600Mhz processor anyway, irrespective of what make motherboard and hard drive are in it.

    One comment though.......get an updated version of windows thrown in if you can!
     
  4. Len

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    Sounds like reasonable spec for reasonable money. You could also check out Scan.


    http://www.scan.co.uk

    They sometimes do very good barebones systems.

    One tip... as well as updating your windows.. make sure wherever you buy your PC that they don't overload it with free software that eats up your hard drive and slows down your machine.
     
  5. kevb

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    Nice spec and price Ian. I'd go for it.
     
  6. Guest

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    Your mobo is the heart of your computer so yes it matters greatly and your HD is where all that precious info is stored.

    I would try this company Simply Computers or else research more and build your own it's not that difficult, Simply Comps will build what ever you want also.
     
  7. Lex

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    Ian,

    I would humbly suggest that the links you have been given so far (Dell & Simply especially) are rather on the pricey side, and you will not find a system for around the price you are quoting.
    The computer market has changed dramatically over the last couple of years - the price of components has come down so much that it is now a LOT cheaper to build your own system, compared to buying one ready made - In my experience I would say at least half the price.

    The price you have been quoted is okay, but the parts are all rather on the decline in terms of performance, and do not offer much scope for upgrading in the future - I wouldn't recommend PC133 RAM or a 5400 rpm HDD for anything other than the simplest of office/internet machines, but if that is all you will ever need it for, then I am sure it will suit you fine. I wouldn't describe it as excellent value as it is missing any decent graphics, sound and no doubt motherboard, but as you have said these are not a priority for you.

    You can check the price of all the components individually. www.ebuyer.com are just about as good as you will find in terms of price (and service in my experience).

    Lex.
     
  8. enajh2

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    Ian,

    Go with Evesham Micros if you can - their on site service really has been second to none and I cannot recommend them highly enough.

    I've had a motherboard fried by a lightning strike, two DVD lasers have packed up reading CDR's, graphics card fan died (Geforce 256DDR - got a Geforce 3 card with a heatsink as a replacement!), and they have free 0800 technical support.

    One of their guys even went and replaced my copy of The Rock out of his own pocket the same day when one of the replacement drives scored a gouge around the underside of the disc after it was installed!! It was the A/B flipper mind you so I wasn't that bothered!!!

    I don't know what Evesham's bundles and prices are like these days but in PC mag supertests they consistently submit machines that end up in the top one or two places, and they are always complimented for producing tidy, well laid out installs.

    Another suggestion, you can get motherboard upgrade kits, either tested or untested, from http://www.watford.co.uk/ and http://www.komplett.co.uk/, both Athon XP and Pentium 4 systems. I'm thinking of doing this next year.

    Hope this helps.

    Alan

    ps. Did you hear Nasser Hussain getting booed! :-(
     
  9. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Thanks everyone for all of your advice. I now know how a HC newbie feels when he asks for advice and receives so many answers all offering different solutions to the same problem.

    I had a look at ebuyers and the description of components was all double dutch to me so I will probably end up doing what I normally do in a situation like this - nothing.
     
  10. paulr

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    Ian....i was in the same situation as you about a year ago.In the end i got one(very similair spec to what you want) from Compaq auctions

    http://www.auctions.compaq.co.uk/HTML/Cat67077/page1.htm?

    No monitor,i think it cost me about £350 ish.I bought a discontinued model and its been fine.I'm no computer expert so it was straight out of the box and plug it in.IMO it was the best deal at the time.
     
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  12. bob007

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    Try Toys 'R' Us :D



    Sons just upgraded his, should have it Friday, this was made to his own spec and a damn site cheaper, all quality components, he has even gone for a LCD monitor. :D Got ripped off buying a package deal never again, cheap and cheerful components and limited upgrade, or with the one we have now NO upgrade path at all. ;)
     
  13. Inukjuak

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    Heard they got some good deals on for the bank holiday, get the one with the animal keyboard, this is great fun, everytime you press a key it makes a noise of an animal. :D
     
  14. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Thanks for the links Delphi :)
     
  15. bug

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    Hi there

    I've made up 10 computers in the last year and have used lots of companys... I'd have to say the best being overclockers.co.uk check out there forums.;)
     
  16. gringottsdirect

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    That's where my Fujitsu PC came from :) .
     
  17. Garrett

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    Hi Ian
    I would say the motherboard is an old one as the more modern use PC2100 memory, even PC2700 (PC2100 is good enough). Also what is the graphic card? You want something like a top end GeForce 2 or low end GeForce 3 or maybe a Radeon at least.
     
  18. kevb

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    I suggest you buy one of these new fangled electronic calculators manufactured by Texas instruments. They are very good and I do hear they have an amazing red diode display. I myself will be purchasing one of these to replace my abacus which I find is slow and unreliable. It only has the same amount of memory as I do, also it’s bus speed is only the same as a 167 which can be very slow due to long tailbacks of traffic along Ilford high road. Also I hear of this amazing thing called a digital watch which a lot of petrol stations are giving away with X number of gallons of petrol. Personally I prefer to collect the small figures of the smurfs from national petrol stations. Slightly more advanced still is the Amstrad Emailer which I think will prove very popular with fans of the excellent Amstrad HiFi equipment available from Argos and all good home shopping catalogs.
     
  19. Lex

    Lex
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    Ah, is that what they call it these days! ;)
     
  20. gringottsdirect

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    Got the set, one advantage of running a 2.0 GXL Cortina, sorry not aiming for one-upmanship, don't mean offence to those with smaller engined cars.
     
  21. Ian J

    Ian J
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    What about those who could only afford the XL or L who are probably highly offended.
     
  22. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Yes, you are right.......didn't mean to gloat :blush:
     
  23. kevb

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    Should have gone for the Ghia really.
     
  24. rob_w

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    Wasn't there a 2.3 V6? hehehe


    Ian, If I was in your shoes re: pc I'd build my own new base unit and use your old monitor, keyboard etc.....

    I've just put together a hcpc for around £400 mostly using branded stuff. If you just need an office pc (no games/dvd) then you could use a great m/board, processor, hard drive, memory, and just "good quality" (ie: branded) geforce2/radeon etc graphics card/ sound card etc...

    this way you have reliability, performance in what you need it for and value...

    hth

    Rob
     
  25. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Did he get the upgrade?
     
  26. bob007

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    Yes he did, but not the one I posted the other week.

    Just got installed yesterday.

    CTX PV505 TFT monitor
    1.3 AMD Athlon
    Soltek M/B
    Geeforce 2 64mb Graphics Card
    256 RAM
    40x12x48 CD-RW with Nero 5.5
    Fujitsu 20Gb 7200 HDD
    Cherry Keyboard
    Genius Speakers 200watt (yea right)

    All the other bits and bobs, built and installed.

    Runs as sweet as a nut. :D
     
  27. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Glad you like it.

    Done a 3D Mark 2001 on it yet?
     
  28. Gasue

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    Would not get a 5400rpm drive, PC133 is still very current and widely used, LCD's are great, where did you get a 1.3 athlon from recently - they are well dead and buried and forgotten? The Athlon 1600Xp isn't a 1600MHz processor - it runs at a slower clock speed. Answers a few points discussed.

    Try me for a quote at [email protected], I run my own company so know where I'm at!
     
  29. Sinzer

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    Personally I would build your own :-

    A) It is bloody easy! All the important cards will only go in one slot! plus you can come to the forums for help.

    B) It is a lot cheaper

    C) You know exactly what is in it as you put it there.

    D) If you HCPC breaks down you don't feel like a complete n00b and have to send it back to be bent over and taken from behind for repairs. (I used to do a little home business in PC repairs and the amount of crap I saw from "reputable" stores/dealers was horrendous, wrong components, incorrect drivers, incorrectly formatted HDs)

    E) You can then talk about sad things like the latest HSF and the cubic volume flow it can pump through compared to noise. And drool over water cooled systems and maybe grow a beard (although that is very hardcore and you have to wear Linux T-shirts, which will kill any amount of streetcred you previously had)

    Seriously though, it is the best way to learn about your system. TBH building a PC is very easy, the thing which makes it difficult is Windows :)

    I too would recommend www.overclockers.co.uk good forums and good service, especially if your parts blow up!
     
  30. General Skanky

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    Well it's made me happy reading this thread. There's someone with an older pc than me! My 'speedy' 400MHz Celeron isn't too embaressed anymore.;) :D
     

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