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PC - Which One - any ideas

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by PaulBrum, Dec 23, 2003.

  1. PaulBrum

    PaulBrum
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    Looking to purchase a new PC in the Jan sales - would want to play games on it - surf the net - watch DVD's, copy CD's, TV card would be nice

    Any general advice, good deals, any to avoid etc etc - looking at a budget of about a grand I guess (including flat screen monitor) and web cam.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Paul
     
  2. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Get the best screen available, in 2 -3 years or less when you start changing the internal workings for faster stuff you will still be using the same screen, a 19 inch is a good size and makes word processing easy to read.

    Personally I would go for an AMD cpu as you get more speed per buck. And get a HD at least 80Gb as you can quickly fill them these days especially if video editing where a 120 Gb would be better.

    On the cpu do not go for the very top speed one get one down the speed table a bit and put the money you save to other areas.

    A few months ago the Pioneer 106 was one of the best DVD writers on the market.
     
  3. james.miller

    james.miller
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    build one, or find somebody who can. For that sort of money you can have the absolute muts nuts thats blow away any store bought option, and you'll be safe in the knowledge that your pc uses quality components
    [Potentially libellous statement removed by admin]
     
  4. Squiffy

    Squiffy
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    My Dimension 8300 uses pretty good components, is quiet, has decent build quality and the total cost was cheaper than sourcing the components separately. Oh, and I got a warranty, OS and all drivers pre-installed, etc.

    I got :

    P4 3.0 Ghz CPU (800 MHZ FSB)
    512MB DDR400 RAM
    120GB Serial ATA HD
    18" TFT Monitor
    128MB Radeon 9800 Pro Graphics
    Soundblaster Audigy 2 soundcard
    16 x DVD player
    4 x DVD+R\+RW
    Altec Lansing ADA 995 Dolby Digital Speakers with Subwoofer
    Win XP Home
    MS Works 7.0
    Dell Multimedia Keyboard
    3 Year On Site Business Next Day warranty

    All for £1526 inc VAT - and this was six months ago when things like the 9800 Pro and P4 3Ghz 800 FSB were brand spanking new & more expensive than they are now.

    Self build is not always cheaper.
     
  5. The_blue

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    Don't get a cheep TFT screen, they refresh at 40+ ms :eek:

    Try taking a dvd to try if you must have one, see if it blurs in fast parts..
     
  6. Nitro

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    In my opinion if you know about computer parts then build your own computer so you can get whatever part you want of any designer developer e.c.t
    In this day you can't trust anybody i suggest you go on your way a build the computer yourself.
     
  7. Kitch

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    [Don't get a cheep TFT screen, they refresh at 40+ ms]

    thats not true, got meself a 17" tft for 200 notes with a responce time of 20ms
    its not the best but it holds its own
     
  8. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Before buying please read this here
     
  9. Solar

    Solar
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    ouch !

    im running...

    athlon xp 2000+
    1gb DDR2100
    1x 100gb ibm - 7200 rpm
    1x 40gb maxtor - 7200 rpm
    1x 48x24x48 cdr
    creative labs digital 5.1 sound
    450w twin fan gold psu
    Gforce fx 5600 256mb DDR
    Aluminium case with side windows, front lights, 2x 3 colour led fans, blue uv light
    17" belinea montior
    logitech k/b and mouse (itouch)
    logitech 2.1 speaker and subwoofer set
    few more extras

    all for around £600 to £700, built it myself of course
    but to go out and buy a pc for £1500 is a rip off in my opinion
     
  10. Squiffy

    Squiffy
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    Maybe, but my spec is significantly up on yours. My point was that build your own isn't necessarily cheaper spec for spec. At the time I got that PC, it would have cost a fair bit more to individually source the components and build it myself.
     
  11. james.miller

    james.miller
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    at the time you were probably right, and i probably couldn't build that machine for that price today, but i bet i could build an overclocked p4 pc that would be significantly faster than your while being cheaper.
     
  12. Squiffy

    Squiffy
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    Now thats another issue James!

    Overclocking seems a bit of a black art to me! :blush: And I'm a long time PC user with a reasonable amount of knowledge.

    I know how it's done, I just don't want to go through what I'm sure would be an expensive learning curve.

    Plus I'm one of those who would rather pay someone else a little bit extra to do all the hard work. :rolleyes:
     
  13. NeilMcRae

    NeilMcRae
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    Overclocking is a false economy. [and James don't bother arguing]
     
  14. james.miller

    james.miller
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    freedom of speech Neil. I BET my overclocked pc will last far longer than your non-overclocked pc., and it'll be cheaper to boot.

    If you don't like that neil thats tuff. Go tell the hudereds of overclocking forums what you think, and their hundereds of thousands of members will tell you otherwise. It's just a fact Neil.


    You think its a false economy? tell me why.
     
  15. Garrett

    Garrett
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    If you upgrade your computer to a super cooled one then all subsequent cpu’s can be bought cheaper and then clocked to the speed you really want.
     
  16. Erpland

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    James
    It can depend on how much your time is worth, overclocking can become obsessive, research - tinkering - heat solutions - noise solutions - benchmark comparisons etc
    Sometimes it might be cheaper to put in a couple of hours overtime at work and buy that faster chip.
     
  17. james.miller

    james.miller
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    when you realise that these £40 xp1700's, or £70 xp2500's., or even the £150 p4 2.4's are outperforming £300 p4 3.2's - how much overtime do you think you have to put in?;)


    in my opinion, and many, many other's, the time definatly IS worth it.

    my xp1700, which is moderatly overclocked by xp 1700+ dlt3c standards, happily runs with the 3ghz p4's.....and i only paid £42 for it.

    as for noise? my 80mm cpu fan spins at 3000rpm - it's not exactly loud. Far from it infact.


    But this doesnt just apply to cpu's - it applies to ram, and especially graphics cards. look at the average prices between a 9800pro and a 9800xt - nearly £120. It's silly when you realise that moist 9800pro's can overclock very close to, or past 9800xt speeds.

    Take my reletively old 9500np. Its softmoded, which means its actually a fully working 9700np. On top of that, it can happily run at past 9700pro speeds. I bought it for £130. At the time, the 9700pros were double that. Look at what i saved......


    Overclocking is very easy. It's not a black art, it doesnt take a long time either. There are plent of overclocking sites to help you if you need it. choosing the parts is easy aswell - again, there are plenty of places you can go for help.

    If i were to buy a pc made from stock parts which would compare to mine, it would have cost me more than double what i paid.
     
  18. Erpland

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    where can you buy xp1700's and P4 2.4's? (most seem to have been pulled from sale already)

    Xp1700's dont out perform P4's at everything, but its a gaming forum so I'll let you off. ;)

    Ive already done maybe the most expensive and time consuming overclock (sanding slugs and dremelling heatsinks) before and would easily pay 150 quid to have back all the time I put in, not just the physical, but internet hours included.
    Ive also done a simple one (removed pin from P4 1.8a) so I know overclocking has its sweet moments.

    but it was a challange and fun, which is why most people seem to do it, you can tell most overclockers are hardly strapped for cash.
    I think a lot of it is also the feeling of gaining something for nothing (greed culture :lesson: )
    Most of the money is spent on improving benchmark scores as opposed to making games any more fun.
    The only economical way in this hobby of achieving speed is to time your purchases of more powerfull hardware in line with software demands, you can save a lot more buy waiting 6 months
     
  19. Solar

    Solar
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    there is a little shop near me who sell resonably cheap components and they have just started delivering all over the uk
    http://www.web-systems.co.uk/?page=Products&gid=1
    take a look
     
  20. Sinzer

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    Ahh the old overclocking arguments.

    Yes, we all know the results you can acheive. However, telling someone who has never built a machine before to buy cheap and overclock is not really sterling advice. It is not an arcane science but it can be a very annoying one when you inevitably get it wrong when you decide to push it too far.

    Overclocking is really only about 3D Mark scores and SETI number crunching. Games performance is not really currently noticeable, I run a stock XP2200, with slightly overclocked Ti4400 and 512 megs of RAM, I get no gaming issues whatsoever and this is hardly a ninja rig anymore. I will upgrade my graphics card once the next gen games come out.

    PaulBrum if you are still reading this thread, your best bet is to find a decent local store (compare their prices to the web to get a good idea of value) and ask them to build a PC for you or see what offers they have in stock.
     
  21. HMHB

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    I have built all my own PCs for years (as I'm in the trade). I will not do it next time as I'm fed up with having to mess around for ages getting it all up and running. People like Mesh computers have some very well specced computers at a very good price.
    Most of these people will be able to supply you with a fully working computer for far less than I can buy the components for. The other problem when building your own is that quite often you have to buy this component from one supplier and another component from elsewhere. If you have a problem, then it's a nightmare trying to get the supplier of the motherboard to agree that it's a problem with their component if you are using it with a processor or RAM from elsewhere.
     
  22. Sinzer

    Sinzer
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    Yes Mesh are excellent and for online dealers I have always recommended them.

    If you really have the cash though, it has to be an Alienware :)
     
  23. GrahamC

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    If your a novice then go with a pre-built one from Mesh or Dell. These days your not paying over the odds and you will be getting a much higher level of support which is worth a lot if something goes wrong.
     
  24. tonyb

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    I have to agree with JohnG and GrahamC. I'm also in the IT trade, and I am frequently asked to build systems. Given the buying power of the large companies it becomes increasingly difficult to match their prices for a system, and I often send them off to one of the major companies.

    Get yourself a copy of one of the computer magazines and browse through that to see what there is available.

    Mesh make some good systems, and I can recommend Evesham too. You'll find many more suppliers in one of the computer magazines. I would certainly avoid the likes of Time though.
     
  25. james.miller

    james.miller
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    if you build a pc with stock parts i think its pretty much impossible to match prices these days. Don't get me wrong, i'd go for a home-built everytime, but i wouldnt recommend anybody try it unless they are confident or have so prior experiance.

    The big names really do offer pc's at a fantastic price, but its the quality of the components that trouble me. you dont expect to pay £1100 for a pc only to find they used a 225w psu and a £25 ecs motherboard - well, thats exactly what i DID find, and that's why i personally wouldnt never buy a pc for the big names.
     
  26. geeWcee

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    If you are gonna spend more than a grand on a machine then its definately worth building yourself. For that kind of money you could build Skynet!
    ....oh, and overclocking is for people who can't afford decent hardware ;-)
     
  27. james.miller

    james.miller
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    lol. ive been told that before by a few friends, but they wernt so happy when my pc was actually faster:)
     
  28. PaulBrum

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    Blimey - wish I hadn't asked now !!!!!

    Well - There is NO way I'm going to build my own - or overclock it (whatever that means!!).

    I want a computer to play games on - do a bit of work (nothing too demanding) surf the t'internet, download digital pics from my new camera, burn CD's and DVD's etc, msn messenger - all the usual home stuff

    I like the look of Dell Dimension 8300 - seems to have all the bits and bobs and falls within the budget

    I last brought a PC about 4 years ago and it was defunct after 18 months anyway !!!!!

    My only doubt is whether i just buy something average for about 500 quid on the basis that for my needs it will be pwerful enough anyway.

    Confused of Brum

    Paul
     
  29. Erpland

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    One thing Ive noticed about the top branded computers (IBM, Dell, Compaq etc) is their cases have always been far stronger and better quality than anything you can buy, anyone remember the PS2? that was built like a brick sh.. house. They were also much quieter running, if they only had 225w PSU's then thats because thats all they needed.
    Its actually been a long time since you can save money building yourself, I used to do builds for people in 1997/98 and never saved anybody any money, they just tended to get better quality mainboards/cards and better upgradabilty.
     
  30. GrahamC

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    Which is saving them money by being better value for money.:D
     

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