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View Full Version : Best deals on PC system (basic/current) for parental type users.


BigGameHunter
31-12-2003, 23:11:37
My folks want a new PC and are thinking of upgrading (bad idea) right now. Who's got a good cheap system available? Please!

zmama
01-01-2004, 00:58:29
Sigh, hate to say it - but look at the Dells. Good for that type of user.

johngalt
01-01-2004, 01:03:49
either tat or build one for them.

zmama
01-01-2004, 13:24:35
Look at the list here...something for all price ranges
http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/advertised_dimen?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
02-01-2004, 19:55:45
Ack, spit, Dell.

BigGameHunter
02-01-2004, 21:49:03
Yeah, but my folks are easy...they don't need anything super fancy. Although my stupid dad buys a laptop with a farging DVD, etc and hasn't watched/used one yet. Idiot.

Darkstar
05-01-2004, 20:55:35
Hey, my notebook has a DVD Rom/CD-Burner in it!

I got it primarily for software. But I have ended up watching a few movie DVDs on it. Mostly because they had some crappy copy protection or bad coding on it, and my home DVD player would just give up playing those.

Still, I don't expect your dad is in the minority in not using it. I doubt most people watch DVDs on their laptops, except when they are flying or on long commutes. Why watch a movie on a 10, 12, or 15 inch screen when you've got a much larger screen waiting at home?

BigGameHunter
05-01-2004, 21:26:20
Normally I'd agree, but when he bought it he was a long haul truck driver. :)
He's a typical male of his generation: buy the most expensive unit, regardless of needs, just to be on the safe side.
:)

Drekkus
06-01-2004, 11:01:39
My dad got a Dell as well, and he's very happy with it.

Sir Penguin
06-01-2004, 20:58:14
I've found that Dell's prices aren't that bad for their low-end desktops. Often you can get a Dell for less than an equivalent DIY machine (though this may be the exchange rate speaking), unless you can find a retailer that sells the crap parts that Dell uses, and sells them for the amount that they're worth. The low-end really belongs to the first-tier OEMs, because they can get batch pricing for components that are already cheap.

Dell isn't the only option, of course. The place I usually buy from has low-end PCs (http://www.ncix.com/pc/index.php?sortby=PriceLow) starting from about C$250 (US$195), not including peripherals (tack on about C$175 (US$100) for mouse, keyboard and monitor)) or an operating system. It is a little slower than the slowest Dell on zmama's page, but I can't see a significant difference. It will be more DIY upgradeable, too.

You can also find parts for cheap on eBay (especially now, after Christmas) and at the dump (especially now, after Christmas).

SP

MDA
07-01-2004, 21:50:16
"refurbished" Dells are pretty cheap, and I think they have a three year warranty... although I'd bet tech support is just as annoying as Gateway's.

Lots of times "refurbished" means someone returned it and they couldn't sell it as new, but its always a little gamble.

QtFLW@Work
07-01-2004, 22:10:12
Originally posted by Sir Penguin
Often you can get a Dell for less than an equivalent DIY machine (though this may be the exchange rate speaking), unless you can find a retailer that sells the crap parts that Dell uses, and sells them for the amount that they're worth.

I've been able to consistently price DIY machines with similarly crap parts that Dell uses for about the same price, although with no profit margin for resale.

The whole reason Gateway, Dell, and other large OEMs get to sell cheap PCs is that they put lesser/slower/crapper stuff in it in the first place. They hope that the average user won't know enough about how memory, bus speed etc. all affect PC staibilty and speed, and hope they'll just go "Oooh, a P4 2.2GHz! That's real fast!" and plonk down $450.

Of course, most people don't have the nous to put together a PC themselves and make it optimal, so they have to turn to the Dells of the world. It just makes me depressed thinking about it.

zmama
07-01-2004, 22:14:20
I don't think BGH is a DIY computer kinda guy ;)
Besides, parents love brand names. And frankly for internet, and some word processing I don't think they need to concern themselves with bus speed.
I could be wrong though...maybe BGHs dad wants to play Halflife2! :D

Sir Penguin
08-01-2004, 01:54:03
Originally posted by QtFLW@Work
I've been able to consistently price DIY machines with similarly crap parts that Dell uses for about the same price, although with no profit margin for resale.

Maybe my problem is that the places where I shop don't carry the crap parts. :)

SP

BigGameHunter
18-01-2004, 13:27:20
Hmmmm....I think they are on their own. My dad is more of a technonoob than I am by a long shot, but he thinks he's an expert and totally freaks when his PC acts up and blames the people using it last (I witnessed this recently...but it wasn't me).
So, Mr. Smartypants can find his own...I mentioned Dell and we'll leave it at that.

But for myself, I'm wondering, a la you computer brainiacs recent comments, how one would go about putting together an up to date (for games and such) computer without bending over a barrell for the major distributors? Any good clearinghouses like www.fightthepowerwewillsellyouonefornothing.com ?

zmama
18-01-2004, 13:32:52
Three questions...how much are you going to spend? How much are you willing to do yourself in building one? And how bleeding edge?

Okay four, four questions...what parts do you have that may be usable?

Lurker
19-01-2004, 20:57:15
Hey BGH. I just built two machines, one quite a bit higher end than the other, but both with enough resources to handle all the games out there. If I can do it, you sure as hell ought to be able to. And if you can't, you should be shot.

Actually, I found the less high end machine to be the least problematic to get working properly. In fact, I've got an extra 512 MB ram stick that is unused cause I can't get it to work in the better machine.

There's a good web site with some guy's step by step instructions on what to do and why. I'll post a link later. It worked great for me.

Sir Penguin
19-01-2004, 21:23:30
The hardest part is probably putting the heatsink onto the CPU. That might just be for those of us who have arms like a primary schoolgirl, though.

SP

QtFLW@Work
20-01-2004, 19:03:11
The hardest part is making sure you have the IDE cables going to the right place and the correct devices set to master/slave, excuse me, pimp/ho. If you set this up wrong you won't kill your system, or prevent it from working, but you might have issues with buffer underruns on a CD-RW or similar output device.

Unless you go SATA, then the heatsink really is the hardest part :)

zmama
20-01-2004, 19:13:43
No, the hardest part is not buying all the shiny pretty things. The extra quiet case, the water cooling, the glow in the dark IDE cables....etc etc ;)

QtFLW@Work
20-01-2004, 19:17:58
True!

Sir Penguin
20-01-2004, 20:44:08
I'd say rather that the easiest part is buying all the shiny pretty things.

I recently discovered that Western Digital UATA drives have seperate jumper settings for "Master" and "Master with slave." That was a tough one to figure out.

SP

zmama
20-01-2004, 20:47:25
Is that a new thing?
Though I haven't put in a WD in awhile!

Sir Penguin
20-01-2004, 21:07:04
I don't know. Since fall, 2002 anyway, and probably for at least the Caviar line. I'd been running the drive on cable select, so I never noticed until last month, when I put it into another machine as a single drive, but set to master (with slave). It's confusing, because they put the note not to use the jumper for a single drive off to one side of the jumper setting diagram.

SP