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Old 01-12-2006, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default need pc quick

have friend who doesn't know a whole lot but needs pc. he will not be building it but buying over the counter or on line. has monitor, keyboard,speakers and mouse and an old outdated broken down pc. he will be emailing, downloading pictures, using word, printing, downloading music videos etc., ebay. won't be doing anything elaborate,[movie editing etc.] or whatever, just basic home pc stuff. like it to last at least a couple of years before upgrade. needs tower with all the guts, ready to go. what would you recommend for around 500.00. needs it quick as his phone and some work are tied into it. thanks for any input.

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Old 01-12-2006, 08:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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first of all, i assume you are from the united states?

if you need a new system, look at dell. They start at $299, and if you spend $599 and up, you get free shipping.

My recommendation is the Dell B110 for $369. Its a little more expensive ($70), but its well worth it. Double the memory and hard drive space as the cheaper B110 model.

The system includes everything...monitor, 512 MB RAM, cd burner, 80 GB hard drive, keyboard/mouse...

if you are looking for used, i would check your phonebook for computer stores, and get something at least pentium 3 or better.

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Old 01-12-2006, 08:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default I would never recommend a Dell. Ever.

I suggest eMachines; as a prebuilt company, they aren't half bad, and they use off the shelf parts. (especially if you replace the PowMax PSUs they have a tendency to use that like to burn out quickly).

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Old 01-12-2006, 09:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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He is going to want a rather large HD.. Not 80 gigs.
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Old 01-12-2006, 10:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i recommend dell because they are extremely affordable..i dont even think emachines comes close to the price of a dell
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Old 01-12-2006, 11:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Dells are cheap but cant even do what they are suppossed to do. Just chuck together a High end sempr0n, 512MB RAM, Low end Radeon GPU, cheap cd drive, stuff like that.
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Old 01-12-2006, 11:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you get a DELL, get an Optiplex line, system - preferably a tower. These are business grade systems and have room in their tower cases for upgrades.

Also, get one from their refurb area. they're not really refurbs - they're cancelled orders 95% of the time. That way, you can get your system faster, and don't have to wait a month if Dell happens to be in a busy time, before they get around to putting together your "custom configured system". I've bought tons of Dell systems for my company, and have had great success with the refurbs.

Also, get the 3 year warranty if its not too much more than $300 per year.. get the onsite service - its great. You may not need it, but from the savings you got by going with a refurb system, you can afford the peace of mind. In 3 years, your hard drive might fail, and your motherboard could blow (pretty sad, but I've seen it).

Otherwise, besides Dell, look around at the local shops and see what's available with the best specs for the lowest price. I recommend Intel motherboards, because they're not built as cheaply as most of the others. You can tell a cheap motherboard when its thin and flexible.
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Old 01-12-2006, 11:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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well as much as people bad mouth dell, if you ever wanted to compete with their really cheap computers with a monitor, you would never be able to compete with a built custom computer. You just cannot beat their prices.

They are really scraping the bottom of the profit barrel. they just want to sell these computers to you so that they can get even more money for service for problems with it.
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Honestly, I've never had a home built computer that's died, like the Dell's do. they don't ALWAYS have problems, but I'd say at least 2 out of 10 will need to have service (including a motherboard replacement), so its a gamble.

Even with a home built system, you have to just replace your hard drive every couple years - they don't make the ATA drives like they used to. I'm hoping the SATA drives are more reliable - just bought a couple of them.

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Old 01-13-2006, 01:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I work at a company with over 3000 people all using Dells, we have a contract with them. The ones we bought about 3-4 years ago are all dying, and the the newer ones don't seem to last as long either, my 1 year old PC is starting to do memory dumps, as well as many others. I used to be in the helpdesk group but have transferred, and boy am I glad. I would have been swapping out so many piece of shiit Dell's every day. Be a good friend an build it for him. $500 can get a decent PC for just regular use.

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