Recommendations needed for general-use pre-built PC - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 11-23-2005, 10:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Recommendations needed for general-use pre-built PC

My current system is an old Pentium II 266 with Win98 that is on its legs, so I'm looking to get a medium-end desktop PC pretty soon. I found this forum today and have been reading consistently about the superiority of building a machine myself instead of name brands like Dell. However, I lack the technical know-how to build my own and would probably mess the system up in the process. I have used my current PC for 7 years, so I am more interested in reliable long-term use than continually upgrading to the best available system

The price ceiling is ~$700, although I don't have to go that high. I primarily use my computer for web browsing & music/movies playback. Although I will play some strategy games, I doubt I will play graphics-intensive action games, so no need for a high-end graphics card. No need for a new monitor. Do not plan on overclocking.

After reading the Guide, here are things I have in mind:
Processor: Don't know much about them (Athlon? Pentium 4?), but am not planning on high-end gaming.
RAM: 512 (two 512s if cost-efficient)
Optic drive: DVD±RW, since I plan on burning DVDs.
Disk space: My hard drive is primarily used for music with some movie storage. Any drawbacks to larger harder drives?
Printer: would like to get an All-In-One.
Software: would like to use MS Office or at least MS Works (Dell recommends Corel WordPerfect) for work, also use PhotoShop.
TV: Eventually I would like to be able to watch & record TV programs on it (My roommate has MythTV and several friends have TiVO). Dell advertises that Windows Media Center can play/record TV, but I don't know much about it.
Sound: Integrated Sound should be good enough, since I don't plan on demanding gaming, right?

Since I do not feel ready to build my own and it is not recommended to get a brand name, does anyone know of good build-to-order sites (Cognigen-PC?)? I have seen posters suggest Newegg, TigerDirect, and ZipZoomFly (know little about). I have seen Compaq recommended and eMachines discouraged. I have also read that BestBuy/CircuitCity might have cheap post-Thanksgiving sales.

I have been looking at the "featured" Desktops on Newegg & TigerDirect. Some systems looked decent, but lacked DVD±RW drives. These are some Desktops with DVD±RW:
TD: Wintergreen Ariana P4 3GHz ($550-$100=$450)
TD: Gateway 504GR (refurbished; large HD; seems decent but low PSU?; 500)
TD: eMachines T6410 AMD Athlon 64 (refurbished; 400)
TD: Acer Aspire T135 (Sempron unknown, same as below? 400)
NE: Acer T135 (Sempron unknown, same as above? 397-10=387)
NE: Acer AcerPower FE APFE-U-P5190 Pentium 4 (587)
CC: HP Pavilion a1230n Desktop PC (more memory than others? has LightScribe; 625)
CC: Compaq Presario SR1630NX Desktop PC (has LightScribe; 505)
CC: eMachines T5010 Desktop PC (475)
BB: H-P Pavilion Celeron M Processor 370 (has MS Works; has LightScribe; 540)
BB: Compaq Presario AMD Sempron Processor 3400+ (has MS Works; 510)

Any of those good deals or terrible deals? Any guidance or advice would be appreciated.

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Old 11-23-2005, 12:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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For what you said, I'd look at the eMachines T6524 Media Center Desktop.

* Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
* AMD Athlon™ 64 processor 3500+*
* 1GB PC3200 DDR memory
* Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support
* 200GB hard drive (7200 rpm)
* ATI RADEON XPRESS 200 graphics with PCI Express expansion slot
* 7 total high-speed USB 2.0 ports, including one in the integrated 8-in-1 digital media manager
* 2 IEEE 1394 (FireWire) interfaces


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Old 11-23-2005, 02:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yea i originally bought an emachines and it was a very good system, then i upgraded the hell out of it, until i got what's in my sig.
AMD 64 3200+ Newcastle@ 2.2Ghz
1GB (1x1GB) OCZ Performance Series
ATI X700 Pro 256MB OC\'d 475/525
OCZ Modstream 520W
Thermaltake Tsunami
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