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Old 03-09-2003, 02:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Buying a Computer

I have the chance to buy a computer from Wal-mart, yes Wal-mart, and would like to know if it's a good deal. I have seen computers in the salespapers with similar configurations. But, I really don't know that much about buying the right machine so I thought i'd get some opinions. I'll be moving up from a (don't laugh) IBM Aptiva E-16 166 K6 Athlon and 32MB RAM.
It's a HP Pavillion 304w-b with a 17" monitor for $498.00
- AMD Athlon XP 1800+ processor
- 128kb primary cache
- 256kb L2 cache
- 266 mhz frontside bus
- 128 mb ddr ssdram, expandable to 2 Gb
- 40 gb HD
- 32x10x40 CD-R
- integrated audio and 32 mb sdhared video memory
- Windows XP
- 6 USB ports, etc...

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-09-2003, 09:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Does it really matter? It's under $500 (before tax) and the "thing" that you are moving up from.... omg... you poor, poor guy.

I have a friend that works at a Wal-Mart and bought the very same system that you are talking about. He is very happy with his, but he's not doing anything that intensive, ie. Hardcore Gaming, Video Editing, 3D rendering... so he is happy.

But like MB said, you will be limited on upgrading. You could probably build yourself a decent PC for what that one will cost you, if you know how. If not, buy the components and we'll talk you through it.... lol.
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Old 03-11-2003, 02:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I dont know,, although the chip might be good, AMD, who makes the MOBO, and MB and Guy are right, what about upgrades?? First thing I would do is want a new video and audio!!!

Plus,, my Dad ,, (yes my dad the internet king *heh heh*) picked up an HP pavillion and the thing is a REAL piece of work,,, I am NOT fond of HP products, other than the printers and even that is getting dodgy with their new lines,,

BUILD YER OWN MATE! and save yourself a headache!

That machine would be great for the initial shock of the change , but then you will start to feel the NEED !!!!

More POWER,, More RAM!!, More SOUND,, it creeeps up on you and then WHammO!

*phew* sorry there, got carried away,,

buyer beware!
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Old 03-11-2003, 06:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I actually disagree with most of you strongly. If the only thing this machine is going to be used for is internet browsing, word processing and the like...this sounds like a fantastic buy.

Sure, your upgrade options will be severely limited...but what the heck are you doing upgrading a $500 computer? That's like pimping a pinto.

The point is though, for a computer that Pallen may be able to use for 6 or so years (given some luck with hardware and maybe a replacement part or two) this seems like a decent option.

Point in case - he made it this far on an Aptiva.
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Old 03-11-2003, 09:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i built my computer for only 410 bucks. Here are the specs for my computer
Amd Athlon Xp 2000+
1 gig pc 3200 ddr
80 gig WD 7200 rpm hard drive with 8mb cache
GeForce 4 Mx 420
32/12/40 Liteon cd-rw
48x Liteon CD-rom
400 watt raidmax dual fan psu
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Old 03-11-2003, 10:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Mostly, I am a low-key computer user. Besides websurfing, mp3's, e-mail and wordprocessing, I do very little that could be considered intensive. That's why I have been able to get by using a 166mhz machine for the last 5 years. The machine at Wal-mart just seems like a cheap way to get a computer that'll be good for the next few years. I just didnt know if I would be tossing $500 down the toilet on this machine.
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Old 03-11-2003, 11:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, you won't be tossing it in the can, but when it comes time to upgrade, you won't have alot of options.

Personally, (if I didn't know how to build my own PC) I would buy it. It's a good deal.
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Old 03-11-2003, 11:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The only thing that I would look at, Pallen, is some minor after-market modification. This particular system probably has a lot of things glossed over in order to cut costs. You may spend $40 on after market parts but you'll save yourself in the long run. I'm talking about simple things like proper airflow in the case (which is a small fan in the lower front and upper rear of the case). On your previous system it was not necessary. On the Athalon chip you'll be getting on this box, it is a damn near necessity.
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Old 03-12-2003, 12:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Good tip Sel.
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Old 03-18-2003, 04:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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BUY it!!! Your not going to get much (if any) better of a deal than that! Don't worry about cooling and other stuf like that. They put a "good enough" HS and fan on the mobo and the stock case fans are good enough! They always put enough of what you need so that you don't have to worry about things like that.

And NO ONE is going to build that for much less when you figure in the OS and CD_RW!
WHAT you POSITIVELY need to do is upgrade the RAM (memory).
Its a no brainer to install it yourself or go to Comp USA and they will install the ram free if you but it there! Or your local Mom and Pop computer store!

You have 128ram. That will SLOW your computer down! Memory is at a all time low right now. Add (1) 256 stick of pc2100 or pc2700 and you will have a nice rig for what you want to use it for!
Most prebuilts come with a small amount of memory! YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY when you add more memory. It is the best upgrade that anyone can make to ANY pc!
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