Advice on getting a new computer.

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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby JHern » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:46 pm

Lithicon wrote:Seriously? I disagree here. A core 2 duo is in most laptops today. The hardware comparability is exactly the same. The QUALITY of the hardware is just as good as any mac. The macbook is EXACTLY the same specs as the cheapest macbook Pro, except the MACBOOK ACTUALLY HAS A 250 gb hard drive. The pro doesn't. The pro cost 1200, the regular macbook cost 800. Seriously, the only difference is the case is grey, and slightly slimmer than the macbook.

There are NETBOOKS with Core 2 duo's that cost 600 dollars. The size is pretty much the same. I fail to see how a mac in quality is better than a Laptop of equal value. To upgrade a Mac is expensive, upgrading a pc CAN be expensive. And honestly, If you have any idea of what you're doing, maintenance on a pc is rare. I leave all my pc's on 24/7. Quality parts. I will agree that the OS probably isn't the best with windows based systems. But, then again it goes back to doing stupid stuff. Go on unsafe sites is like going in a bad neighbor hood. You know there is a possibility of getting hurt, but you still do it.

I'm amazed that you don't see the difference. Oh well.

Sure they have similar processors and hard drives. That can't be helped. Those industries have become monopolies.

Cheaper means cutting corners. Period. Apple makes their machines as cheap as they possibly can while still maintaining minimum quality standards. The others, not so much.

And none of this addresses the biggest weakness of PCs: Microshit Windows. Truly. Awful. Horrible. They should be out of business, but they cornered the cheap chintzy computer market, and have a monopoly. American consumers, in particular, will buy anything if it has a slightly smaller price tag, without thinking of the long-term costs and problems. Think Walmart. Big companies do this too, since the management can profit their own wallets by realizing short-term savings...and then end up having to spend a fortune later in computer support personnel and losing hours of productivity due to frequent downtime and glitch fixes.

And...why would you ever want to do maintenance on an Apple? I don't. Never have, never will. Never needed it either.

Anyways, enough on this topic for me. It is pointless to argue, since it is a rather obvious thing.
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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby black udder » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:50 pm

LOL a Mac vs PC war on the disc forum...

if all you're doing is surfing the web and office stuff, the PC you have is probably fine. Just format and reinstall the OS. If it's been up since 2002, it's probably bogged down with a variety of old programs and data. A clean install will do wonders.

Also, keep in mind that PCs have not gotten much faster the last few years. We get a computer and our minds and reactions adjust to what it does and then WE become faster at what we're doing, making the computer seem slower.

Maximum PC had a write up in the last month or two (or might be next month! I subscribe so get it earlier) and they built a pretty hot computer from the ground up for under $700. You could probably save some $ using existing hardware or just not opt for some of their parts.

You could also try upgrading the motherboard/ram/CPU combo. It'll probably be a few hundred, but could get you fairly current.

As for Mac vs PC. They're both personal computers. There is no part in a Mac that is better than a PC, only the OS is really different, and some people opt to run OSX on their PC or Windows on their Mac. Whatever floats your boat.

What Mac does do is make everything run through Apple. Nothing works unless it's approved by them. Thus, there is not as much software, not as much hardware and a TON less drivers to have to worry about. If all you do is internet and office stuff, you can pick up AVG (free antivirus) and your PC will be as reliable as a Mac. The problem is when you get a PC you have a lot more options, a lot more temptations and a lot more buddies sending you stuff (*cough* porn *cough*) that lead you down the path to viruses and other issues.

If you have any good friends that work for a large company, they might get a discount on HP or Dell products and you might be able to snag a new laptop/desktop you build for a reasonable price.
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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby black udder » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:05 pm

JHern wrote:Cheaper means cutting corners. Period. Apple makes their machines as cheap as they possibly can while still maintaining minimum quality standards. The others, not so much.

And none of this addresses the biggest weakness of PCs: Microshit Windows. Truly. Awful. Horrible. They should be out of business, but they cornered the cheap chintzy computer market, and have a monopoly. American consumers, in particular, will buy anything if it has a slightly smaller price tag, without thinking of the long-term costs and problems. Think Walmart. Big companies do this too, since the management can profit their own wallets by realizing short-term savings...and then end up having to spend a fortune later in computer support personnel and losing hours of productivity due to frequent downtime and glitch fixes.

And...why would you ever want to do maintenance on an Apple? I don't. Never have, never will. Never needed it either.

Anyways, enough on this topic for me. It is pointless to argue, since it is a rather obvious thing.


I've been working with computers for over 20 years and they've been PCs with a Microsoft operating system. I've had 1 virus infect my computer and have bumped into a few others. We talk about "it's not the arrow, it's the indian", well, the same is true in many instances here. Are there people that sell cheap PCs? Sure. But they can do that because of the absolute mass of parts that work in a PC. Microsoft has been on the hook to be backwards compatible with software generations out of date. They have to support hardware long extinct (because some joe blow doesn't see the need to upgrade and is still using it). Windows is a good operating system, but it suffers from the amount of hardware and software it has to support.

Macs benefit from not having to support as much hardware and also from a limited software library.

What's annoying to me is that I can build a solid PC for less than a Mac and then throw OSx/Leopard on it and it's the same as a Mac, only without the price tag. That to me is just a price hike. Apple has marketed itself as the "premier brand", but that's all it really is - a brand.

Apple is always comparing itself to Microsoft, but really, Apple creates a whole computer and OS, Microsoft just creates the OS. They don't have nearly the control over the hardware that people create to run on it that Apple does.

I don't dislike Apple/Mac at all. It is a fine computer, I just think that folks need to make informed decisions. Part of that is knowing exactly what is good/bad about both.

Here's some really funny Mac spoof ads (since there are so many PC ones):

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 102464662#

http://roosterteeth.com/archive/episode.php?id=118
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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby Lithicon » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:44 pm

I never said that the Mac wasn't a quality pc. It is. But, the pc is just as good. As others have said. It's the price that doesn't justify the purchase. Just because it cost more doesn't make it better, just because it's cheap also doesn't mean it's not of good quality.

I did mention in my post above that windows does have it's issues. Black udder obviously touched on most of it, and don't feel the need to restate it all. And, as he said the fact you can run Mac os on any pc with the same hardware you purchased for cheaper, proves more than anything. I completely agree that Windows has most of it's issues because it's adjusting to a very broad spectrum. Think of it like Innova, they make things most people don't use, cause someone will use it.
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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby SkaBob » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:58 am

JHern wrote:and keep in mind that with a Mac, you get the very best components and quality


Sorry, you're wrong. Apples specs are below those of high end PC laptops, and they're using the same CPU, RAM, hard drives, I/O controllers, network adapters, video chips, motherboard chispets, you name it...IT'S THE SAME HARDWARE, Apple just uses slower bits than the high end PC laptops use. They don't use the higher speeds of the Core 2 CPU line (they're not even using the new i series CPUs yet, and their roadmap shows they'll be using Core 2 chips through at least mid 2010), they're using DDR2-1066 ram when faster RAM is available at nominal additional cost (less than $10 per 2 gigs at RETAIL, no less wholesale), they use smaller hard drives (all respectable higher end PC laptops have 500GB or more hard drives if they're not using SSDs, the MacBook Pro maxes out at what, 250GB?), they're using the mid-range video chipset in the GeForce lineup, which in some of their models is actually 2 or 3 generations behind the current models...and so on.

JHern wrote:The display itself is worth about $600-700 alone (super high quality, high contrast, brilliant color, etc.).


Here you show your ignorance of the computer industry. Did you know there are only TWO manufacturers of LCD panels for computers, and that Apple uses the same panel as Sony, several Dells, various midrange LCD monitors for desktops and even a few budget brands?

What differs is the backlighting, color control and accelleration bits - and Apple actually doesn't rate the highest on those, Viewsonic usually tops the market in speed and several Gateway monitors have ranked higher than Apple displays on color control.

So what you're saying is that if Apple's screen is "worth" about $600-700 (which it's not, the panel is about $150 and the backlighting and other hardware is about $150-200), then Apple lacks the purchasing power to even come close to competing with their competitors that sell the same monitor.

JHern wrote: The keyboard is the coolest, most responsive and accurate thing I've ever touched (probably worth $200 by itself).


A keyboad worth $200? See, this is where Mac zealotry really starts to lose it's shine with me...a keyboard is a $50 item, tops (less on a laptop). If you're willing to pay 4 times that for the same keyboard everyone's copied these days, you really should just give me the money instead. You'll get just as much out of it.

JHern wrote:The disc drive does everything, even wipes my ass.


It's just a slot-loading DVD-RW. It's made by Pioneer, not Apple.

JHern wrote:Powerful and high quality/low maintenance wifi, bluetooth, audio, video, and other capabilities abound.


The wifi chipset is a Broadcomm BCM4322 on most models, which is common throughout the industry (many $300 netbooks use the same wifi chipset as my sister's Macbook Pro).

The bluetooth is also a generic chipset, though I'll admit I don't know whose because I could give shit zero about bluetooth.

The audio is also generic, using one of the chipsets recommended by Intel for any motherboard using the 965/ICHx series chipsets - most commonly a Yamaha, Realtek or Via audio chip but I see that Apple has also used chipsets by Texas Instruments and SigmaTel.

The video chip in the current Macbook Pro is a GeForce 9400 - NOT EVEN MIDRANGE in the 9000 series GeForce lineup, it's actually one of the budget GPUs, and isn't considered "game-worthy". It's more commonly seen on the PC side in the low-end to mid-range office laptops.

JHern wrote:The processor slightly slower, memory smaller, and hard drive space diminished. But that gets it down to $1000-ish (plus or minus a couple hundred depending on options). And it will still be a far better machine than any PC laptop. Period.


Seriously, do you hear youself? You're saying that your PC based laptop is better than any PC based laptop, and the only concrete claims you have that carry any weight are that the case is nice and the touchpad is good.

JHern wrote:Every time I see somebody with a PC laptop any more I feel kind of embarrassed for them.


Every time I see some Mac zealot going off like they're using some God-box, when they're just using a PC with a chip that lets the OS/X install CD recognize it as "Apple branded hardware", I'm more than kind of embarassed for them.

JHern wrote:These are such shabby, clunky, noisy pieces of garbage.


The only thing that could possibly be considered "shabby" when comparing a PC laptop to an Apple is the housing, and several PC laptop manufacturers are using aluminum and magnesium housings now, so that's rapidly becoming a non-issue. Most PC laptops are smaller and lighter than MacBooks, so unless you're drooling all over your MacBook Fitsinamanillaenvelope, that point is utterly moot. PCs and Macs use the same fans for cooling - because they're cooling the same hardware, they use the same hard drives and the same optical drives...where exactly do you perceive the extra noise to be coming from?

While we're on the subject of comparing the two, what about those apple Batteries? Y'know, the ones that swelled up and started popping? Sure, Dell got bad press for them too, but Dell at least replaced them rather than screwing their customers over for the better part of a year denying there was anything wrong.

JHern wrote:People who think PCs and Macs are at all comparable have absolutely no ground to stand on.


No, you and all the other Mac Zealots have absolutely no ground to stand on, and you're just running your mouth so you can feel smugly superior about having blown several thousand dollars on the same hardware that comes in a $800 PC laptop.

Does Windows suck? Sure, but there are actually games released for it, so it's what goes on my gaming PC (my netbook runs linux). Is Mac OS/X superior to Linux? Vaguely in terms of usability and simplicity, if you lack the technical compotence to be able to understand Linux.

Don't even pretend for an instant OS/X doesn't have problems, either.

For all your nattering about how great the Airport wifi and bluetooth stuff works, why did so many people have Leopard utterly break their functionality?

Why did so many OS/X users have trouble even getting Leopard to install?

Why did so many OS/X users have Leopard utterly hose their data when they did something so simple as copy a file from one partition to another?

Why did so many OS/X users start getting Blue Screens and crashes after installing Leopard (or even on their new Leopard based Apple systems)?

Why did Leopard cause so many graphics glitches and locks when using more of the capabilities of the video chipsets to to hardware rendering of the UI?

If OS/X is so secure, why did Leopard have such a severe bug at release that the firewall would be turned completely off by default? Why did it prevent so many legitimate third-party apps from accessing the internet (including Firefox and World of Warcraft) when it was enabled? Hardly the "trouble free" firewall Apple touts.

JHern wrote:Anyways, enough on this topic for me. It is pointless to argue, since it is a rather obvious thing.


It's rather obvious that you have only a cursory understanding of the inner workings of a computer, so it may seem obvious to you that your Ford Pinto is better than my Ford Pinto, but when it all comes down to dust you're doing nothing but spewing mindless, uninformed zealotry and in the end, we're both just driving Ford Pintos with different colors of paint.

Class dismissed.

Image

(sorry to continue the derailment of this thread, OP, but mac zealots really need to be informed sometimes)
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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby SkaBob » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:25 am

On a related note I just built an Alienware m15x laptop on Dell's site with these specs:

Intel i3-330m CPU (2.13GHz) (faster than all but the real high end Core 2 series CPUs)
4GB Dual-channel DDR2-1066 RAM
512MB (non-shared) GeForce GT 240M (faster than the 9000 series)
15" 1920x1080 (that's 1080p High Def) screen
500GB 7200rpm hard drive
Slot-load DVD-RW
9 cell battery
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
On-site service

Price: $1524

I will admit it's a bit ugly for my tastes, but there are other product lines, and you don't even WANT to know what specs I can end up with in the prettier ones for the price of a MacBook Pro.

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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby some call me...tim? » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:40 am

:lol:

One time, ChUcK and I went to the Mac website and pieced together the most badass Mac we could, just to see how much it'd cost. I think it came out to be over $30k. :shock: I'm not well versed in the super high end computer market, but I would hazard to guess that an equally, if not superior, PC could be put together for ~$7k.

Windows does have its issues, I'll admit, but most Macs I've seen have issues one way or another too. I can't rip on Macs too hard, because they are well built machines, and are user friendly, but I'd only recommend someone to go down the Leopard (er, ZAM) route and scour CL and such for good deals on used ones.
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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby Leopard » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:10 am

post-wide declaration of "IMO" - from a lifetime apple user :)

There was a time that macs were better for something performance-related, but that started to end in the late 90s / early 2000s. .... (I'm talking about a/v production - I started w/digital audio around '95)

Nowdays, this is what macs excel in:

- The OS/GUI is nice (but Windows has been mac-ifying itself well) ... and I must add, the GUI is processor-intensive .. dunno about Win, but OSX has a footprint .. not as true of 7/8/9

- The case design, monitors, and peripherals are awesome (but so is nice non-apple stuff)

- For a less computer-savvy user, there is a perception of more security, service, reliability, blah blah blah. (but so is a pre-idiotproofed and supported PC) -- and for a savvy user, you know what's up

So if one or more of those things are key to a decision, and more important than cost, then macs are a good option. A higher-investment PC is also an option.

Of course as with anything, there are problems big and small and huge with macs and apple.

In 2010, there is an ultra tiny sliver of the computer market who actually should go with a mac. The percentage of the market they have is pure voodoo magic -- not worth the cost for the average mac user.
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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby Leopard » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:14 am

some call me...tim? wrote:One time, ChUcK and I went to the Mac website and pieced together the most badass Mac we could, just to see how much it'd cost. I think it came out to be over $30k.

i did that experiment... and got MILL to buy it for me :lol:

it was about 4k, basically the video production macbook, all maxed out. what f'kin peeved me the whole time though, was that i couldn't load up all my music software on it. it probably woulda crushed my production machine at the time.
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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby Beable » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:53 pm

Jeronimo wrote:I'll throw my two cents out there as someone who has spent a lot of time and money building his own PC rigs over the years.

Don't be afraid to buy a Dell or HP or something like that. They make good machines for very competitive prices part for part.

My next machine is going to be a Dell. Maybe.


I was about to post this same thing. I built my last machine and I love it, but it was a lot of work researching and such. Dell makes fine machines. If money is tight, get a refurbed one. I think the last time I got one, I went with a refurbed business workstation type machine...it had a little less junk on it than they normally do.
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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby Beable » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:55 pm

JHern wrote:I'm amazed that you don't see the difference. Oh well.

Sure they have similar processors and hard drives. That can't be helped. Those industries have become monopolies.

Cheaper means cutting corners. Period. Apple makes their machines as cheap as they possibly can while still maintaining minimum quality standards. The others, not so much.

And none of this addresses the biggest weakness of PCs: Microshit Windows. Truly. Awful. Horrible. They should be out of business, but they cornered the cheap chintzy computer market, and have a monopoly. American consumers, in particular, will buy anything if it has a slightly smaller price tag, without thinking of the long-term costs and problems. Think Walmart. Big companies do this too, since the management can profit their own wallets by realizing short-term savings...and then end up having to spend a fortune later in computer support personnel and losing hours of productivity due to frequent downtime and glitch fixes.

And...why would you ever want to do maintenance on an Apple? I don't. Never have, never will. Never needed it either.

Anyways, enough on this topic for me. It is pointless to argue, since it is a rather obvious thing.


Your fanboyism is showing.

ETA-I work in IT. These things are just tools. No reason to get attached to one or the other kind of them to the exclusion of all others. I work with some Linux admins...and at home they don't only run Linux. Windows is flat out better for some things: games being the easiest example. Linux is better for some other stuff...I agree that it's weird, for instance, that Windows doesn't come with developer tools installed. But most people don't need that. One of my buddies who does Linux was astonished to discover that Windows 7 has the capability to create ISO's without downloading third party software.
Last edited by Beable on Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby sunspot » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:33 pm

Not being sarcastic, the banter is educational.
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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby eg37167 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:55 pm

Two years ago I bought my daughter an HP laptop and my son a Macbook. I have had driver issues with the HP and had to replace a battery and a hard drive in the Macbook. Upgraded both OSs by choice. Both have served their purposes very well. But the Macbook cost $400 more plus I had to upgrade the memory as soon as it arrived to start it on an even keel with the HP as it arrived. So nobody is perfect.

ETA-I work in IT. These things are just tools. No reason to get attached to one or the other kind of them to the exclusion of all others. I work with some Linux admins...and at home they don't only run Linux. Windows is flat out better for some things: games being the easiest example. Linux is better for some other stuff...I agree that it's weird, for instance, that Windows doesn't come with developer tools installed. But most people don't need that. One of my buddies who does Linux was astonished to discover that Windows 7 has the capability to create ISO's without downloading third party software.


This is the key right here. People go all overboard on one side or the other. A computer is just a tool. My brother does high end graphic design. He probably has half a dozen macs of various power and configs. I work in an IT shop where the staff uses PCs but our architecture includes Unix, Windows 2003 servers, NT, Novell, you name it. Don't personify your computer, it is just a tool.
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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby black udder » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:57 pm

Coming back to the OP - it's Feb issue of Maximum PC, they quote this home built rig for $647:

CPU - AMD Athlon II X 620 - $99
Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2 - $57
Memory - Patriot 4GB DDR2/800 - $85
Videocard - Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 - $166
Hard Drive - Seagate 500GB Barracuda 7200.12 $55
Optical Drive - Samsung SH-S23C - $26
Chassis/Case - Rosewill R220 - $19 (they admit this is pretty cheap, but it is serviceable)
Power Supply - Cooler Master RS-460 - $35
OS - Win 7 Home Premium OEM - $105

All prices were through http://www.newegg.com

Obviously, if you have a PC or parts you can adjust accordingly. Same with improving, etc. But supposedly, the rig was a pretty nice one for the price. You could knock $105 right off if you have XP and plan to stick with it.

Good luck.
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Re: Advice on getting a new computer.

Postby Lithicon » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:29 pm

black udder wrote:Coming back to the OP - it's Feb issue of Maximum PC, they quote this home built rig for $647:

CPU - AMD Athlon II X 620 - $99
Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2 - $57
Memory - Patriot 4GB DDR2/800 - $85
Videocard - Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 - $166
Hard Drive - Seagate 500GB Barracuda 7200.12 $55
Optical Drive - Samsung SH-S23C - $26
Chassis/Case - Rosewill R220 - $19 (they admit this is pretty cheap, but it is serviceable)
Power Supply - Cooler Master RS-460 - $35
OS - Win 7 Home Premium OEM - $105

All prices were through http://www.newegg.com

Obviously, if you have a PC or parts you can adjust accordingly. Same with improving, etc. But supposedly, the rig was a pretty nice one for the price. You could knock $105 right off if you have XP and plan to stick with it.

Good luck.


This is a decent computer obviously. But, from what the OP seemed to want, this isn't needed. Could save tons of money on most of that stuff, but it serves it's purpose. That's a well built system for for most modern gaming.
I personally won't stop building pc's. They're too much fun. But, like others have said, and I mentioned this in one of my other post. Hp and Compaq are probably a little better than the Dells of late. Even their laptops I personally think are of more quality than the Dells. If you want a Netbook, Asus offers the best ones I think. Acer are decent.
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