I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: SMITTY On: Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:34 pm

After the issues in my last thread, I think I'm just going to bite the bullet & raid what's left of my bank account for a new PC.

I don't think I want to buy one off the shelf, like I did last time (experts have discouraged this). How do I, or where do I go about building a computer?

My main use will be surfing the net, so I need something that will do that FAST -- no lagging -- & stay somewhat usable for the next 5+ years, preferably 10. I'm not afraid to spend for the best. I want big hard drives (for pics & files), big memory & big processor speed.

I know very little about computers, so I need advice as to what's good & what is junk. My last one was bought at Best Buy & was loaded with programs that I never used, & stuff that was hard to remove (Symantec). Plus the hard drives were set up backwards from what I wanted: the C drive was the main & had very little space ( OS & 2 partitions for me & wife) & the D had tons of space but was set up as the slave.

It sucks that I have to do this because I still have over 110G of free space on one of my hard drives, but I've got 5 solid years out of this one -- I guess an upgrade can't hurt.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: Royboy On: Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:07 pm

Get a MAC.
Royboy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing

Re: I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: djackman On: Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:14 pm

A cheap Core2Duo & 2gb with XP would do the deed. Get a addin video card if you're doing video editing or graphics work.

Ignore the Mac fanbois unless you like spending extra $ for shiny white hardware that has to go back to the factory for any repair.

But if you're at "total loss" why not just reformat what you have now?
djackman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1980 vintage Tarm
Stove/Furnace Model: FT22 (aka 202) installed!


Re: I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: whistlenut On: Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:22 pm

Not everyone wants a MAC, but look one over, Smitty. Read the reviews on PCWorld.com, go online to look over the recommendations, etc. Try a few of the links....go to consumer reports for their advise. Try Newegg.com if you want to build one. Not a big job, but by the time you collect all the pieces, operating system, software, etc it may be easier to buy one all set up already. Get all the RAM you can afford, and don't worry about drive sizes, most are huge today and you can add another in the blink of an eye. After reading your posts for the past few months, I don't make you for a MAC guy, but don't rule it out. It is all about the costs.....and I don't think you will be driving around in a Prius this weekend, so the MAC may be a non issue. If business (other than Graphic Arts) used the MAC exclusively, then we all might switch.

http://www.computertooslow.com/what-to- ... mputer.asp
http://www.consumertipsreports.org/what ... puter.html

Slip across the border and save even more......are they going to tax the air you breath next? Tall ships are coming this summer, but noone can afford to see them up close and personal.....oh well
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: tboonie On: Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:28 pm

I teach A+ computer maintenance and computer networking for a living.

I just found a nice system for a friend last week from tigerdirect.com. This is a nice system and even though it is a (off the shelf) PC, it can be upgraded in the future because it is built around standard components.

Here's the link:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4181367&CatId=3512

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4625183&CatId=3702

or if you really want intel, look at these:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4238186&CatId=3478

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4662416&CatId=3423


Bang for the buck, I really like the AMD systems.

You can't go wrong with any of these systems.
tboonie
 

Wait for Windows 7...

PostBy: eelhc On: Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:42 pm

I'm running the release candidate... Windows 7 will definitely be worth the wait. It's faster and more stable than XP.

I've built just about every one of my PC's and I would not do it for the cost. It's definitely less expensive to buy off the shelf. The manufacturers will be providing an upgrade coupon shortly. I'd wait for a reasonably speced retail PC with mega back to school rebates and jump on one of those.

Edit!!!

Let me backtrack (should have read your ost more carefully)... I think if you can manage to get a hold of a Windows XP OEM CD... You could do a virgin install without all the bloatware and I'd bet the performance would be plenty good enough. My standard setup for fresh loads is a small (60G) c: OS partition and a large d: My Documents partition and a larger still E: Media partition, a clean install of windows with peerguardian, avast antivirus, open office and picasa. Fast enough for basic computing tasks even on a 5+ year old celeron...
eelhc
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Magnum Stoker

Re: I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: SMITTY On: Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:02 pm

djackman wrote:.........But if you're at "total loss" why not just reformat what you have now?


After thinking about this for the last week, I figure I'm going to have to cough up over $100 for XP again ( no disc came with PC ), & after 5 years, this thing is a dinosaur by tech standards anyway -- so might as well upgrade. I've been dealing with little quirks with this machine for years.... & they just keep getting worse. The virus was the last straw -- I'm done screwing with this thing!

Part of it is my personality -- I have Z E R O patience.... & that has just run out! :lol:




whistlenut wrote:....and I don't think you will be driving around in a Prius this weekend..........


100% CORRECT SIR!! :rofl: :clap: You've got me pegged to a tee! :lol: So I guess a Mac is a fav of the hippie crowd? Environmentally friendly is it? If so.... NOT for me! 8-) Thanks for those links!




tboonie wrote:I teach A+ computer maintenance and computer networking for a living.

I just found a nice system for a friend last week from tigerdirect.com. This is a nice system and even though it is a (off the shelf) PC, it can be upgraded in the future because it is built around standard components.............


Those look like nice systems -- & the specs go to show how far they've come! Mine used to be top-of-the-line! :lol: I was just going to ask about loading them with XP until eelhc posted.............

When is 7 coming out? I think if I'm going to spend on a new one, I might as well get the cutting-edge operating system too.

What are they saying about the cost?
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: Yanche On: Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:41 am

Given your stated objectives I would suggest a different approach. Use different hardware for storage and net surfing. All off the shelf computers these days will surf the web well. It's network connection hardware will be faster than any home internet service you can afford, even if you have Verizon FIOS. For surfing the video will also be fast enough even if it's integrated on the mother board and uses shared RAM memory. Don't get caught up in the "horsepower" race.

The best long term approach to data storage is "NAT", network attached storage. It can be the most reliable too with various redundant storage methods called RAID, "Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks" You can build your own (http://www.tomsguide.com/us/cheap-fast- ... w-779.html) or buy a off the shelf unit(http://www.buffalotech.com/technology/standards/raid/)

Having dedicated hardware for your data storage makes computer life so much easier. Your data is protected from loss and as technology moves forward, gets cheaper and/or offers more features you only need to upgrade a low end computer. I would also suggest a "wired" router not a wireless one. Much more useful practical speeds without the eavesdropping security problem. If you need wireless connectivity to a roaming laptop get it with a wireless access point. Something you can turn off when you don't need it, eliminating the eavesdropping risk.

It's a lot to learn and understand but there are a lot of web sites to help you. Just don't put all your money in one high end box that looks like it solves all the problems. It doesn't; you need to look at a systems approach. Look at computers sold to business users. They are not loaded up with all the trial use software that causes you head aches. If you build your own, be sure you buy a retail version of the operating system. It's easier to re-install and/or move to new hardware.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: eelhc On: Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:03 am

SMITTY wrote:When is 7 coming out? I think if I'm going to spend on a new one, I might as well get the cutting-edge operating system too.
What are they saying about the cost?


Windows 7 is coming out sometime in 22 October 2009. PCs will be sold for the all critical back-to-school shopping season with included upgrades to Windows 7.

As for a cutting edge operating system... Windows 7 ain't it... It's really nothing more than Vista with the problems fixed. Windows Vista today with the updates and service pack is actually not a bad OS (might catch some flak from Mac and Linux folks here).

You really don't want a "cutting edge" operating system. Vista was cutting edge when it shipped 2 years ago.

I see a couple of options here...

PCs rarely ship with recovery/os cds these days. Does your PC have a COA (Certificate of Authenticity) sticker on the side of the chassis? Then you can just get a hold of the CD/Media and install.

Other option is to download and use the Windows 7 RC Customer Preview here:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/window ... nload.aspx

Word has it that it'll not expire until March of next year. By then hopefully you'll have the PC issue resolved.

Someone mentioned that you should buy an NAS (Network Attached Storage)... Excellent idea. My recommendation is the Buffalo Linkstation series.
eelhc
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Magnum Stoker

Re: I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:55 am

I do have the product key sticker on the back of my computer. I just don't know where to get the disk -- I assumed if I get the disk, I gotta pay big $$$ for it?

Thanks for all the info Yanche. I think your right -- I don't really have the patience to learn how to keep tweaking for max performance. I just want to plug it into the wall, connect my phone jack, turn on the power & go. After reading, I think the RAID might even be a bit more than I want to deal with -- the thing is, I know when I read something it seems more complex than it really is -- I learned that years ago working on cars -- If I just dive in & figure it out on my own, it ends up being easy. If I read about it, all that does is put doubts in my head. But with computers, you have to spend $$$ in order to "dive in" -- & if I screw up, I can't get my money back. I definitely have to do something -- this PC is driving me INSANE. The virus is blocking quite a few websites, including microsoft's. Plus I think it might be watching my banking, etc. NOT GOOD!

I guess I should stick with what I know & take a ride to Staples... :roll: I definitely can't wait until October. I do all my shopping & bill paying online, ..... & my future is looking like I might be relying on this computer for my income, so I better keep it simple & reliable.

I'll be filp-flopping on this one for a while..... :roll:
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: djackman On: Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:51 pm

SMITTY wrote:I do have the product key sticker on the back of my computer. I just don't know where to get the disk -- I assumed if I get the disk, I gotta pay big $$$ for it?


If it's a XP Home or Pro COA sticker one solution is to find the "XP 9 in 1" distribution on a torrent site. Install the proper distribution (OEM in your case), change the XP license key to the one on your COA sticker, activate with the MS mothership and you're good to go. XP Media Center is a different animal, can't change license key after installation.

I do this on a regular basis for customers, original CD's get thrown out with the packing or never burned until after the drive dies.

If you can't find it, PM me.
djackman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1980 vintage Tarm
Stove/Furnace Model: FT22 (aka 202) installed!

Re: I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:56 pm

I just found one -- downloading now. Hopefully I don't get infected worse! :lol:

I'll scan it with antivirus /malware, then see if i can burn it to disk. Then I should be good to go: wipe & re-install. If all goes well, that should keep me going until 7 is out.

Thanks djackman! 8-)
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: djackman On: Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:16 pm

FWIW I use "magic jellybean" to change the XP key - the 1.51 version seems to work best.

http://www.magicaljellybean.com/files/k ... .v1.51.zip

Most antivirus will detect that it is a "hacktool" - which it is - but it's a good hacktool

One more piece of unsolicited advise :D if you have to phone in the activation, tell them the reason you're reinstalling is "new motherboard". Most of the time it doesn't even call out to activate since the OEM key matches the OEM id string in the BIOS.
djackman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1980 vintage Tarm
Stove/Furnace Model: FT22 (aka 202) installed!

Re: I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:17 am

You need to be working off a clean machine.
Download and burn that disk on a friends virus free computer.
Make sure you have all the 'other disks' if you go the clean install route.
I have only run up against a few disks that could not be cleaned.
Buy a new drive if you want to be sure you do not have a 'root kit' infection.
If your old drive is more than 4 years you should buy a new one any way.
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: I give up -- any recommendations for new PC?

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:54 am

Now if you want a 'real' computer and spend a few bucks, 6000 or so, we can hook you up! 8-)
Just make sure you do not move it too much as it is not a lightweight.
It will hold up to 32 GB ram and runs Server 2008 as the host and you can run multiple virtualized OS guests.
Run XP Pro and play with other versions.
It can pull up to 10 amps when loaded.
http://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/4U/745/SC745TQ-R800.cfm
SuperMicro SC745TQ-800
2 x XEON Quad Harpertown E5410 2.3
4 x 2G DDR2 PC2-4200 ECC
800W redundant power supply
Adaptec 3805 SATA RAID
2 X 320G 16M RE3 WD SATA RAID1 C: OS Hypervision
2 X 320G 16M RE3 WD SATA RAID1 D: Guest
2 X 320G 16M RE3 WD SATA RAID1 E: SQL
1 X 320G 16M RE3 WD SATA hot spare
1 - 1T WD RE3 snapshots

A good custom built computer with quality name brand parts built by a reputable local company is your best bet.

Expect to pay about $1100 at your local shop and you will not be disapointed.
OR
Spend $500 at the big box store every 3 years.
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove