Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: Sting On: Thu Dec 25, 2008 11:52 am

This thing is 6 years old - RAM memory is failing, and I have a little Christmas money to spend on myself.

What should I look for, to take advantage of the 10 meg fiber in my house. One of us gets free cable :D :D :D

Thinking its also time to step up from XP to Vista (what version)-- or is Win 7 ready?

I don't game -- I surf and want quick page refresh and download of auction pictures.

Kind Regards
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Dec 25, 2008 12:17 pm

Unless you're gaming or do video get the cheapest XP machine you can find. Seriously. Having said that unless you're doing HD video even the cheapest XP machine is sufficent. Computers are at the point now that the average user does not need all that power... unless they are running Vista. :P
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: Freddy On: Thu Dec 25, 2008 1:22 pm

I wouldn't own Vista. For w while this year they stopped selling XP, but now I understand that Microsoft relented and you can once again get XP if you pound your fist & whine.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: tsb On: Thu Dec 25, 2008 3:23 pm

If you have a couple of hours, just google "vista sucks".
If you have older printers or scanners, stay away from vista.
For internet and house crap, a basic XP unit is more than enough.

Stoker Coal Boiler: Binford 2000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Saey Hanover II
Baseburners & Antiques: Grander Golden Oak , Glenwood # 6
Coal Size/Type: All of them

Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: Westy On: Thu Dec 25, 2008 5:51 pm

I also agree that unless you're a gamer, the least expensive computer would be more than enough for most applications.

I strongly suggest you stay with XP if at all possible. I say this with a years experience on a system with Vista. Of all Microsoft's operating systems I've used, 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, and the latest, Vista. I would say Vista is the most frustrating system to date.

I've had Vista die or lockup more times than all the other operating systems put together.

It doesn't like Firefox, and occasionally locks up when using Internet Explorer. When programs lock up, there are times that I can't even get them terminated with task manager.

I end up rebooting at least twice a day. I've recently acquired a copy of XP pro, and will soon wipe Vista and go back to rock steady XP.

Sorry for the rant :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :oops:

OH, and Merry Christmas everyone :)
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Mark 2

Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: mozz On: Thu Dec 25, 2008 6:11 pm

Well, I 'm gonna say the opposite of everyone here. I have no problems running Vista on my laptop. It's a much more secure system for those whom do not have to tweek every setting they can find. I also run XP on my desktop and have minimal problems here. I would not buy a new system with XP. This is coming from someone whom ran multiple systems on Windows ME for years and had no problems while people talked it down left and right. I can't see where people would have problems with printers or scanners running Vista. Most are USB. Don't load the older crap programs that come with them and control them. You won't find me putting a HP or Kodak or Lexmark disc in my drive just because it came with the new thing you just bought. I just got a Magellan nav, a HP portable picture frame, Sony ericsson phone all working USB fine without the factory junk software. The picture software I use is from 1997 and it works fine in Vista and Xp.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 1982 AA-130 Steam

Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu Dec 25, 2008 6:37 pm

I agree with everyone that any low priced computer will more than meet your needs. I also have not had much trouble with Vista but really see no benefit over XP either.
What I would recommend is upgrading to a nice 19" or 19+" LCD monitor if you still have a CRT. (They take up much less desk top real estate & give a nice clear picture)
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:53 pm

I agree with Devil about the monitor, they are very affordable now and make viewing large images/webpages much more enjoyable. Windows XP would be my choice as well, it requires much less resources than Vista and is very stable. Linux is a great alternative but it certainly isn't for everyone.

Depending on your budget and intended use, you may want to look at a used/refurbished office computer. I bought my brother one of these: ... 1B&cat=SYS with a 20" LCD monitor. He surfs the web and does office work with it; overall it works great and is pretty responsive.

I have built a handful of computers for myself and friends in the last couple years, but lately it is tough to justify the cost with the amount of cheap computers available for sale.
Rob R.
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: av8r On: Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:56 pm

I've installed over 30 of the $300 Walmart eMachines this year in businesses all over this area. My clients love them. They work and they're cheap.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Hearth with twin turbos (sounds like it)
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth model with twin turbos

Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: eelhc On: Fri Dec 26, 2008 12:55 am

RAM memory failing? This is very rare... how do you know? it's the RAM failing? Not trying to be a wiseguy but maybe there's nothing wrong with the PC...

I would agree with the folks here who recommends the cheapest XP machine available with the following features.

  • 22" minimum LCD Display DVI/HDMI driven (even the cheap ones look good these days), preferably with built in speakers and additional USB ports(clutter control)
  • Dual Core Processor (any speed will be fine for web surfing + light photo work
  • Dual layer DVD burner
  • Minimum 2GB RAM, 500GB+ Hard Drive
  • Integrated SDHC reader
  • Load Avast antivirus, and Google Picasa and you've pretty much got everything you need

Now... if you want to tinker a bit...

Get a hold of a Windows XP OEM CD (only the CD is required as you'll be using the XP COA from the PC)... blow away the factory install and do a clean, non junkware infested install of XP. Back up the factory install to a CD first though (there's usually an option to do this or in rare cases, recovery CDs). You might be surprised how fast these basic PCs are without all the bloat/trial/junkware that gets bundled from the factory. I personally prefer a very "lean" install without any background processes other than the basics.

My primary PC is 3 years old, single core Athlon XP, 2GB of memory and it's plenty fast (and I shoot RAW with my digital SLR).

For your old PC... The PC I am typing this on is my 2nd PC and is more than 6 years old. It runs Ubuntu Linux. I use it primarily for web surfing. Works great! You might want to burn an Ubuntu CD (free) and give it a go.
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Magnum Stoker

Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: traderfjp On: Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:52 am

Vista did suck but since they came out with the latest SP3 patch it's as stable as XP. I have two laptops that run Vista and two desktops that run XP and Vista is as stable as XP so don't be afraid. I use both each day and believe it or not I have more crashes with XP that VISTA. When VISTA first came out it was terrible and not ready for prime time. XP is at the end of its production so it will be very hard to find a computer company that will offer XP anyway although there are some companies that will give u that option. Microsoft extended the deadline for pulling the plug on XP. Also, don't buy the cheapest computer you can find. You can have a fast processor but there are many bottlenecks and reliability issues so buy good components. I would stay away from Dell or Gateway. They buy the cheapest components available and slap the boxes together for high profit margin and they offer terrible support. If you go to you can customize your own PC and research each component. For under a 1k you can get a good machine. Use for reviews of components before you buy. Don't skimp on the graphics card. It redraws the pixels you see on your monitor and needs to be a relatively fast card and not a chip on the motherboard. Nividia is my choice and they make stable drivers. I also like ASUS motherboards. Also, if you decide to do anything with pictures or want to stream movies, etc. you'll wish you had a more powerful machine. If all you want to do is surf the Internet and do nothing else then you can buy a low end machine but for a few hundred more you can get a machine that will last you a long time. My best advice is to research each component on and you will learn which motherboard, memory, etc. works with each board, is stable or has issues. When you buy a Dell, HP or Gateway it's like buying mystery coal. You don't know what components you're getting. I've built several machines from scratch and for about 10-20% more will give you an incredible selection with a small up charge for assembly plus a warranty with good tech support. As for my credentials I've been on the Internet longer than Al Gore, have owned several Internet sites and was hired as a tech person for my school district. I have also built several custom machines.
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: TimV On: Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:14 am

Check Ebay .
Gateway has a site there on which they sell new and used refurbished with warrenties.
I bought a brand new machine with Vista that is a powerhouse for less than $400 total last year. :D
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Older Ashley Cabinet ( pre US Stove gobble up)
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Energy King 480 EK
Coal Size/Type: Warm weather smaller coal. Cold weather larger coal.
Other Heating: Oil Furnace Backup when repairs are needed
Stove/Furnace Make: Energy King Furnace
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Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Dec 26, 2008 6:28 pm

traderfjp wrote:If you go to you can customize your own PC and research each component. For under a 1k you can get a good machine.

Can you vouch for their quality Trader? ( I have been looking at their site but they seem to have allot of angry customers on their help forums.
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: rubicondave33 On: Fri Dec 26, 2008 6:47 pm

Try a MAC, I'm on my second and won't go back to a PC.
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: efm
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Its Time for a New PC- What to Buy?

PostBy: traderfjp On: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:38 pm

I've bought from them before without any problems and had to return a video card which they did with little fanfare. There are always angry people for whatever reason. Go to seller ratings and look at Amazon or they have hundreds of angry customers yet I have been doing business with both companies for years with no problems. There are other companies that sell custom computers too. I can tell u if you want to read angry posts go look at Dell or Gateway.
Last edited by traderfjp on Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3