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Buying a new PC

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Baba O'Riley, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Hi,

    I am starting a course in a few weeks so I'm splashing out on a new PC. I want one built to spec and the best deal I've seen for what I want is at http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk. They are as cheap as buying the components myself and I only pay one lot of delivery. Of course, if I'm forking out £1500+ on anything, I'd like to know if they have a reputation for using decent components and customer service etc. Does anyone have any experience of these guys?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. Mitzs
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    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    Well, I've not delt with them. However, from looking at some of their specs, I wouldn't buy anything from them unless they will tell you exactly what your buying.

    A high end Ausu board just doesn't cut it for me. Exactly what brand of HDD are they useing. This may not matter to other people but it does me.
     
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  3. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    unless you build the system yourself thats all your likely to get
    cant say i've ever seen a company that even goes into that much detail about what they are supplying (High end Asus as opposed to 'Top of the line motherboard' narrows it down more than most would, this is primarily logistical for most companies, they dont want to re write thier website when new kit comes out, and they dont want to halt a product line when they run low on Western Digital hard drives and have to use maxtors, as an example

    seems they know what they are doing, give them a call and perhaps they will give u a full product run down, then check with us and we can let you know if there any good or not :D

    as mitz says, brands are very important in the PC arena, although not many realise just how important :)
     
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  4. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the replies. Branding is one of the main reasons I asked. On the face of it, Tiny PCs loook like a good deal for example :badi !

    I'll try calling them on Monday and see what answers I can get.
     
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  5. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Do you mean the description of the product doesn't cut it or do you mean you wouldn't buy an Asus MOBO? If the latter, what would you recommend? Motherboards are the one area with me where everything is a foggy blur.
     
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  6. Mitzs
    Honorary Member

    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    I had a ausu board once and I was happy with it. :)
     
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  7. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    I see. Thanks!
     
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  8. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    Well I've only dealt with two "brands" of computers, the gaming rigs that I build, and the systems I've bought from Dell.

    In the years I've dealt with Dell, I've never gotten a bad pc.

    The ONLY thing I dislike about Dell is they don't supply you with a copy of the OS installed on your rig. It's always a "system restore" disk.

    Besides, Dell can't even come close to this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    The ONLY thing I dislike about Dell is they don't supply you with a copy of the OS installed on your rig. It's always a "system restore" disk.



    All suppliers from a certain date this year will only ship you with the recovery disk. It is Microsofts new terms for supplying a PC with the OS already on it. :(
     
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  10. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    I'm talking about the brands of components - Hard Drives, RAM etc. And although Dell have a high reputation for supplying decent products and for having good after sales support they are much more expensive than building your own.
     
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  11. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    Well, this is true. Good quality parts in a "ready built" machine are hard to come by these days.

    Although I must disagree with your statement about them being more expensive that building your own. Remember, you're talking to a gamer here. I'll drop $1000 on a mobo, cpu, and video card without thinking about it, and still have to get memory, hard drives, power supply, case, etc. before it's ready to run, yet I can buy a pretty good (complete) system from Dell for $499.
     
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  12. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    There are many different 'good' brands, i think we had a thread before on the ones we use, but heres a quick overview of what I use (and have done for over 5 years now)


    Mobo: Asus
    GFX Card: Asus (nVidia or ATI)
    Memory: Corsair/Crucial
    Optical: LiteOn
    HDD: Western Digital / Maxtor (high end lines not budget)
    PSU: Antec
    Case: Antec/Coolermaster/Chieftec/Supermicro
    Networking: Netgear/Intel

    Just a small list of what I use
     
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  13. Gaz 45

    Gaz 45 Kilobyte Poster

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    Some sites will let you build to order, and give reasonable detail about the component you're buying, although you may not get manufacturer name on memory, HDD, or Graphics card. Dell, Mesh and Evesham have good sites for this (and many more, I'm sure). If you ring them I'd hope they'll tell you.

    Agree fully with Phoenix's list, have had components from most of those manufacturers and they're generally high quality. I would add Thermaltake to the case/PSU list though. Asus are a top class brand.
     
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  14. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Yes, but building the equivalent $499 machine yourself would be a lot cheaper and then you have the option of leaving out or adding components at will.

    When you say $1000 for CPU, MOBO and Gfx card do you mean $ or £? I'm just interested really as £1500 is about the limit I'd spend on a complete set-up. Although I'm a massive gamer I just don't think you get value for money after that. I'd rather spend £300 on a console - the Xbox 360 looks like it could perform as well as a top spec PC but could be less than £250. :offtopic
     
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  15. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Thanks Phoenix and Gaz. When I call the company on Monday I'll post a list of the manufacturers they use. That will start a bit of heated debate I'm sure :twisted: .
     
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  16. immoral giant

    immoral giant Nibble Poster

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    The first thing i can say is that you haven't stated the use of the computer. Depending on what you want to use it for would depend what components you get.

    If its for gaming then get an Athlon 64. Or if you are multitasking get a Pentium 4 with HT or if you have the money splash out on an Athlon X2.

    As said before some good cheap but good memory from Corsair or Crucial is fine.

    If you plan on gaming you should be looking towards a high end graphics cards, these says u can get away with an Ati Radeon 9600 Pro or a Nvidia FX5200. You can game with less but obviously the better the card the better the games are going to run. If its mainly for internet use ten stick to an old card like an Ati Radeon 9200 or a Nvidia GeForce4 MX440.
    (Just because a graphics card has 256MB memory doesnt mean it is better than all 128MB graphics cards)

    Hard drives depends what you are looking for. Large cache from Maxtor, quiet from Seagate Baracudas and fast from the Western Digital Raptors. And depending on the motherboard you get depends whether to get an ATA hard drive or SATA.

    Motherboards - always best to stick to a big reputable name such as Asus, Msi, Abit.

    Cases, well thats mostly down to personal preferance of looks although u can also look towards the cooling aspect of the case and how loud it is.

    Powersupply, like the motherboards buy from a good company, such as OCZ or Antec. Both supply excellent powersupplies. One thing to look for if you are putting a lot of hard ware in make sure that the PSU has a high current (Amps) on the +12V Rail, you'll want at least 20A.

    For optical drives, Benq, LiteOn, Sony, up to you really.

    Networking like Phoenix said Netgear/Intel or even Linksys.

    Always best to build your own system but thats not always possible. At least if you build your own you know what you are getting and you can get a proper copy of Windows not just a recovery disk which will wipe all your data which could easily be fixed using the recovery console.

    hope this helps you.

    PS. Sorry for the long post
     
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  17. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    Sorry, that's $1000 US dollars.
     
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  18. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Just priced up 3 components and the bill ran to $2500 :D
    now i remember why i dont buy bleeding edge lol
     
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  19. immoral giant

    immoral giant Nibble Poster

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    Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811129152
    Power Supply - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16817103935
    Motherboard - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16813136161
    Memory - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16820145492
    CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16819103533
    Graphics Card - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814131416
    Hard Drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144152

    Which adds up to $956.00. Then you have an extra $500 for cd drives and the other stuff.

    For that you get:

    AMD Athlon 64 3500+
    DFI Ultra NF3 Motherboard
    1GB Corsair Memory PC3200
    160GB Western Digital Caviar 7200rpm SATA hard drive
    ATI Radeon X800 (256MB)
    400W Antec PSU
    and the case.

    This is on the gaming side rather than multitasking.
     
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  20. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Hmm.. I seem to have stopped receiving email notifications about new replies so this is the first time I've looked in on here since my last post.

    Immoral Giant, thaks for the info (although I realise that if you press the button that say 'Athlon Systems' you get an Athlon and the same with Pentiums) although I wasn't originally looking for advice on what to buy - I was hoping that someone knew what component brands were supplied. Anyway, here is a copy of an email I recieved today:

    "Thank you for your email concerning a new computer/laptop from pcspecialist.co.uk.

    In response to your questions:

    1. Our hard drives are currently Seagate, Maxtor or Hitachi. We cannot guarantee what make you will receive.
    2. Our RAM is currently Samsung original, although we are due to purchase a new batch and I cannot guarantee the brand.
    3. Our TFT monitors can be one of several brands. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee what brand you will receive, but they all have a 3 year onsite warranty.
    4. If you provide information on your chosen CPU and graphics card, we can tell you the motherboard that you will receive.

    If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Many Thanks

    ***** ******** "

    So it doesn't sound too bad really.



    Edit (J): Starred out individual's name
     
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