Calling All Geeks.
Just got back from a trip to the Thousand Islands to find out that I need to buy a new computer, as the Mama board in the one I took to the shop has shat the bed and I neither feel like dicking with it nor paying what they quoted me to repair it.
Recommendations? The goner is an HP Pavilion AMD dual-core (64 bit) running Vista with an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator. I guess my main concerns are durability, any insight on Windows 7, package deals anyone may have hornswaggled recently (What with Christmas still fresh in our minds) and such&such. I'll be doing my own research (Asking OTHER groups of people what I need to buy :D ) in the mean time, and I'll likely buy tomorrow night.
Well, I have Win 7 running on my Dell. It booted right up and was running MUCH faster than windows.
Then it CRASHED when I tried to update my wireless drivers to get back on line.
So, since my woman works at MSFT, I sent it to work with her and they got me back up and running.
Now that I am running Win 7 with no problems, I can say, I LOVE THIS SOFTWARE. It just plain rocks and I would highly recommend it.
I can say DO NOT buy an Alienware system. I bought one once and they screwed me over 6 ways from Sunday. That is one company, even though they were bought by Dell, that I will never buy from again.
As for a laptop, sorry bro, I am going to be of no help there....
Brands to look for:
Brands to avoid like the plague:
Dell (includes Alienware)
That's for pre-built crappy computers. Your best bet is to build your own, it's not as hard as you think, and I can provide any help you need.
Vision Computers, Inc. - Kit Configuration Page
Check this out. Superior Customer Service.
The only 'down side' is that there is no customer support when something doesn't work.
Windows 7 is a good OS it is no XP or OSX but it will work. I am a die hard WIN XP fan but then I deal with XP every day all day.
That being said. I have 2 HP and 1 MAC.
If you have the money get yourself a mac there are tons of free tutorials at apple.com on switching from a PC to a mac. My OSX never crashes you don't need to spend $50+ a year for virus protection and you can run windows on your mac. You can find a cheap copy of winXP on Ebay for under $100 most of the time. Slap a free antivirus engine on it and call it a day.
MAC's are the best windows machines ever built. Best buy is running a deal right now that you can get 16 months free 0% intrest with a new best buy card. YOU HAVE TO MAKE A PAYMENT EVERY MONTH.
If you have to have a PC then go with HP ASUS (Said ACES) Toshiba are also great computers. I prefer HP computers myself. I work on more Dell computers than any others.
With the prices now of computers you just can't build and get the performance you want for a reasonable price. Now if you are wanting a high end play any game for for 3 years kind of super system that is liquid cooled custom painted case with lights and al sorts of stuff. I have even seen a case with a built in A/C unit to keep the inside crisp and cool.
You are going to want at least 4 gigs of RAM ( Over 4gigs of ram requires a 64bit OS) and 500gig HDD. My wifes HP has 8gigs Ram and 1tb (Terrabyte) HDD. Win Vista ran like the Comcast tortoise Mr. Slowslky with 7 it runs like a stripped ass ape with his feet on fire.
I would pull your HDD out of the old PC and retrieve all the data on it then whip it reformat it and see if you can install it in your new PC.
OK now I get to some other questions.
Are you wanting a desktop, Laptop, Desktop replacement, ultraportable?
We all know what a Desktop is.
A desktop replacement is one of the big hefty laptops with a 17" or HP has an 18.4" laptop. These are big heavy laptop on the verge of being a big PAIN to haul around in a tote or backpack.
Ultraportable is a thin light laptop with at most a 15" screen. Most will have an intragraded battery (Mac book AIR) HP Pavilion dv2-1110us 12.1" Ultra-Portable Laptop PC
Netbooks (NOT NOTEbooks) are very small offer 2 maybe 4 USB ports no CD/DVD Drive some come with new and often expensive Solid State Drives. If you are wanting a netbook remember they are small with keyboard smaller than a regular laptop. I have worked on them and find that if you have bigger hands your not going to like them. The screen are tiny with the biggest coming in right around 10.1" maybe 11" They are not for people with bad eyes. The biggest draw back to them is the OS. They run best with Linux or Win XP but most are running vista or 7 which slows the system down. I am waiting for Googles Chrome OS netbook it boots in a matter of seconds and shuts down just as fast.
Go with Windows 7, Vista sucks and while XP is still perfectly fine (my computer is XP, my wife's 7) in the coming years it will lack drivers to support new devices and will lose compatibility in the long run.
If you want a desktop
As others have said, build your own, we can offer advice on parts, you can get everything from Newegg so you don't have to go to 5 different stores and there are guides to building it or you have a good number of people on this board who can answer any questions or problems you might run into.
If you want a laptop
You mention durability. I wasn't sure if you meant durability or longevity? For durability, Panasonic Toughbooks are a great option but you are going to pay a bit more for them. If longevity is your concern, and web, email, word are what you use 95% of the time then just go cheap on the laptop, don't drop $1500 on a laptop that will do those tasks no better than a $600 laptop. Computers are staying current longer than they have in the past. My wife has a Dell that we paid 600 for and it does everything but play games, it even has HDMI output on it which is really cool, I can output to my big screen tv. Dell customer service sucks, if you want customer service avoid Dell.
I haven't used a desktop in many years as I find notebooks easier and they take up less space. Both of mine are Toshiba's and they are great machines. Bought my latest from Newegg a month ago: Intel Dual Core, 3 GB DDR, 320 GB drive, Windows 7 - for $449...
Since there is a wide chasm between desktop and laptop computers, I will say only this about your next laptop... let it NOT be a Compaq or an HP. Dell's aren't always the best, but their service makes up for it.
Definitely get Windows 7 (not sure there is a choice now) it's the new hotness and appears to be stable.Other than that, you can spend an assload on high end components, but in the end, all that matters is who is ging to take care of you after the sale. That said, avoid buying directly from Frys, Walmart, and for the life of Brian, don't EVER by from CDW. Those asswads will screw you.
I really like the Newegg.com group. Never had any bad products from them, but since that is the case, I've never had to return something.
Tango's right, I forgot to mention Toshiba. Very solid, particularly in the high-performance laptop market. Also, he didn't mention that if you're getting a machine with a dedicated video card, the card's memory is added to the system memory for the purposes of 64-bit vs. 32-bit. A system with, say, 6 GB of total memory is still compatible with a 32-bit OS, it just won't run any faster than a machine with 4 GB.
Ineff, that used to be true of Dell, but their service has been declining sharply for the past year and a half or so. Now it's as crappy as their parts.
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