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Posted: 5/7/2004 7:29:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/7/2004 7:36:22 AM EST by LWilde]
Ok...it is now time for me to retire Old Betsy. My Micron, a rip-roarer when new about five years ago, is now getting pretty long in the tooth. Besides, I'm now having to fight with my wife and son for operator time. My wife wants her own...and she said she'd be happy with my old one...so that opens up the door for me!

So...what is the latest hot stuff? I've been browsing a bit over at CNET, Dell, IBuyPower, and Sharkey Extreme. All that stuff is confusing for an old pencil pusher like me. My head is spinning...

Here are the factors to consider:

-Money really isn't too much of a problem...within reason. I can do between $2k-$3k.

-I'll be using it for home office, including MS Office Pro, including MS Word, MS Powerpoint, etc. plus MS Project, graphics apps like Corel, some CAD programs, Netmeeting with video, plus listening to high quality music.

-I'm not a power user...too old for that crap. I grew up using a slide rule! I want it to work...and use the KISS principle.

-I don't do heavily graphics-intensive role-playing games like my son. About the only game I play other than board and card games is EA's Fleet Command (Shameless retired Navy here .)

-Reliability is a BIG deal with me. I HATE down time! (Who doesn't?) . I'd rather not shell out a lot of cash for a warranty either.

-I'm leaning towards a large flat panel display for a number of reasons. I have a very good flat 19" Sony CRT at home for Betsy, but an 18" Sony flat panel at work. I like it a lot.

I have a pretty good Dell desktop workstation at my office and a flaming fast and powerful Dell Latitude on my work table. I use both all day long and the little one travels with me.

So...Oh Great and Wonderful ARCOM Sages...what say ye?

Link Posted: 5/7/2004 7:43:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/7/2004 7:44:28 AM EST by legrue]
Given your parameters, I would recommend one of the new Dells, probably a Dell Dimension 4600C since you probably won't be customizing it by changing out components and whatnot.

catalog.us.dell.com/CS1/cs1page2.aspx?br=1&c=us&cs=04&fm=10474&kc=6W463&l=en&s=bsd

It's fast and compact, with a flat screen and networkable and best of all, given your budget you could max out the specs and STILL be way under what you were wanting to spend.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 7:47:43 AM EST
Get a Mac and don't look back. The new iMac with the 17" flat screen and the 1GHz. processer is one of the most user friendly computers you can buy. Go to www.apple.com and read up on it. I've had my 15" flat screen, 800MHz iMac for over 2 years without having a single problem or any trouble at all. Just look at the worm that going around effecting all the Win.XP systems and you'll see why I LOVE my Mac. For all you PC users, flame on, while you're re-booting your system my Mac will keep on running day after day without a hitch.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 7:50:27 AM EST
Given your parameters, I'd have a hard time spendeing anywhere near 2-3K on your system. Ditto on the dell, but I'd get the 4600 full size, so just in case the gaming bug bit you, a vid card swap would be easy. get a big harddrive and at least 512 megs of memory, and xp pro if you can. then buy the biggest flat screen you wanna spend money for and you still will be short of 2 K:)
See if you can buy a dell through your work, they might even save you more money and you'd get better support over the long haul.


Link Posted: 5/7/2004 7:56:57 AM EST
Check out MaximumPC Magazine if you want to see some consumer trends... It is geared more to the 3D gaming crowd, but there is a lot of 1st looks at new technologies and reviews of different hardware. Good Resource.

As far as shopping, if you're gonna be just doing Office Processing, the Dells are good and cheap now. Even with bigger monitors. Can't go wrong there.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 7:58:13 AM EST
BUILD YOUR OWN!

It is easier than one might think. I'm really happy with the one I built.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 8:08:54 AM EST
Build your own or buy local

NEVER NEVER NEVER buy a brand name PC...
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 9:11:29 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Build your own or buy local

NEVER NEVER NEVER buy a brand name PC...


NEVER NEVER NEVER
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 9:24:00 AM EST
Dell



Link Posted: 5/7/2004 10:52:35 AM EST

NEVER NEVER NEVER buy a brand name PC...


BUNK, BUNK, BUNK


-I'm not a power user...too old for that crap. I grew up using a slide rule! I want it to work...and use the KISS principle.

-I don't do heavily graphics-intensive role-playing games like my son. About the only game I play other than board and card games is EA's Fleet Command (Shameless retired Navy here)

-Reliability is a BIG deal with me. I HATE down time! (Who doesn't?). I'd rather not shell out a lot of cash for a warranty either.



You are NOT a good build-your-own candidate.

I would suggest a Dell. Also contrary to fact you are not a power users and against felt instinct buy as much computer processor power, graphics power, and memory you can afford that way your new computer will function at an acceptable level for you for the longest time.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 10:53:36 AM EST
Dell.

You pick.....
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 10:55:02 AM EST
I've bought over $2,000,000 in Dell hardware so far this year and probably $10,000,000 in the past 3 years.

I am a firm believer in Dell's products.

For $2-3K you can get a kickass machine.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 11:04:29 AM EST
I will say this again for the 100th time. As certified dell tech DO NOT buy a dell/gateway if reliability is a issue for you. Do not get hung up on having a "support" desk to help you. their typical response will be reload the OS and call us back. Hardware failures are a given for all brands. things will break sooner or later.

If you have the skills build your own from quality components. you may actually spend a little more but you will get a system far better than anything you can buy. My reccomendation is find a local shop that has been in business for awhile and have them build one for you. If it breaks you have a local contact vs. some idiot in india that can't speak english.

Let me say this again. DO NOT go with a dell. you will regret it eventually.

mike
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 11:13:24 AM EST
That's funny. As another certified Dell tech, we rarely have a support issue with our clients.

Of course, the first thing we do when we take delivery is FDISK the drive and reload the OS.

Right at this moment. I'm looking through a window into a data certer with racks full of Dell servers and we've over 100 Dell machines on desks in production. I can only remember one drive failure in the past three years.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 11:27:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By BenDover:
That's funny. As another certified Dell tech, we rarely have a support issue with our clients.

Of course, the first thing we do when we take delivery is FDISK the drive and reload the OS.

Right at this moment. I'm looking through a window into a data certer with racks full of Dell servers and we've over 100 Dell machines on desks in production. I can only remember one drive failure in the past three years.



Well, I wish were I work for the USAF, we could say the same! We have had enough issues with Dell Servers that we have gone out to evaluate other Brands! Their Tech support has gone down hill too!
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 11:40:01 AM EST
I read all thetime about how people have had so much trouble with Dell servers and desktops. I guess we've been super lucky then.

We have a cluster of data management servers at each of 6 major client account sites. Then we also have a massive hot site datacenter in one of our corporate facilities to support the redundancy of those client clusters.

We run Oracle 9i and have over 700 million records online.

The application servers support a total of 15,000+ users across all clients and the web servers support an average of 1,000,000 transaction requests an hour on a .NET application environment.

I seriously have not had a lick of trouble with the Dell hardware.

We generally don't use Dell support.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 11:54:24 AM EST
Sony! I have a Sony compurter, ;laptop, digital cam, 5 MP, and video, oops forgot the Clie, all work seamlessly.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 12:09:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By TNFrank:
Get a Mac and don't look back. The new iMac with the 17" flat screen and the 1GHz. processer is one of the most user friendly computers you can buy. Go to www.apple.com and read up on it. I've had my 15" flat screen, 800MHz iMac for over 2 years without having a single problem or any trouble at all. Just look at the worm that going around effecting all the Win.XP systems and you'll see why I LOVE my Mac. For all you PC users, flame on, while you're re-booting your system my Mac will keep on running day after day without a hitch.



My first computer was a Macintosh IIC ... what worm? In 20 years of personal computing I've never had one signal virus, trojan or worm - unless you count the ones I installed myself on my lab machines. If they'd port more games over to the Mac I might go back.

3.0 HT/1.5 Gb/400 Gb/19'x2
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 12:12:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By TNFrank:
Get a Mac and don't look back. The new iMac with the 17" flat screen and the 1GHz. processer is one of the most user friendly computers you can buy. Go to www.apple.com and read up on it. I've had my 15" flat screen, 800MHz iMac for over 2 years without having a single problem or any trouble at all. Just look at the worm that going around effecting all the Win.XP systems and you'll see why I LOVE my Mac. For all you PC users, flame on, while you're re-booting your system my Mac will keep on running day after day without a hitch.



Wow, Apple broke the 1GHz barrier. Windows can have it's problems and if you like the Mac OS more power to you. But as far as bang for the buck goes the PC will always smoke the Mac performance wise. When I talk about performance I mean tangible things like frames per second with Doom3 or 3d rendering times and not just a single floating point test.

But bottom line, to each his own. YMMV. etc...
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 12:35:40 PM EST
Bendover,

there is an ENOURMOUS difference between the Dell corporate/server systems and the POS pc's they sell to home users. I will grant you that dell does make a very good server. The crap the pawn off on the home market is garbage at best. Support for corporate users is also not the same as that for home based systems. You are comparing bb guns to field artillery.

i have several local accounts that can't even get DOA nib systems replaced. Dell has been the best thing to ever happen to IBM

mike
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 12:40:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By billparadise:

Originally Posted By TNFrank:
Get a Mac and don't look back. The new iMac with the 17" flat screen and the 1GHz. processer is one of the most user friendly computers you can buy. Go to www.apple.com and read up on it. I've had my 15" flat screen, 800MHz iMac for over 2 years without having a single problem or any trouble at all. Just look at the worm that going around effecting all the Win.XP systems and you'll see why I LOVE my Mac. For all you PC users, flame on, while you're re-booting your system my Mac will keep on running day after day without a hitch.



Wow, Apple broke the 1GHz barrier. Windows can have it's problems and if you like the Mac OS more power to you. But as far as bang for the buck goes the PC will always smoke the Mac performance wise. When I talk about performance I mean tangible things like frames per second with Doom3 or 3d rendering times and not just a single floating point test.

But bottom line, to each his own. YMMV. etc...




Actually in a raw numbers game you can't really compare mhz performance. risc vs cisc is not apples to apples performance wise. Saying that i will stick with PC's
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 1:01:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By billparadise:

Originally Posted By TNFrank:
Get a Mac and don't look back. The new iMac with the 17" flat screen and the 1GHz. processer is one of the most user friendly computers you can buy. Go to www.apple.com and read up on it. I've had my 15" flat screen, 800MHz iMac for over 2 years without having a single problem or any trouble at all. Just look at the worm that going around effecting all the Win.XP systems and you'll see why I LOVE my Mac. For all you PC users, flame on, while you're re-booting your system my Mac will keep on running day after day without a hitch.



Wow, Apple broke the 1GHz barrier. Windows can have it's problems and if you like the Mac OS more power to you. But as far as bang for the buck goes the PC will always smoke the Mac performance wise. When I talk about performance I mean tangible things like frames per second with Doom3 or 3d rendering times and not just a single floating point test.

But bottom line, to each his own. YMMV. etc...




Actually in a raw numbers game you can't really compare mhz performance. risc vs cisc is not apples to apples performance wise. Saying that i will stick with PC's



That's why I look at things like frames per second in games and other real world peformance tests.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 3:14:14 PM EST

I will say this again for the 100th time. As certified dell tech DO NOT buy a dell/gateway if reliability is a issue for you. Do not get hung up on having a "support" desk to help you. their typical response will be reload the OS and call us back. Hardware failures are a given for all brands. things will break sooner or later.


You can listen to this kind of wind if you want… but first ask if the above is true how does Dell finish number 1 year in and year out (by a wide margin) in customer satisfaction and reliability in the home market.

The answer is simple Dell builds the most reliable PC in the home market.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 3:19:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By Paul:
My first computer was a Macintosh IIC ... what worm? In 20 years of personal computing I've never had one signal virus, trojan or worm...



...or any other kind of software written for the Mac, come to think of it
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 4:59:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/7/2004 5:00:10 PM EST by Max_Mike]

My first computer was a Macintosh IIC ... what worm? In 20 years of personal computing I've never had one signal virus, trojan or worm...


No life either…

Drink the kool aid already.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 5:11:59 PM EST
I've not had any problem finding games for my Mac. I guess if you're a hard core gamer then a PC would be the way to go, or better yet just get an X-Box or PS2 and play all the games you want. They do make a PC emulator for the Mac that'll let it run any PC software you can run on your Win.XP machine so you can run anything on your Mac that you'd run on a PC. The other way around isn't the case though, you can't run Mac software on your PC and no program will allow your PC to run Mac software. All I know is with my PC I wasn't very happy, with my Mac I'm as pleased as punch.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 5:26:29 PM EST
I'd also recommend Dell. They have a 20% off deal going now with free shipping. I'd say the 8300 series or maybe one below would suite you fine.

Good luck, Max
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 5:31:33 PM EST
After having a desktop since the beginning and then switching to a laptop... I will never purchase a desktop again. IMO laptops are just as reliable, just as powerful, and ultra convenient.

I would recommend a Sager from PCTorque

They are probably the most customizable, and you don't get all that additional crap that comes preloaded and simply takes up room, like all the Dell stuff does.

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