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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 1/24/2006 7:59:57 AM EDT
An acquaintance of mine is looking to buy a new PC.

He does not want to build it. I am a recent convert to the "build it yourself" crowd but he flat out doesn't want to build.

So he is looking for recommendations for an off-the-shelf PC that will be mainly used for photo processing and maybe light gaming. He's trying to keep it under $1,500.

If he goes and buys a Dell, he will be stuck with a non-upgradeable mobo and other items. I was thinking maybe a custom build from Monarch Computers (like the Furia would be a good option. It looks like they don't use any proprietary parts and from what I've heard they do a good job in building machines. I have never used a Monarch PC so I don't have any first-hand experience.

What are your thoughts on Monarch? If not Monarch, what other builder would you recommend?

Link Posted: 1/24/2006 8:16:23 AM EDT

I don't know, but Monarch ammo SUCKS
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 8:23:01 AM EDT
never heard of monarch.


i alway build my own computers. and everyone elses i know it seems.


as bad as it sounds some of the emachines i have seen lately are using all standard parts.

msi motherboards. intel and amd chips. i was pretty amazed.

any pc you buy DO NOT get the low end systems. get a medium level(priced) system. it will have more memory, faster harddrives. and over all better components.

just my .02 cents worth
but hey what do i know i do this for a living
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 12:45:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cruze5:
i alway build my own computers. and everyone elses i know it seems.




So do I ... I tried to "convert" him but no go.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 1:49:43 PM EDT
I've heard that Monarch is one of the top 3 builders. They have a good reputation.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 10:48:45 AM EDT
I bought one on Ebay several years ago and did many upgrades. Finally got to the point where replacing it with something faster was more cost effective than another upgrade. The Monarch is now the B/U in case this one craps out. Good machine.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 11:00:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jthuang:
An acquaintance of mine is looking to buy a new PC.

He does not want to build it. I am a recent convert to the "build it yourself" crowd but he flat out doesn't want to build.

So he is looking for recommendations for an off-the-shelf PC that will be mainly used for photo processing and maybe light gaming. He's trying to keep it under $1,500.

If he goes and buys a Dell, he will be stuck with a non-upgradeable mobo and other items. I was thinking maybe a custom build from Monarch Computers (like the Furia would be a good option. It looks like they don't use any proprietary parts and from what I've heard they do a good job in building machines. I have never used a Monarch PC so I don't have any first-hand experience.

What are your thoughts on Monarch? If not Monarch, what other builder would you recommend?



Computers are more disposable than upgradeable anymore. Buy what you want and be prepared to throw it away in 3 years..
the only thing left over from my last computer build are the DVDR, the harddrive (spare slave now) and the case..
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 11:09:18 AM EDT
For the average person you can't beat Dell.

They're cheap due to volume

They have on site repairs if you so desire

Some will complain about customer service etc, but I have never had a problem with them and with the volume they sell you will obviously have an increase in horror stories as well.

My new compnay is a full Dell shop. I was very reluctant when I started and one of my first initatives was to replace all the Dells with "real" servers and desktops. That didn't fly and the last year of purchasing and support have had zero issues.



Link Posted: 1/25/2006 1:09:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2006 1:10:38 PM EDT by jthuang]

Originally Posted By sixgunsblazing:
Computers are more disposable than upgradeable anymore. Buy what you want and be prepared to throw it away in 3 years..
the only thing left over from my last computer build are the DVDR, the harddrive (spare slave now) and the case..



Agreed, but I don't think I'd be throwing computers away every five (much less three) years.

Lemme give you an example ... my last computer was the following, purchased in January 2001:

Dell 8100 Dimension
Intel Pentium 4 1.7 GHz
nVidia GeForce 2 PCI (not PCI-E) video card 32MB
Sound Blaster Live! sound card
Maxtor 60 GB 7,200 rpm IDE hard drive
256 MB RAM
Lite-On CD-ROM 48x
NEC CD-R/W 16x/4x
56k modem
on-board ethernet
USB 1.1

Even today, this isn't that shabby of a machine if all you do is surf the internet and check your e-mail. Even light gaming is possible, although the limiting factor is the GeForce 2 ... that won't cut it for most of the new games introduced in 2005.

The reason I built my new machine was that I could not upgrade the motherboard (thanks to Dell's proprietary mobo). You will note that the aforementioned machine lacks the following capabilities, and cannot be upgraded to use any of the following:

AGP or PCI-Express
SLI or Crossfire (dual video cards)
USB 2.0
FireWire
ATX v2.0 (24-pin power format)
SATA

Now with my self-built computer, while it may be "obsolete" in three years (I doubt it, because I'm no power user), I can swap out the Asus A8N SLI motherboard for another board that fits the ATX form standard and be good to go. More importantly, swapping out the mobo will be significantly cheaper than buying a whole new Dell to replace my old machine.

So while it may be the case that computers may be "disposable" after three years of service, I contend that you are better off by upgrading what you have (assuming you CAN upgrade, with non-proprietary parts) rather than buying new machines every 3-5 years.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 1:42:36 PM EDT
I have bought a CPU and few other things at the Monarch store in Tucker, GA. Excellent service, I use Newegg due to not haveing to pay tax but otherwise I wouldn't hesitate to use Monarch.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 1:43:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2006 2:35:52 PM EDT by sixgunsblazing]

Originally Posted By jthuang:

Originally Posted By sixgunsblazing:
Computers are more disposable than upgradeable anymore. Buy what you want and be prepared to throw it away in 3 years..
the only thing left over from my last computer build are the DVDR, the harddrive (spare slave now) and the case..



Agreed, but I don't think I'd be throwing computers away every five (much less three) years.

Lemme give you an example ... my last computer was the following, purchased in January 2001:

Dell 8100 Dimension
Intel Pentium 4 1.7 GHz
nVidia GeForce 2 PCI (not PCI-E) video card 32MB
Sound Blaster Live! sound card
Maxtor 60 GB 7,200 rpm IDE hard drive
256 MB RAM
Lite-On CD-ROM 48x
NEC CD-R/W 16x/4x
56k modem
on-board ethernet
USB 1.1

Even today, this isn't that shabby of a machine if all you do is surf the internet and check your e-mail. Even light gaming is possible, although the limiting factor is the GeForce 2 ... that won't cut it for most of the new games introduced in 2005.

The reason I built my new machine was that I could not upgrade the motherboard (thanks to Dell's proprietary mobo). You will note that the aforementioned machine lacks the following capabilities, and cannot be upgraded to use any of the following:

AGP or PCI-Express
SLI or Crossfire (dual video cards)
USB 2.0
FireWire
ATX v2.0 (24-pin power format)
SATA

Now with my self-built computer, while it may be "obsolete" in three years (I doubt it, because I'm no power user), I can swap out the Asus A8N SLI motherboard for another board that fits the ATX form standard and be good to go. More importantly, swapping out the mobo will be significantly cheaper than buying a whole new Dell to replace my old machine.

So while it may be the case that computers may be "disposable" after three years of service, I contend that you are better off by upgrading what you have (assuming you CAN upgrade, with non-proprietary parts) rather than buying new machines every 3-5 years.


In three years, the BTX standard will probably have taken off and finally be mainstream. then you will need a new case anyway.
I'm suprised your 8100 doesn't have an AGP port, most of the higher end dells had a high end option for video, either AGP or now PCI
realisticly, about the only things on your computer that's not out dated is your 56K modem. Most recordable drives nowadays are DVDR's, 200 gig harddrives can be had for less than 100 on sale,your 5 year old ram is slower than what's out there now, hope it's not RAMBUS, and PCI-E is the new video standard. USB, NIC cards and even Firewire are increasingly being integrated into migh-end motherboards and onboard sound is even far better than it used to be.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 2:32:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By darwindog:
For the average person you can't beat Dell..... .....My new compnay is a full Dell shop....


Dell gives better service to business customers than they do to home users.
AS I said elsewhere--the business machines always include the OS reinstall CD's, and you are eligible for better (American!) phone tech support--not Indians reading off a script in broken English for a half-hour just to end with telling you to reboot.

If you must buy a Dell for home use, the best way is to cough up $50-$100 more and get the "business" model closest to what you wanted, and then you lie to Dell and say it's for your home-based business.
~
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 4:32:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sixgunsblazing:
In three years, the BTX standard will probably have taken off and finally be mainstream. then you will need a new case anyway.



While I'm no expert, I have my doubts as to whether the BTX standard will be adopted whole-sale.

And isn't the BTX standard being pushed by Intel? My new machine is an AMD ....
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 8:07:38 AM EDT
BTX is basically dead. Intel has officially abandoned it.

Intel had the next-gen desktop planned--the P7--but last year they decided to throw it out and extend the Pentium-M line into desktop CPUs. The heat issues with the P4 made extending it impractical for laptops and they didn't want to hassle with two CPU lines.

The dual-core for the Apples is a Pentium-M derivative.
~
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 8:10:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Floppy_833:
BTX is basically dead. Intel has officially abandoned it.

Intel had the next-gen desktop planned--the P7--but last year they decided to throw it out and extend the Pentium-M line into desktop CPUs. The heat issues with the P4 made extending it impractical for laptops and they didn't want to hassle with two CPU lines.

The dual-core for the Apples is a Pentium-M derivative.
~



+1 the Pentium M is an awesome chip.


BTW I have never heard anything about Monarch, I know the name bu t thats it
Link Posted: 1/27/2006 5:21:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Floppy_833:
BTX is basically dead. Intel has officially abandoned it.



I suspected as much, but hadn't heard confirmation. Thanks for the confirm. I was reading over the BTX specs and while they sounded good to have, I didn't think they were earth-shattering enough for all case and mobo manufacturers to switch to BTX.

Glad to hear that my 2005-built Asus ATX mobo/Antec case will not be obsolete in 3 years.
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