Author Topic: PC shopping questions  (Read 3347 times)

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Offline BanzaiCat

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PC shopping questions
« on: June 26, 2016, 03:06:24 PM »
If anyone can offer advice as to whether or not this computer is a decent deal, I'd appreciate it.

If you're too lazy to click that hyperlink, here's the basics:

Acer all-in-one
2.6GHz fourth-generation Intel Core i5-4210M processor, up to 3.2GHz with Turbo Boost
2TB 5400 RPM SATA hard drive
8GB DDR3 RAM; expandable to 16GB
23" diagonal widescreen LED-backlit Full HD multi-touchscreen display with 1920x1080 resolution, IPS technology
On sale for $719

It might be a month or so before I can commit to getting something (I gotta wait for my raise to kick in), but I admit I know next to nothing about processors. My current rig is nearly nine years old, with a quad-core 2.5 GHz CPU, 4GB of memory, and a 500GB hard drive.

This all-in-one at the link above seems to be a major step up from what I currently have.

I am glad I bought this thing way back when, because it's chugged along for nine years so far. The only issues with it now are is the graphics card shit the bed about five years ago and I was able to get a replacement for free. The DVD drive hasn't worked in years, but with Steam and GOG and other electronically-accessible items (not to mention thumb drives), that's not been a real issue. Since I've bought it, it has had issues with BSODs, going to sleep and not waking up maybe 50% of the time, and other minor annoyances, but I've always managed to work around those with no permanent system problems.

But, it's time for an upgrade. And it has to be relatively inexpensive; I'd love to get an Alienware gaming rig desktop, but my wife is definitely not going to be keen on letting me spend 2-3K on a new desktop. 7-800 maybe, such as this one.

I'm still looking, but if anyone can offer advice on this newer PC, if it seems a decent enough step up and gaming rig for the price, I'd appreciate any input.

Thanks!

Offline CptHowdy

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2016, 03:10:56 PM »
not sure what kind of gaming you do but it only has an integrated graphics card  :(

Offline bbmike

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2016, 03:14:36 PM »
Yeah, and that hard drive would be way, way too slow.
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2016, 03:20:52 PM »
as long as you can record / edit the GrogCast fine, who cares?!?  ;)
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Offline Staggerwing

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2016, 03:34:10 PM »
not sure what kind of gaming you do but it only has an integrated graphics card  :(

^This will be a problem.

The form-factor of an all-in-one is appealing but you should consider a tower or case that you can open and replace components if needed. You don't need to know much about computers to upgrade a video card or hard drive or even add memory if the case can be easily opened. There are butt-loads of youtube videos out there showing you how. Also, if such a component fails you can replace it yourself instead of getting some Nerd Herder to do it at a premium. All-in-one form factors are usually very challenging to work on- take it from someone who once changed out a hard drive on a 2008 iMac. A real PITA.

If you can't afford a tricked-out rig now then get one with standard case, fast processor, and good motherboard. Then incrementally upgrade with a new component every few months. Start with a new vid card to replace whatever the rig came with, then max out the memory a while later.
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Offline bbmike

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2016, 03:34:38 PM »
as long as you can record / edit the GrogCast fine, who cares?!?  ;)

Oh, yeah, that reminds me. You'll need a good audio card as well.  ::)
"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplace of existence."
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"You know, just once I'd like to meet an alien menace that wasn't immune to bullets."
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-The Doctor

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Offline Gusington

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2016, 03:35:33 PM »
^I agree with 'Wing. Memory and vid card are critical to more gooder gaming.
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Offline bbmike

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2016, 03:42:49 PM »
I know the all-in-one is appealing, but I replaced one with an Alienware Alpha and a Dell 24" Ultrasharp monitor and am extremely happy with it. The all-in-one is great until something dies or needs replacing. The video card in mine is going bad and there's nothing I can do about it. If space is an issue there are other options out there.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 03:44:30 PM by bbmike »
"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplace of existence."
-Sherlock Holmes

"You know, just once I'd like to meet an alien menace that wasn't immune to bullets."
-Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart

"There's a horror movie called Alien? That's really offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you!"
-The Doctor

“Before Man goes to the stars he should learn how to live on Earth.”
-Clifford D. Simak

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2016, 04:25:57 PM »
Fair enough. Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm glad I asked.

I'll see what's what once I can buy something. I'd really rather not buy from QVC, just on general principles, but my wife got a new laptop from them a few months back using their 'flex pay' system and her laptop is pretty good. I'm not really wanting a laptop to take the place of my desktop, so that's out of the question anyway.

What would be a decent hard drive? bbmike said that 2TB would be way too slow...like I said, I'm ignorant of these things. I assume '5400 RPM' is slow, and I guess there's resources out there, but I'd rather hear it from you guys than the Internet wilds.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2016, 04:32:56 PM »
This one might be a bit better. The 1TB hard drive is 7200 RPM. The graphics card is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 745 with 4GB DDR3 memory.

Offline CptHowdy

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2016, 04:42:10 PM »
yes 5400 too slow. most people have ssd drives now to keep their operating system on. windows loads in like 10 seconds or something like that! im sure you can use them for everything else as well but i dont have one. my hdd is 1TB at 7200 rpm. using a laptop.

Offline CptHowdy

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2016, 04:49:06 PM »
This one might be a bit better. The 1TB hard drive is 7200 RPM. The graphics card is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 745 with 4GB DDR3 memory.

try visiting alienware site. i think you will at least want a computer running a gtx 970 card . 980 was top of line but they just came out with the 1080.

http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-aurora-r5-desktop/pd

second column starting at 1099 should be your minimum starting point as far as graphics cards go, my opinion of course.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 04:53:29 PM by CptHowdy »

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2016, 05:24:40 PM »
Thanks, CptHowdy!

I'm looking into QVC because of their flex-pay, mainly. I don't think I'd be able to pony up the full price up front, nor do I want to apply for credit if they offer that kind of thing. I've never owned an Alienware, though...I'll have to consider how best I can do this.

Offline CptHowdy

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2016, 07:57:57 PM »
Thanks, CptHowdy!

I'm looking into QVC because of their flex-pay, mainly. I don't think I'd be able to pony up the full price up front, nor do I want to apply for credit if they offer that kind of thing. I've never owned an Alienware, though...I'll have to consider how best I can do this.

yeah dell offers credit. i even qualified!! interest rate is at loan shark levels though(because my credit is poor) I wasnt suggesting you buy from dell or get an alienware but that package is a guideline to what i think you should be shopping for. good luck!
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 08:01:46 PM by CptHowdy »

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: PC shopping questions
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2016, 03:51:54 PM »
So my iPad is giving me a lot of shit and I've already tried to make this post twice. Guess I'll make it shorter. I bought an HP Envy here today, which I could have gotten at home but it was on sale, which is ending soon, and we have room in the car so I went with it.

It's an HP Envy, 3.4GHz processor, 12GB of RAM, 2TB 7200 rpm hard drive. Looks great across the board, but the graphics source isn't breathtaking (Intel HD Graphics 530). Before I bought it I did some research and it had some poor reviews, but some decent ones too. Overall I think it's great for what I need. I guess we will see once I get home...I'm holding the receipt. :)
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 05:47:28 PM by Banzai_Cat »