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Old Dec 29, 2001, 02:58 PM
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Cincinnati, Ohio USA
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Need To Order a New Computer - Any Recommends on a place to order?

I have decided to Order my New Computer by Mail Order, I feel I will get more bang for the Buck that way than my Local Computer Store (Microcenter - Powerspec). I found a place called Cyberpower that has some nice AMD systems at a good price, I can get a fairly loaded AMD Athlon XP-1600 for like $600. Also a place called Cybertron has some nice deals & offers & they have free lifetime Tech Support.
Does anybody have any good recommendations on a place to order a computer? My budget is no more than $650 (I know cheap) but I know I'll have to forget about Gateway & Dell for that kind of money. The places I mentioned above just simply build you a system to order.
-Mike-
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Old Dec 29, 2001, 03:09 PM
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gregg f's Avatar
shadow hills,ca
Joined Apr 2000
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mike: make sure you find out the shipping costs before you order. some of the mail order company's charge quite abit. .........gregg
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Old Dec 30, 2001, 09:35 AM
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Cincinnati, Ohio USA
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Most of these Mail Order places charge anywhere from $25-$59 for Shipping A Computer. However, My local computer store charges 6% State Sales Tax so it's pretty much a wash, Sales Tax would run about $39 on a $650 computer.
-Mike-


*Any Preference between AMD & Pentium? The Computer store guy said all their computers have Intel P4 or Celeron Processors, he only had 1 that had an AMD processor & that has an HP. Will I run into any hangups or compatibility problems using an AMD Athlon instead of a Pentium 4?
-Mike-
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Old Dec 30, 2001, 06:11 PM
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Matt M's Avatar
Seattle
Joined Nov 2001
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Right now all of my desktops have AMD chips and I could not be happier. I previously had Intel CPU's and no complaints, so I guess it is a wash. I guess the point is that either is fine.

Right now I am waiting for a dual-processor Tyan AMD board and am going to build a real screamer out of that.

Dell or Gateway are decent machines, plus you get the tech support that I don't get when building my own out of components.

Most of the problems that I have had in the past were caused by hardware incompatibility. I learned to buy brand name components after a few hassles. The few extra $$$ is worth not having hardware or driver conflicts.
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Old Dec 30, 2001, 10:01 PM
Rehab is for quitters
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West Middlesex, PA, US
Joined Jun 2001
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I've been building systems for years (back in the old Texas Instrument days) and have built hundreds of systems. Sounds like your upgrading. Just keep your case, cards and drives.
Rally is correct. You buy cheap, thats what your gonna get.
I like Asus, Abit, FIC motherboards. Plus, nothing wrong with AMD. Stick with name brands and you won't go wrong.

Dave...
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Old Dec 31, 2001, 03:37 PM
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Barnhart, Mo
Joined Dec 2001
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Krex Computers

For what its worth, I have bought quite a bit of
parts form www.krex.com. They also sell complete
systems. I have always been happy with their
service.
Fred
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Old Jan 01, 2002, 01:40 PM
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Cincinnati, Ohio USA
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I just found some nice deals on complete Computer Systems at a place called Infinity systems Plus Inc. http://www.pcinfinity.net
They have some nice Athlon XP systems at a GOOD price but they use PC-Chips (Amptron Motherboards). These are Integrated Motherboards with everything including the Modem on the MB, I don't have anything against Integrated boards, I'm using one now & have no complaints but Amptron Boards scare me, I had one once & it was trouble if you tried to add memory to it.
Anybody have any Input on Amptron Boards? Does the MB manufacturer make any difference?

P.S. - It says it has 64 MB 4X AGP Onboard Video, how is that gonna work with games like Quake III?

Doh! - They include FREE shipping but I just found out they are in Twinsburg Ohio so I gotta pay 6% State Sales Tax! Do you think the Government will ever make us pay Sales Tax on out of State Internet Purchases?
-Mike-
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Old Jan 02, 2002, 11:14 AM
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Walled Lake, MI, USA
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If you go with the lowest cost mail order companies, you will be flirting with a few that are strictly fly-by-night. There are some true horror stories in various computer discussion forums. The safest way to go for someone who is not knowledgeable about computer issues is with a company that has a high customer satisfaction rating, such as Dell. If you decide to go with one of the smaller companies, be darned sure to use a credit card, which sometimes may be the only way to recover your money in the event of a deal gone bad. Also keep detailed records of the entire transaction. Good luck.
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Old Jan 02, 2002, 03:18 PM
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Australia, ACT, Kambah
Joined Feb 2001
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The system from pcinfinity looks like a reasonable allround spec, but note that monitor is not included, nor is Windows = more $$

I've had good experiences buying major components to build my own computers, (but not complete systems), from TCWO.com and Newegg.com. If you're contemplating mail order, check www.resellerratings.com.

Avoid integrated onboard video - often shares memory with the system and rarely has a decent 3D accelerator chipset, which is a must IMO, (and definitely for the likes of Quake - insist on a GEForce2 MX video chipset or comparable as a minimum in a new computer).

As an economical 17" monitor but great viewing, I really like the Samsung 753DF, which still has a $40 rebate from Samsung. Try techonweb.com - $147 + $25 shipping less $40 isn't bad at all. (I paid $190 shipped from them only a couple months ago )

Check out http://www.sharkyextreme.com/theguide/value_game_pc/ for an idea of what you should be looking for. I know $1000 is more than your budget, but if you are upgrading, pick and choose only the bits you need.

If you want to play any sort of 3D game or run stuff like RealFlight, you NEED a proper 3D accelerator video card - not the latest $300+ card, but something more than for example Savage 3 or 4, or Intel 720.

As a well reviewed, great performing and CHEAP foundation, I like the ECS K7S5A motherboard. Another way to save a few bucks is to step back a few notches on processors - Tbird 1.13 or 1.2 GHz are good value but make sure you get the 266 MHZ bus versions. As you might guess, I think AMD offers the best value/performance for money right now.

Have a think also whether you want to burn CDs (CD-RW) or be able to play DVDs (DVD-ROM) either will read regular CDs but your budget probably doesn't allow both.


Good luck!

Al
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Old Jan 03, 2002, 08:07 PM
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Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Joined Nov 2000
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I just looked at a Computer system at my local Computer store, it was a nice deal but had a lousy TNT Vanta 16MB Video Card, I think I will need more than that!
The thing that really steamed me was that the more I learn about Windows XP, the more I want to run! I was asking the salesman lots of questions, I asked him what kind of burning software they included with this computer as it had a burner. He told me that it had none because XP had a simple crude burning program & that I would have to buy my own burning software. I said well, I already have EasyCD Creator 4.0, he tells me SORRY it won't work, you need the new version 5.0 & you can find it over on aisle 15 & it cost $99!
A lady at work just bought a new computer with XP on it & was today giving me the litany of Software & Hardware that she could not get to work, it seems that everything need patches to be downloaded so that they can work, what's up with that? She says that she gave up on her Digital Camera as a lost cause when trying to use with XP. This all seems very frustrating & as much as I would hate to do it, I may go with Windows 98SE on this next computer. I don't even want to think about XP compatiblility with my ancient Scanner & Digital Camers not to mention my old printer!

*Anybody had any experience with Windows XP that they would like to share?
-Mike-
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Old Jan 03, 2002, 08:30 PM
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Akron, OH
Joined May 2001
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Mike,

Check out pricewatch.com. You can go through and price complete systems and they list them for you from the cheapest. That is one place I would look but definitely research the companies that are listing their products.

Some hints about computers. I have been in the Computer Consulting field for 4 years now. My current system is a mail order system from Krex.com. It is an AMD 400Mhz processor with 256MB Ram, 32 MB video card and 4GB hard drive. I run windows 2000 on this system without a problem. I also don't load a bunch of crap on the machine so there is still well over 2GB available space on my HD. That includes Real Flight G2!

The point I am trying to make is that so many people run out and pick up the latest and greatest and many times they are in your situation where they don't have or aren't willing to spend the bucks to get a primo computer. Don't fall for all the hype by buying the most up to date anything. That is where they make their money! You may realize that if you clean up your hard drive, add a little more RAM, or upgrade to a larger hard drive, your computer will work fine for the next couple years. My grandmother has a so called better machine than me but she doesn't even come close to using it to its potential. Furthermore, because of all the junk PC manufacturers load up for advertising, it runs worse than mine does.

As for XP, I am Microsoft Certified and I won't load/run much of anything Microsoft produces until it has been out for at least a year. I've heard mixed reviews about XP so far and the biggest complaint is that Windows tries to run everything. Leave it to Microsoft to build a better CD burning program for an HP burner than HP can...Note sarcasm.

Spend more money on airplanes.

John
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Old Jan 04, 2002, 11:44 PM
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Cincinnati, Ohio USA
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Hi Jdoan:
Yes, I am with you, I have a Celeron 400 Computer with 256 MB of Ram & 4 MB of ON-Board Video & an Add-on 3DFX Voodoo II 1000 12 MB 3D Card (3D only). This Voodoo card has been a good Video Card but those 12 MB of Vram are getting a little lean for the Newest Games I just got for Christmas so that's why I am shopping for a new computer. I just looked at an HP Pavilion on Compusa.com, it's a Refurb but comes with an HP CD Burner & an Athlon 1.3 GHZ chip & assorted goodies for $545, looks pretty good, How are HP Computers? Any Good? (HP Pavilion #7935)

P.S. - My son has a crappy old computer & will get my old computer so getting a new computer for myself will be a win/win all around, except for the buck I will be out!
-Mike-
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Old Jan 06, 2002, 09:47 AM
Rehab is for quitters
LuckyArmpit's Avatar
West Middlesex, PA, US
Joined Jun 2001
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I've got everything to work with XP. A few I had to re-install though. But everything works. Even Olympus's app for the
D-320L digital camera. This doesn't show on Microsofts list.
Look for updated drivers of periphreals. You should be running the latest and greatest drivers anyways no matter what OS is on the machine.

Dave...
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