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confused on what computer to buy?

4wheeler4wheeler Member Posts: 3,441
edited January 2002 in General Discussion
my daughter is heading off to college in 3 weeks and taking her computer. i am going to purchase a new computer but i do not know what to buy. any help out there?

Comments

  • XracerXracer Member Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'd recommend either a Gateway or Dell.
  • Matt45Matt45 Member Posts: 3,185
    edited November -1
    Gateway had a family package deal not to long ago...I don't remember the specific details but I think they had a full PC desktop system with a Pentium III, monitor, speakers, printer (perhaps a scanner?) and either a laptop or "palm pilot". I think it was around $1600.00. I've had a Gateway for 2 years and you can't beat the customer support and service. I'm also really happy with the computer itself.
    Reserving my Right to Arm Bears!!!!
  • robsgunsrobsguns Member Posts: 5,031
    edited November -1
    I can tell you what computer not to buy, Gateway. I have one now. Its a piece of crap. I'm waiting for my 3rd mother board to arrive now. I've had 2 modems die, and 1 video card, so they say, they've replaced the entire computer once, and replaced the mother board once before this, now I'm getting another motherboard due to the video card. None of this would really bother me so long as the warranty is good, but the service that they provide is like pulling teeth. You have to go through hell getting them to trouble shoot the system over the phone or the web site, and then wait for the part and then for the tech to replace it. All the while they try to get you to take it to the nearest service center, which you should not have to do when you're having this many problems, especially when the nearest center is 85 miles away. Whew, venting here, dont buy Gateway crap, 2 of my friends have Hewlett Packards and love them.
    SSgt Ryan E. Roberts, USMC
  • WEASEL-88WEASEL-88 Member Posts: 998 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    My old one that my nephew built crashed, I went last month and got a new HP and like it very much, no problems so far. My daughter has a Gateway, first one crashed and had to get the second one fixed already.
  • idsman75idsman75 Member Posts: 14,524
    edited November -1
    Gateway will be closing its doors if it doesn't turn a profit this quarter.
  • robsgunsrobsguns Member Posts: 5,031
    edited November -1
    They've been saying the same about Hewlett Packard
    SSgt Ryan E. Roberts, USMC
  • idsman75idsman75 Member Posts: 14,524
    edited November -1
    Mr Waite made the announcement this month. He said that he's closing doors if it doesn't turn a profit.
  • robsgunsrobsguns Member Posts: 5,031
    edited November -1
    So if they close their doors, what do I do about my inevitable need for service, which I bought in the extended 3yr. service program? I'm gonna be ticked if I cant get seervice when I paid for it.
    SSgt Ryan E. Roberts, USMC
  • 7mm_ultra_mag_is_king7mm_ultra_mag_is_king Member Posts: 676 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I dont want to get into a big typing session but there are big problems I see with buying a store bought comp. First thing they do is load it up with cheap watered down software that will cause crashes, you cant install windows clean without getting all of that junk. and you have to use the restore disc they give you or it wont work. If you have one built by someone who knows what they are doing you will get a 100% better machine and much more user freindly. If I crash mine I put in a floppy disc, restart the machine, after it starts typ format c: wait till its done put my windows cd in type setup and away we go. You couldnt give me a hundered brand new name brand machines and I dont care what name is on them because I will take them outside and use them for tatget practice. I have been burnt enough buy compaq, hp, dell and gateway to learn their tricks of the trade and the uselessness of their computers if you want to upgrade. I dont mean to sound like an * whole but I spent alot of money on comps and found out this is the way to go, I have had this for 2 years and havent had 1/3 of the problems with this that I had with all the other ones combined. Quick run down, abitt mother board, 2 maxtor 40 gig ultra 100 7200rpm drives, copermine 966p3 cpu, 3 256 pc 133 ram cards, ati all in wonder pro agp video, soundblaster live sound card, 2 lucent modems for multi link, 2 56x cdroms, hp cd writer and full tower. little under $800. Monitor, got at wally world cant remember how much, hp printer and scanner. intelli mouse and a few xtras I bought along the way, it has been upgraded twice and the entire system is still under $1800 with the upgrades. Software, now thats a secret.
    when all else fails........................
  • badboybobbadboybob Member Posts: 1,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have owned several computers and regardless of the bad mouthing by robsguns about Gateway that is one very good computer with superior customer service. From my experience there are only two computers to buy if you want the things to work and want knowledgeable customer service - Gateway or Dell.
  • Richie RichRichie Rich Member Posts: 439 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As robsguns said DO NOT BUY A __ ___ ING GATEWAY!!!!! it took me over 1 year to get a replacement. This was after 3 trips to "gateway store" with 2 motherboard swaps and even a vist to the house from one of those highly trained techies who could not even get the thing to boot back up after he changed the parts out..sorry I could go on.I have a few and just bought the doughter one for school and such for xmas. If I was looking for a new one watch QVC they just had a amd 1700+ full I mean full blown sys for 1499. it had 60gig h/d, 256 ram, dvd, cd/rw,17"monitor,lexmark x73 printer/scanner/color copier (which I have) speakers and subwoofer,camera,and a lot of software and I am probaly missing some stuff but this was a very good deal. I you do some research you will see amd is a very good prosessor if not better than intel. GOOD LUCK Rich
  • guns-n-painthorsesguns-n-painthorses Member Posts: 7,041
    edited November -1
    Guess I'll just stay with this twin processor Mac G-4. Super fast- no troubles. Kinda pricey though. Very easy to run for me and I am a computer idiot.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Member Posts: 1,074 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    HP or buildFriend of mine has a Dell, and is unhappy. I had a Gateway, a long time ago and it was fine. 1 comment, stay away from Packard Hell, I have never heard anything but bad from people who bought them.I have 2, bro in law built the first one, I built the second, but I cheated a bit. Went to a comp show, bought a bare bones sys, mini tower, 800mhz, combined vid and sound cards, (200.00) added a 20gig hd I had, bought a used monitor for 50.00 (17 in) added a cd rw, mouse, keyboard got about 450.00 in it total. Now this is by no means a high end box, but it is upgradable (atx case) and is plenty for the kids to beat on right now, and I no longer have sticky fingerprints on my screen.If you want a high end, go to a local puter guy and let him make it to your specs. If you find a HP off the shelf that fits your needs, great. If you want to try a do it yourself, go for it. This isn't rocket science anymore.
  • Judge DreadJudge Dread Member Posts: 2,372 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    This is a nasty one ...I recomend to built your own or ask for a pc gaming computer if you ask for less you usualy end buying junk ..... video G force III AGP ,CPU Pentium 4 1G. "sound" blaster live,40gigs HD ,256MBRam 1280x1024 monitor Consider this items "College" grade A minimals.....
    Ignis Natura Renovatur Integram
  • nunnnunn Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 35,110 ******
    edited November -1
    The Friday after Thanksgiving, Wal Mart had a sale on a Hewlett-Packard system. 1.2 gig Pentium, 30 gig hard drive, speakers, monitor and printer, all for $698.I am not very knowledgeable about computers, but I just can't see pouring a ton of money and time into something that will be obsolete in 6 months.BTW, I own a total of 6 computers now.
    Certified SIG pistol armorer/FFL Dealer/Full time Peace Officer, Moderator of the General Discussion Board on Gunbroker. Visit www.gunbroker.com, the premier gun auction site on the Net! Email [email protected] Jesus is Lord!
  • DaRoostaDaRoosta Member Posts: 270 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't want to start in on the great Dell/Gateway debate that's taking shape. I have neither and will never buy either, but know plenty of people who have both brands. Some are happy, some are not. I don't want to take that chance with that amount of money.About Gateway (or maybe even HP) closing it's doors; it seems to me like corporate suicide to announce anything even suggesting disbanding such a company. Nobody will buy any of their products because the warranty won't be good, customer service will obviously be a mute point, etc. I don't know if Mr. Waite actually said what he said, but if he did, he's pretty much put his guarantee on closing the doors. I hope nobody here works for them.I'm going to be in the market for a new computer soon. I've pretty much decided I'll be looking at laptops. That way I can pack it up and take it wherever, whenever. Maybe I have a different use for it than everyone else does, but that's just my perspective on the issue of buying a new computer. If you need a bigger, clearer monitor, just buy one and hook it up. BTW, I completely agree with the "junk software" comments. I can't stand that.
  • 22WRF22WRF Member Posts: 3,385
    edited November -1
    When ask this question my usual reply is, "get a tan one". Then when it goes in the crapper they don't come back to me for my recommendation.The last computer I bought was a IBM PS\2I have since built all the rest.
    NRA Pistol InstructorP'cola. FL Home of the Blue AnglesnIshnabe'k
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    I've "built" about 5 or 6 computers.It's really simple plug-in assembly of completed components. You dont really have to build anything. With Windows 98 or later, setup is straight forward. Microsoft will talk you through Windows installation over the phone even if it takes hours. A recent power surge fried my hard drive, processor, keyboard and all boards in the CPU Fortunately, the hard drive and processor were still under warranty. It pays to save your receipts and warranties. I've found it is also prudent to buy retail,boxed & guaranteed parts rather than OEM 30 day components at computer shows. Look at the Tomshardware.com website for ratings on computer components and pricewatch.com to buy them.
  • Gordian BladeGordian Blade Member Posts: 1,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I built one of the first microcomputer kits in the 70's (IMSAI, not Altair if you know the difference) and I've fiddled with IBM PCs since they came out. I thought I knew enough to build my own, so this past spring I ordered what I thought were the best quality components and tried to put one together. I failed, the reason being that I had a bad motherboard (some Taiwan nonsense that was recommended by Sharky Extreme), a bad CPU (AMD), and a bad hard drive (IBM). One bad thing I probably could have handled, but not three. The big problem with figuring out what was wrong was that I didn't have extra parts to swap in to narrow down the problem.What I'm saying here is that unless you really know what you are doing and have a good plan if some parts are bad, I would suggest getting a PC either from HP, IBM, or Dell; or have a local shop that has been in business for a while build a custom one to your specs. That way, you have someone to turn to if it doesn't work right.Stay away from Gateway. As someone who has purchased 5 Gateway computers since 1994, I can personally testify that their quality and customer service have gone steadily downhill.
  • LightningLightning Member Posts: 945 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'm not much on computers but my friend has a Gateway and is very unhappy with it. My first was a Hewlett-Packard and served me well. Only problem was a modem zapped during a thunderstorm. My second is also a H-P and so far it has performed flawlessly. It is what I am on now.
  • hyperspacehyperspace Member Posts: 91 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I like Dell computers a lot. Be sure to check out the refurbished systems they have for sale. Same warranty as new, great quality, and a decent price break.Alienware makes very good PC's, especially for gaming. http://www.alienware.com/ Building them is nice if you got the time, knowledge and patience. It is very simple, but if you aren't pretty computer literate and have problems, you may have to make several tech support calls to the manufacturers of the various components before nailing down the issue. I build my own for myself and friends; for work, I buy Dell workstations and Compaq servers.
  • bsebastbsebast Member Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I must be an exception, but I bought a Gateway a year ago, plugged it in, and it hasn't missed a lick since.
  • Ms. BeastMs. Beast Member Posts: 496 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    We have had a Dell for 4 years. They give great support when you need it, had a new cdrom ( kids can be rough with all the games!) and hard drive ( darn virus!), paid nothing for either because it was under the warranty. I couldn't tell you anything about other brands.
  • Matt45Matt45 Member Posts: 3,185
    edited November -1
    Man-this is starting to take on proportions of a 1911 or Glock debate!
    Reserving my Right to Arm Bears!!!!
  • ndbillyndbilly Member Posts: 1,573 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I bought a Gateway in late '99 and my dad bought one in early'00. My experience with them would make a great black comedy. Enormously frustrating to say the least. The old man plugged his in and hasn't had a problem. Go figure.
  • competentonecompetentone Member Posts: 4,662 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    4wheeler,The problem is not so much the computer, it's the software.Almost any new PC you buy will have WindowsXP as the operating system--if you get online with it (which is probably a primary reason for buying it) be aware that XP has "spying" software embedded in the system.With XP, you'll be sending little packets of information back to Microsoft, telling them about what you do and where you go with your computer.The whole XP marketing campaign has been organized to keep this "spying content" out of the public arena. Best example: Microsoft started "sponsoring" the program "The Screen Savers" on Tech TV--which would have been the biggest public forum to discuss the "spyware" embedded in XP.Stay away from the Microsoft control freaks--buy a Mac!
  • jltrentjltrent Member Posts: 8,878 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Name means nothing in computers(Whats inside is what counts) Don't, repeat don't pay extra for a big stamped on name computers. Computer sales companies only put together PC (they have no part in manufacturing them) Walmart, as Nunn said, has some pretty good HP computers now (AMD processors and a lot of other little goodies on them that they didn't have on them a year ago) Also HP has as good of tech support as any which is basicly zero. I bought my current computer off EBAY cheaper than I could have bought the parts and built it myself(1.4 AMD, with DDR memory that makes it outperform up to a 1.8 Pentium) It is a no name computer built like I wanted it and after I got it added a little extra parts I had laying around. Gateway as I am using now at work generally put pretty good parts in them as compared to some, but they are way over priced still and their bottom line isn't looking to good either right now. Also, from my understanding Dell is currently in CHapter 11 Bankruptcy.
  • 7mm_ultra_mag_is_king7mm_ultra_mag_is_king Member Posts: 676 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    http://www.krex.com/ http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/776128/107-5297016-6266108 Try these two sites, this is where I get all of my 'puter stuff at.
    when all else fails........................
  • 4wheeler4wheeler Member Posts: 3,441
    edited November -1
    i have started a war,i am glad buying a gun is not this hard. all joking aside thanks everyone for the info. i am going to flip a coin for which computer to buy,just kidding!!!!!!---7mm= thanks for the web sites very interesting[This message has been edited by 4wheeler (edited 12-31-2001).]
  • mudgemudge Member Posts: 4,551
    edited November -1
    If I had to buy one tomorrow, it'd be a Dell.Mudge the computer illiterate
    I can't come to work today. The voices said, STAY HOME AND CLEAN THE GUNS!
  • daddodaddo Member Posts: 3,408
    edited November -1
    I have a Compaq 5222 in my office now for 3 yrs. The kids have tortured it for 2 years and it is "on" 16 hrs a day. Has never missed a beat. Have a HP 40 gig 1.4 proc.- is new- will see how it holds up to this Compaq.DO NOT BUY ** 1- PACKARD BELL 2- GATEWAY 3- E MACHINE !!
  • Judge DreadJudge Dread Member Posts: 2,372 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't recomend AMD I go for Intel Pentium series,AMD just fall short in Video handling and handshake plus cannot be used in 15th order magnitude mathematical calculations .that is with a 3.141592742 to calculate the cuadrature of the circle within 12,000 poligons it will fail with a floating decimal point error and give you a false end result that is 8b 16b 32b 64b 128b 256b 512b and 1024b points it wil1 in many cases square.88888889 to 1 (8b)"not good" with the nesesity to calculate the square root of 1 at time 0 were M=mc?/(T/T) at least a pentium, even being still so primitive can emulate a transdimensional teleport equation sooooo! (Go for PENTIUM! )
    Ignis Natura Renovatur Integram
  • nashflashnashflash Member Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I just bought a Dell system and I am very pleased with it and the service that was provided . The staff is very friendly and go out of their way to see that you are happy. I hope you too find what you are looking for and have a Happy New Year.Nashflash
  • idsman75idsman75 Member Posts: 14,524
    edited November -1
    Has anyone had any experience with a Micron computer? I used one while performing duties as Desk Sergeant in Honduras and it was wonderful. That was in 1998-1999. Any comments on their current products?
  • hyperspacehyperspace Member Posts: 91 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    My experience with Micron has been great. I have a P-II 333 Trek II laptop that I've used every day for the past 3 years. It goes everywhere with me, and has never let me down. It's a bit heavy, but it's reliable. I haven't had any experience with them since the computer division was taken over by some other company, but I've heard several folks say the quality is just as good as before.I would still buy a Dell over a new Micron. I think they have a much higher chance of survival and providing long term quality support than Micron.[This message has been edited by hyperspace (edited 01-01-2002).]
  • offerorofferor Member Posts: 9,168
    edited November -1
    My brother just bought his family a new computer for Christmas. He found great discounts on advanced systems at Dell and their sales staff was very helpful in designing just the right system for him over the phone. The price was very low, even with things like an 80 meg hard drive. They may end up steering you toward AOL for your internet provider, but that's not an absolute necessity if you don't prefer AOL. Sometimes there just seem to be good deals in the world, and just now Dell seems to be one of them.Other comments: I don't like any brand of computer that is not built for total compatibility with everything else out there that you might need. For that reason I have had a few issues with my new Sony Vaio. In fact, I tried to buy a Dell online but had problems with their so-called electronic checking system. The money was in my bank, but rather than debiting my account they ran a credit check. Go figure. Other than that, I would recommend Dell to anyone right now. If you buy a no-name or build your own, of course, you don't get any software at all that you don't buy yourself. Some of these, like Dell, IBM, HP, and even Compaq, come with worthwhile software preloaded. My recommendation (and the popular first choice) for internet would be Earthlink. AOL is one of those software items that tries to take too much control of the way your computer runs (and what it won't run). The same goes for MSN -- don't like them either for the same reasons. Of the big providers, Earthlink has the best rep. They'll even support computers as far back as 486 and Windows 3.1, and you don't have to install their software CD at all if you don't want to. Just have their tech tell you how to set your dial-up settings over the phone.
  • robsgunsrobsguns Member Posts: 5,031
    edited November -1
    Judge, you probably missed it cause I deleted it pretty quickly, thought better of making fun of you. Yesterday I started a story in a series of stories that explains your origins. You basically have confirmed it now, you are an alien, and a freak of natural phenomenon. I'd like to meet you and find out for myself just what the hell you look like, never met an alien before, except for the Mexican kind.
    SSgt Ryan E. Roberts, USMC
  • 7mm_ultra_mag_is_king7mm_ultra_mag_is_king Member Posts: 676 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I like homebuilt machines because I have total controll of what happens to it, if I want to go to P4 I dont need to buy a whole new machine like you have to do with store boughts, and if they offer a P4 upgrade it will be extremely expensive. If you just want to plug it in and use it and sit on the phone when something goes bad then buy a store bought. Most of you will be extemely surprised at how easy it is to maintain your own machine without all the help of lengthy phone calls and tech nerds. I'm a highschool dropout truck driving stupid idiot who cant add 2+2 to save his hide but I bet I know more about my machine than 100 of those tech nerds and can fix this in 1/4 of the time it takes to get through to 1-800-call-geek. I'm not trying to be an *, all i am trying to do is save someone a headache. If I can learn to put one together and maintain it so can you. It's easy! And I love this machine better than any other I had. I built it myself, got my own software and do ALL repairs on it. I know someone who took his machine to a geek to have a modem diagnosed and replaced,cost him over $125! and they had his machine for a day, modems cost around $30-$40 depending on what you want and it takes 15 minutes to replace it. Or how many times have you been told to send it back? DUDE FIX IT YOURSELF! It's soooo easy! Like I said, I'm as stupid as they come but if I can do it so can you. It's also way cheaper in the long run, the upgrades I have done to this would cost 3 times as much if I sent it to someone else to do it for me. I order the parts, they are here within 2 days, I still have the machine and use it while waiting for the parts to arrive, in less than an hour after recieving the parts I have a P4, how long will it take you with a store bought?
    when all else fails........................
  • texasmiketexasmike Member Posts: 25 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I agree with daddo-I have owned many computers over the years(both expensive and inexpensive) and have found that the cheaper versions such as H P and compac work just as well for me as the more epensive ones. My,money is no object son in law,just bought two high end Dells and both blew out their video cards the first week. Go figure.
    Texas Mike
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