Computers

ShowMeLove's picture

Does anybody have any advice on buying a new computer? I want to buy a new one now that I have some money, but I'm not really sure what to look for. Is it possible to get a good computer for under $500? Are there certain brands that I should look for or ones to avoid? Is it a good idea to buy refurbished PCs? Are there any specific stores that are good to buy from/have good deals?

I still have a monitor so all I'm buying is the tower.

Any help and advice would be appreciated!

jeff's picture

Well...

No Mac with that budget, so I have nothing to recommend.
---
"People who are happy are slugs... They do not move the human race forward."
-- Camille Paglia, on Oasis

Nanook's picture

Mac Mini starting at $599

Mac Mini starting at $599

l.enigma_ambulante's picture

DO NOT BUY AN HP PAVILION

DO NOT BUY AN HP PAVILION ENTERTAINMENT PC dv7. TRUST ME.

>.< Stupid piece of shit. Though it's a laptop....

If you're just looking for a tower, go to a Best Buy or Staples or any other electronics / office supply store and ask them for some advice. It all depends on the specs you want. For $500 you can get a pretty good tower.. a desktop set at the same quality would run you aroundd.. $650 ish, maybe $700. Depends on the brand you want, too. I would recommend Dell if you want a more known brand.. otherwise you could probably find a decent off brand tower for cheaper.. *shrug*

I'm just guessing on those prices, by the way.. I haven't shopped for a desktop PC in a while. >.<

[[Love means you can never be apart... <3]]

ShowMeLove's picture

Thanks for the advice :)

Ah...We had an HP Pavilion Desktop PC as our last and had it for a few years but once we got high speed internet I managed to burned it out within a few months. It sucked :/

in rainbows's picture

:D

daddy built ours :D. but it doesn't go anywhere like a laptop can :(. and its kinda big......XD. id go with dell too though :D.
what exactly are you looking for? like what do you have in mind?
http://www.dell.com/us/en/home/notebooks/inspnnb/ct.aspx?refid=inspnnb&s...
:D that inspiron 15 is a pretty good deal :)
ooooor
these are pretty good :D annnd theyre new too
http://www.dell.com/home/desktops
"why, does she have a penis?" -Datarock
(cause im geeky like that XD)

ShowMeLove's picture

Thanks :)

I'm mostly just looking for a desktop PC that I can use to surf the internet, watch videos, and download music. Nothing too expensive because I really don't have a lot to spend.

I'm going to have to take a look at the Dell's :)

ShowMeLove's picture

.....

Anybody have any experience with Gateway's Computers?

Once upon a time I ripped the wings from my spine
But when I hide inside your eyes I still pretend that I can fly

Sykes's picture

Wellllll.......

-Don't buy anything Gateway, it's waaayyy overpriced and they suck, along with their customer service.
-Dell is OK-ish, but it kinda depends on which one you buy.
-I haven't dealt with HP all that much, but they have pretty good pricing for upgrades and stuff.
-Oh yeah, Compaq is part of Gateway :-\
~~~~~~~~~~~~
What you want to do, is go to the site and check out the 2nd group of computers (for Dell it's their Studio series) and if you can afford it go with that. ALWAYS get AT THE LEAST 2 Gb ram. If you can, go at least a step up from the standard processor. Don't let them put a trial antivirus on your pc, opt out of that, and when you get it go get avast antivirus. NEVER USE ONBOARD GRAPHICS!!! always get a graphics card, onboard sucks majorly (it tends to be called "integrated"). even if you only get a 128 Mb graphics card, it'll be way better. If you can, get an intel processor instead of AMD.

Going for the basic group of computers is ok, you can customize it more in your budget. With that you can also get a new monitor, speakers, bigger hard drive.

You should have no problem if you decide to buy a refurbished computer, they tend to be a steal, and any problems they once had should be sorted out :)

If you need more info, feel free to PM me :)

oldfoxbob's picture

lap top or desk top?

Lap tops: Acer is a good brand. Reliable, and usually fast for most things. Get a dual processor with large video graphic memory on board. That way you can not only do processing ( home work, letters, etc) but be able to play the new games out there ( graphics )
Desk top: IBM is over rated, as is gateway. Both have plusses, HP is sucky..they use what ever happens to be on sale at the time of construction ( Sony hard drive today, Toshiba tomorrow ) Compact. Same as HP, just cheaper. Acer....again reliable, lower price, good warranty, but like HP use what ever is on sale that day. ...I build computers and repair them as a hobby. No I dont know it all..but...I recommend going to a local computer place...price out one...and then go to Wall-mart and buy one.

Genius is not a sign of intelligence, but rather
that of common sense. Humor is the best pain pill.

ShowMeLove's picture

Desktop

Is Acer a good computer maker? I always thought they were one of the cheaper brands, so I sort of just ignored them. I'm not sure why I thought that.

And thank you for all the info. There's so much to look at when buying a new computer and I don't want to buy one and then regret it later, so I really appreciate all the advice :)

jeff's picture

Seriously....

Apple is the only choice.

Since Nanook of the North says Mac Minis are in your price range, I think that's all you need to know.

Windows is basically entering a BDSM relationship with no safe word.

---
"People who are happy are slugs... They do not move the human race forward."
-- Camille Paglia, on Oasis

niks121997's picture

...

I love that description of Windows. It made me laugh while adhering to the truth. Ha.

ShowMeLove's picture

I can't really afford one.

I can't really afford one. Up here they are $650 + the stupid environmental fee, which is $75 on top, I believe.

I know Macs are safer and all, but I don't have the moola. In a few years, in a few years.

Splash's picture

hmm...

You could try a refurbished one. There was a Mac mini for $400 US in that section of Apple's website a few days ago, though it looks like it got snapped up.

I admit I'm hesitant to recommend that at the moment (I'm having an atrociously difficult time trying to get Apple to replace a refurbished iPod I bought that has been acting up incessantly), but it's an option.

~~~ the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses ~ e e cummings ~~~

ShowMeLove's picture

Hmm

I've been looking around at store websites and I found one computer that sounds pretty good, but it's web only. It's an HP with Intel and, I think, a graphics card. What do you think?

http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=...

oldfoxbob's picture

Web only?

That means you cant do word processing on your computer. Unless you want to pay a monthly fee to some WEB site to do your home work on. You can do any thing on a web only CP. However...as I said you need to pay some site to do in on. Not worth the peanuts you have to pay for it. Go with a PC and you go with the business language of the world. Go with a MAC and you go with the language of education. Simple choice. Business or education. Good luck

Genius is not a sign of intelligence, but rather
that of common sense. Humor is the best pain pill.

jeff's picture

Uhh...

business/education was sort of true... in the 80s. Long since gone, though.

I was the Apple reporter for a national magazine aimed at business professionals during the dot-com explosion, and as soon as the Office file formats were cross-platform that distinction ended.

---
"People who are happy are slugs... They do not move the human race forward."
-- Camille Paglia, on Oasis

ShowMeLove's picture

Web Only

No, I think it just meant that the deal was only on their website. That the deal wasn't in store just online.

ReinbowGrl's picture

Go dell. I absolutely LOVE

Go dell. I absolutely LOVE my Inspiron 15. It's smexi.

- - - - - - - -
Grow tall sugarcane, eat that soil, drink the rain. But know that they'll chase you if you play their little games. So run, run fast, sugarcane.

ShowMeLove's picture

Quick question...

Is Vista (still) a peace of cow dung? Or have they worked out the kinks in it?

Nanook's picture

Anything you buy now should

Anything you buy now should be upgraded to Windows 7 (Hm... Windows 7? Mac OS 10? Huh... See a pattern?)

Nanook's picture

Anything you buy now should

Anything you buy now should be upgraded to Windows 7 (Hm... Windows 7? Mac OS 10? Huh... See a pattern?)

ShowMeLove's picture

Yeah....

I know Windows 7 is out now but some stores are still selling computers with Vista on them. Those computers are cheaper which works better for me if Vista isn't total garbage.

oldfoxbob's picture

yes

Totally Cow Dung...

Genius is not a sign of intelligence, but rather
that of common sense. Humor is the best pain pill.

ShowMeLove's picture

Ahh...

That sucks. Okay, I'm staying away from the Vista computers then. Have you used Windows 7?

typicalmusician's picture

I've been running 7 for a

I've been running 7 for a couple of weeks now on an evaluation copy, and I love it. The only problems I've heard of other people having have been with graphics cards and drives not installing/working properly. I'm running it on a tablet, and some of the drivers had to be reinstalled, but I think if you get a computer that comes with it your job as a user will be much easier than if you upgrade along the way.

Oh, and Vista does suck.

-KBO-

ShowMeLove's picture

Thanks

That's good to know.

If I buy a computer with Vista already installed would it still be a problem?

the mouse that roared's picture

desktops can be obtained for cheap.

i have a cute lightweight full system laptop in the Averatec TriGem series that cost me $420 and works ok so far.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. --Anais Nin

ShowMeLove's picture

Thats cheap

I'm thinking about going for a mini tower.

I think I'm going to wait till December and see what kind of Christmas/holiday deals are out there. Hopefully I can get a really good computer for cheap.