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Solved Recommendation for computer brand

msalton1

Member
Member
I've been building my own systems for years, so I'm a bit out of the loop for a brand name computer. A friend wants me to 'order' for him. I've offered to build one, but he seems to prefer manufactured...something with an online configurator with options that can be chosen. He has gone with Dell in the past, but is "over them" now.

Any quality manufacturers out there? He has money, but doesn't want to spend a bundle.

I'll likely give him a cost on building one, so while we're at it, any suggestions for a non-power-user motherboard & CPU? I just built one of these for some light chores around my office that I'm impressed with, but it just doesn't have enough USB and sata ports. Very responsive, though (a Gigabyte H81-D3 and a G3420 Pentium), and with the exception of the 'too few' usb ports, a decent performer (the 4 sata ports shouldn't be an issue for the average user).

Summary:
1. Reliable, reasonable computer brand (preferably with good tech and warranty support...)
2. Quality non power user board & CPU.

Thanks for any ideas :) .

Salt
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win7, Win8

Ztruker

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
I disagree (obviously :) ). An I3 is slow on the couple laptops I saw it on. An I5 would be okay but why when the I7 is not that much more? Also go with 64bit, not 32 bit.

I also disagree with the 4GB vs 16GB. Minimum should be 8GB (thus 64 bit for the OS).

Speed is addictive no matter what you do with your computer so get the best you can afford rather than decide 6 months or a year from now that you should have spent a bit more and got a better computer.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo IdeaCenter K450
    CPU
    Intel Quad Core i7-4770 @ 3.4Ghz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    16.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Integrated HD Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP h2207
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050@59Hz
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung EVO SATA-3 SSD;
    2TB Seagate ST2000DM001 SATA-2;
    1.5TB Seagate ST3150041AS SATA
    PSU
    500W
    Keyboard
    Wired USB
    Mouse
    Wired USB
    Internet Speed
    3GB Up, 30GB Down
    Browser
    SeaMonkey
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender; MBAM Pro
    Other Info
    UEFI/GPT
    PLDS DVD-RW DH16AERSH

msalton1

Member
Member
WHS: Thanks for the links. Your tutorial is pretty straight-forward, I'll also check out the Paragon Migrate...anyway I can save time these days is valuable - thanks.

Ztruker: This guy isn't a power user by any standard. He uses his system for web browsing, office applications, etc., so an i7 would be overkill for him. Thanks for your suggestions and the gigabit reminder. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win7, Win8

whs

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
I disagree (obviously :) ). An I3 is slow on the couple laptops I saw it on. An I5 would be okay but why when the I7 is not that much more? Also go with 64bit, not 32 bit.

I also disagree with the 4GB vs 16GB. Minimum should be 8GB (thus 64 bit for the OS).

Speed is addictive no matter what you do with your computer so get the best you can afford rather than decide 6 months or a year from now that you should have spent a bit more and got a better computer.

You have to adjust the recommendations to the needs of the user. You obviously missed the description of the intended use of the system.

I would also prefer an i7 (which I have) and 8GB of RAM (which I have). But I do a lot of video encoding and run virtual systems all the time. But in the case of this user, it would really be an overkill. I do, however, always recommend the use of a SSD. Here you get the best performance boost for the money.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Vista and Win7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    2xHP, 2xGateway, 1xDell, 1xSony
    Hard Drives
    5 SSDs and 12 HDs

pparks1

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
I build PC's and I strongly recommend Dell for those who want to buy a pre-built system.

I've always preferred Dells when buying prebuilt. In most cases, I find them easier to take apart and work on. On the flip side, I have found the worst experiences taking apart HPs to work on them. I've used numerous Acers and haven't had many issues.

I like the core i5 and 8gb of ram in most cases. Its a good in the middle compromise.

I usually use Asus, gigabtye, or MSI motherboards.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Self-Built in July 2009
    CPU
    Intel Q9550 2.83Ghz OC'd to 3.40Ghz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R rev. 1.1, F12 BIOS
    Memory
    8GB G.Skill PI DDR2-800, 4-4-4-12 timings
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA 1280MB Nvidia GeForce GTX570
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC899A 8 channel onboard audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    23" Acer x233H
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Intel X25-M 80GB Gen 2 SSD
    Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black, 32MB cache. WD1001FALS
    PSU
    Corsair 620HX modular
    Case
    Antec P182
    Cooling
    stock
    Keyboard
    ABS M1 Mechanical
    Mouse
    Logitech G9 Laser Mouse
    Internet Speed
    15/2 cable modem
    Other Info
    Windows and Linux enthusiast. Logitech G35 Headset.

whs

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
I build PC's and I strongly recommend Dell for those who want to buy a pre-built system.

I've always preferred Dells when buying prebuilt. In most cases, I find them easier to take apart and work on. On the flip side, I have found the worst experiences taking apart HPs to work on them. I've used numerous Acers and haven't had many issues.

I like the core i5 and 8gb of ram in most cases. Its a good in the middle compromise.

I usually use Asus, gigabtye, or MSI motherboards.

Hmm, I had the exact opposite experience. I upgraded my HP box with a new PSU, a GPU, a SSD plus 2 additional USB3 ports and found it very easy. I have 2 Dells and when I opened the boxes I was really amazed how difficult it was to even add a SSD. On the Inspiron 530 they don't even have disk bays and the XPS 8300 is so cramped inside that it is difficult to work on. Here is a picture of when I worked on my HP:


PICT0091.jpg
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Vista and Win7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    2xHP, 2xGateway, 1xDell, 1xSony
    Hard Drives
    5 SSDs and 12 HDs

msalton1

Member
Member
Thanks to all for your input. I wound up ordering the Dell XPS 8700. I actually favored the HP, but there were few factors that swayed me toward the Dell.
One was customer support. Yes, they're all pretty pitiful, but there are degrees of pitiful. The fact that HP only offers chat support as the first contact was an issue. Then there was the fact that Dell support was able to handily answer my pre-sales questions (once I got past the "receptionist"), while HP's chat person had to run off no less than 3 times to find out if there was a contact ph# for tech support. Enough said about that.

Other factors were that although the Dell was priced higher (due to a dedicated video card and a cpu with a bit higher clock speed), I was able to obtain discounts that allowed me to snag my friend a U2412m monitor that wound up costing him about $170. Dell was asking $367, but I know firsthand it can be bought elsewhere for around $289. He also got a $100 Dell Promo egift card out of the deal.

So all in all, great price for a decent little system that will more than meet his needs. I throw an SSD in for the system drive and it should thrill him to death. Aside from being a good friend, he's also a business client, soo it's a win-win.

Again, thanks for the opinions and asserrtions. They were a great help. --Thanks!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win7, Win8

pparks1

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
Hmm, I had the exact opposite experience. I upgraded my HP box with a new PSU, a GPU, a SSD plus 2 additional USB3 ports and found it very easy. I have 2 Dells and when I opened the boxes I was really amazed how difficult it was to even add a SSD. On the Inspiron 530 they don't even have disk bays and the XPS 8300 is so cramped inside that it is difficult to work on.
Well, my experience is mostly with laptops. For example, on the Dell Latitudes, it seems like the CPU fan is right on top and easy to get to and clen out. But on the HP's, its been under the mobo and you have to tear the whole thing apart. Maybe with desktops its much different.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Self-Built in July 2009
    CPU
    Intel Q9550 2.83Ghz OC'd to 3.40Ghz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R rev. 1.1, F12 BIOS
    Memory
    8GB G.Skill PI DDR2-800, 4-4-4-12 timings
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA 1280MB Nvidia GeForce GTX570
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC899A 8 channel onboard audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    23" Acer x233H
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Intel X25-M 80GB Gen 2 SSD
    Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black, 32MB cache. WD1001FALS
    PSU
    Corsair 620HX modular
    Case
    Antec P182
    Cooling
    stock
    Keyboard
    ABS M1 Mechanical
    Mouse
    Logitech G9 Laser Mouse
    Internet Speed
    15/2 cable modem
    Other Info
    Windows and Linux enthusiast. Logitech G35 Headset.

z31fanatic

New Member
Thanks to all for your input. I wound up ordering the Dell XPS 8700. I actually favored the HP, but there were few factors that swayed me toward the Dell.
One was customer support. Yes, they're all pretty pitiful, but there are degrees of pitiful. The fact that HP only offers chat support as the first contact was an issue. Then there was the fact that Dell support was able to handily answer my pre-sales questions (once I got past the "receptionist"), while HP's chat person had to run off no less than 3 times to find out if there was a contact ph# for tech support. Enough said about that.

Other factors were that although the Dell was priced higher (due to a dedicated video card and a cpu with a bit higher clock speed), I was able to obtain discounts that allowed me to snag my friend a U2412m monitor that wound up costing him about $170. Dell was asking $367, but I know firsthand it can be bought elsewhere for around $289. He also got a $100 Dell Promo egift card out of the deal.

So all in all, great price for a decent little system that will more than meet his needs. I throw an SSD in for the system drive and it should thrill him to death. Aside from being a good friend, he's also a business client, soo it's a win-win.

Again, thanks for the opinions and asserrtions. They were a great help. --Thanks!
Good choice. I've always had good experiences with Dell desktops. Also love Latitudes and Lenovo Thinkpad laptops.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell E6410
    CPU
    Core i7 M560
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia NVS3100
    Hard Drives
    120 GB SSD

CuriousOne

New Member
Member
Avoid Toshiba laptops. The hinges fail early. I've recently had 3 and know.

No matter the brand, laptop hinges are a weak point because of the cheap plastic used in cases today, but Toshiba is the worst, sometimes failing in the store before purchase. (and warranty does not cover "plastic parts").

HP seems more dependable than most.
 

My Computer

whs

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
I just had 2 HPs fail because the capacitors on the mobo were bleeding. That may have been a rare case but it does not inspire confidence. I have only one 4 year old Toshiba but that one is OK. My best laptops are the old Gateways. But I don't know how they are since Acer bought Gateway. For desktops I am a Dell only shop. No problems there. With the XPS series you get a 2 year warranty.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Vista and Win7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    2xHP, 2xGateway, 1xDell, 1xSony
    Hard Drives
    5 SSDs and 12 HDs

msalton1

Member
Member
I have a 2008 toshiba laptop that has served me well. No hinge issues (that seems to be later years...). I agree that they seem to consistently have issues with hinges, though. The hinges themselves are metal, but they screw into plastic mounts. Common sense does not rule the day.

Glad to hear about the Dell, whs. My friend will be happy too, I think. I've built my own systems since the mid 90s, but it's not always practical to do so for others. I'm not so sure I could do it as cheap as buy it these days anyway. Good to hear about the warranty too. Didn't notice that when I ordered it. Sorry to hear about your hp fails.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win7, Win8

whs

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
The HP laptop had a heat problem. It got better after I had replaced the HDD with a SSD, but it was still pretty hot. Maybe that's what got to the capacitors. On my HP desktop I have no idea. That was a 'cool' box. But they were both from 2008 and had served well for 7 years. Only one of my Gateways is older and that is still working.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Vista and Win7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    2xHP, 2xGateway, 1xDell, 1xSony
    Hard Drives
    5 SSDs and 12 HDs

msalton1

Member
Member
My Toshiba doesn't get used everyday/all day, but it gets pretty hot. I just woke it up from sleep and speccy shows 106/96f (mb/cpu). After a few minutes, it's 123/112. The other day I used it to create and image from a desktop (I just plugged the desktop's HD into the Tosh's esata port). It was blowing some pretty hot exhaust. I'll have to take it apart to see if dust is an issue.

Between technolgy advancements and cheap prices, computers are almost disposable these days.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win7, Win8

whs

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
Between technolgy advancements and cheap prices, computers are almost disposable these days.

Absolutely. I bought the laptop on the picture and it works really well. That is my travel pet now. It weighs only 2 pounds.


2014-11-29_2139.png
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Vista and Win7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    2xHP, 2xGateway, 1xDell, 1xSony
    Hard Drives
    5 SSDs and 12 HDs

Jesse Williams

Member
Member
Another problem with some of the older Toshiba laptops is that the 2 buttons for the mouse touch pad tend to mess up easily, and it causes them to get stuck. That's why it's best to use a wireless mouse. I've experienced that on 2 older Toshiba laptops that I've done work on.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 64-bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire X (AXC-603-UW12)
    CPU
    Intel Celeron J1850 @ 1.99GHz
    Motherboard
    Acer Aspire XC-603G (SOCKET 0)
    Memory
    4.00GB DDR3 @ 551MHz (9-7-7-14)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics (Acer Incorporated [ALI])
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer S200HQL
    Screen Resolution
    (1600x900@60Hz)
    Keyboard
    Acer Wired Keyboard
    Mouse
    Acer USB Optical Mouse
    Internet Speed
    High Speed Internet
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

whs

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
Between technolgy advancements and cheap prices, computers are almost disposable these days.

Yes, but reinstalling programs, moving data, and customizing the interface makes me hate moving to a new pc.
Nah, that's nothing and you can always learn something in the process. To setup a new PC takes 3 hours of work. But most of the time is spent updating the OS and the programs.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Vista and Win7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    2xHP, 2xGateway, 1xDell, 1xSony
    Hard Drives
    5 SSDs and 12 HDs

msalton1

Member
Member
I've had this system for a few days and am about done with the setup...removed most of the junkware too, including the dell junk. Surprisingly, there wasn't as much as there used to be. That said, what's the prevailing opinion on:

1. Dell Backup and Recovery (an average user knowledge-wise...uses Mozy for data to cloud backups. I've already created teh Factory Restore Disk Set...any usefulness for the novice beyond that?)
2. Dell Data Services (not sure what this is for or if it's essential)
3. Dell Update (I guess only if I leave the other Dell programs installed)
4. My Dell (PC Doctor, inc)
5. My Dell Client Framework
6. And then there's Dell Product Registration (I know he doesn't have to register, but do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?)

Thanks.

BTW, cleaned up and with a 240GB SSD (had 120GB in, but after app installs, down to 25GB free space, so I cloned it to a 240, giving him room to install other programs later without eating all his space), this machine kicks. I'm impressed.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win7, Win8
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