>Off the Beaten Path>New Desktop Computer, v.July2013
I'm banging my head against the case of my 11-year-old Dell Dimension 2400 (described in a PC Magazine review as sporting a "spacious" 80GB hard drive and a whopping 1GB of RAM). It's limping badly with modern software -- just running Chrome and Thunderbird is causing frequent stalls.
Looking to replace it with another DESKTOP (I've got an iPad for being sloppy while online, so don't give me that "laptops uber alles!" stuff). I want Core i7, capability for 32GB RAM (but I can upgrade, if the unit actually comes with only 4GB or so), and the ability to install my own graphics card. Budget is $800-$1400. Ish.
Recommendations on brands/models?
“Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman
It seems to me they're all much of a muchness nowadays. Get the hardware you want, and you can expect equally lousy service from all vendors and manufacturers, as far as I can tell. Am I helpful?
Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.
If you're geeky enough to want a desktop in 2013 shouldn't you also be beyond asking for recommendations on a running message board?
I don't know, I'm just askin'.
Prince of Fatness
What are you looking to run on it?
I used to be a Dell guy but they don't seem to be as good as they were in the past. If it were me I would try to catch something on sale, or something that would have free upgrades, etc. The caveat there is if you go with closeout type stuff on the cheap the thing will be obsolete by the time you hook it up at home.
Also get the fastest hard drive that you can afford, even if it is smaller. I find that this makes a big difference. You can always get an external hard drive at a decent price if you need more storage.
Another option is to go over to the dark side and get a laptop.
Build a server from a barebones shell. You can keep adding disks, memory, later. Will not have video/sound cards, or TV cards (you can add them later), but the machine itself can be configured as a file server, a media server or just plain office computer, or a combination of any of these with the OS of your choice. Start at around $800 (for the shell, 1 TB disk, 16 GB RAM, keyboard, mouse assuming you have a monitor already, but those are fairly cheap too), and Linux OS, if you want windows add another $150 and then you can keep spending $ 100 every other month as you please on that thing whenever you have some extra cash burning a hole in your pocket
I'm not a programmer, graphics editor/creator, or hardcore gamer. Intended uses:
I've got a 24" monitor, a sturdy keyboard, and a Kensington Expert Mouse (yeah, I'm the one guy on Earth who still uses 'em).
Led -- you no help. You go 'way.
Finn -- bummer about Dell quality going down. My relic has been ultra-reliable, but I hit its upgradability limits long ago.
mikey -- I was thinking I was a Luddite, demanding a clumsy, ponderous desktop. Have you seen those MacBook pros? Sexy!
happyfeet -- I've poked around Newegg's combos and DIY stuff, but then my head starts spinning. Plus, I do like the way things seem to be already integrated and compatible in the store-bought machines. I'm worried I'll Frankenstein up something with internal conflicts galore.
I would +1 happyfeet's advice to DIY if I were going to offer any advice, but I'm not going to offer that advice, so I won't say anything...except what I just said.
If you are ok with no support, I can build it for you. For what you said you need it for, 2 disk drives mirrored for data, a SSD boot drive, 8 GB RAM, with a dedicated video card, maybe a wireless card and windows 7 or 8 should be Good. Those standard machines have too much crap preinstalled. With office should come to about $1000-1100.
Crapware on any bought PC is a huge problem.
Depending on how heavy Clive is into gaming, you can drop a little money on a motherboard with really good integrated graphics, and bump up the RAM. Building systems is actually kinda fun, especially when everything works.
+1 on a SSD of some sort. Greatly reduces boot times.
The process is the goal.
Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.
Those standard machines have too much crap preinstalled.
+1. Pisses me off all of the crap that is preinstalled even when I don't ask for anything. A bunch of eval copies of stuff.
This helps with that problem. http://pcdecrapifier.com/
Have you considered this new offering?
+1 on build your own. here's all you need to know. the anand forums are excellent, and I used them to build my own system 5 yrs ago. (yes, I'm also overdue for an upgrade, which is why I've been shopping).
imho, the i7 is overkill and not worth the buy-up, i'd stick with the i5-4670k (you dont need the "k" version and can save a few more bucks if you dont want to play with overclocking). also, I really think more than 8GB ram is wasted if youre not doing media editing. only other geek tip is DEFINITELY get a 120GB (or more) solid state drive (SSD) for Windows, office, games and other key programs. Its the biggest bang for buck speed improvement you'll get nowadays.
heres a few systems I'd consider myself...my advice is to keep the stock graphics card and spend the cash on an SSD:
cyberpower (not the latest gen intel processor, but the big difference is integrated graphics and a few watts of power draw, not much performance differenc)
ibuypower (I like these specs better but think the case is ugly)
finally, if you prefer to buy from brick/mortar, this looks like a decent option from best buy. has a last gen i7, but not much difference and comes with an SSD already installed.
good luck, i'll be curious to see what you get as i'll be upgrading this fall/winter.
Not dead. Yet.
At first I thought you were dissing the new Mac Pro. See below. Maybe you were...it really looks similar to that trash can!
Seriously, though...get an iMac or a Mac Mini.
Have you considered this new offering?
How can we know our limits if we don't test them?