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(Post Link) post #1 of 23 Old 18-03-13 Thread Starter
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Recommend me a good basic desktop PC.

My current home PC is getting on a bit, and has recently started playing up so I think it is about time that I bought a new one.

I don't do gaming so I would be looking for something pretty basic, 500GB Hard drive, Windows 8 and at least 4GB RAM would be sufficient.

I also already have a dedent monitor, keyboard, mouse etc so it is just the main unit I will be after.

My current PC is a DELL and it has served me well, so I have been looking at the DELL Inspiron 660s on the DELL website and that did appear to fit the bill for only £279

However I know there must be other alternatives, so some recommendations would be appreciated.

Many Thanks.
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I can't recommend a particular PC, but I can recommend a supplier:

Arbico Computers | Custom Gaming PC Specialist - Custom PC Builder UK
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does it really need to be windows 8?
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if youve got the balls (joking) and the time -- you could probably shave £100 off that bill by building it yourself.

i've built a few pc's for myself and my kids.

as long as you know what the computer is for, its easy to find the bits to build a decent one at half the price of a shop bought one

here's a couple of links for components shops

http://www.scan.co.uk/
http://www.aria.co.uk/

if you need any help, just shout up



ps: your requirements suggest you could have a mini pc, rather than a full tower...

Last edited by stan laurel; 18-03-13 at 12:42.
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(Post Link) post #5 of 23 Old 18-03-13 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan laurel View Post
does it really need to be windows 8?
Well not really, but I certainly don't want Windows Vista.

I was looking to spend around the £300 mark.

The build it yourself route does look tempting, but I don't know too much about doing it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by symon View Post
Well not really, but I certainly don't want Windows Vista.

I was looking to spend around the £300 mark.

The build it yourself route does look tempting, but I don't know too much about doing it.
i havent looked recently, but you might be able to get a better deal on windows 7 for your OS, which would save some money....or you could try linux, which is free!.

building your pc is daunting for the first time, but it really isn't that bad - as long as you take your time...there are plenty of online guides, magazine guides and,of course, advice from here if you need it !

it's worth a try, and you will probably end with a better system for half the price you were going to pay for the shop bought system
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some quick tips :

(you already know the basic specs, so....)

1: how big a case?
2: choose a motherboard that fits inside the case
3: decide if you need any other cards, like a wireless/tv card, or a card reader, etc
4: any extra hard drives? (an ssd will make it boot up lots faster)
5: will it all fit in the case?

example 1 :http://www.scan.co.uk/products/zotac...ard-reader-gbe

example 2: http://www.aria.co.uk/Systems/Home+a...ished+Systems/

example 3 :http://3xs.scan.co.uk/ShowSystem.asp?SystemID=1414

all of these examples can be home built, cheaper, with the same specs or better.

Last edited by stan laurel; 18-03-13 at 13:42.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by symon View Post
Well not really, but I certainly don't want Windows Vista.

I was looking to spend around the £300 mark.

The build it yourself route does look tempting, but I don't know too much about doing it.
Get Windows XP. I've just bought a pretty high end laptop for gaming & Internet use, and even with Windows XP it does everything I need it to. Its a very lightweight operating system in comparison to the newer ones. Easy to diagnose & fix if it goes wrong. Its cheap as chips these days too. And of course, you can always upgrade later if you feel the need.

Also try and find one with an SSD for the essentials, it makes it so much quicker.
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(Post Link) post #9 of 23 Old 18-03-13 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help guys.

Dan, I have looked for one with XP as that is what I am running now, but I haven't managed to find any.
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Symon, I'd find a refurbished box running Windows 7, europc have been around a long time and deal with refurbed direct from the manufacturer units with quite a bit of money off.

Don't go for XP because after April 2014 there will be no more support for the OS, no more security updates, so over time as more and more security holes are found they will not be closed by Microsoft.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by symon View Post
Thanks for the help guys.

Dan, I have looked for one with XP as that is what I am running now, but I haven't managed to find any.
You won't find any new PCs with XP as Microsoft won't allow companies to sell it. Businesses with certain licence agreements can get one with Win 8 and then remove Win 8 and put XP on. A lot of businesses are looking to move off XP as the extended support available to companies ends on April 8th next year. This also means that security updates and patches should stop.

I wouldn't recommend XP and SSDs as XP doesn't fully support all the capabilities of an SSD, something called Trim, although there are software packages to get round it. You may also find the XP installation a problem unless you have a little knowledge of drivers and how to add them at setup, if your new hardware still supports XP and you can get drivers.

If I were you I'd stick to Win 7 or 8. There is something to be said for buying a complete box as margins are so tight it often only works out cheaper if you buy parts in bulk. I build my own with quality components so I know what goes in them, but I often think this is more expensive.

A Windows 7 oem licence from somebody like Scan is £70. That only leaves £200 for memory, processor, case, psu, hard drive, Blu ray and system board with on board graphics. It doesn't take into account other things like better graphics and a possible tv adapter.
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Me-barge pole- Windows8

Windows7 is quite good, but I've decided that any MS OS with an 8 in it should be avoided. Does anyone else here remember 98?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostyDog View Post
Symon, I'd find a refurbished box running Windows 7, europc have been around a long time and deal with refurbed direct from the manufacturer units with quite a bit of money off.

Don't go for XP because after April 2014 there will be no more support for the OS, no more security updates, so over time as more and more security holes are found they will not be closed by Microsoft.
Thanks Ghosty, I shall take a good look through that site. I have no problems with refurbished stuff as I have had some excellent bargains in the past.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuart1714 View Post
You won't find any new PCs with XP as Microsoft won't allow companies to sell it. Businesses with certain licence agreements can get one with Win 8 and then remove Win 8 and put XP on. A lot of businesses are looking to move off XP as the extended support available to companies ends on April 8th next year. This also means that security updates and patches should stop.

I wouldn't recommend XP and SSDs as XP doesn't fully support all the capabilities of an SSD, something called Trim, although there are software packages to get round it. You may also find the XP installation a problem unless you have a little knowledge of drivers and how to add them at setup, if your new hardware still supports XP and you can get drivers.

If I were you I'd stick to Win 7 or 8. There is something to be said for buying a complete box as margins are so tight it often only works out cheaper if you buy parts in bulk. I build my own with quality components so I know what goes in them, but I often think this is more expensive.

A Windows 7 oem licence from somebody like Scan is £70. That only leaves £200 for memory, processor, case, psu, hard drive, Blu ray and system board with on board graphics. It doesn't take into account other things like better graphics and a possible tv adapter.
A complete box is also a lot less hassle, especially for a computer illeterate like me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WTFH View Post
Me-barge pole- Windows8

Windows7 is quite good, but I've decided that any MS OS with an 8 in it should be avoided. Does anyone else here remember 98?

My first PC was Windows 98 and I thought it was ok, but then I had nothing to compare it to.
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I think I'll be joining you, I've fired my old PC up that has lightroom and all my photos on it for the first time in about 2 months, and it's still booting up after about 20 minutes.

It's just not up to the task anymore

What to replace it with though?
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(Post Link) post #16 of 23 Old 18-03-13 Thread Starter
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From what I have seen today for any given price point they are much of a muchness.

So you just buy on what you need and how much you want to spend.

The one I am on now is a Dell Dimension 3100 which was bought for £250 back in early 2006, and it came with a 15" TFT monitor which was replaced ages ago.

It has been totally reliable until the last week despite getting hours of use every day.

The thing is it has started failing to boot properly on occasion, is slow and only has 80GB of hard drive.
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I needed a new computer pretty quick and I got a Dell, my third - they're excellent. Because I needed it fast I got an off-the-shelf one which was delivered within 2 days but came with Windows 8 - which I detest!

But Ghosty and a few others have helped me with making it more like Windows 7 .

If you're not in a rush you can buy a Windows 7 Dell, delivery may be a week-10 days or something.
 
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I've never bought one but zoostorm machines get good reviews. You can buy either a cheap built tower workout an operating system and stick whatever you want on it or they have ones with windows installed

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B006...sr=1-3&pi=SL75
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(Post Link) post #19 of 23 Old 20-03-13 Thread Starter
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That does look like very good value I must admit.

Very tempting.

They come with no operating system though, by the time I have bought Windows 7 or Windows 8 it comes in more than the Dell 660s

The Dell 660s also has a larger hard drive and better processor.

With a 10% discount which I can get the Dell comes in at £251 all in.
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Fair enough, they do have ones that have windows 7/8 installed but the difference is about the same as buying an oem copy and putting it on yourself.

Majority of the time there isn't much difference in desktops and you have the advantage of upgrading later. Ultimately it's up to you and your wallet to reach an agreement.
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Zoostorm Desktop PC - Desktops | Ebuyer.com

£30 above your prive range but well better specced to what you were after.

Windows 8 is quick, get rid of the metro rubbish and you have an improved W7
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So... Did you get one?
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(Post Link) post #23 of 23 Old 31-03-13 Thread Starter
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The Dell dimension 660s is being delivered on Tuesday.

I managed to wangle a discount off of the list price which swung it a bit for me.
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