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(Post Link) post #1 of 22 Old 12-08-14 Thread Starter
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Desktop PC advice

Hi all.
Need to replace my steam powered PC, im looking for a good all rounder.
We use ours for web surfing, some letter writing stuff, looking at pics and a bit of gaming.
( nothing too fantastic ).
I have 300 spare to buy a new tower.
Whats the best out there ?
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Are you wedded to the idea of tower, Davey?
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(Post Link) post #3 of 22 Old 12-08-14 Thread Starter
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Yes beloved wants a place of work.
We already have laptops and tablets that the not so small one and i use.
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understood matey
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Anything other than AMD..that is all
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Take a look here:

Custom Built Gaming PC Specialist, Cheap PC Builder in UK

We bought our desktop from them in September 2008; can't fault it.

Their customer service is excellent as is the product quality - they use only branded components from the better manufacturers & will build exactly what you want.
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I'm in much the same position as alfacool with pretty much the same requirements except I don't need gaming capabilities.

Had a play with next doors PC which has W8 and tbh I'm not that keen on it. Consequently I've been thinking about a Mac. A quick trawl on eBay reveals that an old Mac, circa 2005 ish, supposedly in good nick, can be had for about 200, which sounds tempting. Having talked to a few people I get vastly different opinions, from" go for it, just what you need " to " old Macs are a pile of poo, don't touch it with a barge pole. "

I also have concerns that my old files and things done on a Windows PC won't run very well if all at all on a Mac.

All of this leaves me even more confused than usual.

So I too would welcome your thoughts and I hope that by posting this I'm not hijacking alfacool's Thread, just adding another perspective perhaps.



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(Post Link) post #8 of 22 Old 13-08-14 Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Take a look here:

Custom Built Gaming PC Specialist, Cheap PC Builder in UK

We bought our desktop from them in September 2008; can't fault it.

Their customer service is excellent as is the product quality - they use only branded components from the better manufacturers & will build exactly what you want.
Thanks Dave, did they come with an OS already in?
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I generally buy my bits from Computer Hardware - Scan.co.uk as I get good aftersales support as well as good prices. They do their own 3XS systems alongside the barebones ones but they may not be in budget. I used to be pro-AMD (if only because I was anti-Intel) and they were much better value, but I'd generally avoid Celerons. If money stretches, I'd look at a Core i5 as an all-rounder but a decent i3 would do the trick if not gaming at all.

Having a quick look, Scan 3XS systems systems start between 2 and 3 hundred and can be configured with Windows 7 (though I still prefer 8 overall now).

This may do as a starting point.

Last edited by AmicusPro; 13-08-14 at 12:15.
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I also have concerns that my old files and things done on a Windows PC won't run very well if all at all on a Mac.
I cant comment on the advisability or otherwise of buying a 9 year old Mac - but I did switch from PC to Mac about 5 years ago and before I ditched my PC I purchased a USB connectable external Seagate hard drive and copied all my PC files onto it.

I just plugged it into the PC, copied everything from my folders into a new structure on the drive and then unplugged it.

More in hope then expectation - I then plugged it into the Mac and - lo and behold - and through magic I don't understand or care about - all files were visible and normal in the Mac Finder. I had the Mac version of Office on my Mac and all Excel, Word and Powerpoint files opened up like normal.

Even now - 5 years later - and after several Mac OS upgrades - I still have occasion to go into that external drive and retrieve a file that was from my old PC.

I didn't use any dodgy tools, utilities or shareware downloads.

PS - I have had to add extra memory to my iMac since I purchased it around 2009 to handle the various Mac OS upgrades so anything from 2005 will need more memory I expect so make sure you buy one with enough free slots underneath to add some chips.
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Thanks Dave, did they come with an OS already in?
A quick look at their website shows that some do, some don't.

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Originally Posted by AmicusPro View Post
I used to be pro-AMD (if only because I was anti-Intel) and they were much better value, but I'd generally avoid Celerons.
Same here, although when it came to buying a netbook I went for an AMD E450. . . Intel Atom? No thanks!
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Same here, although when it came to buying a netbook I went for an AMD E450. . . Intel Atom? No thanks!
An Atom will never ever cook itself though very slow yes and an old Centrino is faster but reliable.

This cant be said for those tiny AMD chips which cook themselves very easily.
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Some of that can also be down to the laptop's design. As most are generally used on laps, there's a surprising lack of fans on the rear or side of some laptops - vents on the underside are all well and good but I do think it's an area that hasn't seen enough development.
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I could bore everyone to death with this subject haha.

Manufacturers know how to do it, just look at all the old IBM and Toshiba laptops still going strong and the business type laptops which get hammered the hell out of all day every day. They choose not to on retail laptops due to laziness/cost/built in obsolescence etc. They want them to fail basically.

Anyway this is about desktops so will shut up
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My six yr old dell lappy has just gone in a puff of smoke. Overheating (particularly after upgrade to 14.04 LTS Ubuntu)

Last week I popped a cd in to burn, which was clearly just tempting providence.

Sorry - off topic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredDibnah View Post
I cant comment on the advisability or otherwise of buying a 9 year old Mac - but I did switch from PC to Mac about 5 years ago and before I ditched my PC I purchased a USB connectable external Seagate hard drive and copied all my PC files onto it.

I just plugged it into the PC, copied everything from my folders into a new structure on the drive and then unplugged it.

More in hope then expectation - I then plugged it into the Mac and - lo and behold - and through magic I don't understand or care about - all files were visible and normal in the Mac Finder. I had the Mac version of Office on my Mac and all Excel, Word and Powerpoint files opened up like normal.

Even now - 5 years later - and after several Mac OS upgrades - I still have occasion to go into that external drive and retrieve a file that was from my old PC.

I didn't use any dodgy tools, utilities or shareware downloads.

PS - I have had to add extra memory to my iMac since I purchased it around 2009 to handle the various Mac OS upgrades so anything from 2005 will need more memory I expect so make sure you buy one with enough free slots underneath to add some chips.

Thanks Fred, very helpful. I already have an external drive with everything backed up on there yesterday, I was getting worried as the Monitor is now very slow to come on and I'm now concerned that it could die anytime....... Don't know if this problem is the Monitor or the PC.

Looks like a Mac could be the way forward for me, getting fed up with the constant changes and " improvements " that are forced on to PC owners.

Last time I used a Mac was when I was working in Oman, wasn't too keen at the time but I'm changing my mind now ! Hope you are enjoying your spell out there. I mostly enjoyed my six years in the Gulf but eventually I was getting bored and in the end I was pleased to leave and come back to the real world.
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First rule of technology: No matter what you choose, there will be constant changes and "improvements".

I can't think of many more forced on PC owners as on Mac owners - there will come a point where Apple don't support certain things on older OS versions but it just won't make the same headlines.

I used Macs at uni in the mid to late 90s and preferred them at the time (I had my Amiga which covered everything I needed off-campus) but PCs work better for me. Still, I say this with mobile phones - all the major ones generally do what most people need, and the main difference is the interface. It's often down to personal preference and I read something as a wise reminder yesterday - very few minds are changed by on-line "arguments" even though recommendations will help sway the undecided.
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First rule of technology: No matter what you choose, there will be constant changes and "improvements".

I can't think of many more forced on PC owners as on Mac owners - there will come a point where Apple don't support certain things on older OS versions but it just won't make the same headlines.

I used Macs at uni in the mid to late 90s and preferred them at the time (I had my Amiga which covered everything I needed off-campus) but PCs work better for me. Still, I say this with mobile phones - all the major ones generally do what most people need, and the main difference is the interface. It's often down to personal preference and I read something as a wise reminder yesterday - very few minds are changed by on-line "arguments" even though recommendations will help sway the undecided.

All very true.

I suppose that what's making me think again is W8, and, without getting into an argument about the pros and cons, I don't much like it, although I strongly suspect that once/if I started using it I would very soon adapt.

I get very frustrated having to constantly learn new things and change my Hardware just to write a letter and do other basic things. For Instance I struggled this morning to edit a Word On Line doc from my son. What I intended to do was Copy and Paste into the Word program on my PC and then do what I had to do and then send it back to him. Of course I couldn't do this as my Word program is too old so it wouldn't allow me to do this, at a quick look I could only do this line by line and so lose all the formatting. Talk about a blast from the past, had to revert to telecon telling him what to change orally. Remember doing things like this back in the dark ages of the last century..... !

Had an e Mail from Skype yesterday saying that this application on my Tablet was stopping very soon as I'm on Android 2.2 and they are stopping support on this. The Tablet is less than two years old... , again. So either a new Tablet or spend time faffing about to see if I can update the Tablet.

It's all too much for me, I'm just a simple soul who would like to lead a simple life without constant change, I s'pose I'm asking too much.
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Last time I used a Mac was when I was working in Oman, wasn't too keen at the time but I'm changing my mind now ! Hope you are enjoying your spell out there. I mostly enjoyed my six years in the Gulf but eventually I was getting bored and in the end I was pleased to leave and come back to the real world.


Did a week in Oman last October for Eid. Seemed very nice.

UAE is enjoyable in that it is sunny, tax free and not quite as manic as London, but...

.... it is not the most exciting place in the world, "sunny" is fine for 9/12ths of the year but July/Aug/Sept is too hot, and even after "only" a year I must say I am missing lots of aspects of the UK.

I wont make 6 years. At my age (51) I am planning on 2 more here and then that's my lot. At 53 I'm happy to step down from the front line and enjoy my kids growing up back in the UK.
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Might sound strange to some but constant sunshine wore me down, used to look forward to the rain, not that we got very much !

As you say I found August very bad, very hot and very high humidity.

You know when it's time to leave but enjoy it while you are there. A lot of people spend years and years in Oman so it can't be all bad although one friend who was a bit of a cynic claimed that the best sight to see in Oman was the Departure Lounge at Seeb International !
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As mentioned by others, can't go far wrong with an i5 or an i3. (I would always go for the highest spec processor you can)


As for an old mac, I wouldn't. 3 or 4 years maybe, but a mac that is 200 has had it. Yes they are built better but anything that old will be subject to wear and tear.

Easily get an i5 made for around 330 or an Mac mini can be had at 499 if you want to stretch your budget.
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As mentioned by others, can't go far wrong with an i5 or an i3. (I would always go for the highest spec processor you can)


As for an old mac, I wouldn't. 3 or 4 years maybe, but a mac that is 200 has had it. Yes they are built better but anything that old will be subject to wear and tear.

Easily get an i5 made for around 330 or an Mac mini can be had at 499 if you want to stretch your budget.
Thanks for your thoughts. I'm still mulling things over.
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