Suggestions for desktop computer?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Melakon, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I don't like buying used goods, especially when it comes to electronics. It's bad enough that I'm having to buy used videos and buying my clothes at Goodwill. The only exceptions I make are for old books, knick-knacks, and automobiles, though I'll never own a car again.
     
  2. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I highly recommend www.walmart.com

    It is one of the best kept secrets in computing. A huge plus for me is that they let you buy the same extended warranty on their refurbished units as on their new computers. With free shipping or in-store pick up, I believe they are a good deal for desktops or laptops... especially when you are on a budget.
     
  3. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    There is a Wal-Mart up at the nearby mall, but I've not been in there in several years (Target is a few blocks closer for me since I have to walk a greater distance for Wal-Mart, and walking can get difficult for me). I may have to locate a model that I like, and then see if they have it up there.
     
  4. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You won't find the refurbished computers at your local WalMart. Those are strictly online. However, with free shipping to your door, it could be just what you need. The specs are in the product description.
     
  5. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    I'm going to speak up in defense of refurb, for a moment. Having repaired thousands upon thousands of computers for a major computer company (Dell, if you're curious), I can say with complete sincerity that a refurbished system will more than likely last much longer than its "new" counterpart.

    Aside from building my own PC, and my current PC which I bought for college 4 years ago, I purchase refurb. It lasts longer, its issues have already been ironed out, and you can get it cheaper than new.
     
  6. Saito S

    Saito S Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^ Yep. Proper refurbs, i.e. by the actual manufacturers or another outfit that's reputable, is often a good bet. My experience hasn't been that they are necessarily better than a new product, but certainly, on the whole, just as good.

    Just make sure it IS in fact refurbed by someone reputable. Not computers per se, but related: back when I worked at GameStop, we had "refurbished" consoles, that were really just used consoles that we'd send back to corporate for a few days, before they'd send em out to another store marked Refurb, with about a 25% chance that anything was actually DONE to the console to address whatever issues it might have had.

    I wouldn't buy a straight-up used PC, personally.

    Anyway, I also recommend a custom build if it's possible. You get to pick exactly what you want and pay less for comparable performance vs. a prebuilt (barring a sale). If you don't feel up to building it on your own and don't have any computer geek friends to assist, I've heard there are computer repair shops who will build a system for you. I've never used one, however, so I can't speak to the availability, price, or reliability of such a service.

    I do have to disagree with Sector 7 on WalMart, not for any reason of the shopping experience you're likely to have or anything like that, but simply because it's WalMart. Don't give them your money, they're a horrible company that treats their employees like dirt.

    That said, they do usually offer pretty competitive prices on a variety of products, so if your budget is super tight, I'd understand if you just felt you had to take advantage of a deal you saw there. But avoid them if you can.

    Re: Windows 8 - to anyone saying "you don't even need to get rid of the Metro/start screen/etc once you get used to it", that may be true for YOU, but some people just don't like it. And it also depends on what you want to do with your computer. Myself, I have zero interest or need in any app that runs only in the Metro UI. I want a computer that I can use in the same way I used my Win7 computer, and with many of the same programs. And as to RobertVA's point about the ease of swiping over on the left - it may not be hard, exactly, but it can be less convenient - I'm a keyboard shortcut guy, I use them to navigate around my open programs FAR more often than I use the mouse to do the same, so it definitely is a bit of a bother. And it's not just about "how hard is it to swipe in from the left", really, it's more about the fact that there's absolutely no good reason why we should have to adjust to doing that after well over a decade of doing it a different way. It's change for the sake of change - the traditional ways of sorting open programs work just fine, there's no reason to suddenly make it so SOME of your programs must use a different method. And that's also indicative of another issue with Win8 - "some." Shoehorning two UIs into one OS is just a bad idea anyway, regardless of how good each UI might be individually.

    Thankfully, it really isn't hard to get all the metro and swiping start screen junk to just go away and not come back unless you WANT it to come back. As far as I know, for basic functions like watching videos, writing docs, etc. there are NO Metro programs that don't have an equivalent (usually better) desktop program equivalent. Third-party programs like Pokki offer a good, customizable option to turn the start button back to a Win7 style start menu, and you can minimize your use of that "Charms" bar, too, with a bit of work.

    So I agree with the statement "With some time put into customizing it, Win8 can be made quite usable, you can basically make it into a Win7 variant." But I don't agree with the statement "You don't need to do that anyway if you just take the time to get used to the Metro/start screen stuff." That's entirely dependent on the person, some people simply do not - and never will - like using those aspects or get anything useful out of them.
     
  7. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    I agree, Saito, and I will add that in many cases, the computers places like Walmart gets are the ones that are thrown together. Dell, for example, sells primarily to businesses. The retail customer side is given less attention to detail, and lower priority. So keep that in mind when shopping in a retail store like Walmart. Now, I'm not saying those computers are bad, or will breakdown, just that they're not given the same careful attention as the business class, or the ones custom assembled through the website's online ordering process.

    Also, on a side note, stay away from Lexmark printers (owned by Dell) if you value spending less money on ink and repair parts. Trust me on this one.
     
  8. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Another alternative I've considered is there's a computer store near the mall that primarily deals with business customers, but I have used them from time to time in the past, as when I once bought an external drive caddy to hold the hard drive from an earlier machine. I've thought about approaching them to see what they offer for custom built machines, though it would undoubtedly cost more. But I trust them, because they've treated me just as if I was as important as a business.

    One reason I avoid Wal-Mart is I knew about them back around 1970, and how they would set up a store in a small town and drive the local businesses out of business (including my ex-wife's hometown). They used to be exclusively rural, but in the mid-70s they started getting closer to big cities. I really don't like going to them.
     
  9. clint g

    clint g Admiral Admiral

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    Yes there is. It sucks and its unwieldy. It's too complicated to perform tasks that were readily available in Windows 7. Above all, most store purchased laptops with Windows 8 feature those god awful gestures that just get in the way. Can you manipulate Windows 8 to be like Windows 7? Yes you can. But why on earth do that when you can just have Windows 7 installed in the first place?

    As for the topic, I would suggest checking out newegg.com. They're a reliable company and they're always offering deals on mid-range computers.
     
  10. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Windows 8 should have been marketed as a tablet OS alongside of 7, rather than some kind of replacement.

    It's more of a marketing blunder than a tech failure.
     
  11. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    You could also order direct through Dell, and get a really good deal, while having the company itself build your computer exactly as you want it.

    Agreed. I've said it before, but for a tablet, Windows 8 is very good. For a desktop? Not so much.
     
  12. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, I've heard about newegg for years, but have never bought from them. I may just have an aversion to buying on-line (I've only bought things from Amazon twice), possibly because I consider it like mail order, but mostly because I prefer seeing what I'm buying in person first.

    The machine that died on me was a gift a friend had purchased for me from newegg, and it served me well for 4 years until the hard drive crashed.
     
  13. clint g

    clint g Admiral Admiral

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    You can always browse in a store and purchase online. My experience is that you pay significantly less online than in a brick and mortar store.
     
  14. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I've bought some components from newegg and quite a lot from tigerdirect. These are 2 reputable online stores.

    I supposed there would be some hassle involved in returning an online purchase, but I haven't had any reason to return anything so far.
     
  15. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I buy regularly from www.newegg.com. In many years, only once did I have to return something... a DVD burner. Newegg made the return very simple and pain-free with an RMA, which they e-mailed for me to print and place on the package. I highly recommend them... enough to refer family and friends.

    Unlike many here, I use WalMart regularly. Sam Walton and my old roommate's dad were close friends. Also, my mother worked for Sam himself. Granted, WalMart is not the same now that his heirs are in charge, but I still shop there.
     
  16. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    ^ What I meant by "hassle" is the simple PITA of returning anything you bought online.

    Did newegg send you a return label at least?

    I've bought a few things from Best Buy when I wanted to see what I was buying beforehand. In this case, RAM. Sellers on ebay will claim RAM is compatible with certain laptaps and it might not be for whatever reason.
     
  17. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For RMA information, see my last post.

    www.crucial.com has always had accurate RAM information, in my experience. They have a simple download which reads your computer information, including: type of RAM, amount of RAM, maximum RAM capability (no sense adding 16GB RAM when your system will only handle 8GB total), etc. I have never had a system not read RAM using this software.
     
  18. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    The question about the return label was just curiosity. It's the mark of a good company when they make it easier to do a return by emailing you a shipping label.
     
  19. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What tasks are these?
     
  20. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Well, here it is nearly 3am, and I just had another thought--

    Windows is now giving me notices that updates will expire in a week, and I know I'm not going to be able to afford a desktop like I want anytime soon. But I still want to be able to get online for now, so maybe lowering my immediate goals is the better option.

    My monitor was purchased last fall. I also have a wireless keyboard purchased last year, and a wireless mouse. The primary goal for now is being able to get online. If I were to get an inexpensive laptop, would I be able to hook up those peripherals to it? Glancing at Office Max's site briefly, I saw a notebook/laptop advertised for less than $300, which I might be able to afford after April 3.

    Would that be possible? Then I could just wait and get a desktop like I want later, without feeling rushed about it and save up for it.

    I wanted to avoid a laptop due to the smaller screen and my diminishing eyesight, but since a lot of power isn't really necessary for online activity like this, and I still have this older machine I could use offline, maybe that's a workaround.

    Edit: Alternatively, since the machine with the dead hard drive just needs a new hard drive with Windows on it, maybe that would cost less in the long run.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014