Im thinking of buying a new PC. Im very interested in a new Dell or Gateway. I have seen them going for $499 and up. Which would you prefer? Home use only.
If all you are going to do is write letters and surf the internet then anyone of those $499 jammies will do.
If not then build your own.
I would avoid ALL low-end PC's for several reasons, but low-end OEM's in particular.
So many of my clients have problems with their OEM PC's CD or DVD drives failing after a year or so it is ridiculous. HDD failures were worse two years or so ago than they are now, so those are getting better and not quite such a worry.
When you get a PC made from the cheapest throwaway parts the OEM's buyers were able to source, you are really asking for trouble. This is why knowledgeable computer users have preferred the "White Box", AKA one-off custom PC, for a long time now.
The premium rigs are expensive to build due to the price of the excellent components they require, but I set up a PC last week for under $550 that I would stake my reputation on.
I paid $60 for the CPU (AMD Athlon 2500+) and about $50 for the Chaintec MOBO. One CD-RW/DVD-ROM was $50 (they already had a DVD-RW, still in its box), and one stick of RAM was $40. I sold a spare Radeon 9000 to them for $30.
The case cost $40, the HDD (80GB, 7200rpm Maxtor) was another $55, and the Antec 350w PSU went for $45 on sale.
With the $75 XP Home the total came to $365 for the tower, and I sourced a HP printer for $25, a 17" ProView for $100, and it cost them $25 for the mouse/keyboard.
I only charged $30 for the setup fees, which included getting them AVG 7 and Spybot S&D 1.3; and I even did a custom partition job with five partitions (one small XP part, a large NTFS D: part, and three smaller partitions for Debian Linux) for them.
They will use ADSL, so there is no need for a dialup modem, just the onboard USB 2.0....and the onboard sound will do just fine for them.
They'll never have to deal with Dell or Gateway's Far Eastern 'service' techs, and will not have half the troubles with a real XP installation that they would have from an OEM OS, full of those 'Value-Added Features' that seem to magically attract all sorts of crud.
I'm not saying that you could get a PC like this one built for the price I qouted unless you undertake to build it yourself (and if you can detail strip a Glock, you can build a PC), but I can tell you this:
When a PC of this quality and performance is sold by an OEM, it will cost 3X the $500 you quoted in your post!
Food for thought...
And if you decide that you MUST inflict an OEM on yourself and your family, well.....I suggest you google the different manufacturers like so:"Gateway + issues" or "Dell + Gripes" to see what you'll be getting into.
Good luck, and I hope this helps you avoid wasting some of your hard-earned $$$!!!
I bought a HP Pavilion from Wally World paid $498 for the bundle, includes everything that you could possibly dream of. Going on 2 years no problems. :)
Check out the ads in today's papers for the major retail sales tomorrow. $499? Ha! How about $199? :)
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