Need help on new computer

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Cherub, Jul 27, 2009.

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  1. Cherub

    Cherub Registered Member

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    I know this might not be the place to ask, but I don't know of another forum that has given me such good information so I thought I would try.

    I'm in the market for a new desktop. Right now, the one I have is 5 years old.

    I'm looking at either HP or Dell. But, this build is from HP and was wondering what everyone would think about it.

    I'm not comfortable with custom builds, so I figure I will stick with either brand. But want to make sure I'm not getting any conflicting items.

    Mainly, I am on the internet, do online banking,save pictures, and use Quicken along with spreadsheets. but I would like a system that will be good five years from now even with all the advancements to come.

    Here is the HP:

    Your s5150t series
    Operating system Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)

    Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Quad processor Q8200 [2.33GHz, 4MB L2, 1333MHz FSB]

    Memory SAVE $30! 6GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [3 DIMMs]

    Hard drive FREE UPGRADE! 640GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive from 500GB

    Graphics card Integrated graphics - Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator X4500 [VGA]

    Primary optical drive LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive

    Networking Integrated 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) Ethernet, No wireless LAN

    Front Productivity Ports 6-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB, headphone port

    TV & entertainment experience No TV Tuner w/remote control

    Sound Card Integrated 7.1 channel sound with front audio ports

    Speakers 20% OFF! HP USB 2.0 stereo speakers

    Keyboard and Mouse HP multimedia keyboard and HP optical mouse

    Productivity software Microsoft(R) Works 9.0

    Security software No additional security software


    I have KIS 2009,SAS and Prevx to put on the machine,so that's why no security software.

    Thanks for any opinions.
     
  2. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Two thoughts...

    - It doesn't have a discrete videocard. It might not be necessary for the applications you are using. I use a computer for similar applications as you, but I have typically included a basic (inexpensive) video card. You definitely don't want an expensive gaming card.

    - You'll probably want to upgrade to windows 7, so be sure there is a free upgrade option with this particular computer. In fact, even though the upgrade process from vista to windows 7 is supposed to be straightforward, you might consider waiting until you can purchase a computer with windows 7 installed. I believe that will be in the Oct-November timeframe.

    One more thing, I'm by no means an expert on these matters, stay tuned and you'll get good advice!
     
  3. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    Cherub, have to agree with LenC on a separate graphics card. I looked at the specs and either a 512MB NVIDIA GeForce G210 ($50) or a 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4350 ($60) would do nicely.

    However, the only thing that would concern me is that the specs call for a 220 watt power supply and while the Slimline factor of this PC might prevent installing a bigger PS, that small of a unit could interfere with adding a better card in the future. If you decide to add a graphics card, you could call HP first to see if that PS is upgraded as well.

    Best thing to do is Google any PC model number under consideration and try to objectively read as many reviews as possible, before purchasing.
     
  4. Cherub

    Cherub Registered Member

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    Thanks to both of you. I didn't even think about the power supply or video card. I'm not really a big fan of the slim desktops because I assume that it would be hard to upgrade if I ever wanted to.

    I went back to the hp store and configured another I like. It's a more traditional desktop and has a 300w supply. Plus I added the video card. The only trade off was that I reduced the memory to 4gb from 6gb on the previous one. Would imagine that it would be easy enough to upgrade in the future and this one is about at my monetary limit.

    It does have the upgrade to Windows 7. I was gointg to wait but, unfortunately, the computer I have now has died. lol I'm a little anxious of getting Vista, but hoping that Microsoft is correct that the upgrade to 7 won't be a problem.(yeah, crossing my fingers...tightly)

    Anyway, if you could check this one out and see what you think. I want to say again, really appreciate the help. As you could tell, I don't know all the things to look for in these things.

    A couple of questions.

    1. The Dell speakers that are on my now dead computer still work. Do you think they would work with an HP or would I be better off just getting the cheap speakers with the system. (I don't really need anything better than the cheapest on speakers)

    2. Also, from reading some blogs on the net, it seems that 64 bit is the way to go. Just wanted to make sure that is correct. How bad are the problems with software now? And, if I have backups of my KIS 2009,Prevx, and SafeboxIE, will they still work?

    ----------------------------------

    Operating system Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)

    Processor SAVE $60! Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Quad processor Q8200 [2.33GHz, 4MB L2, 1333MHz FSB]

    Memory 4GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [4 DIMMs]

    Hard drive FREE UPGRADE! 640GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive from 500GB

    Graphics card 512MB NVIDIA GeForce G210 [DVI, HDMI, VGA]

    Primary optical drive LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive

    Networking Integrated 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) Ethernet, No wireless LAN

    Front Productivity Ports 15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB, audio

    TV & entertainment experience No TV Tuner w/remote control

    Sound Card Integrated 7.1 channel sound with front audio ports

    Speakers 20% OFF! HP USB 2.0 stereo speakers

    Keyboard and Mouse HP multimedia keyboard and HP optical mouse

    Productivity software Microsoft(R) Works 9.0

    Security software No additional security software

    Thanks once again. Y'all have been a great help.
     
  5. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    Cherub, memory is cheap today and as an example (not knowing the new HP model you have selected): Kingston 1GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) is only $22.

    To answer your questions:

    1. If the Dell speakers have the same USB connector as the HPs, you could do without the new ones until you received your new PC and then, try on the old ones. Should the Dells have the standard audio jack, they might not work on the HP, unless the sound card has that same type of connector (they usually do but is better to double check the specs).

    2. I'm still on XP but Vista SP1 is not as bad as some people think. I believe that your KIS 2009 and Prevx will work with 64-bit, but SandboxIE (is that what you meant?) is only for a 32 bit OS. A Wilders member can step in and correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  6. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    I would recommend a good imaging setup. :thumb:

    In case you haven't one already.

    For example, an external harddrive for saving and retrieving images.
    Good imaging software (there are many options) and a bootable CD for restoring images.
     
  7. Cherub

    Cherub Registered Member

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    Yes, I was talking about SandboxIE. I'll check on their forum about being able to use on a 64 bit. I bought a lifetime license so I would think if they make one compatible with a 64 bit I would be able to upgrade free. Still not a deal breaker for a new computer. lol

    I know this is probably a really stupid question, but if I don't buy speakers and if the Dell speakers do not work, will I hear any sound or would I have to go buy speakers before I can hear anything?

    Finally, I think I'm going with the last build I posted. I found a coupon for the hp and can get that system for $ 586 with tax and (for the coupon to work) upped back to 6 gb and changed the video card to the ATI Ratheon you mentioned.

    I really appreciate all the help. I am always fearful of either leaving out something I will need or getting incompatible things. Your suggestions really helped me out.

    EDIT: OK, I know I'm starting to get on my nerves, so I'm sure I'm getting on yours. Here is a deal at Staples for a similar computer. What do you think? It has the integrated card but at that price, I could just upgrade the card at a later time, right?

    http://www.staples.com/office/supplies/p1__291104_Business_Supplies_10051_FEATURED:SC3:CG71:DP4119:CL161746

    Anything else that looks bad with it, though?
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  8. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Okay - so let's totally confuse the issue:argh:

    I buy HP computers from Costco for three reasons:

    - You can return it NO QUESTIONS ASKED within 90 days - no restocking fee nonsense or any sleezy stuff like that

    - They extend the manufacturer warranty for an additional year.

    - If you have trouble with HP (I haven't), they will intervene.

    You should see if you can configure the same machine at Costco.
     
  9. Cherub

    Cherub Registered Member

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    I went to Costco. I can get the same computer for about the same price(give or take $10) but the problem is that I have a coupon code for hp for $50 off, which makes it cheaper to get through hp shopping. Plus hp is offering free shipping. Unfortunately, I don't have a Costco store anywhere near me.

    As an aside, if you have HP computers, you like them? I mentioned before, my previous one was Dell, but I was looking for something different this time. Heard pretty good things about the HP's.
     
  10. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    I had serious customer service and hardware problems with a couple of Dell computers. That was 8-10 years ago; in retrospect some of the software service issues might have been my own lack of knowledge and unreasonable expectations. But the hardware problems were real - bad mobo, harddrive, video card - everything seemed to be defective. (I had a service contract which they fully honored, but it was still an unpleasant experience.)

    I have since gone to HP. The machines I've purchased over the last few years have worked without incident - so I've never been in touch with their service (or with Costco's concierge service). Again, in fairness to Dell, I think I am a lot smarter now about computers than I was back then, so I have avoided software problems that might have hurt me back in the Dell days.

    BTW, keep checking out Costco's website, you might get lucky and hit a good sale on HP - they send out a newsletter every week. I'm a big fan of Costco and I like knowing I can return items - thankfully, I've never had to.

    Good luck - let us know what you decide!

    Regards,
    Len
     
  11. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    Cherub, without speakers, only divine intervention can create sounds from a PC. ;)
    While it has 8 GB of RAM, it is DDR2 and everything I read informs me that DDR3 is the better chip so the previous HP model should be better. Not knowing how HP handles adding a graphics card (some manufacturers require a manual BIOS tweak), the integrated graphics in that Staples model is a turn off for me. That's just my opinion.

    Yes, LenC is correct. Costco (and Sam's Club too!) has great deals, yet, you need to check their models and specs closely. I find they carry factory overruns and closeout models in some cases and Caveat Emptor is the rule when shopping at both places. Going straight to the manufacturer gives you what you want, in a state-of-the-art unit, and that ain't bad! :)
     
  12. Cherub

    Cherub Registered Member

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    OK. Here's what I'm thinking. Going to hp shopping and configured this one. Plus, found out they have a rebate for an deskjet printer, which my mother can use. I have a laser right now. SO, that's good.

    On final review, here are the specs:

    * Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)
    * Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Quad processor Q8200 [2.33GHz, 4MB L2, 1333MHz FSB]
    * 6GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [4 DIMMs]
    * FREE UPGRADE! 640GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive from 500GB
    * 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4350 [DVI, HDMI, VGA adapter]
    * LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive
    * Integrated 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) Ethernet, No wireless LAN
    * 15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB, audio
    * No TV Tuner w/remote control
    * Integrated 7.1 channel sound with front audio ports
    * No speakers
    * HP multimedia keyboard and HP optical mouse
    * Microsoft(R) Works 9.0
    * No additional security software
    * HP Home & Home Office Store in-box envelope

    The Power Suppy is 300w, which from what I gather is a little small, but since this is a normal desktop, I assume I could get another if need be. And I'm going to pray tonight that my dell speakers work so GOD won't have to directly input the sound into my head. :)

    This model is the HP Pavilion 6180t.

    So, unless anyone has objections, I will hold my peace on this one. lol
     
  13. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    Don't fret on that PS for now. If you get a more powerful card in the future, worry about it then. Pull the pin on that grenade and let it fly! ;)
     
  14. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Be sure you have the Windows 7 UPgrade (I mention it because I don't see it listed in the specs). Besides that, enjoy your new computer!
     
  15. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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  16. Cherub

    Cherub Registered Member

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    Ok, guys. I'm going in. lol

    I'll let you all know when I get it. And, one more time, thanks a bunch for all the help.

    Len, as JR said, it does have the upgrade. After you posted it earlier in the thread, I made sure.
     
  17. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    Cherub, you're welcome! Take care.
     
  18. Cherub

    Cherub Registered Member

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    Guys, thought I would let you know that I got my computer this week. So far, so good. Not many problems with Vista. Had a pretty easy time getting all my programs over to the new computer and working OK. I think I mentioned before, but Sandboxie is not supported on 64bit, so I did have to let that one go.

    I did have a problem with the upgrade site but have sent an email and the company HP farmed out the service to is aware of it. I should still get it. Seems the program to send in your upgrade request has some bugs. But, since it doesn't come out until October, guess it's no big deal.

    As far as Vista overall, I kinda of like it. Takes some getting used to, but, at least so far, not as bad as I had heard.

    Anyway, I know y'all were just waiting with baited breath for this update. lol But, wanted to let you know that everything went fine(crossing fingers). And to thank you all again for all your suggestions.
     
  19. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    Cherub, thanks for sharing! Take care.
     
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