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View Full Version : New Computer - Any reccomendations?


Tyler
23-02-2007, 09:18 AM
Hi All,

I'm looking to purchase a new computer soon and have about 500 maximum to spend (that's just for the base unit - keeping existing monitor). Just wondered if anyone could recommend anything or anywhere?

I'd be using the computer for the following:
Internet browsing using IE and Firefox
E-Mail using Microsoft Outlook
Will have Microsoft Office installed and using it a fair bit (full suite)
Macromedia Dreamweaver
Macromedia Fireworks
Macromedia Freehand
Macromedia Flash
Adobe Photoshop CS2 etc.
Coreldraw X3 suite
iTunes - I have quite a lot of music and ALWAYS have itunes running when I'm using my PC

All the above programs need to be running quite decently - really dont want to have to put up with anymore frozen screens etc. as I am doing now.

Cheers,
Tyler :)

EDIT - Don't know if it's relevant but I use AOL broadband wireless Silver and will need to computer to have built in wireless and also a network port for connecting my modem router should I wish to use a wired connection.

Modica82
23-02-2007, 09:24 AM
Hi Tyler,

as you probably already know you could go straight to someone like Dell, but if you are looking for a cheaper option and just a unit your could try europc

Euro PC Web Link (http://www.europc.co.uk/)

they do new and refurbished PCs. This may sound a bit off but my last company purchased all there machines from here, very powerful (at the time :D) Dells and they were dirt cheap and are still running 3 years on with no probs. Another bonus is they ussually come with good long term warranties as they would comming directly from dell.

Hope thats an idea.

Rob

Widgey
23-02-2007, 09:24 AM
I always recommend Dell as they have never let me down and are very reliable.

However, I have met people who say they are sh*t, but they're the type of people who don't normally know how to use antivirus software properly (in my experience anyway, my mum being one) :)

Phil
23-02-2007, 10:01 AM
I dunno if you could manage one for 500, but for the first time ever, I'm going to recommend a Mac. I recently bought a MacBook, after being, and still am, a devoted PC fan. At first it was extremely irritating, but now I'm used to OSX, it's fantastic. There's so many quirky features that I keep finding, such as you can scroll webpages by using two fingers on the trackpad, you can right-click but clicking the button with two fingers on the trackpad (I actually find this easier than a two button PC trackpad), you can zoom in on the entire screen by scrolling with the ctrl key pressed down, etc, etc... Plus, sine Apple design both the hardwear and software, they work perfectly together and this can be seen in the OS stability, wifi functionality, bluetooth works perfectly, attached hardwear works effortlessly, the list goes on.

I'm sure all of the software you mentioned can be run on Mac OSX, apart from MS Outlook, however MS are releasing a new version of Office Mac this year which will include a fully compatible copy of Outlook. Or alternatively, you can run Windows XP within a virtual computer using "Parallels" which runs like a charm on my system.


Edit: Right now I'm typing this on a Dell and it works a treat and is a good bog-standard budget model. Although I do know of a colleague who has recently had hers "upgraded" but it runs like an arthritic dog. I've no idea why this is as our software setup is identical and it was dodgy from the get-go so it's not a virus problem. Also, I've already replace the battery in mine once in 1 years use, and her new one only lasts for 40 mins.

Tyler
23-02-2007, 10:17 AM
Hi Phil,

Had a fairly old Macbook for a while and sold it on. Hoping to get another faily soon as that was quite old and just fancied a play around with one :)

Thanks for the advice and pointers all will check dell and europc out :)

Cheers,
Tyler :)

Stationery-Direct.co.uk
23-02-2007, 12:09 PM
I did not think much of DELL and found their prices to be very expensive when I was looking.

HP have got a good name and Compaq is also made by HP and use the same parts. I purchased a Compaq Presario SR2029 for 600 (slightly over your budget) from PC World a few months ago and it is spot on. The spec was unbelievable for the price, although they are now discontinued.

I have 2 x 250gb disks
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6400 2 x 2.13 ghz
2gb DDR2-SDRAM
512mb Graphics Card

I run all your chosen applications just fine with no problems, if you get a similar or better spec then you should be fine.

gibbsy
23-02-2007, 12:15 PM
got my laptop from europc... very very good!! defintely recommend!

Originally posted by Modica82
Hi Tyler,

as you probably already know you could go straight to someone like Dell, but if you are looking for a cheaper option and just a unit your could try europc

Euro PC Web Link (http://www.europc.co.uk/)

they do new and refurbished PCs. This may sound a bit off but my last company purchased all there machines from here, very powerful (at the time :D) Dells and they were dirt cheap and are still running 3 years on with no probs. Another bonus is they ussually come with good long term warranties as they would comming directly from dell.

Hope thats an idea.

Rob

gemma1977
23-02-2007, 05:44 PM
I would always go for a mac... !

I've always used a mac for graphic design, and I use most of the programmes you've mentioned too all on a mac.

Macs are industry standard for the design trade after all... Plus they don't get viruses.

And I'd look on ebay for best deals. I've bought few macs from there, but I was looking at pc laptops too and there seemed to be some good prices.

Gem

openmind
23-02-2007, 05:51 PM
Originally posted by gemma1977
Plus they don't get viruses.

Sure about that?
http://www.securemac.com/ and http://projects.info-pull.com/moab/index.html

ANY computer is only good as it's user. If you don't run adequate virus protection, firewalls and patches then you WILL suffer in the end...

Just because you have a Mac doesn't mean you are suddenly immune from threats...

RE: the pc - Have a look at leasing as an option. I've got a lease though www.hardsoft.co.uk

The machine I have is overkill for you but for 70 p/m I get:

Dual Core Processor
Twin 160GB disks
4GB RAM
Twin ATI FireMV cards
Triple 19" Flat Screens
and a free upgrade every 18 months...

Plus there's the benefit of a rolling guarantee and on site support...

Eagle
23-02-2007, 06:21 PM
Phil, please don't buy a Mac...

futurebobbers
23-02-2007, 06:58 PM
1: Buy a Mac.
2: Create files with question marks and slashes in the filenames.
3: E-mail them to PC owning friends. When PC owner tries to open file, their computer crashes.

Used to happen with my Windows 98 machine, at least :)

gemma1977
23-02-2007, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by openmind
Sure about that?
http://www.securemac.com/ and http://projects.info-pull.com/moab/index.html

ANY computer is only good as it's user. If you don't run adequate virus protection, firewalls and patches then you WILL suffer in the end...

Just because you have a Mac doesn't mean you are suddenly immune from threats...


That's interesting... but just for the record, i've been using macs for around 13 years (since the black and white days) and in that time I can honestly say have NOT had one single virus, my daughter on the other hand has a PC laptop with virus protection, firewalls and patches the works... She has a virus nearly weekly on that thing!!

Maybe I just got lucky!

Gem

openmind
24-02-2007, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by Eagle
Phil, please don't buy a Mac...

I think you mean Tyler ;)

openmind
24-02-2007, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by gemma1977
That's interesting... but just for the record, i've been using macs for around 13 years (since the black and white days) and in that time I can honestly say have NOT had one single virus, my daughter on the other hand has a PC laptop with virus protection, firewalls and patches the works... She has a virus nearly weekly on that thing!!

Maybe I just got lucky!

Gem

I would have said you did :)

As for you daughter, with all due respect, her system is not fully protected if she is still getting a virus/week.

I have used PCs extensively since Windows 3.1 and have never had a virus penetrate the system without me knowing about it. They have always been blocked and dealt with before they could even blink...

Like I said earlier, a computer is only as safe as it's operator.

Want to know why PCs get attacked more than Macs? Simple, it's because there's more of them to go at. Reverse the roles and it would be Macs coming in for a bashing...

Tyler
24-02-2007, 11:21 AM
What apps. would you reccomend I install on new system to keep it clean Phil? Just been looking at renting but for what I need it's not really worth it for the time being. May come in handy sometime in the near future though so thanks for the recommendation :)

Cheers,
Tyler :)

openmind
24-02-2007, 11:29 AM
OK well first and foremost a decent firewall. Windows Firewall that ships with XP is OK but is only basic. For something more advanced I would have recommended either Kaspersky ( which also has anti-virus and anti-spam built in although I found it conflicted with a few programs on my system) or Visnetic Firewall which although costly is industrial strength.

For anti-virus, either Kaspersky, Symantec, Fprot or ClamAV

I've still to find a decent anti-spam solution but I have heard that Mailwasher is very good or use a host that employs greylisting that cuts down 90% of spam straight away...

If you really want to get creative you could use your old machine as a buffer between the outside world and your new comp and secure it as tight as possible...

openmind
24-02-2007, 11:32 AM
One other thing to add is make sure you have got a good backup policy in place.

I use backup for Workgroups which backs up data from the primary disk every few hours to a second disk. This is then mirrored to an external drive and then finally to a tape drive which is taken off site.

You never will know how important this is until something goes tits up :)

Modica82
24-02-2007, 02:01 PM
openmind/anyone else :-) you could try prevx for malware if you havnt already, i use it and it is a great application that seems to do the business, plus the licence fee is dirt cheap, but you do get a month free.

prevx homepage (http://www.prevx.com/)

Rob

Jacksparrow
03-08-2010, 08:55 PM
Recently i got Dell and i used the avast antivirus., its doing good.

lorrainepang
04-08-2010, 09:34 AM
I've got a Dell studio 15 laptop and it has the ususal problem of getting red hot underneath. The CD slot is also very dodgy. Sometimes it'll spend 2 minutes repeated ejecting when there's nothing in there and other times, it doesn't 'take' the CD properly so it gets stuck and when it's ejected it's kind of jammed in the mechanism.

Works ok after 2 1/2 half years though.

Would quite like to have a touch screen laptop next with handwritten note taking functions. What do people think of the new HP TouchSmart range? By the time I need a computer, hopefully the technology will be really good.