Advice for Multimedia PC with £600 budget

  qt1923 22:42 30 Nov 08
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Hi, I am looking to buy a multimedia PC. I want a PC where I can multitask. The kind of things I want to do are watch movies, use Photoshop/Illustrator/Flash etc, use video editing and converting software, use 3d studio max, use iTunes, burn CD's/DVD's and use the internet. I am not too bothered if it cannot write Blu-ray DVD’s. I don't really do gaming but that is mainly because my current PC cannot handle it, if I had a better PC I would like to get into gaming but not really hardcore.

I am just looking for a base unit as I already have a monitor, speakers and wireless adapter. I have been searching through sites like PC World, Comet and some custom building sites but it seems like all of them have one thing I want but not another thing or they are too expensive. There seems to be so many custom building sites but I am a little weary of them and it doesn't seem much cheaper.

My budget is around £600. I don't know how to build PC's or upgrade them or anything so I basically want a pc with everything I need in it and I want it to last me a few years. My current pc has lasted me about 4 years and it still works for general use.

I am considering getting this HP Pavilion Slimline S3652 Desktop PC, it is £567.65 at comet. Here are the specs for it: click here But it doesn't list the graphics card type there but it lists it here: click here

I am not sure about the processor, the specs for Intel Quad Core processors seem better but for what I want to do perhaps the processor is enough? I am not really familiar with Blu-Ray and HD technology. I have a decent monitor but as this HP PC has Blu-ray and the graphics card says it has HD technology will I need a HD ready monitor? Also I have heard negative things about Vista and this PC comes with it, so with the kind of PC I want will Vista be OK?

Thanks in advance.

  Woolwell 23:27 30 Nov 08

You should be able to get what you want for your budget. I am in the process of obtaining another system with similar requirements to yours and after looking around I have ordered from Cougar Extreme click here. They are helpful on the phone but note that they make a charge for paying by credit card.
You should also look at Dell. Others on this site will recommend Novatech but when I spoke to them they tried to severely upgrade me to another system.

  qt1923 18:45 01 Dec 08

Thank you for replying. The cougar extreme seems pretty good, but I would like a PC with Blu-ray. Also I am just not sure about getting a custom built PC, just because I don't really know about building a pc and what the best motherboard or PSU or sound card etc is.

I have found another pc I am considering which is £600, Fujitsu Siemens Scaleo Pi2680 Desktop PC. Here are the specs for it: click here

I am not sure if fujitsu is a good brand, but this pc has a better processor, graphics card and hard drive. But it has 3 GB ram unlike the hp which has 4 GB, will it make much difference?

Also it doesn't have lightscribe or a TV tuner, but I am not too fussed about lightscribe. I have seen in shops you can get a USB and an aerial to hook up to your computer to watch TV on your PC so I guess it would be the same as having a TV tuner?

  jakimo 19:08 01 Dec 08

A lot of kit for the money,and competes favourably with that already mentioned.

click here

  qt1923 20:12 01 Dec 08

Thanks for your response, I did actually see that PC before. It went on sale last week I think and sold out immediately, otherwise I would have probably got that one. On their website it says they will be selling it again in March 2009, I would really like to get something now.

Do you think there will be any kind of sales around xmas/new year for PC's? Or does that not really happen for PC's.

  curofone 20:21 01 Dec 08

That aldi/medion machine was just too good for the money and i doubt you will get anything close to it for that price this side of xmas.

As for the Fujitsu personally I would not buy one, I had one a few years back and it was terrible think it was exchanged 3 times in the first week and where i use to work we called them Fushitsu for obvious reasons.

I am sure there will plenty of sales after xmas there always are but you never know if there is going to be any bargins until the time. If i was you ring your local aldi and see if they have one, you never know you might get lucky

  qt1923 18:53 14 Dec 08

I have found this other PC from Comet for £636.16, HP FL234AA/M9365.

The only thing is the specs on Comet are a little different to the specs on the HP website, for example on Comet it doesnt list the graphics do you think it is still the same specs as on the HP website? Also on the HP website the PC is £880 whereas on Comet it is £636.16.

on comet it says:
Shared graphics 2815 MB
Dedicated graphics No
Graphics type Nvidia

whereas on hp it says:
Graphics Subsystem Name - NVIDIA® GeForce™ 9800 GT with PureVideo® HD technology
Video RAM - 1024 MB dedicated memory, up to 2815 MB total available graphics memory as allocated by Windows Vista®


here are the full specs from hp:

Processor, operating system and memory
Processor type - AMD Phenom™ processor 9550
Operating system installed - Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium 64-bit
Platform - With AMD Live!™
Chipset - NVIDIA® nForce™ 430 chipset
Standard memory - 4 GB
Memory type - DDR2-SDRAM
Memory slots - 4 DIMM sockets

Internal drives
Internal drives - 1 TB (2 x 500 GB)
Hard disk controller - SATA 3G Hard Disk Drive
Hard disk drive speed - (7200 rpm)
External hard disk drive - 500 GB Personal Media Drive
Optical drive type - Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner with LightScribe Technology
Lightscribe - Create silkscreen-quality disc labels direct from your PC with LightScribe: Just burn, flip, burn.

System features
Memory card device - 15in1 memory card reader
Network interface - Ethernet 10/100BT integrated network interface
Video capture interface - IEEE 1394 FireWire® Interface
Wireless technologies - Wireless LAN 802.11 b/g
Graphic subsystem name - NVIDIA® GeForce™ 9800 GT with PureVideo® HD technology
Video connectors - Dual DVI/VGA, TV-out, HDMI
Graphics Subsystem Name - NVIDIA® GeForce™ 9800 GT with PureVideo® HD technology
Video RAM - 1024 MB dedicated memory, up to 2815 MB total available graphics memory as allocated by Windows Vista®
TV tuner - TV (analog and DVB-T) tuner card, (DVB-T service not available in Ireland)
Internal audio - High Definition Audio 7.1
Audio connectors - 2 front audio ports, 6 rear analog audio ports & 1 rear digital audio port
Keyboard - Wireless keyboard and optical mouse
Remote control - HP Vista Media Center Remote Control
External drive bays - 2 external optical drive bays, 2 internal HDD bays, 1 Pocket Media Drive bay, 1 Personal media Drive bay ; Landing pad for USB & 1394 devices
Expansion slots - 1 PCI (1 free) and 2 PCI-Express 1x (1 free)
Video adapter, bus - 1 PCI-Express 16x
External I/O ports - 6 USB 2.0 ports (2 in front); 2 FireWire®-IEEE-1394 ports (1 in front)

Software
Software - Productivity & finance - Microsoft® Works and Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2007 60-Day Trial Version
Pre-installed software - Microsoft® Internet Explorer 7.0; Windows Mail; Adobe® Reader 8.0
Optical drive driver software - Windows Photo Gallery ; Windows Media Player ; Windows Movie Maker, Windows DVD Maker ; Cyberlink DVDSuite Premium ; Muvee AutoProducer Full Version; EasyBits Magic Desktop
Software - education / reference / entertainment
Windows Media Center
Software included - Recovery partition (including possibility to recover system, applications and drivers separately); Optional re-allocation of recovery partition; Recovery CD/DVD creation tool; Symantec™ Norton Internet Security™ 2008 (60 days live update)

Dimensions / weight / warranty
Weight - 15 kg
Package weight - 17 kg
Dimensions (W x D x H) - 178 x 422 x 394 mm
Package dimensions (W x D x H) - 295 x 505 x 510 mm

click here

click here

  Woolwell 23:02 14 Dec 08

If you've got a Comet near you visit the shop and check.

  sten63 23:02 30 Jan 09

hi qt,

did you buy the hp m9365?

if so, how have you found it?

I'm pretty much same as you, want a full featured media pc, not into gaming, want to run it through the tv and sound system watching blu ray, while smurfing the net...... :-) and not interested / capable of building my own system...

A comet near me selling last one in the shop, at a good price, interested but not 100% sure...
would love your feedback????

thanks

  qt1923 23:54 31 Jan 09

yes i did end up buying the hp m9365 and it works great. playing, buring, ripping etc of cd/dvds is very quick. and it's nice having a remote control when watching movies so you don't have to get up and pause it etc. it comes with 2x 500gb hd and an extre 500 gb hd which you can insert into the pc or use as an external hd. so if you want to transfer your old files onto your new pc you could just use that. it comes with all the cables needed to use it as an external hd. also having a large memory makes it great for multitasking, i can surf the web while still ripping/converting a dvd and listening to itunes or watching a video etc.

btw my old pc used to be a dell dimension 5000, 1gb memory and 160gb hd, pentium 4. so compared to that it is a huge upgrade for me and around the same price

a word of warning though the keyboard and mouse are wireless which is great and comes with the batteries inside. however to connect them to your pc it comes with a bluetooth usb that you can stick in one of the ports. however you can imagine sticking a small usb stick directly into one of the ports in your pc it could easily break which mine did. you should really get an usb extention cable and plug the usb stick into that and the extension cable into the back of your pc (i hope that makes sense) and keep the bluetooth usb on your desk. i called up hp when it broke and they sent me a new one which came in about a week and now i use an extension cable. they told me it has happened to many customers.

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