Cougar Systems or PC Specilaist?

I'm looking to buy a fairly decent PC with a good graphics card. My budget is £600 and I've narrowed it down to Cougar Systems and PC Specialist. I've seen mixed reviews for both but one offers a better proccesor while the other boasts a bigger hard drive and graphics card.

From Cougar Systems:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 2.66 GHz 4Mb Cache
2GB Kingston DDR 667MHz
250GB SATA Hard Drive
256Mb Nvidia 8600GT graphics card DX10
QC - ASUS P5N-ESLI 1333fsb-DDR800x4 SLI motherboard (Dual graphics)
DVD+/- RW - 18X Samsung Lightscribe
Floppy Drive - SILVER
17 inch E-Machine TFT widescreen E17T4W-EU
Wireless Optical Deskset DS-3400D
Integrated Sound Card
Trust 2.0 SP-2200 Speaker Set
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premiem (OEM)
13 Month Warranty
Free Shipping

Cost £599.98

From PC Specialist:
Intel Core2 Duo E4500 2.20 GHz 2MB Cache
2GB CORSAIR DDR2 667MH
400GB SERIAL ATA II HARD DRIVE WITH 16MB CACHE (7200rpm)
512MB GEFORCE 8600GT PCI Express + DVI + TV-OUT
ASUS® P5VD2-VM SE: DDR2, S-ATA II, 1 x PCI-E x16, 2 PCI
20x DVD±RW/RAM/Dual Layer + Lightscribe (48 x CD-RW) (£16)
1.44MB - 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive
17 INCH TFT Silver/Black 1280 x1024 12MS D-Sub, Audio
6 Channel SoundMAX High Definition Audio (Standard on P5VD2-VM)
LOGITECH S100 2.0 BLACK SPEAKER SYSTEM
WINDOWS® VISTA Home Premium (inc Genuine CD & License)
Logitech® Cordless Internet Pro Desktop Keyboard & Mouse (Black)
1 Year Return-to-Base incl 1st Month Free Collect & Return Warranty
Standard Insured Delivery to UK Mainland (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm) (Free)

Cost £589.00

Which do you think I should get, what have your dealings been like with either company?

Thanks

SB

  Snec 21:37 29 Sep 07

I've had several PCs from Cougar, some of them for other people, and it's a top-notch outfit as far as I'm concerned.

  easyvibe 00:04 30 Sep 07

cougar all the way ,just a pleasure dealing with them

  Dendmar 05:37 30 Sep 07

I would certainly recommend PC Specialist, as would several of my friends. Had mine nearly a year and it hasn't missed a beat so I haven't tried their returns policy etc. However, I have had the need to contact them about some self induced 'finger trouble' and they have always answered the phone quickly and a nice knowledgeable technician is on the other end. At the end of the day it is your choice - I will definately be buying my next Computer from them.

Seeing as both companies seem quite good, I'm now trying to decide whether to go for a

Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz with a 256MB Nvidia 8600GT
or
Core 2 Duo 2.20 GHz with a 512MB Nvidia 8600GT and an extra 80GB Hard Drive space

Will a 512MB graphics card be any use with a slower processor? How will an extra 256MBs affect gameplay/graphics performance?

Also, should I go for Vista Home Premium or XP Home Edition?

Thanks
SB

  gardener 10:20 30 Sep 07

Cougar's after sales support is superb.

If you're a gamer then go for the 512MB card, it will take some of the load off the CPU, and the card gets good reviews. If you're not that bothered with games then the 256MB card is more than adequate.

I personally prefer XP, most of the bugs have been ironed out with SP2 and hotfixes. However, bear in mind that this OS will not be supported after 2009 (I think).

Having said that, a new PC with your specs. should have no problems running Vista.

Just checked and found that the 256MB card in GDDR3 while the 512MB card is GDDR2. Will this make any difference?

  gardener 14:25 30 Sep 07

Don't know much about the two memory specs.This site might be useful in making a decision:
click here

After searching on the web, I found that the faster 256MB GDDR3 card will most likely out perform the slower 512MB GDDR2 card on my resolution (1280x1240) so I think I'll go for the Cougar Systems one with the faster processor. As for the extra 150GB hard drive space, I'm sure I'll manage and if I need to I'll get a bogger one later.

Thanks for your help,
SB

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