Help Please! Buying new PC, total novice

  jon o'groats 00:25 09 Oct 04

Right. Hello.
I'm buying a new PC (had a laptop but it was infernally crap).
I've got about 1300 pounds to spend- but i need a monitor (pref flatscreen) and need speakers. Basically, it's for home use/downloading/games/etc.
Which are the good brands? I've heard some (e.g. Tiny) are crap.
1. Dell?
2. Compaq?
3. HP?
4. Packard Bell? etc....
I've found a deal on PC world (i know, i know, heard they're terrible) that's 1115 pounds for a HP m1070 (3ghz pentium 4, 512RAM, HT technology (?), 15" flatscreen, wireless keyboard/mouse, DVD burner, speakers. Does that sound good? I've heard that HP are meant to be well assembled, but frankly i don't know. Please- any help or advice V V V gratefully received

  TomJerry 02:27 09 Oct 04

Why do not just take a trip to ToysRUs, you can find a £999 PC has almost everything going for it click here

In my view, it can do everything you want a PC to do (of course, not make a cup of tea yet) and you will be hard pressing to find cheaper elsewhere.

  Diodorus Siculus 08:22 09 Oct 04

Teh one that TomJerry has pointed you to above seems excellent.

I doubt that you need to spend £1300 but if you want to, then try getting just a base unit (such as the one above) and get a 19inch TFT along with a good sound card and speakers setup.

  Forum Editor 08:45 09 Oct 04

you have the impression that Tiny, or PC World are not to be considered, but it's far from the truth.

Tiny make excellent machines from first-class components, and I have heard nothing that would deter me from buying one of their machines. PC World sell branded computers from some of the world's best-known manufacturers, and to dismiss them entirely is not a wise move.

Hewlett Packard is one of the world's largest companies, and their machines have a reputation for their build-quality. Dell are the world's largest computer manufacturers, and again their machines are very well-built. You also have Mesh and Evesham to consider - both companies specialise in selling machines online, and they know exactly what people like you want.

Your budget is more than adequate, and will easily buy you a first-rate system from any of these suppliers. Take your time, read the reviews, and browse the forum threads. Remember that the complaints you see here (about any manufacturer or supplier) will only represent a tiny proportion of the total number of computers that company will have supplied. In most cases satisfied customers far outnumber those who are dissatisfied, and you need to keep a sense of perspective about that.

  961 09:38 09 Oct 04

Regardless of where you eventually buy, a couple of hours in PCWorld will enable you to see the variety of computers on offer, what the various bits do, and which bits you will find useful

My own view is that if you are new to computers then you can buy a machine with all the bits you need for about £700, saving the rest for the day that will certainly come when you wish to upgrade or replace

Remember you will want to spend some money on software. Work out what you want first as you may well find that you can buy many items deeply discounted if you order with the machine. I'm not meaning those ads that have "£1000's of free software", which often means pretty useless stuff such as "how to design your garden", but manufacturers that enable you to get Word and so on which you will certainly end up buying sooner or later

  jon o'groats 10:34 09 Oct 04

Thanks for all the advice. The response was pretty impressive. I'm still a bit baffled though. I've been looking at the Tiny website, and there's a deal with everything i want (click here) (flat screen, pentium 4, 1028Ram (more than i expected), 19" tft monitor, wireless keyboard, etc...) in fact, it;s got more than the HP deal. But, my question is; why the hell is the HP deal more expensive? Being honest- is it because the machines at HP are better assembled or something? A music prodcuer friend of mine said that machines like the HP cost more because the linking components that link the processors/motherboards/etc etc are better, and as such the whole system runs better. He said that it's not just about the base components such as the processor and RAM (which he says are universal- i.e. a pentium 4 is the same pentium 4 in all machines) but what makes the difference is how they're assembled and what the linking parts are. If so, would this explain why HP is an extra 250 pounds more? Is that worth it? I've had it up to the balls with duff computers that break down for no reason so i'm a bit wary of these too-good-to-be-true deals from Tiny or Evesham
Thanks for the help

  Diodorus Siculus 11:12 09 Oct 04

I honestly don't know about such claims as I have not heard them before. But they would surprise me somehow...

Tiny seem good going by reviews - remember that delivery and system disks add another £70 or so to the price.

  It's Me 12:01 09 Oct 04

I doubt that any of the firms mentioned are out to catch the unwary. They all compete in a cutthroat market so prices seem difficult to understand at times. If they were otherwise they would't last 5 minutes.

I've just bought a new PC from Mesh. Its exactly what I specified at a great price, but Evesham, Tiny et al could have done similar I am sure, I just preferred where I went to, others here will have other valid preferences.

  It's Me 12:30 09 Oct 04

If you want to try to differentiate between suppliers, see what their service/warranty agreements are and the cost,

Also see what they say about the supply of Windows recovery/full CDs, are they free, or do they charge extra for them, as some suppliers are reported here, if you look around, to have a strange attitude to this aspect.

  wee eddie 12:55 09 Oct 04

PCW - Store - Stock - Old Stock - Heating = Higher price. But if you like what you see, you can load it in the boot of your car and that's it.

Time - Limited range - Built on demand - minimal Stock - Low margins.

Toys-r-us/Aldi sell Medion PCs. Have a reputation for being good value. Usually sold out.

Things not to be impressed by - free bundles of software - lots of it is out of date, the most expensive model - you pay well over the top for the newest bits.

Things you will need. Word processor/Suite, Anti Virus, Printer.

Watch the cost of Printer ink. It can make the cheapest into the most expensive.

  Starfox 13:15 09 Oct 04

jon o'groats

You will find good and bad things about almost every make of pc on these forums and making that first choice is not easy but may I suggest that if you want a pc for gaming you will need a good graphics card.plenty of memory etc.
click here for some ideas which may help and don't forget wherever you purchase from pay with a credit card as that will afford you a little extra protection should problems arise(which I'm sure will not happen).

Hope this helps


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