Thinking about a newer computer

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George L Vought
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Thinking about a newer computer

Postby George L Vought » Thu, Jun 07 2007, 8:27AM

I see by the requirements that I'm running right on the edge as far as memory capacity. Probably half of the problem I've been having with my designs.
Yesterday I looked at new computers. My computer also serves as our home comupter so i need to get something for everyone :roll:
I looked at a HP that runs Vista Home Prem. It only had 1 GB of Ram but can be upgraded to 2. It has a 350 GB harddrive. The salesman then took me over to video cards. He said that nVidea express was the one to go with for what I want to do with it. By the time all was said and done the price was up to $900. Not exactly in my budget since I have to put in a new garage door as well this week. That's setting me back 2 grand.
What do you guys see as a good solution? What do most of you run??? The HP I have right now is running XP but the memory is capped out at 512, which is where I am, can't be upgraded. I really don't need or want all of the stuff the Vista program offers. I don't distract myself listening to music, nor do I have time for DVD's and the like. I also limit what my kids are allowed to do on the computer. Is there something else that I could have built that won't cost me so much???

Todd Miller

Postby Todd Miller » Thu, Jun 07 2007, 8:58AM

George,
First, I would not get Vista. As we do not support Vista at this time. If you go to the Dell website they give you the option, when selecting a \"small business\" computer, to have Vista or XP installed as the OS. As for the rest of the requirements, I would stick to what we have listed on our \"system requirements\" page.

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Postby KyleHepp » Thu, Jun 07 2007, 9:22AM

The garage door sounds like a \"want\" while we all know that eCabinets is a \"need\"

I'm running XP/2 gigs RAM/400 gig hard drives, installed in a 4 year old Wally special that was only $500 when I bought it.
This system is barely getting me by for now...

My plan is to build my own (new PC) that is dedicated to eCabinets/Bob only.
Can anyone offer any advice about what would be the ideal processor/motherboard; video/RAM/storage; etc... when going this route? Also, besides the OS, what else would I need besides eCabinets/Bob?

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DanEpps
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Postby DanEpps » Thu, Jun 07 2007, 9:32AM

Check out the Dell Outlet. They have great prices on refurbished, scratch & dent and previously ordered new computers.

One bit of advice: Do not try to skimp on a computer!!! It is just as important of a tool as any you have in your shop.

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Postby DanEpps » Thu, Jun 07 2007, 9:38AM

One more bit of advice: This may cause many users to flame me, but stay away from HP, Compaq or anything that you can buy in an electronics, office supply or discount store. HP makes decent servers but that is it. Their PCs and notebooks just do have \"it\" for intensive software such as eCabinets.

Get ONLY a workstation desktop or workstation class notebook computer. Anything less and you will wish you had saved your money. These don't come cheap--$2000 - $6000, but you get what you pay for. The Dell Outlet sometimes has refurbished $6000 computers for $1500 or less. Do your research and know what you are buying.

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Postby Forrest Chapman » Thu, Jun 07 2007, 10:54AM

I had a desktop built by my IT guy for $900. No bells or whistles just raw power. XP pro, 3.4 ghz. pentium 4 with 800mhz port, 2 gig ram, 160 gig HD, 512 nvidia open GL, DVD writer, 450 watt power supply and 2 large fans. I have only the software I need nothing else. I'm not constantly bugged by automatic updates and software sales I don't need. I bought a keyless mouse and keyboard with a 22\" high-def flat screen and still only had $1350 in the whole unit.

My IT guy feels the same as Dan about HP and others. His feelings are that the \"overwhelming amount of junk software clogs the arteries of an otherwise decent system\". This makes doing real work on it cumbersome. However my daughter loves the games.

Its funny though that we will spend ungodly amounts of money on tools and yet sometimes look for the $399 computer. It took me a little while to realize this.

Forrest

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Postby Rolf Bergstrom » Thu, Jun 07 2007, 11:34AM

Okay, I'll step in on Dan's request to be flamed :)
I would qualify the statement to \"stay away from HP/Compaq\" by saying to stay away from HP Compaq or anything else \"preconfigured in an electronics or other superstore\".
HP/Compaq makes just as good or better workstations than anyone else and in my experience (which I admit is getting a bit dated but is probably still somewhat true) the HP/Compaq systems typically use(d) more standard off the shelf parts, whereas the other guy(s) tended to use either specially configured versions of some hardware or propietary drivers that made upgrading a bit tricky at times. This is not a blanket statement, I just had many experiences where the HW mfr released a new driver for say a video card but it didn't work with the same video card in the other guys machine because they had it manufactured for them with a special interface or something that required a driver rewrite by them before it would work with their machine.
Personally I run home built machines but if I were to buy a prebuilt machine I would look at any and all of the major manufacturers, just pay attention to the configurations and make sure you are comparing apples to apples (pun INTENDED).

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DanEpps
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Re:

Postby DanEpps » Thu, Jun 07 2007, 11:56AM

Rolf Bergstrom wrote:Okay, I'll step in on Dan's request to be flamed :)
I would qualify the statement to "stay away from HP/Compaq" by saying to stay away from HP Compaq or anything else "preconfigured in an electronics or other superstore"...


That wasn't much of a flame, Rolf :lol: .

I do agree that the biggest problem is all of the "try before you buy" junk loaded on the disk drive along with a system preconfigured to meet the needs of the casual home user browsing the internet or playing games.

As for "off the shelf parts", both HP and Compaq led the world in using proprietary parts. Compaq even wen so far as to use a different architecture on motherboard slots so it wasn't possible to use standard parts.

That has changed in the last several years of course and both use standard parts. The same is true of Dell and IBM now as well. As recently as 10 years ago I wouldn't have considered anything other than self-built, especially not Dell. My perception of Dell has changed considerably though as they have come into the mainstream. Now, I buy nothing but Dell. Their printers are another story though. Dell uses Lexmark to OEM their printers. Lexmark is okay, but the Dell versions have been modified to accept only Dell ink cartridge$.

Either way, even if you buy a Dell, HP, Compaq, IBM or any other computer, the best thing to do is format the hard drive and reload ONLY Windows. Leave all of the garbage off and you will have a much better performing computer. Just make sure the computer comes with a Windows installation CD and not just a "factory restore" CD set before you format the drive.

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Postby Rolf Bergstrom » Thu, Jun 07 2007, 12:50PM

I don't know if this is still true, but in the past if you bought a workstation class machine from any of the big players, it would typically come with just the bare bones O/S, no add ons, and the \"restore\" CD was really nothing more than an automated install with drivers and such, and a \"real\" O/S CD.
That is why I would stay away from the superstores. Pretty much all of those machines will be preconfigured and the restore CD will be pretty much guaranteed to only re install the whole mess again. Not to mention they are probably not going to carry any workstation class machines.
I can only speak from my experience which cuts off around 2003, but even at that time I was buying alot of different types of machines and in the workstation class, the HP/Compaq machines were the least proprietary of the bunch as far as memory and graphics, the two most typically upgraded components. I had a few Dell machines where even their SCSI drivers were proprietary.
Anyway, as a final note, I just checked the HP site and they have a very large number of refurb workstations with lots of memory and nVidia Quadro cards with many under $2,000, even with a 3 year warranty.

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Postby Mitch Cain » Thu, Jun 07 2007, 9:22PM

I just bought an m90 laptop from the Dell Outlet - it runs ecabs better than the \"monster\" PC I built from scratch just 8 months ago. It has a 3 year warranty and it was only about $1699 - well worth it.

I went through a little bit of Dell Hell on the order, but nonetheless, I love the machine...and highly recommend that route...
Black Bear Custom Cabinetry

George L Vought
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Postby George L Vought » Fri, Jun 08 2007, 7:40PM

Just got my first chance to check my e-mail :shock: :shock:
I thought about having a one built, the problem is I can't afford to. The kids use the computer for their school work. We do have one rule in our house, NO downloading music, shareware or visiting unapproved sites.
As for the \"extra\" crap that comes say Dell or Hp or Compaq, I know how to get rid of that stuff, but you are right because most new machines are partitioned. They don't come with recovery CD's anymore because too many people were letting other people upgrade using them.
I also heard some whispering and I have the feeling that the one I was looking at the other day is going to show up for Father's Day. Comp USA has a bunch of really talented kids working there, not much these brats can't do to a computer. They know which graphics cards run the best, which motherboard will hold up better for high speed upgrades, and which monitors give the best pictures. As for printers, I have 3, a Lexmark that I hate (kids use it) an HP and an Epson. They run well, and produce great prints.
As for the garage door, I only wish it was a want versus a \"need\". I had it installed because I didn't want to fool around putting one up. I hung the last one and believe me, it's much easier to stand with beer in hand and listen to someone else swear under their breath. :lol: :lol:
Dan is right about HP though. If it breaks it will take HP parts to fix it. Have had this HP for 5 years now and it ain't broke yet. I've had to do a few system recoveries but only because I opened attachments that had virus's attached instead of pictures. Like I said these kids can do pretty much anything with a computer. My Nephew is in the Navy and someone hijacked his e-mail address, stole his address book and sent us all \"some pictures\". So beware what you open, scan everything before you download or open anything. I now have a state of the art security suite that checks every thing. I also get a warning if someone is trying to hack into my computer while I'm on line. It makes me more comfortable with the kids using the internet too.

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Postby Glenn Warner » Sat, Jun 09 2007, 9:40PM

I just bought a dell M90 from the outlet. Saved about $900. I was set on Vista Ultimate but after some research decided to stick with XP pro. I may just skip the Vista release permanently since the upgrade will cost $400 and as far as I can tell offers no significant benefits.

George L Vought
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Postby George L Vought » Mon, Jun 11 2007, 8:07AM

I looked at the XP pro, but thought that capped out at 512MB RAM????

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Postby DanEpps » Mon, Jun 11 2007, 8:10AM

32 bit versions of Windows XP (not XP64) can address 4GB RAM (3GB usable for programs). The computer hardware must be able to have 4GB installed though.

George L Vought
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Postby George L Vought » Mon, Jun 11 2007, 8:15AM

Dan ;
That must have been my problem, my motherboard is too old to upgrade. To gut the case is pointless. I'd love something with 4GB, but they run about 6 grand, I'd also love to have that too.


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