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I need to buy a new computer but am really confused.

(76 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by savvysusan
  • Latest reply from whs
  • Topic Viewed 4136 times

LukeTurnbull
Posts: 83

As most poeple have posted vista is on everything nowadays.

unbleiveable as it may seem you do have to pay to be downgraded to XP.

what a shame.

PS. just make sure you have more than enough ram especially on vista.

Posted 6 years ago
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Appletom
Posts: 133

You guys kept talking without me while I slept.

Intel vs. AMD - I think this is similar to Coke vs. Pepsi or Dodge vs. Ford. FWIW, my son in law (a super uber geek) says right now Intel is building faster/better processors.

Wireless printer - It might be nice, but do you want to spend the extra money and potentially run into new problems? The technology of a printer cable is pretty well defined.

Do you need a new printer, or want a new printer? My Canon all in one died last week and I replaced it with a Kodak 5500. I'm very in love with this thing and the ink truly is less expensive.

Posted 6 years ago
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Budohorseman
Posts: 847

One little thing on the Intel vs. AMD, right now Intel processors are a bit better as they do not use as much power for the same speed, so with an Intel it will run cooler and save you maybe around $20-30 a year on the electric bill.

On the printer, I have to agree with Appletom that it may not justify the additional cost, but you will have to be the judge on that one.

As for the memory (RAM) you should consider getting the 4 GB. While whs is correct that Vista (we are assuming the 32-bit version) will only be able to use around 3.2 GB of it, with 4 GB (or 2 GB for that matter) the RAM will be able to operate in Dual Channel mode, whereas 3 GB (assuming 3 x 1 GB) would operate in Single Channel mode. With as much as you have running at once, I think the upgrade for the extra RAM will be worth it. As an aside, DDR (the type of RAM in the system) stands for Double Data Rate, however it only works that way when installed in pairs (2 GB or 4 GB etc). When installed with an odd number (3 GB) the RAM may be labeled as DDR, but it will operate as SDR--Single Data Rate, so why cripple your RAMs performance when a marginal cost upgrade can bring it to its full potential.

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

@Budohorseman All 3GB machines I know have 2x1GB Dimms and 2x512MB Dimms - so they run on all 4 channels. I think this 4GB discussion is rather academic anyhow since there are no 4GB offerings at reasonable prices on the market - but there are more and more 3GB machines. Besides, I suggest we do not confuse Susan with too many technical discussions. She has clearly stated that she is a basic user and has probably little interest in the intrinsic details that we like to discuss.

Posted 6 years ago
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savvysusan
Posts: 18

I'll visit Best Buy, Circuit City, Office Depot today. Maybe Compusa and Staples too.

My printer is an HP Officejet G85 which suits my needs but I would like it further away. I work at two small desks in an L shape and the printer takes up almost half of one. However, if it's compatible, I'll just stick with it. . .

Thanks again.

Susan

Posted 6 years ago
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jd2066
Posts: 3814

I just looked at the HP Officejet G85 Drviers for Vista page and it says all the basic functions of printing, scanning and reading memory cards work on Vista with a Vista builtin driver.
It doesn't say what the advanced functions it doesn't support are but I got the same page with the printer here and it can print normal pages, pictures on photo paper and use the flash memory cards just fine.

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

@Susan, Here it is and it's already in Vista. http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfr.....#38;dlc=en

Staples is expensive. I hardly ever see anything worth byuing from them. Compusa I don't know.

You can buy 15ft USB cables which work quite well on printers (I have one too because I have several printers and had to move one to the other side of the room). Cheapest place for cables is Walmart and they have a good selection too. The electronic stores are far too expensive for cables. With a coupling, you might even extend the cable further. But that I have never tried myself (some of the Walmart cables have couplings included).

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

If it's USB2, the maximum cable length is 5 meters (about 16.5 feet)

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

That's good to know. I did not know that. Does that apply to all USB2 devices or only to printers (of course you don't want to put ReadyBoost 5 meters away).

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Its everything
But please remember also. The longer the cable, the slower the speed

Posted 6 years ago
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pipo
Posts: 428

@whs
correct me if i'm wrong, but doesn't ReadyBoost only work if the USB is directly connected to the computer, ie. it can't be used via a usb hub?

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

@pipo, I think you can put a ReadyBoost flash drive on a hub or a cable - but it does not make much sense because you increase the delay times thus taking the effect of ReadyBoost away (shorter access times). In my book, ReadyBoost does not make much sense all together. I had it on a 1GB RAM machine and on a 2GB RAM machine. I threw both of them out and bought an extra GiG for the 1GB machine. It had all kinds of side effects that I did not like including extra instability of the system.

Posted 6 years ago
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savvysusan
Posts: 18

I think I found a couple of computers on CompUsa that I can afford. I'm not getting a monitor or keyboard, just the computer.

I'm looking at www.compusa.com. Sub categories "desktop computer" "Intel Based PC's " "Core 2 duo. Lenova 3000 K100 looks like the level of computer I need.

On the HP site I'm looking at an A6450z series without some of the frills they show (but with Microsoft Office 2007) and the Gateway DX441S or DX441X with a bigger cashe for $50 more (it's $799)it has things I don't need such as speakers, media upgrades, dvd burner upgrades and a fax modem? I can't think of anywhere else to look.

Any opinions?

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Hi Susan, Lenova (IBM) is always a little more expensive. The HP may be ok if you can get it cheap. For Gateway I repeat this one http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm.....o#proddesc Really not expensive for a quad system with 3GB's and all the frills including DVI (digital monitor - better picture). As I said, on Sunday I will study the sales and let you know if something good is available - but the above link is really something good. - And do yourself a favor and get a 22 inch screen.

Posted 6 years ago
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savvysusan
Posts: 18

I liked the Gateway at Circuit City but it didn't come with Vista which I read on this forum, works better when pre-installed.

I'd love a 22" monitor but that's coming way later because I am amid a big advertising event that is costing way more than I anticipated.

So, how's HP Pavilion A6430F Desktop PC at Circuit City or HP Pavillion 5600 at Best Buy. Both are in stock at stores within driving distance.

I stayed in denial about my crappy computer for about 18 months, it progressively got worse and now I can barely use it which is why I'm rushing.

Opinions?

Susan
P.S. I've been bragging to my friends about you guys and all the knowledge your sharing. You've been so helpful, you have no idea how much so.

Posted 6 years ago
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Appletom
Posts: 133

HP Pavilion A6430F Desktop PC at Circuit City:
AMD Phenom 2.10 GHz processor
3 Gigs RAM
640 Gig Hard Drive
Video card: NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE

HP Pavillion 5600 at Best Buy:
AMD Athlon(TM) 64 X2 2.8 GHz processor
3 Gigs RAM
500 Gig Hard Drive
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE

OK - the 640 vs. 500 HD probably won't matter to you - you haven't mentioned photo or video editing in any of your posts. No winner.
The video cards are the same. No winner.
That leaves processor and memory - everything else is kind of fluff

Someone wiser than I will have to point out the difference between the Athlon 2.8 and the Phenom 2.1. The Phenom is newer but the Athlon might be more mature.

And although both systems have 3 Gigs of memory, the CC one uses 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-5300) and the BB one uses PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM. Again, I don't know why (or if) one is better than the other.

If the processors are equal and the two types of RAM are the same, it looks like a complete tossup between the two. FWIW, I like Circuit City better only because I root for the underdog and Best Buy is eating their lunch.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/ol.....ductdetail
http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd.....#prodspecs

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Thankyou so much for your last words there, spread the word, one day you will discover something that will help us. Anyway, keep in touch :)

Posted 6 years ago
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jd2066
Posts: 3814

On the RAM difference of these:
CC uses 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-5300)
BB uses PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM.

I'm not sure what I think they are both the same just listed differently.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.....nd_modules for more on the DDR2_SDRAM types.

Edit: I'm guessing that the 667Mhz and "667 Million" listed on that page are the same thing. I'm still searching online to try and confirm that.

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Susan, What do you mean by "I liked the Gateway at Circuit City but it didn't come with Vista" - of course it comes with Vista - and look at the price for a quad (4 processors) and all the rest. Read the specifications and you will see Vista. Any PC you buy from the big stores these days come with Vista. There are very few exceptions. I think Appletom has summed it up nicely. The AMD 5600+ is a nice processor too, but the Phenoms are more recent (in fact brand new) and quad or 3core - I would go with that.

Posted 6 years ago
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savvysusan
Posts: 18

I'll go back and take a look. I thought I read XP. Thanks!

Posted 6 years ago
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