Boss needs desktop comp asap - HELP?!

July 22, 2011 at 15:18:52
Specs: Windows 7
My boss's old computer's died and we need a new, GOOD one asap. We want something that will last and is very fast while running several applications (Windows/AOL - opening multiple windows, things like streaming radio, Adobe Acrobat, Word, etc.). Although I realize this isn't a tall order, I need to know what is going to LAST and not be in the shop 24/7 or slow down immediately.
We have a budget of about $800 MAX, which would prob need to include anti-virus and Microsoft Office (Word and Excel, at least).
I am very unschooled with computer info and we certainly don't have the time or resources to get one made for us -- but I know having a great processor (have heard about AMD Phenom, Intel i3/i5/i7, etc. are decent, maybe dual-core or quad-core), at least 4GB of RAM (for Win 7 64-bit), 1TB Hard Drive (give or take), and a decent power supply are important.
My bosses don't like Dell and I'm leary of EMachines and ZT. They do like HP, but worried about the PSU...only about 300watts and they don't offer an upgrade for wattage that I've found...
BTW, is wattage that important for someone who's not gaming, etc? I've read that you need at least 500watts for a computer with all these new specs, but I don't know if that's actually necessary for us???

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July 22, 2011 at 20:08:21
I would recommend the Intel i-series, the i3 dual core should be enough but if you get everything else you need and the budget allows for it then the i5 quad would be just better with many applications running together. Windows 7 professional 64bit with 4GB memory should be good for most office programs unless you use Excel extensively with thousands of rows, then you would be better off with 8GB of memory. Onboard or onchip graphics should be fine for office use but I prefer a separate graphics card if you want speed and you are willing to pay for it (you also get to use all of your memory this way). If you use any applications that are graphics intensive then you definitely need a fairly good graphics card. I would build one using a little bit more power supply than the minimum needed for the hardware, but the quality of the power supply is even more important in the long run. A factory machine as shipped would not need more than the 300 watts but if you upgraded say the graphics card then you might need more depending on the card. I have not purchased a factory made desktop for a number of years and they were Gateway machines, more recently I have purchased 2 laptops for daughters for college and one was a Sony and the other was an HP. The Sony worked well for about 5 years before any problem and the HP is over 3 years old and is working just fine. The latest desktop I built myself to replace a 9year old Gateway machine that served me very well.

When you narrow it down to 2 or 3 models then google the model numbers for reviews to see what others say on those models and/or post them here for advice on which would be better for your needs.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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July 23, 2011 at 00:12:07
Inferior electronic components are the main reason for hardware failure. The desire to reduce costs led manufacturers to buy cheap components. Often that led to early failure of those components. Capacitors were probably the worst (best?) example:

Yes, Dell and Emachine were bad about that but their motherboards were OEM from regular motherboard manufacturers. I don't think HP and gateway had as big a problem with that. Many HP motherboards were made by Asus and gateway often used Intel motherboards.

I don't know if there's any way to know to what extent bad components still plague computer motherboards. but if you go by history then HP or gateway would be something to look at.

The problem with power supplies is both bad components and the fact they were often underpowered so again, early failure was not uncommon. Also, when a power supply fails it often ruins the motherboard as well.

Just about every system manufacturer had some models that used proprietary power supplies. The connections would be the same as all other power supplies but they were physically sized differently so you couldn't upgrade to just any power supply--it had to be a special fit.

The obvious solution is to buy a model that uses the generic size so replacement is easy. Then go ahead and buy the computer as well as a high quality power supply to swap into it. If it's a new machine you might need that done in an approved shop so the warranty isn't violated.

You should probably have some kind of backup system set up too--either an external hard drive or you could subscribe to one of those online backup services--as your hard drive will eventually fail.

Oh, and you'll want a high quality surge protector and maybe a UPS.

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July 23, 2011 at 03:54:20
Is it necessary to purchase an OEM system(u will save alot of $ if u build it yourself)?

We can not fight new wars with old weapons, let he who desires peace prepare for war - PROPHET.

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July 23, 2011 at 13:42:17
Get a good quality "business series" computer from some company that offers good support, a way to recover it to OEM state.

A home system is not always built to the same standards but in most cases all of that junk is from prisoners in China.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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