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In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

Old 01-16-13, 11:33 AM
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In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

I have a Gateway desktop that I bought about 5-6 years ago from Best Buy that was (at the time) a fairly powerful gaming system. It has recently died or is on its way to dying. The video card has failed and the system had all kinds of other issues.

I already have 2 monitors, so I'm not looking at systems that come with a monitor.

I've looked at the following, but I'm not sure which I plan on going with at this point. The system will be used as a media streaming system for movies through Plex to a Roku box. Playon, Hulu, Netflix streaming, and Amazon streaming will also be used. There may be an occasional PC game played, but nothing that requires the best of the best powerhouse system. Other uses will be some minor video editing, web surfing, office applications, photoshop.

With that said, these are the systems in my price range that stood out to me.

HP ENVY h8-1437c Desktop, Intel® Core™ i5-3470 3.20GHz - $699

Spoiler:
Processor & Memory:

3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-3470 Processor 3.20GHz
6MB Cache
12GB PC3-10600 DDR3-1333 SDRAM memory 3x4GB (expandable to 32GB)

Drives:

2TB 7200RPM Serial ATA hard drive
SuperMulti DVD Burner

Operating System:

Microsoft® Windows 8 (64-bit)
Windows 8 is Beautiful, fast, and fluid.
Personalized: Make your Start Screen your personalized home for the things you care about. Organize and customize it the way you want.
Connected: Now everything is in one place to share. Integrate your online favorites – Facebook, Flickr, Hotmail, etc. – with content from your PC., such as photos and contacts.

Graphics & Video:

No Monitor
NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 620 graphics card with 1GB DDR3 dedicated graphics memory
Up to 4096MB Total Available Graphics Memory as allocated by Windows 8

Communications:

10/100/1000 Base-T Network
Integrated Bluetooth® 4.0 and Wireless LAN 802.11/b/g/n featuring Single-band (2.4Ghz) 1x1 technology

Audio:

Beats™ audio
High Definition Audio with up to 7.1 surround sound capabilities

Keyboard:

USB keyboard with volume control and optical mouse

Expandability (Total Slots):

Total Memory Slots: 4 DIMM (240-pin, DDR3) (one available)
3 PCI Express x1 (three available)
1 PCI Express x16 (occupied)
1 MiniCard (occupied)

I/O Ports & Slots:

2 USB 2.0 ports (Front)
2 USB 3.0 ports (Top)
Headphone and Microphone (Top)
4 USB 2.0 ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports (Back)
Optical Audio Out; LAN; Microphone/Line-in/Line-out; Rear speaker-out; Side speaker out; Center (subwoofer)
VGA (via dongle)
DVI
HDMI, support for Microsoft® DirectX® 11. Multi-display (up to two
displays)
1x Front panel 15-in-1 memory card reader

Additional Information:

Dimensions: 16.22 in (L/D) x 6.89 in (W) x 16.34 in (H) approx.
Warranty: 2 year limited hardware warranty and 1 year technical support

Model: h8-1437c / H4A10AA


HP - Pavilion Desktop - 6GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive - $479

Spoiler:


Windows 8.
The 1TB hard drive provides ample storage space for your media. .

HP Pavilion Desktop - 6GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive
USB keyboard, optical mouse
Software: CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector, CyberLink PhotoDirector and more
Owner's manual

VISION Technology by AMD
Makes your digital photos and Web sites look amazing and gives a boost to digital music playback.
AMD Quad-Core A8-5500 Accelerated Processor with AMD Radeon HD 7560D graphics
For powerful performance.
6GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM
For multitasking power, expandable to 32GB.
Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support
Records up to 8.5GB of data or 4 hours of video using compatible DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media; also supports DVD-RAM.
4MB L2 cache memory
For efficient system processing.
1TB Serial ATA hard drive (7200 rpm)
Offers spacious storage and fast read/write times.
AMD Radeon HD 7560D graphics
Feature up to 3GB video memory and up to 3031MB total available video memory as allocated by Windows 8 for lush images with intricate detail.
Multidisplay capable
Allows you to connect a second monitor for additional work space (monitors not included).
15-in-1 front-panel media reader
Supports SmartMedia, xD-Picture Card, MultiMediaCard, Reduced-Size MultiMediaCard, MultiMediaCard mobile, MultiMediaCard Plus, Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity, miniSD and CompactFlash I/II formats.
Also supports Microdrive, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo formats.
4 USB 3.0 ports and 4 USB 2.0 ports
For fast digital data transfer and easy peripheral connectivity.
Built-in 2.4GHz single-band 1x1 wireless LAN (802.11b/g/n)
Connect to the Internet without wires.
Built-in 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet LAN
For quick and easy wired Web connection.
Microsoft Windows 8 operating system preinstalled
Provides a stable platform for word processing, Web navigation, gaming, media storage and more.
Software package included
With CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector, CyberLink PhotoDirector and more.
AMD, AMD Arrow logo, AMD Athlon, QuantiSpeed, AMD PowerNow! and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.


HP - Pavilion Desktop - 8GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive - $549

Spoiler:


What's Included

HP Pavilion Desktop - 8GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive
USB keyboard, optical mouse
Software: CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector, CyberLink PhotoDirector and more
Owner's manual

Specifications

Warranty Terms - Parts: 1 year
Warranty Terms - Labor: 1 year limited
Height: 14.8 inches
Width: 6.5 inches
Depth: 14.5 inches

See All Specs
Learn more about Windows 8
Easily navigate the Internet with this HP Pavilion p6-2350 desktop that features built-in wireless networking, so you can access e-mail, browse the Web and more. The 1TB hard drive offers ample storage for your photos, music and other files.

Product Features
VISION Technology by AMD

Makes your digital photos and Web sites look amazing and gives a boost to digital music playback.
AMD Quad-Core A8-5600K processor with AMD Radeon HD 7560D graphics

For optimal performance.
8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM

For multitasking power, expandable to 32GB.
Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support

Records up to 8.5GB of data or 4 hours of video using compatible DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media; also supports DVD-RAM.
1TB Serial ATA hard drive (7200 rpm)

Offers spacious storage and fast read/write times.
AMD Radeon HD 7560D graphics

Feature up to 4GB shared video memory for lush images and vivid detail.
Multidisplay capable

Allows you to connect a second monitor for additional work space (monitors not included).
6-in-1 media reader

Supports Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity, MultiMediaCard, MultiMediaCard Plus, Memory Stick and xD-Picture Card formats.
2 USB 3.0 and 4 USB 2.0 ports

For fast digital video, audio and data transfer.
Built-in high-speed wireless LAN (802.11b/g/n)

Connect to the Internet without wires.
Built-in 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet LAN

For quick and easy wired Web connection.
Microsoft Windows 8 operating system preinstalled

Provides a stable platform for word processing, Web navigation, gaming, media storage and more.
Software package included

With CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector, CyberLink PhotoDirector and more. 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office included.

AMD, AMD Arrow logo, AMD Athlon, QuantiSpeed, AMD PowerNow! and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.


HP - Pavilion Desktop - 8GB Memory - 2TB Hard Drive - $669(Best Buy), $599 (MicroCenter)

Spoiler:


What's Included

HP Pavilion Desktop - 8GB Memory - 2TB Hard Drive
Wireless keyboard, wireless optical mouse
Software: CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector, CyberLink PhotoDirector and more
Owner's manual

Specifications

Warranty Terms - Parts: 1 year
Warranty Terms - Labor: 1 year limited
Height: 16.1 inches
Width: 6.9 inches
Depth: 15.3 inches

See All Specs
Learn more about Windows 8
Enhance your multitasking capabilities with this HP Pavilion p7-1430 desktop that features built-in wireless networking for easy Internet connection. The 2TB hard drive offers ample storage for your photos, music and other files.

Learn more about VISION Technology from AMD.

Product Features
VISION Technology by AMD

Makes your digital photos and Web sites look amazing and gives a boost to digital music playback.
AMD Quad-Core A10-5700 processor with AMD Radeon HD 7660D graphics

For optimal performance.
8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM

For multitasking power, expandable to 32GB.
Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support

Records up to 8.5GB of data or 4 hours of video using compatible DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media; also supports DVD-RAM.
4MB L2 cache

For efficient system processing.
2TB Serial ATA hard drive (7200 rpm)

Offers spacious storage and fast read/write times.
AMD Radeon HD 7660D graphics

Feature up to 4GB shared video memory for lush images and vivid detail.
Multidisplay capable

Allows you to connect a second monitor for additional work space (monitors not included).
15-in-1 media reader

Supports Secure Digital, miniSD, MultiMediaCard, MultiMediaCard mobile, MultiMediaCard Plus, Reduced-Size MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO and Memory Stick PRO Duo formats.

Also compatible with CompactFlash I/II, xD-Picture Card, SmartMedia and Microdrive formats.
2 USB 3.0 and 6 USB 2.0 ports

For fast digital video, audio and data transfer.
Built-in high-speed wireless LAN (802.11b/g/n)

Connect to the Internet without wires.
Built-in 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet LAN

For quick and easy wired Web connection.
Microsoft Windows 8 operating system preinstalled

Provides a stable platform for word processing, Web navigation, gaming, media storage and more.
Software package included

With CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector, CyberLink PhotoDirector and more. 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office included.

AMD, AMD Arrow logo, AMD Athlon, QuantiSpeed, AMD PowerNow! and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.


HP - Pavilion Desktop - 6GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive - $477

Spoiler:


What's Included

HP Pavilion Desktop - 6GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive
USB keyboard, optical mouse
Software: CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector, CyberLink PhotoDirector and more
Owner's manual

Specifications

Warranty Terms - Parts: 1 year
Warranty Terms - Labor: 1 year limited
Height: 14.8 inches
Width: 6.5 inches
Depth: 14.5 inches

See All Specs
Learn more about Windows 8
Easily connect to the Internet with this HP Pavilion p6-2330 desktop that features built-in wireless networking for accessing e-mail, browsing the Web and more. The 1TB hard drive offers ample storage for your photos, music and other files.

Product Features
VISION Technology by AMD

Makes your digital photos and Web sites look amazing and gives a boost to digital music playback.
AMD A6-5400K Accelerated Processor with AMD Radeon HD 7540D graphics

For optimal performance.
6GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM

For multitasking power, expandable to 32GB.
Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support

Records up to 8.5GB of data or 4 hours of video using compatible DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media; also supports DVD-RAM.
1MB L2 cache

For efficient system processing.
1TB Serial ATA hard drive (7200 rpm)

Offers spacious storage and fast read/write times.
AMD Radeon HD 7540D graphics

Feature up to 3GB shared video memory for lush images and vivid detail.
Multidisplay capable

Allows you to connect a second monitor for additional work space (monitors not included).
6-in-1 media reader

Supports Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity, xD-Picture Card, MultiMediaCard, MultiMediaCard Plus and Memory Stick formats.
2 USB 3.0 and 4 USB 2.0 ports

For fast digital video, audio and data transfer.
Built-in high-speed wireless LAN (802.11b/g/n)

Connect to the Internet without wires.
Built-in 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet LAN

For quick and easy wired Web connection.
Microsoft Windows 8 operating system preinstalled

Provides a stable platform for word processing, Web navigation, gaming, media storage and more.
Software package included

With CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector, CyberLink PhotoDirector and more. 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office included.

AMD, AMD Arrow logo, AMD Athlon, QuantiSpeed, AMD PowerNow! and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.


HP - ENVY Desktop - 10GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive - $649

Spoiler:


What's Included

HP ENVY Desktop - 10GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive
USB keyboard, optical mouse
Software: CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector, CyberLink PhotoDirector and more
Owner's manual

Specifications

Warranty Terms - Parts: 1 year limited
Warranty Terms - Labor: 1 year limited
Height: 16.3 inches
Width: 6.9 inches
Depth: 16.2 inches

See All Specs
Learn more about Windows 8
This HP ENVY h8-1414 desktop features 1GB dedicated graphics for vibrant visuals and built-in wireless networking to deliver ultrafast Internet connectivity. The spacious 1TB hard drive lets you store your media collection.
Product Features
AMD Six-Core FX-6120 Processor with AMD Radeon HD 7450 graphics

For reliable computing power.
10GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM

For multitasking power, expandable to 32GB.
Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support

Records up to 8.5GB of data or 4 hours of video using compatible DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media; also supports DVD-RAM.
6MB L2/up to 8MB L3 cache memory

For efficient system processing.
1TB Serial ATA hard drive (7200 rpm)

Offers plenty of storage capacity and fast read/write times.
AMD Radeon HD 7450 graphics

Feature 1GB dedicated video memory (up to 4830MB total available as allocated by Windows 8) for lush images with stunning detail.
Multidisplay capable

Allows you to connect a second monitor for additional work space (monitors not included).
15-in-1 media reader

Supports SmartMedia, xD-Picture Card, MultiMediaCard, Reduced-Size MultiMediaCard, MultiMediaCard mobile, MultiMediaCard Plus, Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity, miniSD, CompactFlash I/II and Microdrive formats.

Also supports Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo formats.
2 USB 3.0 ports and 8 USB 2.0 ports

For fast digital video, audio and data transfer.
Built-in 2.4GHz high-speed wireless LAN (802.11b/g/n)

Connect to the Internet without wires.
Bluetooth 4.0 interface

Easily link with other Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as a mobile phone or MP3 player.
Built-in 10/100/1000Base-T networking interface

For quick and easy wired Web connection.
Microsoft Windows 8 operating system preinstalled

Provides a stable platform for word processing, Web navigation, gaming, media storage and more.
Software package included

With CyberLink PowerDVD, CyberLink PowerDirector, CyberLink PhotoDirector and more.

AMD, AMD Arrow logo, AMD Athlon, QuantiSpeed, AMD PowerNow! and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.


HP ENVY h8-1445 Desktop PC - $779

Spoiler:

Internal specsBack to the topOperating system•Windows 8
Processor•AMD FX-8120 Eight-Core (3.1 GHz )
•3.1 GHz
•8 MB L2 + 8 MB shared L3 cache
Memory•12 GB DDR3
•4 DIMM
•Upgradeable up to 32 GB DDR3
Hard drive•2 TB SATA (7200 rpm)
Flash Cache•16 GB
Graphics•AMD Radeon HD 7450A (1 GB DDR3 dedicated, up to 4.74 GB)
Optical drive•SuperMulti DVD burner
Networking•802.11a/b/g/n; Integrated Bluetooth 4.0
•10/100/1000 BASE-T
Ports•4 USB 3.0; 6 USB 2.0; 1 LAN; 1 headphone; 1 microphone; 1 audio in; 1 audio out; 1 optical audio out; 2 speakers; 1 subwoofer
•1 MiniCard; 1 PCIe x16; 3 PCIe x1
External specsBack to the topKeyboard & mouse•USB keyboard
•USB optical mouse
Dimensions•6.88 x 16.22 x 16.34 in
Entertainment specsBack to the topAudio•Beats audio; High Definition Audio 7.1
Video Connectors•1 DVI; 1 HDMI; 1 VGA via dongle
What's includedBack to the topWarranty•2-year limited hardware warranty and 1 year software support; 24x7 technical assistance available online or toll-free by phone; lifetime use of HP Support Assistant
Software included•Norton Internet Security 2012 (60-day subscription)
•Amazon Kindle e-reader; CyberLink PowerDVD; CyberLink PowerDirector; HP Connected Backup; HP Connected Music powered by Meridian; HP Connected Photo powered by Snapfish; HP Connected Remote; HP Games; HP MyRoom; HP Recovery Manager; HP Support Assistant; Netflix


I'm not sure if I want to go Intel or AMD. I usually consider AMD because they seem to have the better graphics card capability where as Intel are often integrated or lower quality graphics. Also, not sure if Quad-core is ample or if I should consider the six-core or eight-core systems. I'm sure there aren't many apps that would fully utilize them at this point, but future programs would be a consideration.

I'm also open to different, comparable systems from other manufactures, etc.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Canis Firebrand; 01-16-13 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 01-17-13, 07:43 AM
  #2  
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

Why no computers from Dell?
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Old 01-17-13, 08:05 AM
  #3  
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

I deal with Dells at work and from the machines I've seen there, they didn't impress me much. Though, as I said, I'm open to suggestions from other manufacturers. I've had HP systems in the past and have had good luck. The current desktop that needs to be replaced is a Gateway. My laptop is a Samsung, though I'm not as happy with that one.
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Old 01-17-13, 08:20 AM
  #4  
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

When it comes to Desktops most manufacturers are about on par, imho. I like the Dell cases from a few years ago but I'm not sure if they're still using them.

AMD has better integrated graphics but since you aren't going to be using that you can go with either. I've had some great and terrible experiences with both AMD and Intel, I mostly stick with Intel now.

Here's a rundown of CPU performance for each of the computers you listed ( http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php )

Intel Core i5-3470 @ 3.20GHz Score: 6674 Overall Rank: 110 ($699 Computer)
AMD A8-5500 APU Score: 4236 Overall Rank: 253 ($479)
AMD A8-5600K APU Score: 4517 Overall Rank: 226 ($549)
AMD A10-5700 APU Score: 4493 Overall Rank: 229 ($669/$599)
AMD A6-5400K APU Score: 2126 Overall Rank: 574 ($477)
AMD FX-6120 Six-Core Score: 5883 Overall Rank: 146 ($649)
AMD FX-8120 Eight-Core Score: 6657 Overall Rank: 111 ($779)

The FX-8120 is pretty good but if you can get the same total power on a quad core I'd go that route.

Regardless that brings you down to two main contenders: The $699 computer w/ the i5 and the $779 computer with the FX-8120.

The i5 Machine includes a GT 620 Graphics card which has a 3D Score of 428.
The FX-8120 machine includes a Radeon 7450A Graphics card which has a 3D Score of 370.

Both have terrible scores there, so expect to be adding a graphics card. IMHO $700 for a Desktop PC w/o dedicated graphics is ridiculous. The Core i5 machine is the better of the two, in terms of performance, price and presumably reliability, but still seems a touch overpriced to me.

I have that same Core i5 CPU (albeit unlocked) in my home built machine, if you add a SSD to the machine you will be amazed at how well it performs.

Last edited by RichC2; 01-17-13 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 01-17-13, 08:20 AM
  #5  
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

Originally Posted by Vryce View Post

HP ENVY h8-1437c Desktop, Intel® Core™ i5-3470 3.20GHz - $699

Spoiler:
Processor & Memory:

3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-3470 Processor 3.20GHz
6MB Cache
12GB PC3-10600 DDR3-1333 SDRAM memory 3x4GB (expandable to 32GB)

Drives:

2TB 7200RPM Serial ATA hard drive
SuperMulti DVD Burner

Operating System:

Microsoft® Windows 8 (64-bit)
Windows 8 is Beautiful, fast, and fluid.
Personalized: Make your Start Screen your personalized home for the things you care about. Organize and customize it the way you want.
Connected: Now everything is in one place to share. Integrate your online favorites – Facebook, Flickr, Hotmail, etc. – with content from your PC., such as photos and contacts.

Graphics & Video:

No Monitor
NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 620 graphics card with 1GB DDR3 dedicated graphics memory
Up to 4096MB Total Available Graphics Memory as allocated by Windows 8

Communications:

10/100/1000 Base-T Network
Integrated Bluetooth® 4.0 and Wireless LAN 802.11/b/g/n featuring Single-band (2.4Ghz) 1x1 technology

Audio:

Beats™ audio
High Definition Audio with up to 7.1 surround sound capabilities

Keyboard:

USB keyboard with volume control and optical mouse

Expandability (Total Slots):

Total Memory Slots: 4 DIMM (240-pin, DDR3) (one available)
3 PCI Express x1 (three available)
1 PCI Express x16 (occupied)
1 MiniCard (occupied)

I/O Ports & Slots:

2 USB 2.0 ports (Front)
2 USB 3.0 ports (Top)
Headphone and Microphone (Top)
4 USB 2.0 ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports (Back)
Optical Audio Out; LAN; Microphone/Line-in/Line-out; Rear speaker-out; Side speaker out; Center (subwoofer)
VGA (via dongle)
DVI
HDMI, support for Microsoft® DirectX® 11. Multi-display (up to two
displays)
1x Front panel 15-in-1 memory card reader

Additional Information:

Dimensions: 16.22 in (L/D) x 6.89 in (W) x 16.34 in (H) approx.
Warranty: 2 year limited hardware warranty and 1 year technical support

Model: h8-1437c / H4A10AA


This one

I would not bother with a 6 or 8 core CPU unless you have a very specific purpose for it. Not very helpful on a general use machine.

I would not bother with AMD processors these days, they took a hard fall and were never able to get back up (but they lived some glorious days years ago)


I wouldn't exclude dell because you have them at work
I would also include Lenovo (unless you are X)

At the same price point (minus the "black Friday" type deal) you are buying about the same quality machine from the top level manufacturers. There may be some minor differences, but nothing earth shattering.

First, figure out exactly what specs you can live with (seems like you have a long list of choices and haven't really narrowed down what you even want)

then

I would search

slickdeals
fatwallet
dealnews

all daily until I found the specs I wanted a good price (you will figure out a fair price after watching the posted deals for a few days).
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Old 01-17-13, 08:30 AM
  #6  
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

The one at Costco is on the top of my list.

The only specs that I am concerned about enough to influence one option over another is the memory, hard drive size, and graphics. I looked a little at some graphics card benchmarks, and all of the cards in the systems I listed are pretty much bottom entry-point cards. I believe, if the graphics card is not integrated that I could upgrade that in the future if I wanted. One of the sites, toms hardware I think, had a person that analyzed a similar system that a person posted and said the graphics cards that low end would be bottlenecks.

The ultimate goal of the system is to be a media server mainly for streaming movies (netflix, etc). It will get some use for office applications, internet browsing, and maybe gaming (steam most likely). But, I'm not going to be playing the latest games and top of the line stuff.

I'll keep any eye on those sites for deals.
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Old 01-17-13, 08:38 AM
  #7  
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

The Costco one is the best value for the money.
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Old 01-17-13, 08:50 AM
  #8  
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post

Both have terrible scores there, so expect to be adding a graphics card. IMHO $700 for a Desktop PC w/o dedicated graphics is ridiculous. The Core i5 machine is the better of the two, in terms of performance, price and presumably reliability, but still seems a touch overpriced to me.
When you say dedicated graphics, are you talking about integrated with the motherboard? I was not impressed with the graphics card choice in any of the systems, but short of building my own system, it doesn't seem like any pre-built systems, in my range, have better graphics cards.
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Old 01-17-13, 08:59 AM
  #9  
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

If you don't mind refurb, check out Lenovo outlet. They have some great sales from time to time, but t selection is limited. They carry a one year warranty. Ram is pretty cheap and easy to add, if you see a system that has the specs you need, you can upgrade the ram later.

With regards to looking for deals, you can set up deal alerts on slick deals for whatever you are looking for.
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Old 01-17-13, 09:15 AM
  #10  
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

Originally Posted by Vryce View Post
When you say dedicated graphics, are you talking about integrated with the motherboard? I was not impressed with the graphics card choice in any of the systems, but short of building my own system, it doesn't seem like any pre-built systems, in my range, have better graphics cards.
There are two kinds - Dedicated and Integrated. Dedicated means you have one of those behemoth cards in a PCI-E slot. Integrated means you're just going off what's integrated into the motherboard.

All of these systems have integrated graphics which are not really suitable for gaming, but if you don't plan on doing much of that it isn't a big concern. For $700 though I just assume it'd have some sort of dedicated card, individual components are fairly cheap these days.
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Old 01-17-13, 09:20 AM
  #11  
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
There are two kinds - Dedicated and Integrated. Dedicated means you have one of those behemoth cards in a PCI-E slot. Integrated means you're just going off what's integrated into the motherboard.

All of these systems have integrated graphics which are not really suitable for gaming, but if you don't plan on doing much of that it isn't a big concern. For $700 though I just assume it'd have some sort of dedicated card, individual components are fairly cheap these days.
That makes sense. Though I thought, maybe incorrectly, that the system at Costco had a individual card. It mentions NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 620 graphics card with 1GB DDR3 dedicated graphics memory
Up to 4096MB Total Available Graphics Memory as allocated by Windows 8.

I took that to mean it had a separate card with 1 GB of its own memory, but it shares an additional 3 GB from the system?

Am I reading the specs wrong? It's been a while since I have had to look for a system.
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Old 01-17-13, 09:23 AM
  #12  
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

You're correct, I misread that myself it just isn't a super powerful card, though it can play some reasonably current games (like say, Skyrim and Assassin's Creed 3) in High Detail if you keep the resolution down a bit. Should be more than enough for an occasional game.
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Old 01-17-13, 09:27 AM
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
You're correct, I misread that myself it just isn't a super powerful card.
There are better details of that system on HP's site.

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport...odTypeId=12454

Since its a separate card, I could upgrade it to a better one, in the future, if I wanted to get more into gaming. Outside of gaming, it sounds like its a decent system for what I plan on using it for. I'm still going to look around for other manufactures since I have a little bit of time to make the purchase.

I would have liked for it to be a little less expensive, but for the processor, ram, and HD size it seems comparable to what I've looked at thus far.
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Old 01-17-13, 09:31 AM
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

How important is customer service/support to you? ie - do you find yourself calling directly or just researching issues yourself?
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Old 01-17-13, 09:33 AM
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

Usually look up issues myself.
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Old 01-17-13, 09:35 AM
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

Thanks, just curious - I tend to recommend machines from Asus and such from time to time, but as with a lot of those companies you aren't going to get the same support you would if you bought from HP or Dell. (They have support, but it's mostly to get RMAs taken care of).
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Old 01-17-13, 01:05 PM
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

I might look at this one.

http://shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-of...60t-Desktop-PC

If you get it to $999 or above you can use JANPC20 to get 20% off

I would likely upgrade the power supply since it only comes with a 300 watt one. Although my guess is the other ones you are looking at likely also are only 300 watt power supplies.

Last edited by gcribbs; 01-17-13 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 01-17-13, 02:53 PM
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

Originally Posted by Vryce View Post
The one at Costco is on the top of my list.
looks like the best machine on your list to me.

The only specs that I am concerned about enough to influence one option over another is the memory, hard drive size, and graphics. I looked a little at some graphics card benchmarks, and all of the cards in the systems I listed are pretty much bottom entry-point cards. I believe, if the graphics card is not integrated that I could upgrade that in the future if I wanted. One of the sites, toms hardware I think, had a person that analyzed a similar system that a person posted and said the graphics cards that low end would be bottlenecks.

The ultimate goal of the system is to be a media server mainly for streaming movies (netflix, etc). It will get some use for office applications, internet browsing, and maybe gaming (steam most likely). But, I'm not going to be playing the latest games and top of the line stuff.

I'll keep any eye on those sites for deals.
The low end graphics is only a bottleneck if you need more GPU power than they offer.

Of your list of things you do with the machine, the games are the only thing that would require more than built in video. Streaming from netflix is no big deal video wise.

You can install a higher end video card in a machine with built in graphics and it will work just fine. The power supply then becomes the bigger concern.

You need to define video card requirements for the exact games you need to run before you can proceed.


Have you thought about a custom PC from a place like cyberpower pc?

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/

It's like building one yourself without the hassles of actually building one yourself

for example, start here

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/Mega_Special_III

and juggle around some things to get the price/performance you want.
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Old 01-17-13, 03:42 PM
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

Originally Posted by gcribbs View Post
I might look at this one.

http://shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-of...60t-Desktop-PC

If you get it to $999 or above you can use JANPC20 to get 20% off

I would likely upgrade the power supply since it only comes with a 300 watt one. Although my guess is the other ones you are looking at likely also are only 300 watt power supplies.
Not sure on the other ones, but on HPs site, the one that I am considering from Costco lists this as the power supply.

Power Supply
Internal 460W (100V-240V)

Form Factor: internal ATX
Total wattage: 460W
Nominal input voltage range:
100-127V/3A (50-60Hz)
200-240V/2A (50-60Hz)
Dimensions: 150mm x 140mm x 86mm (5.9 x 5.5 x 3.4 inches)
* This power supply has an LED to indicate a possible failure condition when LED is off and power is connected.
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Old 01-17-13, 03:45 PM
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
looks like the best machine on your list to me.



The low end graphics is only a bottleneck if you need more GPU power than they offer.

Of your list of things you do with the machine, the games are the only thing that would require more than built in video. Streaming from netflix is no big deal video wise.

You can install a higher end video card in a machine with built in graphics and it will work just fine. The power supply then becomes the bigger concern.

You need to define video card requirements for the exact games you need to run before you can proceed.


Have you thought about a custom PC from a place like cyberpower pc?

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/

It's like building one yourself without the hassles of actually building one yourself

for example, start here

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/Mega_Special_III

and juggle around some things to get the price/performance you want.
That's a pretty nice link, I'll look into that.

As for games, the only ones recently that I have are Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, and Star Wars: The Old Republic, as well as some games on Steam (Half-Life, Portal, The Witcher, and a bunch of smaller type games like World of Goo, etc.)

Most of my gaming is on the 360 console. I don't see myself buying many actual PC games to worry too much about having a "gaming" PC.
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Old 01-18-13, 08:22 PM
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Re: In the market for Desktop. Opinions/feedback on possible choices

Originally Posted by Vryce View Post
Since its a separate card, I could upgrade it to a better one, in the future, if I wanted to get more into gaming.
You seem to be under the mistaken impression that if you buy a system that has integrated graphics, that you cannot upgrade to more powerful graphics later. You can always simply add a dedicated graphics card later and simply use that. In that case, you would usually go into the BIOS and disable the integrated graphics, or designate it as secondary.
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