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Buying an HP at Best Buy

So I am currently looking into purchasing a new computer and I am probably going to buy the HP m9340f sold at Best Buy. I was just at the store and started talking to a Geek Squad technician about it. Obviously, he was trying to offer me additional services for extra $$, but I trust Best Buy so I am going to look into it despite the extra costs.

First, he told me that for $30 they will take all of the trial version software and other crap that HP includes on their computers when they ship them. He told me this will speed up the computer a little bit, and this made sense to me.

Then, he told me that when HP ships the computers to them, not all of the four cores are enabled (in the Core 2 Quad processor included in the system), and that they would also enable these for me.

This surprised me. Has anyone heard of this before? And why would HP ship computers without enabling all four of the cores?! I think he said this service was also only $30, so if what he says is true, I will probably do it. Should I???

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Take all of that with a grain of salt !

In reply to: Buying an HP at Best Buy

In addition I purchased an HP Pavilion a1748x machine little over a year ago.

Nothing but regrets... will never purchase another HP.

Hope this helps... just my opinion.

Glenn

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Don't take the bait

In reply to: Buying an HP at Best Buy

If you want that computer, you can remove the crapware and configure the BIOS yourself. It's also quite possible that you can purchase an equivalent model directly from HP for less money. Any support and warranty issues will be covered by the manufacturer and not the reseller anyway.

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They are lying

In reply to: Buying an HP at Best Buy

Disabling 2 cores I think is BS. Don't use geeksquad they rip off people who don't know a lot about computers. All those services you can do yourself.

I flashed my BIOS once and ended up with a Core 2 Duo with only 1 core enabled but that was through an accident on my part and a reflashing of the BIOS re-enabled the disabled core.

If you go to HP.com you will probably be better off ordering from there. They have online discounts and if you get a monitor usually there will be a PC+Monitor rebate. I got -200$ off plus 8% off with an academic discount so I got a really good computer for cheapz.

Remember GS is placing their best interests for the man. They will stop at nothing to get your money. I bought an extended plan when I got a compaq laptop which was a good idea since it was compaq at the time and I actually used their service 3 times which was covered but given that HP's reliability is super awesome I wouldn't worry about GS.

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One more thing

In reply to: Buying an HP at Best Buy

Sorry I forgot to add. I have a HP system like I said it's a Core 2 Duo system and let me tell you that HP does NOT riddle the computer with a TON of adware. I had an old eMachines that was FAR WORSE. HP actually doesn't add any adware to begin with. The closest thing it has is HP's adviser tool which helps keep track of your system health. It has that, Norton, and a keyboard tool and that's it on startup so what they basically do is nothing to your computer. I will guarantee it.

Also with a hefty quad core you think a few HP programs would slow your comp down? Remember this is the Core 2. Not some Pentium III.

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You are probably right about the crapware

In reply to: One more thing

Manufacturer's who partner with big box resellers would do well to put limited versions of software on the custom models they supply to such as Best Buy. These versions will become opportunities for the reseller to offer full versions to those who buy the product in the stores and increase their profits. No doubt there is mutual benefit to the manufacturer and reseller in this partnership who can prey on the least knowledgeable and impulsive consumer. For those who can't build their own PCs, I try to recommend a local reputable builder who will put together a custom machine with good quality parts and offer a decent warranty. With these builds you generally get the full OEM software disks rather than disk images and restore partitions that tend to confuse more than they help. A reputable builder will know which brands to recommend and which parts will work best and will steer you away from trouble. Why....because they don't want you to bring back your machine under their warranty. They want it to work properly and for you to tell your friends about them.

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Danger Will Robinson

In reply to: Buying an HP at Best Buy

Danger Will Robinson! Danger!

Do NOT buy an HP/Compaq system or you WILL regret it.

Long story short: HP/Compaq systems have very poor quality hardware, Windows gets very pissy on poor quality hardware, leading to you having a very poor experience.

Also, another little tip... Pretty much everything Best Buy's Geek Squad (and similar services offered by other stores) is completely useless, overpriced, and a lot of the people working there have about as much clue what they're doing as you do.

Case in point, the person you were talking to is full of it, or at best, highly confused. Here's a bit about how Intel, and AMD, make CPUs. Every single one of them starts off as a quad core chip, that is how they are fabricated. Now, some of those are going to have defects. Maybe one or two of the cores don't work properly, or even at all. Those chips are then sold as Core 2 Duos. In cases where three cores fail testing, they are sold as Core 2 Solos. Sometimes, if they need to ramp up production of a particular type, because there's a sudden spike in demand for Core 2 Duo chips, they may intentionally disable 2 of the 4 cores on a quad core chip, slap the Core 2 Duo logo on there, and ship it out.

AMD does exactly the same thing, except that they decided they would sell chips where 3 of the 4 cores were fully functional, which is probably very economical for them.

While it may be possible, using bits of trickery, to enable those additional cores, you have no way of telling if they were disabled because they didn't work properly or if Intel just needed to meet a demand for dual core chips and crippled some quad core chips to do so.

However, if you buy a system with a quad core chip, all 4 cores WILL be enabled when it ships. What that person at Best Buy is doing is quite probably illegal, but the majority of the things Geek Squad like outfits do is borderline illegal, and almost always highly unethical. Selling people services they don't need, pushing useless software and extended warranties, etc. Generally employees at places like Best Buy have a quota of things they have to sell every month, and if they don't do it, they're fired.

A little tip that most of us have learned through experience. Don't buy anything over $100 from Best Buy unless you need something immediately. Case in point, I recently moved half-way across the country, and thanks to some serious manhandling by UPS, my old computer died. I needed a replacement as soon as possible, so I reluctantly bought something at Best Buy. Only buy things from Best Buy when it's more important to have it right away than save 5-10% off the top. Or, when the hassle of returning something far exceeds any monetary savings. Big screen TVs come to mind for that one, or appliances like washing machines.

When it comes to computers, unless yours died and you need another post-haste it's probably better to buy direct. Also, decline all the extra services and software they'll try and push on you. The extended warranty is about the only thing I would consider, but you need to make a decision about whether YOU think it's worth the money.

I will say however, that for the most part I am pretty happy with this Dell system I picked up from Best Buy. Somewhere I swear it says the memory is dual channel, which isn't true, but dual channel memory really doesn't offer much of a performance benefit anyway. The problem isn't getting data from RAM to your CPU, it's getting data from anywhere else to RAM. It also comes with Vista x64, which admittedly doesn't enjoy the same driver support as the 32-bit Vista, but it's not really as bad as some people make it out to be.

Just do NOT, under any circumstances, get an HP or Compaq system. I don't care if it's from a store like Best Buy or direct from HP, DON'T DO IT!

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