Desktops forum

General discussion


by ezd20 / March 13, 2007 9:34 AM PDT

Hi..Im shoppn for a NEW computer for me and my daughters..This will be out FIRST...It will MAINLY be used for INTERNET and music and DVD"s...I'd Like to stay around $1000. to 1400 at the MAX...the 2 companys so far that interest me is HP...I'll get more specific(models) as I learn More...any HELP will be GRATELY appreciated...thanks again.:I also would like to ADD that I want my Operating system to be WINDOWS XP and Not VISTA....Been lookn at a HP m7659n,m7690n both are about $300 more than the other withiout MONITOR but that's not a Problem for my price range...The only thing I did not like is that HP did not document well what was required to play HD-DVDs. The computer is fully capable but you must have a monitor that supports HDCP (copy protection for HD discs) So no HD-dvd will play because of the copy protection and their are only a few monitors that support it $700 and up range. Works fine if you use the analog output but then you loose the real HD experience. You can connect it toaHDCP TV which all TVs with an HDMI import will support. Pc has plenty of power. it doesn't record or play high def (with a high def monitor).

It isn't geared for that. Confused as to why it will play the High Def DVD's, but, not the high def channels.
I'm gonna make my decision this week(as my daughters are gettn's either gonna be the m7659n or m7690n both by HP...I guess the difference between them is the m7659 is an upgraded system in terms of software and harware.the 7659 gives WINDOWS media center as an Option..??? I really don't know what this means but to me sounds like it's BETTER..but I could be wrong..I've askd HP reps but ALL i'm gettn back is a SALES pitch becuase they only offer the m7659n and they couldn't clear up the HD DVD ???'sthanks again...

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This will be tricky
by electronista / March 13, 2007 12:20 PM PDT
In reply to: HELP 1st COMPUTER...

You're going to have a particularly hard time finding a large-sized company that will still sell a Windows XP system. Your best bet in that regard is to look for a local independent store (i.e. not Best Buy, Circuit City, or others like them) and see what they have on offer. They can usually custom-order hardware that will get the job done, but don't be surprised if you're really pushing the limit by asking for an HD DVD drive -- they're usually a few hundred or more by themselves.

As for the question of HD DVD versus HD television, that's something you can blame on TV networks. Most are terrified that you'll copy their shows. There are tuners that will catch free over-the-air broadcasts, but you'd need a special CableCARD tuner (and the requisite CableCARD from your cable or satellite provider) to get most of it.

I have to ask: do you really want to buy into HD DVD on your computer when it's as expensive as it is now, and we don't know whether it or Blu-Ray will win the movie format wars? I'd rather save the money for a stand-alone player for my TV (if that much!) and stick to a DVD drive in the computer for now.

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Micro Express comes with Windows XP
by jujumc / March 15, 2007 4:29 AM PDT
In reply to: This will be tricky

i just ordered a Microexpress desktop. I got the Microflex 66B which
comes standard with Window XP-and it is customizable.This received an excellent review on the PC World website. Shipping however is extra.
I could let you know more when I get it, jj.

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re: hp media center pcs
by ramarc / March 15, 2007 5:21 AM PDT
In reply to: HELP 1st COMPUTER...

The m7690n has a faster CPU (e6400 2.13ghz vs e6300 1.86 ghz), 1GB more RAM, 500GB hard drive (vs. 250GB), HD DVD drive (m7659 does not), and geForce 7600GT graphics (vs. 7500LE). So, the m7690n is certainly worth a $300 price premium.

Neither will display HD TV channels because neither has an HD tuner card. You could add a HD tuner but you'd have to either dump the modem card (no free PCI slots) or go with an external USB tuner (my suggestion is the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950 for $110). The m7690n comes with the necessary software to play HD DVDs (HP DVD Play HD-DVD 2.2). As for an HDCP capable monitor, the Acer AL2216Wbd is a 22" widescreen for about $320; the Sceptre X20WC is a 20" widescreen and is about $220.

m7659n specs:
m7690n specs:
Sceptre X20WC:
Acer AL2216Wbd:

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by ezd20 / March 15, 2007 7:49 AM PDT

hey thanks for ALL the INFO...this Puts it ALL in to perspective..Hp faild to give this info about HD...I suppose at a Latter time the 7690 could handle VISTA...So it looks like i leaning more towards it and gonna check out those monitors...thanks again..

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If I needed a'd be this one..../
by castingRod47 / March 16, 2007 1:23 PM PDT

LENOVO Think Centre M55e 9637....//as is...
and I would purchase an External SONY Burner Drive..
This PC is alot of Projects all in one place..
If I was to be purchaseing this day I might look into VISTA..
But I need the Full Version software no-upgrades..
The above PC with XP-Professional..
and some ROXIO software..a CREATIVE Sound Card..
thats about all is needed to run for a couple of years.

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Here is a good deal
by manjodabanjo / March 21, 2007 9:11 AM PDT
In reply to: HELP 1st COMPUTER...

unlike the other people,I suggest u look at buying a computer from cyber power pc because not only is it a lot more exxpensive at other places, they have a huge variety, and you could always chat with a representative if you have any questions on their website

ps. dont buy their laptops they weight too much, and if i were you i would pay an extra 20 bucks and they will connectthe wires for you, their website is

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My 2 cents
by nicomp42 / March 23, 2007 9:50 AM PDT
In reply to: HELP 1st COMPUTER...

This is just my opinion and I don't want to disparage anyone else who took the time to post. I'm self-employed as a computer geek and I sell a lot of hardware to families, home businesses, and small businesses, so that's where I'm coming from.

My opinion is that if you stick with the name brands and do your homework you'll be fine. You've obviously studied the DVD issue and you know that there is some variation there. Beyond that, set a budget for yourself and stick with it. Companies like Dell will kill you with little add-ons and upgrades when you try to finalize your purchase.

Ask the vendor about the warranty: where will it be fixed? If it's a depot warranty and the depot is 1000 miles away, then you will be without your machine for quite a while. Also be sure that you understand the warranty. Most warranties cover only what it takes to put the machine back to the way it was when you purchased it. That makes sense because it would be problematic for them to try to reinstall everything you added when you got it home. Even though it makes sense, it's still maddening to the purchaser because it could end up costing them more $ above and beyond the warranty coverage.

I strongly endorse a quality monitor as part of the purchase. You're going to be staring at it for a long time. Don't beat yourself up over the price difference between 17" and 19". Get the 19" and enjoy it. You can't upgrade a monitor once you've purchased it.

Try to arrange the RAM such that there's room for upgrade without having to pitch what's already in there. For example, if you elect to get 1GB, then buy a 1GB stick and leave the other slot empty. Don't get 2 512MB sticks because you'll have to toss one in in order to install a new one.

An extra bay in the chassis for another hard drive is a nice thing to have. If you add a drive, then you don't have to move everything off your original drive. If you don't have room for a 2nd drive, you can always hook up an external USB drive and use that as a 2nd drive.

Resign yourself that the system will seem outdated in 6 months. It's OK.

Get something to back up with. If you choose to back up on DVDs, then do it regularly. I assume that you'll probably store your photos on your hard drive. Imagine what your life would be like if those photos suddenly vanished. Feed on that fear and use it to backup regularly.

Get your O/S on disk. Don't depend on that 'secret' partition to be there when you need to restore. Vendors try to save a buck by hiding the installation image on your hard drive, which might work OK sometimes, but if the drive is unavailable, so is the installation partition.

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you're right about the secret partition and o/s disk!
by coffeecan / March 23, 2007 10:53 AM PDT
In reply to: My 2 cents

i have an hp thats 8 months old and lost my restore disk( that I originally had to make) in a catastrophic weather event. I had to reformat recently due to virus. Lost the "secret partition doing that. CANNOT get a replacement and restore disk from HP. Computer still in warranty. They will not help me. Have previously had very good service from hp but this time they will not help. On line ordering says disk not available. Why is this and the box is only 8 months old!!! I am so upset that I purposely went out and searched for a new computer with an o/s disk. 1-800/888 tech support people tell me that they can't order the disk for me because they are out of it. Online ordering says they are out of it. The great sales dept says to contact the 1-800/888 support folks. The complaint dept says the same. SO i went out and bought a toshiba laptop with an o/s disk and other restoration disk furnished with the computer. Screw HP!. They are as bad as lexar products.

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by stikkybubble / March 23, 2007 7:18 PM PDT

why didn't you buy the disc from microsoft? I'm a mac person, but i had to buy winXP (vista wasn't out yet) for college work. It was only

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Very helpfull
by Major Pain51 / March 23, 2007 11:04 AM PDT
In reply to: My 2 cents

I too am in the market for a PC (gaming) and read anything I can find about advice on PC purchase. I must say your reply was very clear and logical and most of all usefull for anyone in the market for new PC. I've been trying to learn as much as possible about "futureproofing a PC". I've narrowed down my system to a Gateway 530 configured like this QX6700 Extreme Quad core overclocked to 3.2, 4MB RAM, 2x250 7200rpm raid 0 Hard Drives, Vista Ultimate and will wait till they offer 8800 series GPU card (promised soon). What is your opion on this configuration? I want to NOT have to upgrade in 6mo or a yr. and want to be ready for Direct x10 and Quad core designed games, hoping that will happen as predicted by many online sites.

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Wondering Why
by GFW / March 23, 2007 2:36 PM PDT
In reply to: HELP 1st COMPUTER...

I'm wondering why you want a PC and not an iMac. You can do the things you want with more simplicity and less fuss, and the software you need will be easy to find. Internet security will be better, and crashes will be less likely.

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1st PC
by wcoffey81 / March 24, 2007 2:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Wondering Why

have you ever given thought to buying local?? i am biased here because i build custom PCs for a living. "us" smaller custom shops can pull parts from a larger pool and monitor each part for the best warranties/performance. i start of each sale by asking the customer what they want/expect their PC to do and we build from there. i encourage customer input and their own research. did HP offer you a case or a power supply with a lifetime warranty, how about 5 years on a hard drive??? every new system i sell is set-up and running when the customer picks it up because i want them to sit down and play a little before packing it up. that way i can answer any questions they have and show them where everything plugs in.

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get a mac
by fgiordanelli / March 24, 2007 2:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Wondering Why

no mere doubts...and unanswered all

eMac, MacBook

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MACs are just to much a minority
by Clevermetal / March 28, 2007 4:06 AM PDT
In reply to: get a mac

Macintosh are good computers no doubt. Good as in for designing grapgics and other things. But they are not particularly fast and they do not support pretty much any games unless you want to play Unreal Tournament 2004 for the rest of your life.!!!

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Your first computer !!!
by show me how / March 24, 2007 4:16 AM PDT
In reply to: HELP 1st COMPUTER...

I'm new with all computers too and my first computer was Dell I paid $ 1670.95 for things I did not need... But I wanted the program call Dell Learn... To learn how to play with my new toy.. The very first day , I was on the internet.. The next day I tryed to learn more .. So I went to Dell Learn.
It took me 6 days ( with the help of Dells 1-800 number ) to place my name and password into Dell Learn... For the next 11 days I tryed to log on ( with the help of the 1-800 number ) I tryed for 45 day or more and still can't get in.. So I call a new 1-800 number for Dell and Dell told me it's the sofeware and I must call the sofeware co. I told them , I'm calling the sofeware co.. It's Dell Learning .. Dell gave me the round-around... So I called the State of Nevada for help , with the help of the State of Nevada Dell took the computer back and paid for the shiping too. After I recevied my money back.. I went to Apple computer .. Now I own a MAC G-5 I'm very happy ..
If anything goes worng with my Apple all I do is call Apple 1-800 number and Apple will help me fix it.. If Apple can't fix my computer over the phone all I do is take my computer to an Apple store and Apple is very happt to fix it..

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get a mac and be happy
by arturodiaz148 / March 24, 2007 4:45 AM PDT

u got power, fair price, specially the 24" imac, but a macbook is also very nice, small and has a lower price. The ilife suite is everything you need to make a super digital photoalbum.

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Like some have said
by Ed-duh-win / March 24, 2007 8:23 AM PDT
In reply to: HELP 1st COMPUTER...

Like some have said, most major retailors now have completely switched to selling Windows Vista. You'd have to ask an independent local builder or buy a copy of XP yourself at your local electronics store, they still sell them.

As for HD-DVD drive, I'd advise against it. If the HD-DVD loses the format war then your HD-DVD drive will be good as nothing and you'd have to buy a Blu-Ray drive.

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Think different
by mhamilt / March 25, 2007 5:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Like some have said

For what you want to do with your new computer, Why not get a Mac?. They are a lot easier to set up then an XP, and you can not only watch DVD's but burn them too (on selected models). I reccommend going to an Apple store and finding out all you can about Macs... and if you do like the look of the Macs, You can install BootCamp on it and still run Windows XP.

Good luck

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New option!!!! PLEASE READ
by Clevermetal / March 28, 2007 4:03 AM PDT
In reply to: HELP 1st COMPUTER...

HP is a good mak no doubt but you can probably get a better computer from alienware ( ). Your price range fits the lower end of their line (but these are still excellent because alienware set a very high standard). Also what is good about the alienware computers is because before you buy it you can choose everything in it from how big your cache is to Hard drive to what opertaing system you have.

They do you look a bit different. But i assure you they are very very fast and efficient. They are good computers and are fully customizable. Also you said you wanted the computer for gaming aswell. Well Alienware are practically the kings of gaming computers!!!

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Buying 1st Computer
by patleiby / March 28, 2007 10:24 AM PDT
In reply to: HELP 1st COMPUTER...

I have purchased 5 computer systems for myself and family in the past 2 years from Kevin and have never had one single problem. Would suggest you go to and look at the store reviews. You tell Kevin what you want to use system for and how much you want to spend and he will hold your hand. He is very patient with newbies and will spend as much time as necessary for you to be satisfied. By all means, stay away from Gateway.
Lots of Luck.

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Brand bashing?
by Major Pain51 / March 28, 2007 12:23 PM PDT
In reply to: Buying 1st Computer

I have read absolutly horrible user reviews for Dell, Alienware, HP but have not seen many negitive on Gateway. The editors reviews read very positive for Gateway except little room for expansion and sloppy wiring. Is there a source of reviews of the reviews? Is there any reviewers that buy the units they test not get them direct from manufacturer? For around $3,000.00 for a new gaming PC I don't want to get stuck with bad product or service.

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