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New Computer, what should I buy?

by jijo272 / February 4, 2010 7:06 PM PST

I need a new computer for the living room and so a quiet one would certainly be appreciated. Right now I have a Dell 8400 and the fans are so loud. Dell has been very good and has been to my house many times and replaced them - but it's still noisy.

I have been looking at a Gateway SX2840-01. It certainly has a good review on CNET and I like the specs.

Mostly I use it for surfing the internet, playing Pogo on line, working with my digital photos and I have good speakers so I listen to music and a movie once in a while.

Gateway specs: Intel Core i3 530/2.93 GHz, RAM, 6 GB / 8 GB (max), Windows 7 home , Graphics GMA X45 integrated, GeForce 9400M, dual layer DVD burner, Networking, Gigabit Ethernet.

The only negative reported is "No wireless networking and relative power hog compared with the Mac Mini."

The living room is the main computer in the house so it is wired, 2 other computers connect wirelessly.

Does anyone see any problems or extra hardware I will need to get this computer up and running?

Thanks for your input.


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One big problem
by Jimmy Greystone / February 5, 2010 12:26 AM PST

One big problem is that it's an Acer made system (they bought Gateway a few years ago). Acer has been locked in a fierce competition with HP to see who can make the world's worst computers ever since HP bought Compaq during the dot com boom.

Just a quick example. Bought a similar system for a HTPC, and maybe disaster recovery system in the event my main one dies. The thing will absolutely not boot up when using the built-in HDMI unless my TV is turned on 5-10 seconds before I hit the power button. I recently added a passively cooled video card, and now it works like pretty much any other computer. All this system really needs to do is boot up, and run XBMC, maybe run a web browser for when I want to watch Red vs. Blue episodes, and it can't even really do that reliably.

If it's between this system and a Mac Mini, you might want to look at the Mac Mini. Especially if you want a silent running system that doesn't take up a lot of space. Let's put it this way, one way or the other, you WILL pay for a computer. You can either pay more up front in cash, or you can pay in installments of frustration for the duration of the time you own the system. Your choice.

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Over kill
by Dango517 / February 5, 2010 1:09 AM PST

For these uses if those movies are run from CD/DVDs. The photo loading speed will be be great with the 6-8 GBs of RAM. If the price is right go for it but as Jimmy said consider a better brand HP, Dell, Asus




Mostly I use it for surfing the internet, playing Pogo on line, working with my digital photos and I have good speakers so I listen to music and a movie once in a while.

Gateway specs: Intel Core i3 530/2.93 GHz, RAM, 6 GB / 8 GB (max), Windows 7 home , Graphics GMA X45 integrated, GeForce 9400M, dual layer DVD burner, Networking, Gigabit Ethernet.

Enjoy your new PC. the new ones are quieter then the old ones more power will add to the noise. I'd put up with the noise rather then sacrific power.

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Oh Oh!
by jijo272 / February 5, 2010 1:27 AM PST
In reply to: Over kill

I just ordered it from Amazon and they say I can't cancel it.

If you both feel that strongly about it, do you think I should arrange to refuse it when it arrives?

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by jijo272 / February 5, 2010 4:07 AM PST
In reply to: Oh Oh!

It received the Editors Award on CNET, so it couldn't be bad. I'll try it out for a week or two.

Also, never received an answer to my question. Do I need anything for wireless if this computer is wired, and 2 others in the house are wireless?

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by Jimmy Greystone / February 5, 2010 4:58 AM PST
In reply to: Gateway....

Ahhh... It's so nice to see that level of naivete and trust. It's kind of refreshing after you've been around long enough that you're cynical and bitter from one bad experience after another.

Cnet is not exactly widely regarded as a trustworthy source of info. The bulk of what they do is driven purely by the desire to generate revenues. If they can do Action A which will result in say $5,000 in revenues, or Action B which will result in $5,500, they will pick Action B every time. Which is perfectly fine, they're here to make a buck, and there's nothing wrong with that. You just need to factor it into your evaluation of how much trust you want to put into anything Cnet reviews. They might have the review system for 1-2 days, and that's it. It's easy to like a system after only 1-2 days using it. It's when 2-3 months in, you start having problems and it's too late to return or exchange the thing, and you figure out just how worthless Acer's support is, even compared to the pretty worthless support of everyone else in the industry. THAT'S when you start down that road to cynicism and bitterness.

And if this computer is going to be using a wired connection, then no, you should be able to just keep using what you're using now. Unless there's something else to that you left out.

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by engtg / February 6, 2010 1:48 AM PST
In reply to: Ahhh...

I have a gateway and will never buy another gateway.

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by engtg / February 6, 2010 1:52 AM PST
In reply to: Ahhh...

You will be very frustrated with how it works.

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Mac Mini specs
by Brechan / February 6, 2010 3:50 AM PST

I googled for the specs of the Mac Mini and this is what I found out concerning wireless support:
"Built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking4; IEEE 802.11a/b/g compatible"

If you want to check the specs yourself, here is the link:

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by Brechan / February 6, 2010 3:57 AM PST
In reply to: Mac Mini specs
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by jijo272 / February 6, 2010 5:16 AM PST
In reply to: oops!

I was lucky enough to cancel my order for the Gateway until more information came through. I haven't rec'd any good comments about it on the forum.

I went out looking at the HP today.

Thank you for your comments and more suggestions will certainly help.

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the HP that...
by Brechan / February 6, 2010 8:44 AM PST
In reply to: Gateway

Dango517 suggested looks to be a decent setup, I like the fact that you decide what you want in your new system (except for the fact that you don't have too many choices for a security program, or that you may choose to install your own program-thus saving some cash).

Whatever computer you choose to buy; once you get it home and set up, don't forget to install CCleaner. It will get rid of all the trial software and other useless crap that the manufacturers love to load up onto new systems, thus making your new system as fast as it can be.

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HP looks really good
by jijo272 / February 6, 2010 9:40 AM PST
In reply to: the HP that...

I saw an HP Pavilion p6340f Desktop. Looks really good. Core2 Quad, 2.66 GHZ, 8GB.

I'm not sure about the Graphics Card to choose. NNvidia? ATI? Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500 with 32 MB integrated shared graphics memory?

Also I'm all set with Security. McAfee is supplied free with my DSL and I also use CCleaner.

Thanks for the info.

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for the moment
by Brechan / February 6, 2010 10:03 AM PST
In reply to: HP looks really good

ATI is the top dog for graphic cards; as for integrated graphics, you'll be able to watch videos and such from the internet/ DVD's, but when you get into more intense graphics (such as gaming), the integrated card will start to fail.

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by jijo272 / February 6, 2010 10:59 AM PST
In reply to: for the moment

Thank you for that advice. I think I will be able to find the right Pc with the information I've rec'd.

I have a Dell 8300, Dell 8400, HP Laptop and I found that HP is very good at giving advice on the chat line. I had lots of problems with the Dell 8400 and that's why I'm looking elsewhere.

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That's not much better
by Jimmy Greystone / February 6, 2010 10:09 AM PST
In reply to: Gateway

That's not much better. HP and Acer are the two main brands to avoid at all costs. So that also includes Compaq, Gateway, and eMachines on top of HP and Acer brands.

If you buy any of the above brands, don't let it be said you weren't warned.

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Here are a few new places to consider...
by Brechan / February 6, 2010 8:29 PM PST
In reply to: That's not much better
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