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Time to buy!

by carracr625 / January 22, 2005 3:22 PM PST

Well this is my first post here on cnet. I have been viewing they're reviews & tutorials for quite while. And, I thought that you folks could help answer some questions I have about the purchase of a new desktop.

Let me start by saying, I'm a casual user. Meaning that up until now I have never owned my own pc. My roomate has one that I use every day to surf the web, download & burn music, and organize & print my pictures. I do have a dig camera & a couple of mp3 players. However my roomate has recently moved out, and is going to be taking the computer soon. So, it's time for me to buy one.

As far as my needs go, I plan to use my new pc for the purposes mentioned above as well as upgrading to a dvd burner for obvious reasons. I don't do any gaming at all on the pc (That's what my ps2 is for!), and I haven't found many uses for word processors & such. Other than to keep & update my resume. I am an avid audiophile & have alot of money tied up in my home theater system. I have been reading up on ways to incorporate my new pc into my home theater. From what I've read, media center pc's are becoming more popular, but I do have a few questions. The appeal of this type of system to me is the ability to store & burn TV programs. As well as the possibility to use my pc as a DVR. Image quality is of great concern to me, and I have also read that the newest OS for media center pc's doesn't have great playback quality. Is this just when viewing directly from the pc's output to the TV, or does this also refer to the quality of media burned to DVD? Also when burning a DVD does the audio portion get recorded as the original? Meaning if the original program is dolby digital or DTS encoded, will that be the format for the copied disc? Do I have to have a monitor? Or can I just use the TV output to view directly on my Sony LCD projection screen TV? What type of Video inputs are used? Will I be able to record HD broadcasts as well?

As you can see I still have quite a few questions that i need answered before I make my purchase. Any recomendations on systems or other info you can provide will be helpful. And if you can point me in the direction of some other online resources that would be great.

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Hmmm
by Ross / January 23, 2005 1:44 AM PST
In reply to: Time to buy!

As far as a system or one make I would go with Dell. For your needs get plenty of ram 512or better and a real good video card, say with at least 128mgs of ram on it. I would also invest in a removeable harddrive for storage as using for your purpose will eat space on your hard drive. Wink

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This Is A Complex Question
by dcmorris / January 23, 2005 4:48 AM PST
In reply to: Time to buy!

Welcome To Computer Newbies.
Similar questions have been asked here and sorting through the answers can be a chore. People with different levels of expertise and/or different areas of interest will have conflicting views. They will also tend to interpret your questions differently.
So, in addition to the advice you get here,I would
visit retail outlets such as Circuit City, Best Buy, etc. and talk to a sales rep. They usually are well versed. Then I would visit a local location where they build computers to order. I would take copious notes and only make a decision after I had reviewed all possibilities and in the privacy of my own space.
I know a lot of people are reluctant to talk to a salesperson for fear they will be talked into something they don't want. Just approach them and tell them exactly what you are doing. You will be surprised the info available this way.
Also, talk to your friends who have similar interests and are satisfied with what they have. If possible, sit at their computer and see how it "feels".
Lastly, come back here. I don't want to belittle the advice you will get here. It can be invaluable. However, talking to the retailer will give you a handle on what it will cost. Therefore, if you have a budget you can decide what features have top priority.
I, for one, would like to hear what your final decision is. I, also, am interested in upgrading so I will follow this thread with interest.

DC

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