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Who do you trust for your computer-buying decisions?

by Marc Bennett CNET staff/forum admin / August 11, 2005 2:39 AM PDT

What source do you trust most for your computer-buying decisions?

Sales rep in a store (tell us more)
User reviews (tell us more)
Trade publications, magazines, and so on (tell us more)
Family/friend recommendations (tell us more)
Divine inspiration/gut feeling (tell us more)
Other (what is it?)

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Computer Buying Decisions
by billone / August 11, 2005 9:24 PM PDT

As in many multiple-choice questions, there is no right answer. My best answer is. Don't chose any single source of advice and do your own homework.

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Poll Results
by malwiloney / August 12, 2005 9:01 AM PDT

Yes, multiple choice is not always "pure" in its choice. Although I chose "sales rep in a store" for my response, it is not just any rep or any store. It is one guy who has been very helpful over 7 or 8 years. I use reviews in knowledgeable forums (such as this) for research; then, go to my sales rep for "final decision/ confirmation".

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Who do you trust for your computer-buying decisions?
by Bertolet / August 11, 2005 9:39 PM PDT

From time-to-time I have tried all of the listed options. Sometimes they are good recommendations, sometimes not so good. Generally speaking, advice is given with the knowledge of the giver as experienced in his or her configuration. Your 'givens' will in all probability differ from theirs.

I have come to the conclusion that the method with the greatest possibility for success is to do your own research and do not become rushed simply because you want to get started as quickly as possible. Take a week or more, explore as many options as necessary until you become confortable with your decisions.

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by apocolypse2000_99 / August 11, 2005 9:50 PM PDT


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by onthebeach / August 11, 2005 10:49 PM PDT
In reply to: DELL ALL THE WAY

Having installed 30 NEW Dell Pc's for a customer, against my advice I might add. 15 of these machines had to be returned with either faulty USB connectors, Faulty memory and two hardrives that failed( the motors burnt out) on their second reboot! I have more call outs to DELL pc's than any other brand! Sure they are really great prices but you pay for what you get.

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by bmaher / August 12, 2005 1:18 AM PDT
In reply to: NO WAY NO WAY

Ok, so dells are cheap, but the recent ones have loads of problems - well, i certainly wudnt trust my music collection with em!

the only dell i have is the one next door which is an old GX1 - yeh its old, but its a workhorse, but its reliable.

i just think they dont build computers to last anymore -

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by Viago / August 11, 2005 11:53 PM PDT
In reply to: DELL ALL THE WAY

Dell is juyst as bad as or worse the HP/compaq

maybe back in early days i woulda, how every my 3rd computer i bought from them was a laptop. and it was poorly made aswell. missing screws and loose keyboard. many other people had this same problium, i got refunded, took alot of time to talk with somone that spoke english as thier first language too.

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This is about Dell, stay with specifics
by Liquid620 / August 16, 2005 3:28 AM PDT
In reply to: pfffffffffttttttttttt

HP/Compaq has never let us down. NEVER. Not before their merger and not after. Dell does suck, so does Gateway. HP/Compaq and Sony are the ones that are worth their pennies. Trust me. We own HP and HP/Compaq desktops, laptops, printers, scanners, PSC all-in-ones, handhelds, photo copier/printers, etc. Over the last 10 years, none of them have failed. I'm not the only one who finds HP/Compaq reliable and's rarer to find issues with their products than without. Consider this: over 60% of computer related issues/problems/conflicts are caused by user error and ignorance.

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Sure! Opps there goes....
by jmorris9999 / August 11, 2005 11:58 PM PDT
In reply to: DELL ALL THE WAY

...another motherboard, opps there goes another video card, opps there goes another....

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lol so true
by Viago / August 12, 2005 12:05 AM PDT

and thier computers are overly priced cause your paying for the name. i paid $800 and built my own computer. my friend paid 1200 for his on dell. had to get several things replaced.

mine has a
dvrw, AMD 64bit spu at 1200mb chache and 1mhz fsb, 1gb ram, 200gb hard drive, a decent video card, gigabit ethernet, flat pannel monitor. and other goodies.

his came with 60gb hard drive 512mb ram a dvd player and some other things. all because it is dell and pentium based aswell. hey paid for labor/dells name and extra warrenty.

me all i paid was parts, and flat shipping rate.

the thing is with Dell is that they are becoming elcheapo. they arnt what they used to be

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Dell is Wack
by incognito19 / August 12, 2005 11:49 AM PDT
In reply to: lol so true

everybody says that dell is so great because of the cheap computers they sell,but you have to spend alot of extra money on them because they give you super-duper bare bone computers with nothing on them. Advice: build your own or get someone to build yours that way you get what you want.

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Even better!
by Liquid620 / August 16, 2005 3:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Dell is Wack

My friends all have built thier own computers - desktops - and have really nice cases, AMD or Pentium processors in the 1.0 Ghz - 2.9 Ghz range, 2 GB Ram, etc. and they pay $100-$400 less for theirs. It's an awesome way to go, as well as getting to learn about your own machine. Happy

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Dells all the way my butt
by freed / August 12, 2005 1:59 AM PDT
In reply to: DELL ALL THE WAY

If you want problems buy a Dell

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Who do you trust ?
by Ken056 / August 11, 2005 9:57 PM PDT

I use several vehicles for help with buying decisions. I read industry reviews & talk with co-workers but mostly I depend on a "techie" friend of mine.

He runs his own PC repair service but he will also do some product research for me to help determine best "bang for the buck". With his technical background, he often knows of small little bugs in things that don't seem to make it into the review columns in the trade papers.

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Gut feeling
by dogratty / August 11, 2005 10:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Who do you trust ?

choosing one source of info is impossible. I just bought a huge laptop with a 17" monitor. it turns out to be ideal for my digital photo tasks!
In choosing the dell 9300, I spoke with many people (consumers & techie types) whose opinions and experience I trust, Cnet was also a primary resource for pro and consumer reviews.
the trade journal reviews/articles may be biased, the user reviews must themselves be evaluated and the source considered. looking through the forums to see what problems people are trying to fix tells quite a bit about a product when that product is not mentioned anywhere (no problems?)!!
I am searching for an external hard drive right now - one particular brand and model is everywhere with people trying to solve problems! OK; that one is off the list.
all resources must be utilized in investigating a product that is an investment!

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by TSStrat / August 11, 2005 10:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Who do you trust ?

I'm shopping for a computer right now, and of course I started out with Cnet. I'm glad I did, because the CPU I've decided on is made by an outfit I've never heard of before (Velocity), and wouldn't have, if I hadn't checked Cnet's desktop reviews.

I also printed up Cnet's guides to buying a desktop and a monitor, and the full-length review of this CPU that I like. All together, a good education.

I've checked the websites of some of the big office stores and did comparisons of what they had, and also checked Velocity's own website. I still have to look at a couple of other geeksites just to feel sure, but I've probably already made up my mind about the whole system.

I bought my first computer on the advice of staff at one of the office stores, and the more I learned about computers (and what mine lacked), the more I regretted having done it that way.

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yea, duh it is lol
by Viago / August 12, 2005 10:23 PM PDT
In reply to: Duh!

yea, my dad went to Staples of all places way back when. and came home with a Pakerdbell 233mhz 64mb ram 14kbps modem 3bg hard drive. He paid 2k for it though it lasted longer then my 2nd computer. lol agen he listend to the sales men and not me on that one.

your waisting your $ if you dont know.

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Deals n steals
by Viago / August 11, 2005 11:56 PM PDT
In reply to: Who do you trust ?

buying form a computer specialist can be wonderful, like purchasing best fastest parts and putting them into one computer. how ever they can order the parts that you paid, then put a generic one in. Also you dont know how long they will be in buisness to offer support.

thing is you can also pay for the labor, unless you know him really well.....or your smart enugh to build your own

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Who I look to
by pyrixpx / August 11, 2005 10:22 PM PDT

I really think of anumber of things, I just voted for the one I used most.

First of all, when I'm just starting out, I look for brands I have come to trusst (e.g Motherboards, I'd be looking for gigabyte, ASUS and DFI not anything with a Sis or VIA chipset.) This is fairly broad, but further narrowed down by the price range I;m looking at.

Then I check reviews and things, to find technical specifications, known issues, how the product excels etc. Then, finally, In the last week or so before I actually buy, I consult freinds and people, and if that it has a major flaw, I go back to square 1.

At all stages, I rely on my inflated ego and divine inspiration/intervention.

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Usually. . .I
by techtype / August 11, 2005 10:27 PM PDT

I read reviews, I go to hardware sites, read up on the particular boards I am interested in. I go to more then one reviews on a product and to places like Tom Hardware and sharky's and always to the manufacturer's site. I go to the manufacturer's site more or less to get spec's. Some times they will have a compatibility list as to which products will work with their equipment.


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Why, C|NET of course!
by ga2636 / August 11, 2005 10:41 PM PDT

I research my electronic purchases through sites like C|NET. While user reviews play a lesser role in my decision, it's the pros that I want to hear from. I don't focus so much on brand but on how much propriety is built in to a system. For example, I once had a PC years ago where the sound card and modem were one card - proprietary to that PC manufacturer, so I was told. When I went to upgrade my modem to the cutting edge (at the time) 56Kbps, I found that I couldn't take out the old one because I still needed the sound card.

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yes of course
by Viago / August 12, 2005 12:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Why, C|NET of course!

for years i have been using cnet for a refrence, spcialy when i wasnt really good at computers, id look at their tests and performances and such. as they really helped me buy my 2nd computer.

i dont meen to sound like a suck up but. Cnet is one of the best reasourses to get info on that certain computer. as the retailer/manufacturer is only out to get your money and would rather die then give you the down side of thier product.

does Cnet sell stock? Wink

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Sales Reps, of course :)
by serraguard / August 11, 2005 10:54 PM PDT

Ok, now everyone knows that sales reps are true experts in the field. I mean, how much is there about computers that requires training beyond the 45 minute informational video at your local Circuit City? Secondly, these dedicated souls have only our best interest at heart. My faith in the world would be crushed if I were to learn of some ulterior motive (other than sheer kindness) was involved in the sale of computers at a retail outlet. Finally, prebuilts have all the software you'll ever need and more. I've seen many prebuilts in my time and not one of them come with this "Office Suite" mumbo-jumbo, however, all of them have recognized my need for 73 copies of AOL 11.73 Super Optimized- Ultra! edition. In conclusion, if you want what is ultimately best for you, whether you know it or not, Sales Reps are the way to go.

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by Liquid620 / August 16, 2005 3:52 AM PDT

Oh yes! Trust them knowledgeable sales reps and you'll get a real chhheeeeaaaap cheap that you won't mind spending the extra money for the repairs - I mean, "upgrades" that you'll have to bring it in to have done.

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Alienware Sentia
by joshdkatz / August 11, 2005 11:29 PM PDT

I have an alienware sentia . I couldnt be more happy wit h it. My only concern is that it doesnt come with a virus scan program.

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by Viago / August 11, 2005 11:49 PM PDT

befor i bought my 2nd computer i waited, did some reasurch on many things, like ram, rams speed and hrts, aswell as CPU's and thier chace's and bus speeds. i look at all this to make my purchase.

just because its 3.0 ghz or what ever dont meen you get the bang of 3.0 ghz

if it dont have detaild specs on all its parts, dont buy it, or ask the salse rep. by law they are suposed to show you all information in thier posetion of it. just like a car salesman.

dont blindly go to a store like best buy and pick one that looks good or the salse guy said it was good, cause theyer out to get you to buy it even if its not good.

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Spell check can't hurt either.
by Liquid620 / August 16, 2005 3:59 AM PDT

Bestbuy employees do not work for commission so therefore, they don't care if you buy it or not. They don't pressure you into anything. They're there to help. Unlike other places that are commission-based, bestbuy pays their employees plenty so that you're not pressured into a sale.

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Avoid IBM
by Viago / August 12, 2005 12:16 AM PDT

not only are the outragiously over priced. last i heard they wer ownd By Communists, and im not joking

*reposted, i pressed wrong button

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Oh good grief
by Liquid620 / August 16, 2005 4:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Avoid IBM

Thank god that we are posting using only bandwidth and bits of information because if we were actually using real paper, then we would be wasting a rain forest on unintelligent posts such as "don't buy from them, they're owned by communists", especially without valid and solid proof to such a stupid claim.

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Well said!
by scotjack / September 6, 2005 11:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Oh good grief

I wholeheartedly agree -- my time is too precious to be diverted to, and consequently wasted by idiotic comments like the foregoing.

Is there no way this forum could be divided so as to cater for sensible, intelligent participants on the one hand, and another for those ("Viago" for instance) whose IQ is exceeded by their heart rate?

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