A New Supercomputer (well, for home use)

    Hi. I'm fed up with my 1-year-old machine already. I want a new super computer. I'm not looking for the cheapest, or the highest spec, but the BEST VALUE. Can you help? I've given you a basic outline below. That's more or less what I want - but if it costs too much then I'll have to drop some stuff or reconsider. I want a DESKTOP, not a laptop.

    I'd like (please):

    Memory: 512MB minimum, prefer 1024MB
    CPU: Over 3.0Ghz, Preferably 3.6Ghz - AMD/Pentium (no preference). 64-bit technology might be cool (I don't know what for) but it'll be expensive so never mind.
    Storage: AT LEAST 120Gb, preferably more. Obviously, the more the merrier.
    Graphics A card is preferable and I'd like it to be 128MB as well. That's not too much...
    Drives: I NEED a DVD-RW drive of some sort. Obviously, dual layer is better but not required. If there's another drive that's handy too. I don't need one, but the lack of floppy disk drive on this PC is very annoying.
    Case: Doesn't have to be fancy, but I've always wanted blue lights. Don't worry about that though.
    USB/Firewire: USB 2.0 required! Hopefully with front slots. I don't need firewire.
    LAN: Not required.
    Modem: Not required. Will connect through broadband USB modem.
    OS: WINDOWS XP. Nothing else! No apple or lower OS.
    Software: I don't care.
    Monitor: TFT is preferable. I don't mind base-unit only though.
    Accessories: Not required. I have printer and stuff. I won't complain if there is one though.

    PRICE: Under £1000 is a must! Still, I don't think I'll be happy with that! As cheap as possible!!

    **IMPORTANT: I'd prefersomewhere like PC World where I can walk-in and look at it, however I do realise that to get a good deal online shopping is the best, so I wouldn't mind DELL. I only really want to look at reputable companies here.**

    It's going to be used for BROADBAND internet surfing, downloading and games. So it needs to be pretty quick.

    If I get this then I plan to up my AOL broadband connection to 1MB as well!! I'm so excited.

    Thank you in advance!!


    Hi, Duck Magic, drop me an email: [email protected]. We've got some 5100 Dimensions in stock. About the spec your after. about 699 GBP if im not mistaken.

    Eitherway, hope you find what you're looking for.

    Not trying to avert a sale away from the guy above me, but if you're after a super computer then I certainly wouldn't go for a Dell.

    I'd recommend something a little like this as a pre-built system: Aspire T140 Gamer Amd Athlon 64 3400+ 160gb Sata Hd 1024 Mb Ddr 2 X 512 Dvd Rw Nvidia G6600 256mb Pci Express Microsoft Windows Xp Home Edition Microsoft Works Speakers Corded Keyboard Lan Modem 9-in-1 Card Reader

    It's out of stock, but it should give you an idea.

    General specs:

    AMD 64 3400+
    160GB SATA HDD
    2x512MB DDR RAM (totalling 1GB memory)
    Nvidia G6600 256mb Pci Express Graphics Card

    £551.76 and this more than surpasses your requirements, comes with Windows XP Home installed too. Try and stick with AMD if you can, in my opinion they're better and a hell of a lot cheaper. Far, far better value for money!

    I hate to say this, but if you know anyone who can build PCs then get them to do one for you, that way you get complete control over what it has, chose quality parts and it'll maybe work out a little cheaper too.

    (again, apologies that the one I posted is out of stock, but it should give you a good idea of what you're after and the kind of price you should pay)

    Aldi and Lidl often have high spec PCs for under £500, you just have to watch out for them in your local store (if you have one near by).

    I got a Medion PC from Aldi, its spec is:
    Intel Pentium 4 - 3GHz
    512MB RAM
    200GB Hard drive
    128 ATI Graphics Card
    TV/FM Card
    6 Card reader
    Surround Sound
    6 USB (2 front)
    1 Firewire
    Wireless network card
    Network card
    XP + Loads of software

    It cost me just under £1000 inc a 17" TFT Monition last April

    Check there sites each week for updates.

    I know these forums are largely based on opinion but id have to disagree with the reply.

    If you're after a super-computer i wouldn't in anyway shape or form have 'somebody' build you a pc. Christ, I make a living out of mopping up after them! building a pc is a fantastic experience, and yes you can get the parts cheap enough if you try, but what you wont get is a tried a tested solution from a reputable manufacturer.
    I'll leap to Dell's defense here (although rarely) they put kit in the pc's that has been tried and tested. Not only do you get the piece of mind that all the parts will work in conjunction, you've got the warranty too, instead of you second guessing which peripheral/device/add-on is the one to blame.

    Pre-built isn't a bad idea, but again, check your warranties or comebacks, don't just settle for 'its a good spec so it'll work' read the small print, just incase the worst should happen.

    If you're after a supercomputer, and i keep using this phrase, but please think twice about an AMD chipset. Intel has the money/resource and all the benchmarks nailed on AMD. Again alot of that is based on opinion but im guessin that with a supercomputer you'll want the performance? Intel has them hands down on cooling/performance and future proofing. And if we get a little deeper, AMD still haven't conquered their cooling issues on their CPU's.

    its always better to just hang on for that little extra 50 pounds or so to ensure you get the better deal. And yeah Dell aint the best around, but for Value added in with known ingredients for that little extra, i don't think you can dismiss them.

    Tread carefully young forum goers...

    Original Poster

    Thanks for the feedback. blizeH: I can build computers, but last year we looked on the internet and around computer fairs and decided it was cheaper to buy a pre-built one.

    Original Poster

    jai47, I've seen some of the Aldi/Lidl ones. They're very good specs, but they're often quite dear. They never have a 'normal' computer, they're suped-up a bit much. If blizeH's one was still in stock I'd have bought it by now.

    Jai47 - Alid suprise me too! I've seen some of their deals, but Duck is right, sometimes just slightly over priced.

    I went to my first computer fair the other month and jesus, I should set up a stall selling Lynx Anti-persp'. It stank!
    But seriously, I couldn't find anything I wanted to take home from there neither. The pre-builts were buy 'joe blogg's PC's' and the like. A one man show who must only be making a few quid on the units, but you could see it was his living. You kinda felt sorry for them, and if your conscience didn't make you buy it, those fancy blue neo's on the Ebuyer 5.99 cases sure didn't!

    Sorry to sound bitchy, but it just isn't the way to go. Check Novatech for their pre-builts, now and again you might find something worthy, but again, waiting for the right deal to come around from a reputable manufacturer might be the only way....

    Lynx Africa 1.99 a tin anyone....

    Blizeh: does that system come with a monitor?

    Not trying to get one up, but the 5100 i mentioned comes with a 17" TFT Jus for info.

    I don't think you'll go far wrong buying a Dell 5100 + don't forget the 4.5% cashback earned through QuidCo during August.

    This one has a large hard drive, memory, 128 graphics card + 19" TFT monitor. Well worth the price of £751 I think: 305 d08517

    Base Intel® Pentium 4 processor with HT technology 541 (3.20GHz, 800FSB, 1MB cache)
    Microsoft Operating System Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition SP2 - English
    Memory 1024MB Dual Channel DDR2 400MHz (2x512) Memory
    Keyboard Dell Entry USB Keyboard
    Monitor Dell 19" E193FP Value Flat Panel TCO'99 Midnight Grey Monitor
    Video Card 128MB ATI Radeon® X300 SE HyperMemory graphics card
    Hard Drive 250GB (7200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive with 8MB DataBurst™ cache
    Floppy Drives Internal 9-in-1 Flash Card Reader
    Mouse Dell USB 2Button Wheel Mouse
    Modem Dell v92 Data/Fax modem
    CD/DVD Drives 16x max. DVD+/-RW & 16x DVD
    Speakers Dell A425 Midnight Grey speakers with subwoofer UK version
    Shipping Documents Doc Dimension 5100 ENG/UK Cord
    Gedis Bundle Reference List D08517 Dimension 5100
    Microsoft Application Software Microsoft® Works 7.0 - English
    Standard Warranty 1 Year Collect and Return
    Support Service 1 Year European Collect and Return Service
    AntiVirus & Security Software No security subscription
    Dell Photo Album Photo Album™ SE Basic
    Paint Shop Paint Shop™ Pro® Basic Edition
    Order Information Dimension Order - UK
    Money Off Savings Save £50 inc VAT
    Dell Media Experience Dell Media Experience 3.0 Delux
    Adobe Reader Adobe Reader 6.0 - English
    Dell Internet Order Dell Internet Order

    FREE Dell Colour Ink Printer 720 (including trial ink cartridges, excluding printer cable)

    Total £751.42p

    Original Poster

    Thanks guys. I might go to PC World and Comet and see what they have. Other family members think I'm being "unreasonable" and they think we can manage a lower spec.

    I hate to say this, but I disagree with a lot of the stuff said on here.

    If I was spending £500+ on a computer, I can assure you it wouldn't be made by PC World, Comet or Dell.

    If you definately want pre-built then try your hardest to get one from Aldi or one made by Acer, the build quality is absolutely awesome (a dirt cheap Acer system uses a case not far off my expensive Antec Sonata) and they use quality parts.

    You said that it'll cost more to build your own but that isn't really true, the only reason it costs more is because you pick the best stuff, with the best reviews. You have to bear in mind that PC World and Dell use the cheapest components they can get their hands on, if you did the same thing yours would work out quite a bit cheaper I'm sure ;o

    Original Poster

    I want to make mine quite cheap here now. The ebuyer one wasn't bad, but certain people here don't want me to send that much money to a company online.

    Original Poster

    I've found some good ones at PCWorld. I might go to look at them today. They're all in the sale and they're about £600-£650. Each one has something the other hasn't got! E.g. If one has a graphics card or TV card, it's only got 512MB RAM! Then if ones got 1024MB RAM then it's missing a DVD-Writer and Graphics card and stuff like that. There's a high-spec one with a 19" TFT BUT it's got no graphics card. It's all very hard.

    I wonder how much 512MB RAM is? I may buy one with a TV Card and stick in more RAM.

    512mb RAM is about £40 mate.

    Original Poster

    Thanks, I'll do some shopping maybe!

    You do realize it's just a base unit? Very nice looking + very decent spec too

    Looks alright to me, I think that's a Deluxeworld case/speakers/mouse/keyboard combo too which I've always found to be pretty darn good (I always use them for the business)

    to throw my random thoughts into the thread...

    I disagree that the best option is going to Dell etc. if you want a high end well built computer. Honestly the only way to do that is build it yourself and custom select all the components. it's not cheap but that's not the point of a "super computer"

    saying that I think that the average user is best off getting on one of these Dell deals or the like. The basic Dell systems are not a powerful computer but they are everything the average person needs at a price far less than it's even possible to buy the parts for! however they are cheaper because they do use cheaper components and things like integrated video which you would never do if you built on yourself.

    so that's my thoughts. i would avoid PC World and the like if you want a high end computer. Try out some sites like Novatech, Misco etc. and see what they have first.

    Hello sometimes have some good deals (but none today). have got some good barebones deals

    Please promise me you won't buy from PCWorms? I need to get a third PC 'cos my kids won't let me play any more and have been looking into buying one off the shelf - I just can't be bothered to build another one like my super SLI effort from January. Anyway, it turns out that one of my employees benefits is that I can lease-buy a PC from Worms over 36 months, with the money being deducted from my salary before tax and NI - a massive saving. BUT, all the PCs on Worms are sooooooooo out of date and so overpriced it just isn't worth doing it.
    Looks like I've got to build one! If you build a PC that has all the latest bits, or one that has 2 year old bits that are really discounted and you already have stuff like screens, keyboard, mices, then you can save money. One of the big costs can be with having to go out and buy a copy of Windoze and Office.

    if ur after some protection on ur pc, john lewis have 2 free years gaurantee on all computers. Bought mine from there and found the guarantee useful, my comp went poof after manufacturers one year guarantee.

    I couldn't believe what I found from local PC builders. The great thing was you go to one get a price and then find another and play them off against each other. You'd be amazed!!!

    Try it....

    Thats what I did with my current PC. Wrote down some decent Dell specs from Online, Took it to the nearest comp shop and did virtually component for component for about £20 less. Well worth going to a local shop rather than a big chain shop because they are wanting quick profits so wont charge high prices ontop of what they get the stuff for at the warehouses.

    Did you order your comp Duck?


    That dell 5100 misprice pc would have suited u.If you cant wait for another dell offer to come around i would recommend pcworld.As for self building i wouldnt recommend you build a top spec machine ist time round.

    Original Poster

    I got a different one Designz. If the company still has it then it's going in the Hot Deals forum.

    Personally I would reccommend only buy a computer for what you need it for. Unless you want to play the latest games or doom at very high resolution, I would not go for a top spec as the prices will come down. Also currently I expect prices to come down as dual processors are coming in and single processors will be phased out. But still there isn't much use of the dual processor as there aren't many software that take advantage of it yet.
    I would go with onsite warranty or collect and return warranty with computers. Because if you need to send you computer back it could cost you upt £50, that is once. I once had send my laptop 2 times lucky i had collect and return warranty.
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