Help - I need a new PC and don't know where to begin.

    Hi Folks

    I have a fairly ancient PC that is constantly crashing and needs to be replaced - fast. I am a new teacher and need a PC to help plan my lessons! Plus my daughter needs it to play her SIMS games and Zoo Tycoon et al.
    My problem is we are still existing on a student budget so I am limited to around £400 maximum.

    Is it possible to buy a decent computer for family/social/research a little gaming for this price?

    I have looked at Dell -thanks to a previous poster on this site - and the ones on sale at PC world but am sacred to commit in case they will need replacing in 12 months time.

    Also would I be able to get a TFT monitor....and do I really need one for other than aesthetics :?:

    Would be very grateful if anyone could offer advice.




    You can get quite a decent custom built system for under 400, but I guess you'd prefer to get it done for you... then usually dell has the cheapest dell around (and not necessarilly the worst).

    Have a look at…pcs

    They are not the cheapest company for PCs, but offer unmatched level of customer service - I highly recommend them. On the other side you have, which is VERY cheap, but the service is non-existence (unless you enjoy hanging on the hotline for about 20 minutes before being told they can't do anything in your case)...

    Gotta be dell for Value. Not sure if there are any specials on at the moment tho. 2.8ghz celeron, 512mb ram, 80Gb disk, cdrw + 17" tft was only £323! you could get her a 2nd user pci-e graphics card from ebay and call it £400! don't think thats a bad price for a new system.
    I bought a fair few but as its quite over the xmas period they're still sat in my garage, if you want one, pm me and i'll see what i can do.

    Original Poster

    Thanks guys...and TFT versus CRT? which is best?
    With regards to custom built - does i=that require me to put it all together - or just buy 'separates'?

    Yes I'm that computer ignorant!


    Original Poster…892

    This PC looks good...and at £399 it is within my budget - but is it any good?

    Comments appreciated


    Not a bad looking bundle:

    Plus earn cashback if you go through QuidCo.Com

    Comments on machine above:
    # Intel Celeron D336 2.8GHz Processor 533 MHZ FSB 256KB Cache.
    OK for basic tasks

    # MS-7131 Mainboard with Intel 915 GL Chipset Intel GMA 900 (Graphics Media Accelerator), onboard LAN and 6 channel audio
    built in graphics is not my favourite thing... But it's a norm in this price range

    # 256MB DDR-RAM / PC-3200 (400 MHz)
    Prepare to buy 256MB more

    # 80GB Hard Drive 7200rpm SATA 8MB Cache
    Nice to see SATA here, but 1) there is no real advantage over PATA and 2)80GB is too small

    # Dual Layer DVD Writer Sony DW-Q28A
    NEC or LG would be better

    # 56K V.90 Modem
    Do yo need dial up?

    # Wired Multimedia Keyboard
    # PS/2 Mouse (2 Button, Wheel)

    # Microsoft XP Home Edition SP2 OEM
    # StarOffice 7.0 OEM, Power DVD OEM, Nero Burning Rom OEM, Nero Recode 2 SE, CA e-Trust Antivirus (incl. 90 days update), Game Rayman III
    StarOffice is free, Nero OEM will cost you about 3 quid, you can get antivirus for free (AVG), not sure about game

    Anything with Lexmark logo on it is typically rubbish (Dell is also selling rebranded Lexmark stuff under their name). Any Canon or Epson will be much better.
    There is no screen spec, so can't comment on it really.

    Conclusion: basic office typing/Internet browsing/email machine with not so impressive software package.


    Thanks guys...and TFT versus CRT? which is best?

    Depends on your needs. Good CRTs are quite expensive today.
    CRT advantages over LCD:
    1. Viewing angle
    2. No latency
    3. Colour reproduction
    4. You can set any resolution you want (upto max)
    5. Brightness and contrast
    6. No dead pixels
    7. No backlight flickering

    LCD advantages over CRT
    1. Size and weight
    2. Perfect geometry
    3. Power consumption
    4. No refresh flickering

    Original Poster

    Hmm thanks Kommunist - much appreciated feedback. Is there any companies/offers you would recommend?


    This deal is much better value. IMHO.

    Original Poster

    Which deal? The Woolworths one?

    Can you see link in my previous post? Hint: it is hidden under words "This deal".

    Original Poster

    Ooops! Yes, this one looks good....but it's a £100 over my budget - or am I thinking too short term.

    Thanks Kommunist

    OK then... Take a look at Savastore - they sell their own brand PCs called Aries.
    If you navigate to "Ready to ship PCs", then you should be able to find a couple of good machines. For example, this one. Add to it monitor of your choice and off you go!

    Also, take a stroll down to nearest Staples - they sometimes are doing fairly good deals instore.

    Original Poster

    Thanks for the help Kommunist ...and others. My PC takes so many attempts just to start up that I will be following up your leads this week.

    Happy New $ear


    for heavy duty use go on ebay tap in cub247 first class pcs very reliable sugest mb upto 4000
    gb go 1000 you will probaly never use all this but it will make the pc run fast dont forget go for daul2 core this allows you to have many windows open at the same time without slowing down
    from lawrence
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