New PC/laptop: out of my depth...

    My first post of 2008, so a happy New Year to all.

    The time has come for me to buy a new PC. My current desktop one is 4 -5 years old and is showing its age as well as letting me down on a few recent occasions.

    In days gone buy Id build it myself after spending ages reviewing all hardware options etc, but find that I just dont have the time to do it these days. I no longer work in the IT field either and am finding that I no longer know what components go with each other .

    When building my own I tended to go for a spec that was about 2/3 of the best available (at the time) which allowed me to build the optimum ratio of performance/cost PC that I could.

    Id be very grateful for any advice from anyone more in the know than me about what to get and where to get it from.

    It is a general use PC (office, web, music player etc). I would like to be able to play Spore (in all its glory) when it is released but I do not require a top end gaming card and play most games on my PS2 anyway.

    Ive been looking at Dell and Novatech amongst others but really dont know what I should be looking for.

    I have no allegiance to either AMD or Intel, however I gather from a few reviews Ive read that the current Intel Core 2 Duo processors are better than the AMD equivalent.

    Budget would be a maximum of £400.

    In a bizarre twist to things my wife has suggested that we also look at laptops! The requirements for this would be the same as above but in an attempt to future proof it (as upgrading laptops is not the easiest to do) the budget for the laptop would be a maximum of £500.

    Once again, thanks in advance for any advice and/or pointers really I do appreciate it .


    PS - Long time moocher on HUKD, first time poster...


    Take a look at the dells, some right bargains today this thread will allow you to see them all in one screen…580

    Original Poster

    Thanks MikeT, thought you'd be first to reply as I've been (trying) to keep a track of all the Dell deals you've posted.

    Bit of a cheecky question now - given the requirements in my original request are there any specific deals you'd recommend? Am I likely to get a £500 laptop with anywhere near the equivalent spec of a £400 desktop (got a feeling I already know the answer to this one :oops:)?

    What do you think of firearcade's suggestion here:…826

    It does come up as £571.95 - I know it's >£500 but I'll get another £23.59 off via Quidco which takes it to under £550.

    Are there any desktop deals that can be manipulated in a similar way for a better deal? Things like travel remote and HDMI are not important to me either.

    Might have to get one soon as it looks likethe Dell deals are ending tomorrow.

    Thanks again.

    The 2.2Ghz core2duo desktop deal at £175 looks good to me, add a video card after purchase if you feel the need, or the notebook at £571 for mobility with good graphics etc already.
    Your needs look like £175 will do for now, but if the wifes in favour a lappy is nice ;-)

    My advice is spend more money now: buy the latest iMac and get a computer that works straight out of the box, doesn't get viruses or spyware and where the software is less than half the price of windows. You can get Office like software (iworks) for £70, not £300.

    The lifetime cost of owning a mac is less, and the frustration is certainly lower.

    It takes 30 seconds to boot up too, not 4 minutes.


    I'm a mac man too but it is quite a change from a windows machine, make sure you play around with a mac before you take the leap.

    Original Poster

    Thanks very much MikeT, I've gone for that 2.2Ghz core2duo desktop deal; even with a Gfx card upgrade (£50 - £100) I can't justify the laptop for over double the price.

    The wife only wants a laptop for browsing and email so I'm thinking off getting a separate used one just for that...;-)

    Thanks for the advice on the Macs as well. I'm not anti-Mac or anything but was brought up on X86/DOS/Windows and don't have the time ATM to go down the Mac route (maybe in the future though?)
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