[thechat] how do you buy a PC?

Jack Timmons jorachim at gmail.com
Fri Jan 9 08:10:42 CST 2009

> I buy nearly all my gear from TigerDirect.  I've always been very happy
> with their prices, the amount of info (and customer reviews!), ship times
> and easy returns.

I've heard good reviews from friends of mine (old gaming buddies, back when
I was young and had the time), but I've never actually purchased stuff from
there. Not a few days ago I compared the price of a mobo and CPU between
Newegg and TigerDirect, and the Newegg prices were either the same or
cheaper, so I didn't look further. I will, eventually (after all, they may
have cheaper video cards, and the rig I'm building probably needs water
cooling), but I couldn't give an honest opinion outside of what I've heard.

The next best thing is Best Buy for geats laptop sales

I had an employer who got an HP through Best Buy and had bad issues, and
every time I've purchased something from Best Buy I had issues of my own
(although in one case I could've blamed the shipper instead). I usually tend
to stay away from the Compaq/HP line (thus my comment), so I usually don't
recommend it. Others may have a better experience, though, especially
depending upon where they live so, for the OP, this is always a good option.

> All my own laptops have Dells and I like them (the machines, not the
> company -- tech support lines are a nightmare).  They've got some great
> deals right now!  There's no way to avoid the pre-installed crap - I
> usually repartition & format the drive and reinstall my O/S of choice.
> They are however one of the PC manufacturers who will still sell you a
> laptop with a supported version of Windows XP on it.

Pretty much agreed. My work computer is the Dell laptop I mentioned, and
haven't had any issues with it (it's a year old now). I've installed Vista,
XP, Kubuntu, Fedora, Vista, XP, Vista, XP on it in that order (I had to
switch because at the time I was using Blender, which didn't work on my
laptop unless I installed Vista, since it handled the graphics better. Then
I'd switch.) All cases the laptop either worked without much further
configuration (Linux) or drivers were easy to get (Windows).

> I got my wife a Compaq from Best Buy about two years ago for under $500
> (Sunday newspaper sale circular special).  It's been great for her.  The
> only downsides: no XP option - she had to get Vista, and the battery life
> is like 7 minutes.  Well 90 minutes actually, but feels like 7, so not a
> great option for a road warrior students who need to run on batteries a
> lot.  Compaq (er, spelled "H.P." nowadays) may sell higher-capacity
> replacement batteries (for quasi-outrageous prices) on their website.  If
> so its probably worth it if you play the Sims very far from AC outlets a
> lot.

You can always pick up an XP option somewhere (even if you have a Dell XP cd
laying around, for example, that's not installed somewhere else). Also, as
far as the battery is concerned, if you're trying to play games on the off
of it, you deserve to have it die quickly. I could usually squeeze out an
hour of gaming, maybe, but if you plan on doing any Sims on it, you should
have it plugged in.

-Jack Timmons

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