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buying a new computer

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December 4, 2000 7:51:24 PM

I am looking to buy a new computer. I have a pretty extensive knowledge of computers but I would just like to know when the best time to buy a pc would be. I am looking at purchasing an AMD 800Mhz Thunderbird, with 128mb pc133 ram, and a geForece 2 video card. My main concern is that the price of the processor or video card may drop dramatically within a month. So, my question is, when would be the best time to buy a computer, now or later?

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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
December 4, 2000 8:18:20 PM

You are never going to get ahead when buying a computer. You just have to do it. The price is going to drop within a few days, regardless of when you buy it. You just gotta do it. Computers are not like cars which depreciate year after year. They depreciate day after day.

By the way, build your own and save $$ and know what you've got.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2000 4:26:18 AM

wait a while for the DDR motherboards and the 64-bit hammer!! That is going to seriously kick some major @$$!!

In the meantime, it looks like a lot of the stuff is going to go up a little...
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December 6, 2000 2:21:11 PM

My experience and recommendations in buying a computer is to find a price point, say $1800 and find the best deal you can for that money. If you're going to build your own, do your best to deal with reputable dealers. You may be able to save $5 or $10 here or there, but the hassles involved with dealing with small, fly-by-night companies aren't worth it. I know, I've found the cheapest price on a processor that was "in-stock" when it wasn't- my credit card was charged the day the order was placed and I never received the part. I had to go to my credit card company and dispute the charges...yada yada yada. As for the person who says it's cheaper to build your own, it's not really. If you compare everything, software and hardware, you get with a new computer from Dell, you can't build it cheaper yourself. But, by building it yourself, you can spec the system exactly, something you could never do with Dell. Anyways, establish your budget, and go for it.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2000 1:14:11 PM

You CAN build pc's cheaper than the manufacturers. First, it can't cost much less than $1,200. Second, the reason you can build it cheaper is because you get QUALITY brand-name parts each backed by its own warrenty. On a dell, if you even open the case, all warenties are void.

anyway, I am ranting now....
December 7, 2000 2:01:34 PM

Don't hold me to it, but I thought I read somewhere that AMD will be dropping prices on December 14th.
Supposedly, a 1GHz TBird will cost about $170.
But this seems a bit of a stretch.
If I find where I read this I will let you know.
December 7, 2000 7:18:35 PM

Yep, the 14th is the cutting date. DAMN i cant wait
December 7, 2000 8:17:22 PM

I just saw on pricewatch, that the cheapest 1GHz processor is now down to $189.
If they go below $150, I may have to get one myself.
December 7, 2000 9:48:17 PM

I work for a consulting firm that orders about a million dollars a year for our clients from Dell alone. I've worked extensively with the hardware they use. They absolutely use some the of best quality components. Dell warrants the entire pc, not individual components and the warranty is <b>not</b> void if you open the case. Now I'm ranting.
I still stand behind my original post: you can't build one cheaper. Use the same quality of components that Dell uses and you just can't do it.
December 7, 2000 10:29:05 PM

Of course you can. If you can't how does Dell expect to make money?
December 7, 2000 11:22:32 PM

Oh yeah and also a reason Dell can sell their computers for not that much is cause they put in Voodoo3 1000s in their "gaming" computers. LOL! Piece of $30 crap!
December 7, 2000 11:56:21 PM

First off, they've never sold a "gaming" pc. I was just at their site and can not find any Voodoo cards. Not saying they never sold one, just can't find it now.
32MB NVIDIA TNT2 M64 4X AGP Graphics [subtract $360]
NEW 32MB DDR ATI Radeon 4X AGP Graphics Card [subtract $270]
NEW 32MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS with MDK2 Action Game [subtract $180]
NEW 64MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce2 ULTRA GTS w/DVI Graphics w/MDK2

That's what they're selling now, straight from their site. The "[subtract $***]" is part of their configuration menu. I don't know about you, but I think that's a decent selection.

How do they sell them so cheap? Volume, no brick and mortar stores and no distrubutors. Plus they're in bed with both Microsoft and Intel and get the best pricing in the industry.
December 8, 2000 1:23:02 AM

I don't agree with this statement. If you buy a Dell. Take out all the components and price them all individually, it is always well below the price you pay to Dell. It is very easy to build a comparable computer for less than what Dell charges.
This is not to say that if I had the money I wouldn't buy from them because I would. They have the very best computer customer service I have ever encountered. That is what I would pay for, not the computer parts themselves.
December 8, 2000 10:47:26 AM

exactly. same with Alien Ware. I mean, a Duron 800 machine costs about $2000 i think (maybe less, but you get the point).
December 8, 2000 12:04:33 PM

Hardware-wise I would agree, but you have to look at the software too. If having MS Office, Anti-virus and another title or two is not what you want, don't order a Dell. But, if you build a pc with all the software legit (yeah, right :wink: ), the price of the Dell simply can't be touched. Any MS OS is going to be between $100 and $300, Office is around $300, Anti-virus say $30 or 40.
December 8, 2000 1:37:50 PM

Personally, I'm not buying DELL, only because they simply can't make a machine I want -- they don't offer enough customization, and (at least up here in Canada) they don't offer AMD at all - oopsie!:( 
However, if you're looking for a Intel based machine, I seriously doubt any of the claims from people that they can build a cheaper machine. Maybe prices down in US are different, but when I add just the major components on my own, they are selling the whole computer well bellow prices I can find. Add to that software, and the 'minor' parts (keyboard, case, mouse, etc) -- the price simply cannot be beat. I was looking at their 933MHz PIII's, and I thought it was an error on the webpage...
As far as Customer Service, its a mixed bag. Most people are ecstatic about DELL, but you hear occasional horror story, trumped up all over the forums, that makes the service a bit iffy...
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2000 5:37:36 PM

Sorry, but I just spent the last 2 hours on the phone w/Dell trying to get service on 2 new pc's that have failed.

As for warrenties on the entire pc, my question to you is, how long is their turnaround time on service? My experience has been a little over a week. Not good if you need it soon.

My apologies, but I meant PB, not dell that the warrentty is void (along with CompUSA, HP, and a few others).
December 9, 2000 12:40:53 AM

The turnaround time is usually really good, a day or so, <b><i>once</b></i> they've decided on a resolution to your problem. I'll admit there have been times it took longer, but never more than 5 days. And yes, you can sit on the phone with them for a couple of hours going through all their diagnostics BS.

BTW, "PB"? My old atrophied brain is having trouble making a correlation to a name.

Looking back at my posts I must sound like a Dell zealot, which I'm certainly not. I've never bought one, and most likely never will. The only point I was trying to make is: comparing a Dell to a computer you can build yourself, all parts of equal quality and all software included you can't build one cheaper. And if you think Dell support is a huge hassle, try getting support from a clone builder or from an Internet company for a major component like a motherboard. First you have to RMA it, pack it and send it to them with your own money, they will have to test it to see if you're ripping them off, they may or may not send you a replacement part at that point depending or whether or not they think the manufacturer can/will repair it. You'll think Dell is a godsend.
December 9, 2000 1:18:41 AM

PB = Peanut Butter?
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
December 9, 2000 10:51:51 PM

PB=Packard Bell

I will agree that Dell's are the system that come closest to meet my needs, but they can not give what I want...

If my grandmother were to say she needed a new computer for e-mail...I could scrape one together (tower) for $400.

versus Dell....
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
December 9, 2000 10:53:28 PM

if its legit eh?

hmmm, $500 for ms office...yeah right...

Seriously though... THey could sell it for $100 and make even more money because everyone would go with it.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
December 10, 2000 12:39:00 AM

If you don't have a printer or monitor, you're talking another $500 added on to the cost of the computer.
!