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Old 09-09-2007, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,241 posts, read 12,761,410 times
Reputation: 3790

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My father needs to purchase a new computer and I've been trying to help. His basic needs are word processing, email and internet (currently dial-up but will be upgrading to broadband), a small amount of photo managing, CD and floppy drives, USB drives for printers and scanner and wireless mouse and external hard drive. As for gaming, he plays some of the simple card games, but my 7-year-old niece tries games such as Barbie, Jump Start, Nancy Drew, etc. and his current machine can't seem to handle those.

He's purchasing new not because of the gaming problems but because of dying motherboard (processor?) and hard drive as diagnosed by a recent Geek visit. (His machine can take up to 20 minutes to boot with lots of restarts; then many freezes during uptimes requiring restarts.)

Affordability is a factor of course, but we don't want to jeopardize quality by saving a few dollars.

We're looking at HP and Dell desktops, and in my search I found Velocity Micro. Never heard of them. Can anyone offer some advice, suggestions, opinions?
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Old 09-11-2007, 12:20 PM
 
Location: NJ
11,450 posts, read 21,874,230 times
Reputation: 10009
Quote:
Originally Posted by mawipafl View Post
My father needs to purchase a new computer and I've been trying to help.

We're looking at HP and Dell desktops, and in my search I found Velocity Micro. Never heard of them. Can anyone offer some advice, suggestions, opinions?
I looked them up at Reseller ratings and are rated at an 8. There are a few people not satisfied but you have to take every site with a grain of salt. Most people will complain if they aren't happy but people that are happy will not give feedback to balance out the bad.

Dell I would not recommend. Do a google search for Dell complaints, you'll see a lot of not happy people that had to send the computer back within 30 days, or had to call support in 30 days and had to put the OS disks in which didn't work. Since you only have 30 days, Dell gives the run-around, putting you off so that they won't have to take the system back. Even if they do, you are not guaranteed the same system but could be getting one that someone else sent back with different software.

I've never owned an HP but have owned a lot of Compaq's and am happy with the service I've gotten. Phone support isn't the greatest on weekdays after a certain time or weekends but their web chat is excellent as is their email support.

Maximum PC has a list of vendors on their site, you can find it here scroll down to PREBUILT COMPUTERS
ABS Computers
Alienware
CyberPower
Dell
Falcon-Northwest
Gateway
Hewlett Packard / Compaq
IBuyPower
PlanetComputers
VelocityMicro
VoodooPC

He does not have a link for Emachines, you might want to look into those. People that I know either love them or hate them. I've bought from Cyber Power, the prices are excellent; Ibuypower is about the same but both run different deals. Look at the free shipping models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mawipafl View Post
His basic needs are word processing, email and internet (currently dial-up but will be upgrading to broadband), a small amount of photo managing, CD and floppy drives, USB drives for printers and scanner and wireless mouse and external hard drive.
Does he have the external drive already? If not, I prefer an internal one as the external ones seem to die faster and when they do, forget getting your stuff off. I've had 3 go on me. I would look to buy (depending on what he'll use it for) 2 - 200 or 300 gig hard drives that he can keep doubles of everything in case of failure. I can go more into this if you're interested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mawipafl View Post
As for gaming, he plays some of the simple card games, but my 7-year-old niece tries games such as Barbie, Jump Start, Nancy Drew, etc. and his current machine can't seem to handle those.

He's purchasing new not because of the gaming problems but because of dying motherboard (processor?) and hard drive as diagnosed by a recent Geek visit. (His machine can take up to 20 minutes to boot with lots of restarts; then many freezes during uptimes requiring restarts.)

Affordability is a factor of course, but we don't want to jeopardize quality by saving a few dollars.
I take it that Geeks came out to the house? I'm not really confident they know what they are doing. If you post the specs of his current computer, maybe someone can suggest something to try.

If it was me, I would try to figure out what was wrong with the older one, backing everything up 1st, then opening the side to blow air in it. I would then use the restore disks to reinstall the OS, then try to install the girls game. If it works, she now gets that computer and he gets the new one.

Kids are hard on computers. I have a 14 year old that has killed more machines then we have in the house. The hard drives keep failing in them.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,241 posts, read 12,761,410 times
Reputation: 3790
First, I agree that some of the Geeks from the Squad are not as computer-savvy as they should be. And a house call is expensive.

Second, between the time of my first post and today, my father's machine went from limping along to dead as a doornail. He took it to a local computer shop - the guy confirmed what the Geek said about the motherboard failure, but also found the power supply was shot. He couldn't diagnose the hard drive issues at the time, but will work on that after he replaces the power supply, motherboard and processor, and doubles the RAM (all that for $350 which I think is pretty good.) I think the video card is fine - it's an nvidia something or other, so with more RAM and a faster processor, my niece's games should run fine I think.

Third, yes, he does have an internal hard drive - the external one came out of an old computer and rather than transfer some of the less-used files into his new one, he accesses the external as needed.

So, with all that, shopping for new has been put on hold - thank goodness because he wants to stay with XP not Vista and wants a floppy drive ... these things are close to impossible to find.
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