Computers & Electronics

Help with choosing a computer

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[OP]
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Nov 16, 2008
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Help with choosing a computer

My Pentium 4 computer from 2003 has finally started to crap out on me so I am in the market for a new computer, however, I don't have a very good knowledge base of computers and what is considered a good computer for it's price. I was at Costco today and saw the below computer there for $600 and was wondering if the computer savvy individuals here would be able to help determine if this computer helps with my needs.

Needs: Everyday use (office, watching videos, surfing, etc..) and light gaming (mainly I want to be able to play Hearthstone and maybe some SC2 or Diablo 3).

Computer (Found it on NCIX for $150 more)
http://www.ncix.com/detail/hp-pavilion- ... 101424.htm

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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check out the MS, NmicroVip and the usual suspects. That PC is overpriced
[OP]
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Solsearchin1 wrote: check out the MS, NmicroVip and the usual suspects. That PC is overpriced
It's overpriced at $600 (Costco price) or $755 (NCIX price) or both? Thanks for the input.
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Dec 1, 2012
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Go to your local NCIX/Canada Computers store. Ask someone to help you put a computer together.
You can get a much better system for $600 compared to the prebuilt ones offered by Hp, Acer etc...
I believe it only costs $50 for them to assemble the system test and install the OS. Just get them to clone your current hard drive to a new ssd/hdd
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Jeffrey101 wrote: Go to your local NCIX/Canada Computers store. Ask someone to help you put a computer together.
You can get a much better system for $600 compared to the prebuilt ones offered by Hp, Acer etc...
I believe it only costs $50 for them to assemble the system test and install the OS. Just get them to clone your current hard drive to a new ssd/hdd
Would they be able to do that if I just went in and told them my needs? I thought I would have to buy the parts and make sure they all are compatible and that is something I have no idea about...LOL.

Any help with parts to make a better computer than the one I posted would be greatly appreciated. I would need Windows as well.
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Dec 10, 2007
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go on pcpartpicker and play around with builds to find one that would suit your budget, there are plenty of builds posted up by people that you can refer to.
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coolteam wrote: It's overpriced at $600 (Costco price) or $755 (NCIX price) or both? Thanks for the input.
both are kind of overpriced, just go to ncix and ask them to help you build a computer from the sales they have every week,
pre built computers always cost more. if your old hard drive is enough room for you, you could transfer it over to save a few bucks for now and add another hard drive or ssd later.
the comp you have listed on the link does not even have a graphic card, it is using the onboard stock graphics from the cpu.
and if you plan to add more hard drives or more powerful graphics card you might want a larger size tower so everything is not cramped together. ( the more powerful graphic cards are quite large now and take up a bit of space in the tower )

2 things you should not skimp on is good power supply ( because a bad one when it dies it will most likely take another part with it ) and graphics card if you plan to play some games and such.
those stock graphic processors are never very great and some games that do not update for those drivers will leave you with glitches in game.
ssds will greatly improve load up time of anything installed on that ssd, battlefield 3 the game went from 2-3min loading to 30 sec loading with ssd and windows will be 30 sec bootup or faster compared to like normal hard drive like 50-60 sec
ofcourse ssd will cost more but your system will feel more snappy ( even internet explorer feels faster).
600$ if you know how to build your own tower should be able to handle all the new next gen games like shadow of mordor on ps4 and xbox1
pre built computers you will have to spend like 800+ for the same result as they always skimp on something like graphics card to save money and the branding mark ups

watch this video it should help a bit on some ideas of what you are looking for
(Build a $400 Gaming PC)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KUpRXRGVHU
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Oct 27, 2013
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Given that you're not a PC super nerd, I'd actually recommend you get it from Costco. Here's why.

Going to Canada Computers etc. will not really result in a cheaper computer. $225ish for a CPU, $100 for a mobo, $100 for RAM, $100 for an SSD, $50 for an el-cheapo case, $50 for a PSU means something comparable to the Costco machine will still cost you $625 + $50 fee + OS + tax. Also, basement dwellers who sell open box/returned/defective things as new will build your computer. Return policy? Not gonna happen.

At Costco, you have a great return policy, good customer service, and if you have a problem, you only have to deal with the PC manufacturer (HP), not run RAM tests and contact the manufacturer of the RAM, or send your motherboard in for RMA and be without a computer for weeks etc.

If you want to play games, just add a decent video card.
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thesearchfordean wrote: Given that you're not a PC super nerd, I'd actually recommend you get it from Costco. Here's why.

Going to Canada Computers etc. will not really result in a cheaper computer. $225ish for a CPU, $100 for a mobo, $100 for RAM, $100 for an SSD, $50 for an el-cheapo case, $50 for a PSU means something comparable to the Costco machine will still cost you $625 + $50 fee + OS + tax. Also, basement dwellers who sell open box/returned/defective things as new will build your computer. Return policy? Not gonna happen.

At Costco, you have a great return policy, good customer service, and if you have a problem, you only have to deal with the PC manufacturer (HP), not run RAM tests and contact the manufacturer of the RAM, or send your motherboard in for RMA and be without a computer for weeks etc.

If you want to play games, just add a decent video card.
that's a terrible idea 600-700$ machine with no graphic card? that's like another $150-200 for a good gpu and you gotta hope your power supply that came with the prebuilt can handle the power the graphic card might need.

my 600$ comp I built 3 years ago still plays all the next gen games on high settings if that gives you some perspective,
ofcourse that is because I know how to build a pc.

a 600-700$ from costo or futureshop or anywhere else pre-built will barely handle sc2 and diablo 3.
again pre built machines are how those companies sell their older parts because nobody would build one from scratch with those same parts because they are overpriced and underpowered considering ncix has sales on items every week.

If you pay ncix to put it together for you for 50$ they already test all the parts for you and will report problems to you if any arise, and ncix has return and replacement policies
and you do not have to be a pc nerd, my friend knows nothing about building computers went to ncix asked them to build him a computer for 600$
and they did and it was good enough for him to play all the new games

the only good thing about the prebuilt ones is that it will come with a windows key
but even then I rather stick with my windows 7 ultimate then windows 8
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Oct 27, 2013
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And... breathe!

It's not an idea LOL, you've missed the point completely. I just roughly priced out a configuration with a similar CPU... meaning you're not going to get a much better deal getting it built at CC or NCIX. Think about it... CPU is at least $225, just do the math for the rest of the components. The $600 Costco machine is a decent value... that's the point. He can add a graphics card to it if he wants.

For $600, with new components, what would you build? You'll have to compromise heavily on the CPU to get a GPU in there. You'd need to get the absolute cheapest case, PSU, SSD etc.

Is it the machine I would build? No. But you have to think about the OP. He's not a heavy user, he's not a PC nerd. Meaning he's not the type to remove a single component to claim warranty or do troubleshooting, it's much easier for him to buy an HP from Costco. I have never done that myself, but different people have different requirements.
AllanT232 wrote: that's a terrible idea 600-700$ machine with no graphic card? that's like another $150-200 for a good gpu
my 600$ comp I built 3 years ago still plays all the next gen games on high settings if that gives you some perspective,
ofcourse that is because I know how to build one.

a 600-700$ from costo or futureshop or anywhere else pre-built will barely handle sc2 and diablo 3.
again pre built machines are how those companies sell their older parts because nobody would build one from scratch with those same parts because they are overpriced and underpowered considering ncix has sales on items every week.
and if you pay ncix to put it together for you for 50$ they already test all the parts for you and will report problems to you if any arise, and ncix has return and replacement policies
and you do not have to be a pc nerd, my friend knows nothing about building computers went to ncix asked them to build him a computer for 600$
and they did and it was good enough for him to play all the new games
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thesearchfordean wrote: And... breathe!

It's not an idea LOL, you've missed the point completely. I just roughly priced out a configuration with a similar CPU... meaning you're not going to get a much better deal getting it built at CC or NCIX. Think about it... CPU is at least $225, just do the math for the rest of the components. The $600 Costco machine is a decent value... that's the point. He can add a graphics card to it if he wants.

For $600, with new components, what would you build? You'll have to compromise heavily on the CPU to get a GPU in there. You'd need to get the absolute cheapest case, PSU, SSD etc.

Is it the machine I would build? No. But you have to think about the OP. He's not a heavy user, he's not a PC nerd. Meaning he's not the type to remove a single component to claim warranty or do troubleshooting, it's much easier for him to buy an HP from Costco. I have never done that myself, but different people have different requirements.
you do know if you go with amd quad cores its like 100 bucks for cpu, if he/she is not doing hard core gaming or video processing
hell $150 gets you 6 core amd 3.9/4.2ghz processor
everything else could be found on ncix sales from 50-70$ including 8gb ram and motherboard and case and psu
dvd burner is like 20 bucks
and those specs will already beat the Costco machine.
and if you get the Costco machine and want to add a NVidia graphic card and that psu does not supply the correct amps then you have to get another psu anyways (pretty sure the included psu is going to be bare minimum to run the system with the included parts)
and the cases from Costco is prob the mini/ smaller sizes ones and not a full sized tower so some NVidia graphic cards wont even fit in that case
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thesearchfordean wrote: And... breathe!

It's not an idea LOL, you've missed the point completely. I just roughly priced out a configuration with a similar CPU... meaning you're not going to get a much better deal getting it built at CC or NCIX. Think about it... CPU is at least $225, just do the math for the rest of the components. The $600 Costco machine is a decent value... that's the point. He can add a graphics card to it if he wants.

For $600, with new components, what would you build? You'll have to compromise heavily on the CPU to get a GPU in there. You'd need to get the absolute cheapest case, PSU, SSD etc.

Is it the machine I would build? No. But you have to think about the OP. He's not a heavy user, he's not a PC nerd. Meaning he's not the type to remove a single component to claim warranty or do troubleshooting, it's much easier for him to buy an HP from Costco. I have never done that myself, but different people have different requirements.
and did you even check the video I posted earlier?
that 400$ pc will run all games to date
while the 600-700 pre built comp will barely handle those games on lowest settings
even if you cannot piece together the comp yourself ncix can do it for you and test it for you

watch this video it should help a bit on some ideas of what you are looking for
(Build a $400 Gaming PC)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KUpRXRGVHU
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coolteam wrote: My Pentium 4 computer from 2003 has finally started to crap out on me so I am in the market for a new computer, however, I don't have a very good knowledge base of computers and what is considered a good computer for it's price. I was at Costco today and saw the below computer there for $600 and was wondering if the computer savvy individuals here would be able to help determine if this computer helps with my needs.

Needs: Everyday use (office, watching videos, surfing, etc..) and light gaming (mainly I want to be able to play Hearthstone and maybe some SC2 or Diablo 3).

Computer (Found it on NCIX for $150 more)
http://www.ncix.com/detail/hp-pavilion- ... 101424.htm

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
To be fair, you really don't need a powerful system for that. Here's what I threw together for you:

http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/tWGxP6

If you don't feel comfortable putting it together you can print out the list and take it to CC or NCIX and have them pricematch/build something comparable:

Having 8gb of RAM and an SSD really makes a system fly for everyday tasks. Your HP from NCIX/Costco has only has a mechanical drive (which is significantly slower) and 6GB of memory, which is less than my build. Sure, you get an i5 instead of an i3; but processor is one of the least important aspects for everyday "snappiness" of use. Even the most basic Pentium will be able to take care of your everyday use.

I used a NETBOOK with 8GB of memory and an SSD and it was mighty snappy. I've also used an i7 with a mechanical drive and 4GB of RAM and it felt slow as molasses in comparison. Sure, for processor intensive tasks the i7 will blow the netbook away but how much 3d rendering or FEA or anything like that will you be doing?

SC2 and D3 are nowhere near graphically intensive so you will be fine with built in graphics but you can always add something like a GTX 750Ti for ~$150 down the road.

We can also make this build even cheaper by going with an AMD APU system if you really want to pinch some more pennies.
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KevC wrote: To be fair, you really don't need a powerful system for that. Here's what I threw together for you:

http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/tWGxP6

If you don't feel comfortable putting it together you can print out the list and take it to CC or NCIX and have them pricematch/build something comparable:

Having 8gb of RAM and an SSD really makes a system fly for everyday tasks. Your HP from NCIX/Costco has only has a mechanical drive (which is significantly slower) and 6GB of memory, which is less than my build. Sure, you get an i5 instead of an i3; but processor is one of the least important aspects for everyday "snappiness" of use. Even the most basic Pentium will be able to take care of your everyday use.

I used a NETBOOK with 8GB of memory and an SSD and it was mighty snappy. I've also used an i7 with a mechanical drive and 4GB of RAM and it felt slow as molasses in comparison. Sure, for processor intensive tasks the i7 will blow the netbook away but how much 3d rendering or FEA or anything like that will you be doing?

SC2 and D3 are nowhere near graphically intensive so you will be fine with built in graphics but you can always add something like a GTX 750Ti for ~$150 down the road.

We can also make this build even cheaper by going with an AMD APU system if you really want to pinch some more pennies.
that is a pretty good build for everyday use but I would have got a quad core to futureproof it a little bit more
unless you overclock your duel core to boost it
new programs and games will benefit from multicore loading/ loading different textures in each core but duel core is good enough for every day use for sure unless you open like a bunch of programs/games/browsers all at once
did you buy a graphic card later to add in your build?

even a gtx 650ti will prob run sc2 and d3
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coolteam wrote: Would they be able to do that if I just went in and told them my needs? I thought I would have to buy the parts and make sure they all are compatible and that is something I have no idea about...LOL.

Any help with parts to make a better computer than the one I posted would be greatly appreciated. I would need Windows as well.
yep just go to ncix and tell them your needs and ask them to build you a computer for your budget and needs,
my friend went there told them he wanted a computer that can play the games he wanted to play and told them $600 budget and told them to build his computer from items on that weekly sale, his computer turned out pretty good, more than enough for his needs
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Do you need to upgrade your operating system too?
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KevC wrote: To be fair, you really don't need a powerful system for that. Here's what I threw together for you:

http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/tWGxP6

If you don't feel comfortable putting it together you can print out the list and take it to CC or NCIX and have them pricematch/build something comparable
Thank you for putting something together. I took a look at it and was wondering about the build as I didn't see a power supply unit or an operating system.
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robertz wrote: Do you need to upgrade your operating system too?
Yes, I would need an upgrade on an operating system as well. My current computer is running XP.
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Thank you everyone for your opinions on the Costco computer and new computers in general. I will have to take the information here and see what's the best course of action.

If there are other opinions or tips I would be grateful to hear them. Keep them coming.

Cheers.
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coolteam wrote: Thank you for putting something together. I took a look at it and was wondering about the build as I didn't see a power supply unit or an operating system.
If you add a basic power supply, optical drive (DVD burner), and Win7 x64, the price becomes $700 on the parts picker website. Win10 will be free upgrade for Win7 so you can stick with Win7 or upgrade to Win10.

I'd spend an extra $75 and get the quad core 4590 processor.

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