E90Post
 


VIBE Motorsports
 
BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Off-Topic Discussions > Buying a new PC - Confusing, need help!



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      12-30-2010, 07:17 AM   #1
JaySTee
First Lieutenant
 
JaySTee's Avatar
 
Drives: E91 320d SE
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Devon, UK

Posts: 390
iTrader: (0)

Buying a new PC - Confusing, need help!

Right, we have had our HP Pavillion now for 5/6 years and it is now mega slow. Think it only has 80GB hard drive and 500mb ram so no surprise really with all our photos and music on it!

It won't be used for gaming and will be used for internet, email, music, films, photos, office documents etc.

I started looking at iMacs after friends raving about them but they seem very expensive for the spec and I don't really need a 21.5" LED screen, although it looks very nice! Also having researched a bit they are not immune to viruses as I was told, it is just there are a lot more pc's so viruses tend to be aimed at them instead. However with the increase in popularity it can't be long before some sad geek tries to have a pop at macs can it? I do like the fact that they are very simple looking and have very few wires etc...

So I have been looking at DELL and PCS websites and for about £800 can get something with:

Intel i5 processor
8GB RAM
1TB Hard drive
DVD drive
Windows 7
MS Office Home and Student
19" Screen
Webcam
Wirless Keyboard and mouse

I can also get a similar spec'd Mini PC for about the same money - are there any advantages/disadvantages with Mini PC's?

So what do you think? Should I reconsider the iMac, is my spec about about right for what it will be used for? Are the smaller Mini PC's as good as full size?

Thanks
JaySTee is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 07:33 AM   #2
JaySTee
First Lieutenant
 
JaySTee's Avatar
 
Drives: E91 320d SE
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Devon, UK

Posts: 390
iTrader: (0)

just to add... a similar spec (apart from screen) iMac is £1,650...
JaySTee is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 07:34 AM   #3
kdiz
First Lieutenant
 
Drives: BMW 335i SE
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Slough, London UK

Posts: 363
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaySTee View Post
Right, we have had our HP Pavillion now for 5/6 years and it is now mega slow. Think it only has 80GB hard drive and 500mb ram so no surprise really with all our photos and music on it!

It won't be used for gaming and will be used for internet, email, music, films, photos, office documents etc.

I started looking at iMacs after friends raving about them but they seem very expensive for the spec and I don't really need a 21.5" LED screen, although it looks very nice! Also having researched a bit they are not immune to viruses as I was told, it is just there are a lot more pc's so viruses tend to be aimed at them instead. However with the increase in popularity it can't be long before some sad geek tries to have a pop at macs can it? I do like the fact that they are very simple looking and have very few wires etc...

So I have been looking at DELL and PCS websites and for about £800 can get something with:

Intel i5 processor
8GB RAM
1TB Hard drive
DVD drive
Windows 7
MS Office Home and Student
19" Screen
Webcam
Wirless Keyboard and mouse

I can also get a similar spec'd Mini PC for about the same money - are there any advantages/disadvantages with Mini PC's?

So what do you think? Should I reconsider the iMac, is my spec about about right for what it will be used for? Are the smaller Mini PC's as good as full size?

Thanks
The specs look pretty good for the one you have stated, 8GB of RAM is a hell of a lot if your not a gamer and don't do video editing in apps like after effects. I have only got 6GB and seem to get by fine with video editing and gaming so 8 is probably a bit ott. If it isn't much extra it might be worth keeping ensuring its longevity.

I personally wouldn’t consider Mac, don't get fooled by all this 'immune to virus' crap, not many viruses are about these days, it's mainly spyware which is always a user error by downloading and running something they shouldn’t have. You need to really like the design and the OS to buy a Mac; if that isn't the case then you are wasting your time there.

I would tend to opt for a larger screen, 19" is pretty small by these standards and you can easily get 22" or something like that.

Not sure about mini PCs but my guess is you won’t be able to upgrade anything with them in the future if needed, that's probably the main difference. Usually they have lesser components as well due to size.

Hope this helps!
kdiz is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 07:45 AM   #4
Boyd1963
Major
 
Boyd1963's Avatar
 
Drives: 2011 320d e92
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bournemouth

Posts: 1,301
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Sep 2011 E92  [0.00]
I beg to differ. I have worked on PCs for nearly 25 years and I will never buy another one for personal use. I've got 5 PCs in the house that give me nothing but grief and one iMac which has been faultless in 2.5 years of ownership. You turn the iMac on and with 10 seconds it's ready to go. It doesn't constantly bombard me with stupid questions, restart itself to add upgrades or generally p*ss me off. It's as good today as it was when it was first purchased. It may have cost more upfront but it was well worth the money.
Boyd1963 is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 07:50 AM   #5
kdiz
First Lieutenant
 
Drives: BMW 335i SE
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Slough, London UK

Posts: 363
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd1963 View Post
I beg to differ. I have worked on PCs for nearly 25 years and I will never buy another one for personal use. I've got 5 PCs in the house that give me nothing but grief and one iMac which has been faultless in 2.5 years of ownership. You turn the iMac on and with 10 seconds it's ready to go. It doesn't constantly bombard me with stupid questions, restart itself to add upgrades or generally p*ss me off. It's as good today as it was when it was first purchased. It may have cost more upfront but it was well worth the money.
Weird what OS you running, I don't have any issues with windows 7. Updates are pretty rare now, only now and then for me. I generally have uptime of a month before I restart.
kdiz is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 08:00 AM   #6
JaySTee
First Lieutenant
 
JaySTee's Avatar
 
Drives: E91 320d SE
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Devon, UK

Posts: 390
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdiz View Post
The specs look pretty good for the one you have stated, 8GB of RAM is a hell of a lot if your not a gamer and don't do video editing in apps like after effects. I have only got 6GB and seem to get by fine with video editing and gaming so 8 is probably a bit ott. If it isn't much extra it might be worth keeping ensuring its longevity.

I personally wouldn’t consider Mac, don't get fooled by all this 'immune to virus' crap, not many viruses are about these days, it's mainly spyware which is always a user error by downloading and running something they shouldn’t have. You need to really like the design and the OS to buy a Mac; if that isn't the case then you are wasting your time there.

I would tend to opt for a larger screen, 19" is pretty small by these standards and you can easily get 22" or something like that.

Not sure about mini PCs but my guess is you won’t be able to upgrade anything with them in the future if needed, that's probably the main difference. Usually they have lesser components as well due to size.

Hope this helps!
Thanks, so maybe 4GB RAM? I guess I could add more in the future if required?

Maybe I should go for a bigger screen, the only thing that worries me is that we have the PC in room downstairs and not in an office so it is not tucked away - I don't want it to be too big and stand out too much.
JaySTee is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 08:02 AM   #7
briers
Ben
 
briers's Avatar
 
Drives: XFR
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Midlands,UK

Posts: 1,971
iTrader: (0)

Seems like a lot of cash - do you really need 8gb of ram and an i7 processor.

Things change so much these days with speed and cpu's but for internet, films, music and photo's its pretty overkill.

Why not get the £500 model - probably all you need to spend. : http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/to...hs1&l=en&s=dhs

The £800 PC would only be worthwhile if you don't want to wait as long if you edit hours of HD video. A browser, photo gallery or word doc won't open any faster on the £800 PC compared to the £500. In reality it probably opens and operates just as quick on a £300 one but it's nice to have a nice speed buffer which should make it future proof for at least 4 years.

Don't forget the last 5 years have seen cpu's go from single core 1 cpu running at 3.0ghz to dual, quad or even 6 or 8 cores running at 1.5-3ghz. The speed is going crazy. Software developers won't start taking advantage of this massive speed increase for some time yet. There isn't enough people running these machines yet. Plus more people are buying laptops these days which are typically much lower specc-ed.
briers is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 08:06 AM   #8
JaySTee
First Lieutenant
 
JaySTee's Avatar
 
Drives: E91 320d SE
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Devon, UK

Posts: 390
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd1963 View Post
I beg to differ. I have worked on PCs for nearly 25 years and I will never buy another one for personal use. I've got 5 PCs in the house that give me nothing but grief and one iMac which has been faultless in 2.5 years of ownership. You turn the iMac on and with 10 seconds it's ready to go. It doesn't constantly bombard me with stupid questions, restart itself to add upgrades or generally p*ss me off. It's as good today as it was when it was first purchased. It may have cost more upfront but it was well worth the money.
A lot of people seem to rate them for ease of use and speed of start-up etc. I guess I should go and try one in an apple store and see what I think. I see on their site they do refurbed units that are about £200 cheaper.

What are their aftersales like? I read that macs are good if you edit music and video but we won't be doing any of that - or would we if it was easy?!
JaySTee is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 08:12 AM   #9
briers
Ben
 
briers's Avatar
 
Drives: XFR
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Midlands,UK

Posts: 1,971
iTrader: (0)

The macs are very good machines, as been said, the do just work and do everything fairly fuss free.

I have had issues with my iphone, been through 3 and itunes was a bit dodgy. But that is all sorted.

I agree, windows has been a right pain in the arse these last 10 years. However, i must admit, windows 7 is a lot closer to a mac now. Windows 7 is fast, seamless and handles everything well.

This is probably a better deal: http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/to...hs1&l=en&s=dhs

Just add a monitor of your choice.
briers is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 08:13 AM   #10
JaySTee
First Lieutenant
 
JaySTee's Avatar
 
Drives: E91 320d SE
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Devon, UK

Posts: 390
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by briers View Post
Seems like a lot of cash - do you really need 8gb of ram and an i7 processor.

Things change so much these days with speed and cpu's but for internet, films, music and photo's its pretty overkill.

Why not get the £500 model - probably all you need to spend. : http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/to...hs1&l=en&s=dhs

The £800 PC would only be worthwhile if you don't want to wait as long if you edit hours of HD video. A browser, photo gallery or word doc won't open any faster on the £800 PC compared to the £500. In reality it probably opens and operates just as quick on a £300 one but it's nice to have a nice speed buffer which should make it future proof for at least 4 years.

Don't forget the last 5 years have seen cpu's go from single core 1 cpu running at 3.0ghz to dual, quad or even 6 or 8 cores running at 1.5-3ghz. The speed is going crazy. Software developers won't start taking advantage of this massive speed increase for some time yet. There isn't enough people running these machines yet. Plus more people are buying laptops these days which are typically much lower specc-ed.
Good points, maybe it is a bit overkill... As kdiz already pointed out I have too much RAM so I can def cut that down. As for the processor - on DELLS site the seemed to reccomend the i5 for what I was going to do so that is why I went with it, but again if it is a waste of money then I will look again. Is there a particular processor you would recommend?
JaySTee is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 08:30 AM   #11
JaySTee
First Lieutenant
 
JaySTee's Avatar
 
Drives: E91 320d SE
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Devon, UK

Posts: 390
iTrader: (0)

briers, my work laptop has windows 7 and seems to work well so I have no issues with getting it at home as well.

The Inspiron 580 you recommend looks nice, price is about £730 by the time I add screen and MS office and the 560 is about £620 so a fair bit less...
JaySTee is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 08:31 AM   #12
JaySTee
First Lieutenant
 
JaySTee's Avatar
 
Drives: E91 320d SE
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Devon, UK

Posts: 390
iTrader: (0)

Anyone have any experience with PCS? LINK
JaySTee is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 08:32 AM   #13
Boyd1963
Major
 
Boyd1963's Avatar
 
Drives: 2011 320d e92
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bournemouth

Posts: 1,301
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Sep 2011 E92  [0.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdiz View Post
Weird what OS you running, I don't have any issues with windows 7. Updates are pretty rare now, only now and then for me. I generally have uptime of a month before I restart.
Mine are all running Xp after the debacle that was Vista. In theory they should be reasonable machines but they are sh*t even after reloading all the software. I haven't even looked at Windows 7 as I have been burnt so many times before by Microsoft.
Boyd1963 is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 08:34 AM   #14
Halpin13
Michael Halpin
 
Halpin13's Avatar
 
Drives: On the hunt
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North East

Posts: 356
iTrader: (1)

Garage List
2005 E90 320i  [0.00]
Send a message via Skype™ to Halpin13
I would have 2 say go mac spend that bit more money and it will out last any Pc.

I work on both everyday at work and at home and the mac runs faster, loads faster, Looks better, no wires and most of all it's simple and fun for everyone 2 use.
__________________
PSN - MHalpin13
Halpin13 is offline   England
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 08:42 AM   #15
Boyd1963
Major
 
Boyd1963's Avatar
 
Drives: 2011 320d e92
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bournemouth

Posts: 1,301
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Sep 2011 E92  [0.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaySTee View Post
A lot of people seem to rate them for ease of use and speed of start-up etc. I guess I should go and try one in an apple store and see what I think. I see on their site they do refurbed units that are about £200 cheaper.

What are their aftersales like? I read that macs are good if you edit music and video but we won't be doing any of that - or would we if it was easy?!
You really need to get along to the Mac store and check them out before coming to a decision. My kids have got their Yamaha keyboard connected to the iMac and use Garage band to write their own music. I just plugged the USB-MIDI cable in and it worked without loading any drivers. It's the lack of bother that I love about the iMac. Things just work and they continue to work. We've never had any locking up, crashing, cr*p pop-ups. (I mean you 888.com)

We bought 3 years Applecare with the computer but we have never had to use it so i don't really think that it is necessary.
Boyd1963 is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 08:49 AM   #16
Dr Dave
Zummerzet Zyder Drinker!
 
Dr Dave's Avatar
 
Drives: '06 330D Le Mans Blue
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Somerset

Posts: 5,541
iTrader: (3)

Garage List
I used to be an XP-only user - but since going to Win7, I won't be going back.
__________________
Dr Dave is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 09:32 AM   #17
Dave_3
Colonel
 
Dave_3's Avatar
 
Drives: F32 430D sDrive Msport
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: CH / SCO

Posts: 2,779
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Dave View Post
I used to be an XP-only user - but since going to Win7, I won't be going back.
Me too. I have several PCs still running well on XP and I also run a render farm of PCs (5 quad core PCs) running XP.

Vista only lasted a few months on my laptop - new HD was installed along with Win7 64 Ultimate. Different machine, and with built in virtualised XP machine very flexible. I also occasionally run a virtual Win 2003 Server machine on my laptop. Win7 is MUCH better at multitasking. Some very processor heavy tasks would basically lock XP until finished, in Win7 you can still flick between applications.

Really depends what you want to do with your PC/Mac. An i7 can do hyperthreading so you will get 8 (or 12 with the new 6 core) processes running at once if your software supports it. For your needs an i5 would be very comfortable. You could get by with less, but if you can afford a 330D over a 320D why not ?

More memory is always a good thing. Especially with 64 bit systems where you can actually access all of it. Limit of 3GB on a 32 bit system. Fully recommend a 64 bit version of Win7.

D.
__________________
Escort Mk1 RS2000 (2.1 2x44IDFS, BVH, Kent FR32, 5spd, 180 BHP) : Fully Loaded F32 430D M Sport sDrive : Previously Full-Spec 335D E92 2006 : Capri MK1 full rebuild in progress

Dave_3 is online now   Scotland
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 09:48 AM   #18
///ajd
Colonel
 
///ajd's Avatar
 
Drives: BMW 330d Touring
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: ...

Posts: 2,297
iTrader: (1)

My only advice would be to avoid 64bit systems - you almost certainly don't need the power (which is unused in most software anyway), and everytime a bit of legacy software won't work you'll be cursing your purchase.

I've had my i7 64 bit laptop for 12m months and this still grates. Cheapo home edition 64bit windows 7 won't run in a 32bit mode. Grrrr.
///ajd is offline   France
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 10:20 AM   #19
kdiz
First Lieutenant
 
Drives: BMW 335i SE
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Slough, London UK

Posts: 363
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaySTee View Post
Thanks, so maybe 4GB RAM? I guess I could add more in the future if required?

Maybe I should go for a bigger screen, the only thing that worries me is that we have the PC in room downstairs and not in an office so it is not tucked away - I don't want it to be too big and stand out too much.
id say 4gb should be enough for your means, depending on the way Dell do it you should be able to put atleast another 2gb in the future if needed.

For the screen size, maybe take a look at some in shops, when your like 22" they are more widescreen where as the 19" are thinner and taller usually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ///ajd View Post
My only advice would be to avoid 64bit systems - you almost certainly don't need the power (which is unused in most software anyway), and everytime a bit of legacy software won't work you'll be cursing your purchase.

I've had my i7 64 bit laptop for 12m months and this still grates. Cheapo home edition 64bit windows 7 won't run in a 32bit mode. Grrrr.
That's very strange, I have been on 64bit windows 7 and not had any issues at all with running 32bit programs, infact everything I run is 32bit except for photoshop and after effects.
kdiz is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 11:23 AM   #20
urfankhaliq
Captain
 
Drives: BMW 320D SE Auto
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Bradford

Posts: 657
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2003 BMW X5  [0.00]
2005 BMW 320D SE  [0.00]
I would get a Mac. I have a desktop that is running Windows 7 and yes its good and easy to use and looks after itself more or less but its still no where near my MacBook Pro that I got recently. This was the first Mac for me and i don't regret it.

The Mac really is just easy to use and just works, simple as that really.

As far as viruses etc are concerned, the Macs are not immune to them but there are sooooooooooooooooooooo few viruses written for Macs that you do not need any antivirus software and for those who are thinking "its only a matter of time" well firstly its going to be a loooong time and secondly you can get antivirus software for the Mac just like the PC and you can bet that the antivirus software on a Mac will be a lot kinder to your processor then on a PC.

Everything is simple on a Mac from installing programs to installing peripherals. They do cost more but will last longer! Aftersales for Apple are usually very good. Ive not had a problem with my MBP but when I had an issue with my iphone they replaced it straight away and when I wanted to exchange my iPad, they did it without any problem even though I had been using it for a week!

Lastly if you are a student or know a student you can get a pretty good discount on an iMac from Apple. and if your not a student then you can order over the phone and tell them you are a student (have a uni and course in mind) and hey presto you get student discount
__________________
e90 320d SE Auto, Sparkling Graphite
urfankhaliq is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 11:33 AM   #21
kanecvl
Lieutenant
 
kanecvl's Avatar
 
Drives: 07 335i coupe
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: IL

Posts: 547
iTrader: (6)

get a mac. after about 10 pc's then buying a mac recently. NEVER buying another pc, crappy customer service and too many headaches crashes, and freezes. Bought a dell labtop 2 or 3 years ago brand new and froze on the initial start up. money well spent on the macbookpro. up next is the mini.
__________________
kanecvl is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      12-30-2010, 12:04 PM   #22
///ajd
Colonel
 
///ajd's Avatar
 
Drives: BMW 330d Touring
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: ...

Posts: 2,297
iTrader: (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdiz View Post

That's very strange, I have been on 64bit windows 7 and not had any issues at all with running 32bit programs, infact everything I run is 32bit except for photoshop and after effects.
BMW TIS is one example that won't work on vanilla 64 bit windows 7.
///ajd is offline   France
0
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:33 AM.




e90post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST