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Windows 7: Ordering A New Desktop PC Questions, Please. (from a Sr. citizen)

27 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 64bit
Ordering A New Desktop PC Questions, Please. (from a Sr. citizen)


It looks like my three year old hp pavilion desktop pc has given up the ghost.
Haven't got the energy to put in a new hd now at my age, so will just get,something new.

I still want a desktop model, though.

From the little,I've read, it seems that there are about the same percentage of likes and dislikes for hp vs. Dell, vs...

Can go up to perhaps $ 750 or so.

I would be most grateful for opinions from you experts.

Is there any kind of consensus these days as to which brand offers the best
In reliability, service, value, etc. ?

What about other than dell and hp; e.g., Asus, which frankly I know nothing about ?
Others ?

Anything in particular I should be aware of to get or order with ? Any caveats, etc. ?

Much thanks, really predicate the help.

BTW: is a three year life pretty typical for a desktop pc left on perhaps for twenty hours per day ?

Do they come now with a Cert. for a free upgrade to W8 which I guess is due out in the Fall ?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

Hello Bob.

Any advice you get is bound to be subjective and skewed towards peoples' personal experience.

I currently have two desktop computers: a Dell XPS 8300 and an HP Pavilion 495 and both are providing excellent service.

For a budget of $750 you should be able to buy a computer with good specifications, but generally speaking an off-the-shelf mid-range model will have Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, an i5 or i7 processor, 8GB RAM (you won't need any more than that unless you're a CAD user), probably a 1TB HDD, combo DVD/Blu-Ray optical drive, several USB ports and an HDMI port for your display.

One thing you may want to consider is a 128GB solid-state drive for a boost to your Windows performance, and a separate spinning drive for you personal data.

Many manufacturers offer a one-year guarantee as standard, but some offer more.

As far as I know, there are no plans for a free upgrade to Windows 8 as yet, and from what I've seen so far, I wouldn't want it anyway, but others may think differently. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2012   #3

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon | Win 7 Ult x64

Everyone has different opinions of what is good and what is bad, and no opinions are right or wrong. I for one would NOT buy Dell, Asus, HP, Lenovo if my life depended on it. Though I have worked in IT for over 30 years, and have been building systems for almost all of that time. I build all my own systems.

The problem I find with the "name brands" is that they sacrifice performance for stability. To keep prices down they will use older products that they bought in large quantities or are superceded parts. Dell were the worst for this when I was last purchasing 500 or so of them for a multi-national I worked for.

But if the performance is less important than stability maybe they are an option.

The other "problem" with name brands is you are paying a premium price.

My 2 cents worth, and others will have radically different opinions to mine - if you can build it yourself, or have someone you trust that can build it for you, put together a configuration that suits your needs, and fits your budget and build your own. In which case, there are many people here that can suggest configurations if you want. I tend to over spec machines so they last longer. Others build to meet your needs as they are now.

$750 of a custom built system can usually go further than $750 on a name brand system.

I have a computer that runs as a server for 17 hours a day. From 1991 to 2011 it ran 24 hours a day. I had 2 disk drives die and one power supply die in that time. However, with disk drives, most had been replaced every 3 - 4 years because I needed more and more capacity. It ran on XP and 2gb ram from 2001 - 2010.

I still have PCs that were built in the early 2000's are are working fine.

For gamers, upgrading is regular. For many other people, 5 or more years is not uncommon in how long they will meet your needs. My brother has computers that are 10 years old that are used for internet, email and homework for his kids.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 May 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit

I would recommend a custom built PC if there are vendors who would do it for you. You can then discuss the matter with the vendor of your choice and select the components that you want to include.

If not then LeNovo or Dell.

Regards from a more senior citizen perhaps
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

It's interesting that these questions aren't asked:

What have you been using your PC for?

Are there dreams of expanding the usage to unfamiliar fields?

Are you self-reliant or do you require product support?

Answers to these questions will determine price-performance-branding.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2012   #6

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


As gigagiggles mentioned above, how will you be using the computer? You may be able to make do with a laptop sporting a 17.3 inch screen, Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, 500GB hard drive, and at least 4GB RAM. Laptops like this are usually on sale at or for less than $700. This kind of laptop can replace a desktop system and have the added advantage of being able to move from room to room with a wireless router (usually provided by most ISPs.) Just something to consider if you like the idea of not being tied down to one particular desk or room in the house. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2012   #8

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

So Bob, you want a desktop and you don't have the energy to install a new drive in the old PC, right?

Well folks, that eliminates laptops and build-it-yourself, methinks.

Opinions, we all have. Buying a Pc is really preferential, but there were some good questions asked: What do you use the PC for? I doubt that you're a gamer (assumption) and probably just want a general purpose machine to write documents, communicate through eMail, Skype, or Social network, maybe save and tweak some photos.

Any brand will do those things, but I think you will get higher quality components if you can find a local PC builder. You have plenty of room on price, so discuss what you want to do with it when you talk to the builder.

I haven't tried Asus, but I've read good things. I was going to buy one to replace a recently deceased Cpq laptop, but the price held me back. I ended up buying a HP - Staples had a very sweet deal.

--> edit: you might consider using some of the cash on a large monitor (my $1 reading glasses are about maxed out - they don't go to 4+)

Good luck Bob.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Hey Bob,
I'm a Senior but I just build my own.
I'd stick with HP if I were you.
If you have external equipment on you old HP it may work with a new one.
If you want to transfer file buy an easy transfer cable.
Another thought is to have someone put a new drive in for you.
I've seen a lot of issues with Dell lately, particularly on this site.
Good Luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP


I think the rig Doc Brown found would be just right for your light multi-tasking needs. There's no reason to pay more than that nowadays when you can find a similar deal in the Sunday ads for about the same price.

You'd only need to jump up in price if you wanted Core i3-7 which is really overkill for your usage needs.

I also vote for HP over Dell which is having problems with lemons for years now. My dad had to ship back a Dell and is very satisfied for 7 years now with his HP. Mine last around 10 years.

The only drawback with HP's is the huge load of preinstalled factory bloatware which tags along, so here's how to tame it: Clean Up Factory Bloatware . We can also help you here with optimizing it to run perfectly, even to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

If you'd like to consider buying a HD to replace yours here is a video to show you what's involved:

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Ordering A New Desktop PC Questions, Please. (from a Sr. citizen)

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