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Windows 7: Sr. Citizen "Basic" Questions, Please

08 Oct 2009   #1
Robert11

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
Sr. Citizen "Basic" Questions, Please

Hello,

Sr. citizen, and frankly not all that sharp with this stuff, so please bear with me.

Will be purchasing a new Desktop PC in Nov., probably.
Looked at the Dell and HP order sites, and a bit confused.

a. If I get a desktop for around $ 1,000, can I assume that it is a 64 bit system ?
Where would it say prior to ordering on their sites ?
The descriptions of the Processor options doesn't seem to state this.

b. Are there two different Windows7 Home versions depending on if it 32 or 64 bits ?

c. How much memory should I be sure to order for the 64 bit system ?

d. If I do end up with, as I imagine I will, with a 64 bit system, is it "likely" that my quite old 32 bit programs will still run ? e.g., is Windows7 smart enough to automatically know how to run each program, or do you have to initially tell it ?

e. Might as well also ask, please:

This new Desktop PC will be for typical home usage; nothing fancy.

My main criteria is probably not Performance.
I consider it to be Reliability.
I just don't want to play with fixing things anymore (too old for that anymore, I guess); just want it to work.

Have read many, many, rants and opinions on how poor Dell is these days re quality, and also their service.

The same kind of thing for HP, and...

Of course, I realize that it is probably only the folks who have had real
problems that write these posts. Folks that are thrilled and satisfied
generally don't bother. So, impossible to know what percentage of
purchasers actually are (very) unhappy.

Comparing price for what they give you is a bit hard, as no two systems are exactly the same. It seems like HP possibly offers a bit more for the $.

But, I have to buy something.
Willing to go up to about $ 1,200 or so.

Is there any general consensus of HP vs Dell quality (and service) ?
Why ?

How about their service: responsiveness, etc. ?

Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

Much thanks,
Bob


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
08 Oct 2009   #2
torrentg

7600.20510 x86
 
 

My thoughts to you are the same as to everyone. Get a barebones rig off of Newegg, Tigerdirect or the like and set it up yourself. Purchase components separately. You will get much greater value for your money this way. If you need help choosing components or technical advise, you're in the right place, that's for sure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #3
swarfega

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

If you read the first line he said he was quite new to this computer stuff and you could infer from that he would not be able to fit a computer together.

@Robert11: could you please list the components you saw from the manufacturers website so we can help you further. The key component in deciding if you can use 64-bit or not is the CPU.

Also it would be useful if you could list the software you mentioned that you have concerns about regarding compatibility.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

08 Oct 2009   #4
bobtran

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

First of all, Welcome to Windows 7 forums. You have come to the right place to support your Windows 7 experience. Be sure to browse the forums and get an idea what is available to you here.



Hello,

Sr. citizen, and frankly not all that sharp with this stuff, so please bear with me.

Will be purchasing a new Desktop PC in Nov., probably.
Looked at the Dell and HP order sites, and a bit confused.

a. If I get a desktop for around $ 1,000, can I assume that it is a 64 bit system ?

No - you must specify when you order

Where would it say prior to ordering on their sites ?
The descriptions of the Processor options doesn't seem to state this.

When you choose the OS

b. Are there two different Windows7 Home versions depending on if it 32 or 64 bits ?

32-bit and 64-bit are totally different under the covers but user interface is identical (no visual difference)

c. How much memory should I be sure to order for the 64 bit system ?

4gb or more although you can run with as little as 2gb

d. If I do end up with, as I imagine I will, with a 64 bit system, is it "likely" that my quite old 32 bit programs will still run ? e.g., is Windows7 smart enough to automatically know how to run each program, or do you have to initially tell it ?

I would guess most will and some might not - Check Windows 7 forums for software compatibility and also Microsoft.com Windows 7 software compatibility. Also run Google searches for compatibility of software. Most Software that is not compatible and is still supported will have newer versions that are compatible.

e. Might as well also ask, please:

This new Desktop PC will be for typical home usage; nothing fancy.

My main criteria is probably not Performance.
I consider it to be Reliability.
I just don't want to play with fixing things anymore (too old for that anymore, I guess); just want it to work.

Have read many, many, rants and opinions on how poor Dell is these days re quality, and also their service.

The same kind of thing for HP, and...

Of course, I realize that it is probably only the folks who have had real
problems that write these posts. Folks that are thrilled and satisfied
generally don't bother. So, impossible to know what percentage of
purchasers actually are (very) unhappy.

Comparing price for what they give you is a bit hard, as no two systems are exactly the same. It seems like HP possibly offers a bit more for the $.

But, I have to buy something.
Willing to go up to about $ 1,200 or so.

Way way too much money for what you say you want.

Is there any general consensus of HP vs Dell quality (and service) ?
Why ?

I have bought dell in the past...OK, but not great unless you spend a LOT of money. They use the minimum level parts they can get away with (expected from a PC retailer). HP has some issues also but not to bad although sending the PC to them if something goes wrong is a real problem in my opinion.

Recommend Tigerdirect.com or Newegg.com or ZipZoomFly.com

How about their service: responsiveness, etc. ? Not so good, either of them.

Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

Consider www.tigerdirect.com and shop there for your system. For your needs you should not need to spend anywhere near $1000. I would venture to guess less than half for a desktop or $500 to $700 for a laptop.
A nice dual core of course running at least 2.0 MHz.


Much thanks,
Bob

Good luck with your purchase and let us know how it goes
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #5
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Robert11 View Post
Hello,

Sr. citizen, and frankly not all that sharp with this stuff, so please bear with me.

Will be purchasing a new Desktop PC in Nov., probably.
Looked at the Dell and HP order sites, and a bit confused.
Hello Bob Welcome to sevenforums

Quote:
a. If I get a desktop for around $ 1,000, can I assume that it is a 64 bit system ?
Where would it say prior to ordering on their sites ?
The descriptions of the Processor options doesn't seem to state this.
Without actually seeing the full specifications it is difficult to provide a definitive answer. Most modern systems should be compatible but if you can post back the actual model numbers we should be able to confirm this

Quote:
b. Are there two different Windows7 Home versions depending on if it 32 or 64 bits ?
Yes

Quote:
c. How much memory should I be sure to order for the 64 bit system ?
if you go for 32 bit it will not use more than 4GB with 64 bit for your needs 4gb should be fine althoug if you have more offered this will not hurt

Quote:
d. If I do end up with, as I imagine I will, with a 64 bit system, is it "likely" that my quite old 32 bit programs will still run ? e.g., is Windows7 smart enough to automatically know how to run each program, or do you have to initially tell it ?
The system will run 32 bit applications in compatibility mode automatically and most programs should work with windows 7 if they worked with XP - more so if they are Vista certified.

Quote:
e. Might as well also ask, please:

This new Desktop PC will be for typical home usage; nothing fancy.

My main criteria is probably not Performance.
I consider it to be Reliability.
I just don't want to play with fixing things anymore (too old for that anymore, I guess); just want it to work.

Have read many, many, rants and opinions on how poor Dell is these days re quality, and also their service.

The same kind of thing for HP, and...

Of course, I realize that it is probably only the folks who have had real
problems that write these posts. Folks that are thrilled and satisfied
generally don't bother. So, impossible to know what percentage of
purchasers actually are (very) unhappy.
You have I think partly answered your own question but I would tend to look at HP personally but that is not to say that a Dell will be any less reliable - I have supported many machines from both sources over time and would not really see any major difference in this sense

Quote:
Comparing price for what they give you is a bit hard, as no two systems are exactly the same. It seems like HP possibly offers a bit more for the $.

But, I have to buy something.
Willing to go up to about $ 1,200 or so.

Is there any general consensus of HP vs Dell quality (and service) ?
Why ?

How about their service: responsiveness, etc. ?

Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

Much thanks,
Bob
Others may have more to add on this but as said previosly I do not see real differences myself
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #6
Kari

 

Hello, Bob, and welcome to the SevenForums.

I see you are already prepared and know what you want. I'll try to answer your questions but you should remember this is my subjective opinion; some other members might give you other answers.

  • A) With computers you can never assume something. Most computers today, especially on your price level have a 64-bit architecture, i.e motherboard and the processor. Processor type is normally mentioned when you check product info. Here you can find more info about 64-bit and a list of processors using it
  • B) Yes. You can install a 32-bit version also on 64-bit computer but if you want to use your computer's full potential you don't want to do that. For instance a 32-bit Windows can use only 3 GB of RAM (memory). A 64-bit version can be installed only on a 64-bit computer
  • C) 32-bit Windows 7 needs 1 GB, 64-bit 2 GB just to work properly. With 4 GB you are on the safe side, everything above is a plus. (I have several 64-bit laptops and desktops with 4 GB, never had a problem)
  • D) Yes and no. Most of 32-bit and even some of older 16-bit programs work on Windows 7 x64. Some of them you have to "tweak" a little i.e. force the program run in compatibility mode. You can also run older software in XP Mode (not in Win7 Starter, Basic or Home Premium)
  • E) Based on your post, this HP computer is my recommendation. It has everything you seem to need, it is reliable and quiet and comes with a nice bunch of software. If you are willing to go up to $1200 as you said, you get an extended 3 year on-site warranty. The computer comes with a Windows Vista Home Premium x64 and a free upgrade to Windows 7
Good luck, come back here with your questions

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #7
Robert11

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
From OP

Hi all,

First, a very sincere thanks to all of you for the help, and time you took to answer my query. Really appreciate it.

Once the new PC's are available in Nov. with Windows7 already installed
(I sure don't want the hassle of upgrading a new one from Vista) I'll probably get a HP desktop.

At that time, my guess is that the best thing to do would be to post here the configuration I "think" I want for your comments and opinions on.
That seems like the best approach.

Some of the "old" software that I would like to be able to run are a few shortwave radio control programs, swLog, and possibly the old version of Word and Excel that I like a lot better than Office 2007 versions.

I am "somewhat" PC literate as I'm a retired engineer.
But, it's funny, I just don't want to mess with these things anymore like installing new HD's as I've done in the past, etc.
Now, at my age, I just want the thing to work !

Will undoubtedly go with HP.
Did you see all the new, and contemplated, Dell layoffs in the
news today ?
Sure doesn't inspire confidence in buying a new one from them,
I would think.

Again, thanks for help.
Great Forum; glad I found you all.

Regards,
Bob
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #8
Kari

 

You are welcome, Bob. Nice to have you here.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #9
Snufffed

 

Quote:
Some of the "old" software that I would like to be able to run are a few shortwave radio control programs, swLog, and possibly the old version of Word and Excel that I like a lot better than Office 2007 versions.
Office 2003 works well in Win 7. - Office XP also. but not as well as Office 2010.
Quote:
I am "somewhat" PC literate as I'm a retired engineer.
But, it's funny, I just don't want to mess with these things anymore like installing new HD's as I've done in the past, etc.
Now, at my age, I just want the thing to work !
Train Engineer or Bridge Engineer or maybe a Navy Engineer,?? j/k
I am 67, and I still prefer to custom build.

Where every you buy or what BRAND you buy. I RECOMMEND AT YOUR AGE - YOU BUY WHERE YOU CAN GET THE VERY BEST SUPPORT LOCALLY.


Attached Images
Sr. Citizen "Basic" Questions, Please-pwoldbed.gif 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #10
rpmstl

7 RTM
 
 

As stated above, if you don't mind spending an hour assembling a computer, for $1,500 you can build a top shelf computer.

As far as Dell goes, I have 6 of them with zero issues. The business class machines seem to hold up well and are focused on reliability not performance. The home built system can be put together with strong performance and minimal reliability issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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