wood burning stoves*
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes Need Your Recommendatino to Purchase a New PC for Home Use Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of Soft Skills this week in the Jobs Discussion forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "Need Your Recommendatino to Purchase a New PC for Home Use" Watch "Need Your Recommendatino to Purchase a New PC for Home Use" New topic
Author

Need Your Recommendatino to Purchase a New PC for Home Use

JiaPei Jen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 19, 2000
Posts: 1309
I am working (fortunately). Therefore, my employer supplies a PC for me to do office work.

My old home PC is dead. It is not worth fixing it. I am looking for a new PC.

1. Would you recommend a reliable PC for home use please?
2. Should I order one online or purchase one at a nearby Best Buy (I am in USA)?
3. Does PC come with a dock station with a big monitor? Or I have to buy a monitor separately?

Thank you.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

What do you mean by home use? Many of the folks here on CodeRanch are professional software developers. What I need as a developer is not what my wife need for her computer, she does the taxes, recipes, web surfing, email, etc. Those are both in my home, but we have two computers. Actually, we have about 15 computers in our home, most of them are not important to this discussion. But on point, both my wife and I have two computers, one laptop and one desktop.

There is a new iMac that has a huge screen, all in one unit. Its very nice, very expensive.

Most of the time, you buy the monitor separately. For my development machine, I currently have two 21" LCD monitors. It works so well, I'm considering getting a third.

All PCs are made of the same stuff by a very few vendors. The Brand on the box says nothing about the quality or reliability of the hardware. What the brand does mean is what are the support and replacement policies of the vendor.

I just put 4GB of ram in my laptop, and my main desktop has 8GB. Any new computer needs a *lot* of memory.
JiaPei Jen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 19, 2000
Posts: 1309
My employer already supplies me with a PC for office work. If I need to work at home, I can bring that PC back home.

Because everything becomes out of date very fast these days, I do not think that I am going to buy an expensive iMac.

Which brand and model is a good purchase? Thank you.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31054
    
232

What are you planning to do on the computer? Just e-mail? Light development to enhance your skills? etc

Laptops do not come with monitors. However, what is wrong with the monitor you are using now? If the computer died, the monitor may be fine. Alternatively consider using the laptop monitor as a monitor. I bought a keyboard and mouse, put my laptop on top of two phone books and it is at a good height to not need a separate monitor.

Assuming you aren't getting a Mac, I like Dell. The reason being you can customize it to max out on RAM without having to take the computer apart.

Most people say laptop rather than PC to refer to a laptop? My first thought when I read this is why get a PC rather than a laptop?


[Blog] [JavaRanch FAQ] [How To Ask Questions The Smart Way] [Book Promos]
Blogging on Certs: SCEA Part 1, Part 2 & 3, Core Spring 3, OCAJP, OCPJP beta, TOGAF part 1 and part 2
JiaPei Jen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 19, 2000
Posts: 1309
Thanks very much for your advices, Jeanne.
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14428
    
  23

What do you want to use your computer at home for? Do you want to play games? Then you'll want a fast processor and graphics card. Do you want to do software development? Then the graphics card is probably not so important. For just web surfing and Word or Excel, any cheap PC will do. For digital photo editing, you'll want a fast processor, enough memory and a large harddisk. Etc... So, tell us what you want to use the PC for.


Java Beginners FAQ - JavaRanch SCJP FAQ - The Java Tutorial - Java SE 8 API documentation
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19060
    
  40


Earlier this year, when my desktop died, I replaced it with a top of the line machine, loaded with memory, disk, and a really good graphics card.

My reasoning was that I wanted a machine that will last more than 5 years -- and a while this machine is overkill for what I use it for, it will last longer, and may not be overkill in the future.... My wife however, didn't buy my reasoning for a second...

Henry


Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Henry Wong wrote:
Earlier this year, when my desktop died, I replaced it with a top of the line machine, loaded with memory, disk, and a really good graphics card.

My reasoning was that I wanted a machine that will last more than 5 years


I did that, only not quite top of the line. Still quad core, 8GB ram, 1/2TB disk, great video card. Cost about $900.

Five years?!?!?! Hah. Per Moore's law, in five years, that is at least 2.5 doublings, X * 2 ^ 2.5 => 5.6 X

So your today's quad core had better be 20 core. With today's economy, I try hard to get three years out o a mainline PC, and rarely make it. In normal times, two years is max. Mid-level systems today support at least two large LCD, serious folks have six monitors.
JiaPei Jen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 19, 2000
Posts: 1309
I use my home computer primarily for surfing, writing (MS Word suffices), e-mailing, and practicing light coding to learn new technologies.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

JiaPei Jen wrote:I use my home computer primarily for surfing, writing (MS Word suffices), e-mailing, and practicing light coding to learn new technologies.

Then you can buy any cheap computer you want. Makes no difference. How much do you want to spend?
JiaPei Jen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 19, 2000
Posts: 1309
About $1,000 including the 2010 Microsoft Office for Students, which is about $150 (I am a middle age developer; however, I have a student ID).
pete stein
Bartender

Joined: Feb 23, 2007
Posts: 1561
I don't see any discussion re OS yet. I'm wondering myself whether or not to go for unix for my next desk top as I'm fed up with Windows. Sorry for the hijack, and feel free to ignore this.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

JiaPei Jen wrote:About $1,000 including the 2010 Microsoft Office for Students, which is about $150 (I am a middle age developer; however, I have a student ID).

Then I suggest you go to Dell.com, and order one. With monitor. and Office. They should have a lot to chose from. Or if you want, go to your local BestBuy and get a brand that you recognize. Just tell the salesman that you want everything, computer, monitor, software, etc. for your price.

If you come in too cheap, get more memory.

Do not buy the BestBuy extended warentee.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

pete stein wrote: I'm wondering myself whether or not to go for unix for my next desk top as I'm fed up with Windows. Sorry for the hijack, and feel free to ignore this.

Its not nice to hijack threads, and we on JavaRanch try to be nice.

But to quickly answer your question, it depends. I have a very dear friend, been friends for 40+ years. He is smart, an engineer, but he is not a computer guy at all. He decided that he wanted to be free of Windows. I talked him through downloading the Ubuntu ISO, burning it, installing it, etc. He loves Ubuntu, and is happy using OpenOffice. Its not Windows and Office, some files just don't work, and the UI is diferent. But for folks that use only 5% of what Office can do, its usually just fine.

You should open a new thread over in the Linux/Unix section.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61761
    
  67

pete stein wrote:I don't see any discussion re OS yet. I'm wondering myself whether or not to go for unix for my next desk top as I'm fed up with Windows. Sorry for the hijack, and feel free to ignore this.

Depends why you are fed up with Windows. If it's because of the constant required tinkering, you might not be any happier with Linux. I found that a Linux-based desktop required just as much tinkering, just of a completely different variety. That's why I'm such an OS X fan -- Unix without the required tinkering. YMMV.


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
pete stein
Bartender

Joined: Feb 23, 2007
Posts: 1561
Pat Farrell wrote:
Its not nice to hijack threads, and we on JavaRanch try to be nice.

Actually, it may be germane to the original question as I don't see where he states that he is absolutely set on using Windows. That, and I'm always nice.
... OK most of the time nice.
... OK sometimes nice, when mom, the teacher, the cop, my boss, or my wife are watching me.

But regardless, thanks for your and other replies.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31054
    
232

"She", not "he".

And I don't think it is a hijack. It's harder to hijack a thread in MD* and it could be relevant to the question.

* No this is not a challenge or invitation to hijack this thread.
JiaPei Jen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 19, 2000
Posts: 1309
How do you compare Dell with HP and Lenovo? Thank you.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

JiaPei Jen wrote:How do you compare Dell with HP and Lenovo? Thank you.


That was addressed upthread:

Pat Farrell wrote:All PCs are made of the same stuff by a very few vendors. The Brand on the box says nothing about the quality or reliability of the hardware. What the brand does mean is what are the support and replacement policies of the vendor.


You question is too broad. Each of these companies have many lines, and the lines have different qualities. Lenovo, for example, makes fairly cheap computers for the mass market, and very solid, professional laptops that are amazing. The pro gear is a lot more expensive. It also has better support.
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19060
    
  40

JiaPei Jen wrote:How do you compare Dell with HP and Lenovo? Thank you.


I had computers made by Dell and HP. In my opinion, the service with Dell is probably better... but admittedly, I also haven't tested it with anything major. With HP, I had a blackout, with resulted in the motherboard getting fried. HP eventually replaced it, as it was less than three months old, and did it within a week -- which I regard as very good. But it took days of haggling to get them to do it on my terms (I didn't want to ship them the hard drive with all my data, and definitely didn't want them to reformat it).

So... Dell, great website support, but not tested for complete replacement. HP, great support, but only after I debated with them.

Henry
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15300
    
    6

I used to say I was OS agnostic and it was great because I could get inexpensive computers and do what I wanted to with them. Well, the generally meant "tinkering" as Bear suggested. And I got tired of it. Bought an i7 MackBook Pro for nearly the same price as an i7 Sony Vaio, and the Mac has better hardware. It's just a better product. And I'm not even an Apple fanboy. Although, I suppose I am a MacBook fanboy, at this point.

And honestly, if I were just going to be doing email and web browsing, I'd probably just use my Droid.

Back to your question, if you really want a PC, there's not a huge difference quality wise between the different brands. You get what you pay for. If it costs $400 you can bet the hardware is just as cheap. If it costs $2000, the hardware is that much better. For PC's I think Sony and Dell make a decent laptop. Sony also makes an iMac type of all-in-one that just requires a keyboard and mouse be plugged into it.

here is a new iMac that has a huge screen, all in one unit. Its very nice, very expensive.


You can get a great iMac for $1,199.00. (21.5-inch: 3.06GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD) "Expensive" is relative but I don't consider that very expensive, considering what you get. I'm really tired of those kinds of statements. Mac's used to be considerably more than PC's, but that gap has narrowed. Especially considering the quality of the product.


GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Gregg Bolinger wrote:... "Expensive" is relative but I don't consider that very expensive, considering what you get. I'm really tired of those kinds of statements. Mac's used to be considerably more than PC's, but that gap has narrowed. Especially considering the quality of the product.

+1

The cost argument makes no sense to me.


"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
sscce.org
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31054
    
232

Gregg Bolinger wrote:You can get a great iMac for $1,199.00. (21.5-inch: 3.06GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD) "Expensive" is relative but I don't consider that very expensive, considering what you get. I'm really tired of those kinds of statements. Mac's used to be considerably more than PC's, but that gap has narrowed. Especially considering the quality of the product.

When I bought my machine (a number of years ago), I got the best machine I could for $1000. I maxed out on memory. I'm still using it because it does everything I need.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:When I bought my machine (a number of years ago), I got the best machine I could for $1000. I maxed out on memory. I'm still using it because it does everything I need.


Today, for $1000, without monitor, or about $1200 with a very nice 21" LCD, you can get a fast quad core, 8GB or more, big disk, nice video card. A professional development machine for folks writing Java or PHP.

Gamers, of course, spend a lot more.
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19060
    
  40

Pat Farrell wrote:
Today, for $1000, without monitor, or about $1200 with a very nice 21" LCD, you can get a fast quad core, 8GB or more, big disk, nice video card. A professional development machine for folks writing Java or PHP.


IMHO, you can probably push it a bit more (say $1300 to $1400, without monitor), and still get good bang for the buck. Maybe spent the money on a blue ray, a tv tuner, etc.

Pass that, and into the realm of over clocking, "extreme" chips, and multiprocessors, then its about paying another $1000 for something that will be surpassed in less than a year.

Henry
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Need Your Recommendatino to Purchase a New PC for Home Use