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  1. #1
    Senior Canuck kikikollects's Avatar
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    I want to buy a new computer. The one I am looking at is an e-machine, AMD Athlon LE 160 Processor, 15 in1 digital media reader, 1 GB HD, 2.3 GHZ,Super DVD+RW,has Windows Vista Home Basic, ,DVD dual labour cabability and label flash, Comes with basic keyboard and mouse (no monitor)the price is $299.92 also comes with Norton 360 for 60 days free. Can some one with a knowledge of computers tell me what they think. or if they know of a better deal in the same price range. Also if you can break down what all that stuff actually means. I know some but what is a digital media reader, what is DVD dual labour capability and label flash is the HD a decent size. Not for huge gaming. My son likes to play Runescape but can't go onto HD world with current computer, would like to load a few games for kids on it, and the girls have things like Webkinz. I currently can't do all the applications on face book or view things like youtube. Look forward to your replies- Scooter are you there? LOL no seriously anyone who can help me out as I would like to get the new system before Christmas. What is Windows Vista Home Basic like?
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  2. #2
    Newbie Dad abc642's Avatar
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    I've never owned or research e-machines, so I can't comment on the brand quality, but I'll comment on the other stuff.

    1. DVD Dual Layer, without getting technical, basically means that the DVD drive can read Dual Layer DVDs. Dual Layer DVDs hold more data, up to 8.5 gigabytes per side compared to the standard 4.7 gigbytes for single layer dics. This is pretty much a standard these days as far as I can tell.

    2. Label flash is basically technology that allows you to burn images onto DVDs, i.e making labels. It is called different things depending on the brand (I've got an HP so it's call lightscribe). It is also pretty standard these days.

    3. A digital media reader basically means you can read different types of media, such as compact flash cards or USB ports. Pretty handy when you want to, for example, pull digital photos off a digital camera. Also again, pretty standard these days.

    4. 1 GB Harddisk is EXTREMELY small. In fact, I'd bet that it's a typo. Windows Vistas itself needs 20 GB of HD space plus anoter 15 free. IT's probaby 1 TB, but I'd triple check that. If it is 1 TB, that's good.

    5. Windows Vista Home Basic... Depends on who you ask. Personally I don't like it as much as XP, but I've got it and I've gotten used to it. It sucks up a lot of system resources, but it's not THAT bad (once again, depends on who you ask). Unfortunately it's becoming the standard with all new systems now.

    Some major questions before purcashing this system would be:

    a. How much RAM does it have?
    b. Does it have a video card? It's probably built-in...
    c. Confirm the HD size.
    d. What, other than Windows Vista, software does it come with?

    If you are purcahsing it from some store, do they have a link with all the specifications? If so, provide me the link and I'll have a closer look for you. If you want, I've never played Runescape, but I can go and see if it can run on this. I need to know the RAM and video card first though.

    Just my 2 cents. I'm not a super computer wizz, but I've bough and put together my share of computers in my time. I'd ask for a second opnion though.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Banned - lol Scooter's Avatar
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    I agree with abc642's analysis here. Your video card is an important factor, the video is probably built in to the motherboard, and integrated video is usually sufficient for light applications like office use, but generally not good enough for good 3D rendering or games.

    As a result, you should check whether there is a PCI Express or AGP slot on the motherboard to add a graphics card if you want to later.

    RAM is another important factor. Essentially you want as much as you can get. There will be a maximum amount of RAM that you can add to it, find out what that amount is. If it's only 2 gigabytes, you should shop around. Applications are becoming more RAM intensive as time goes on.

    Essentially, you want to ensure that your machine can be upgraded if necessary to meet the demands of graphics and memory, as well as speed. Future releases of operating systems will also demand more resources. You don't want your machine to be obsolete anytime soon. e-Machines unfortunately tend to not be very expandable.

    As for Vista, I don't recommend it, but the process of installing something else and obtaining the correct hardware drivers and configuring them can be daunting for someone who is not familiar with computers. XP is also my personal favourite Windows but it's a lot more work to change what is already on this system.

    If you know someone who is a little savvy with computers, you can also get an excellent barebones system from Tiger Direct and usually only have to purchase a couple of extra items and an operating system to get it running for quite cheap.

    Hope this helps!

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  4. #4
    Newbie Dad abc642's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter View Post
    As a result, you should check whether there is a PCI Express or AGP slot on the motherboard to add a graphics card if you want to later.
    You'll also need to check the power supply to see if it has sufficient power for a new video card. Most of the pre-assembled package computers have the minimum power supply necessary to run the system, so you are limited to less demanding (less powerful) video cards when you upgrade.

    That being said, I've got one of those pre-assembled package computers with the built in video card and it runs all the new games that I like just fine. It's really a matter of determaning what you want to be able to run.

  5. #5
    Banned - lol Scooter's Avatar
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    You'll also need to check the power supply to see if it has sufficient power for a new video card. Most of the pre-assembled package computers have the minimum power supply necessary to run the system, so you are limited to less demanding (less powerful) video cards when you upgrade.
    oops. Forgot about that.

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  6. #6
    Senior Canuck kikikollects's Avatar
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    Thanks! I am going to print out all this info and do some more research. My nephew said this was a piece of crap and to spend an xtra couple 100 and buy Dell What do you all think? Because he says you can always add to it down the road. Unfortunately I don't have anyone that can "build" me a computer. What do you all think of refurbished stores? This is sooooo confusing. Overwhelming!!!!! I thank you all for your advice. And appreciate any and all further comments..... (PS- my apologies for more work for the mods I didn't realize I posted in the wrong sub categorie-ooppsssiieesss!)

  7. #7
    Banned - lol Scooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kikikollects View Post
    ..... (PS- my apologies for more work for the mods I didn't realize I posted in the wrong sub categorie-ooppsssiieesss!)
    First off, no big deal.

    and to spend an xtra couple 100 and buy Dell What do you all think?
    Purchasing name brand is fine, but make sure you are clear on three things:

    1) Availability of extended service/support plans, and what they cover.

    2) Repair/replacement policies of resellers (i.e. Future Shop, Best Buy, etc). Sometimes if something happens to your computer, when you try to take it back to them they will tell you to go away and talk to the manufacturer even if you purchased a service plan from the reseller. Often if the unit is still in the initial manufacturer's warranty, the reseller won't deal with you at all until that period is up.

    3) Availability of authorized service providers. You don't want to find out that you will have to ship your computer at your cost to a service facility 400 Km away to obtain service under warranty.

    Personally I find that Dell makes some very good desktop systems - I have an old Dell Optiplex GX110 that has been running for almost 11 years nonstop 24/7, including having been used in a busy retail store for most of that time. I can't kill it.
    Last edited by Scooter; Wed, Dec 17th, 2008 at 11:22 AM.

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  8. #8
    Banned - lol Scooter's Avatar
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    Here's a great deal with a good warranty plan:

    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...146227&CatId=6

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  9. #9
    Newbie Dad abc642's Avatar
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    Lol Scooter, I have a feeling you really like tigerdirect! I don't blame you, it's a great store. And reference the link you posted, that is a really good deal, I can't believe the prices of comptuers these days!

    I've never owned a Dell so I can't comment on that, but my brother-in-law only uses Dell and has nothing but good things to say about them. I use HP myself. The major issue I have with them is the amount of junk they load onto the system from the factory.

    I've never used refurbished stores either (I'm pretty useless arn't I ), but I have seen some really good prices on refurbished systems. The big thing I would be wary of is their warrenties. Like Scooter said, just read everything to make sure it is well covered.

    IMO, if you're not computer savvy, big brands are probably the best way to go. Personally I never purchase the extended warrenties, but that because I can get by fixing computers myself. What I find really good about those big brand names are their package deals. Really good prices, especially at the big box stores like future shop and best buy.

    Good luck and feel free to ask if you have any other questions.
    Last edited by abc642; Wed, Dec 17th, 2008 at 07:50 PM. Reason: Forgot to comment on Scooters link

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    This configuration is good! I also want to have!!!!!

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