View Full Version : New Computer

23-07-2003, 10:59 PM
My pretty green iMac has departed this world (all say "AHHHHHHHHHHH" )and I am looking to replace it with a PC. I have got 850 - 900 euros to spend which is something like 1700 New Zealand dollars.

Baldy has recommended that I seek your expert advice as to what I should go for and what to avoid, bearing in mind that I will be buying it here in the Amsterdam area, and am thinking along the lines of one built to my specs rather than the 'off the peg' variety.

I earn my living as a translator, so reliable equipment is essential for my work but naturally I would also like to have a bit of fun with it. Therefore it would be nice to have reasonably good quality sound to listen to my hard rock music and a decent graphics card so that I can still manipulate photos to blackmail people with. ;-)

Don't really need anything bigger than a 17inch screen. Do want USB2 or Firewire because I recently bought a LaCie CD burner which needs one of these connections. I already have a good printer, and scanner so they don't come into it either. DVD would be handy. I have a cable connection but I don't know if that is relevant or not.

Don't all shout at once. :)

23-07-2003, 11:34 PM
Make sure you don't let them con you into something that you don't want. Make sure you get quality components as well.

So why the change over to the dark side?

24-07-2003, 02:46 AM
Have a read of this it may help.


24-07-2003, 06:55 PM
Unfortunately, they don't have a PC Company branch over there!

Just joking guys :-)

24-07-2003, 07:51 PM
Sorry about not helping with your choice of PC Pollly,but it gratifying to see that you moving into this new century with a proper compu and moving away from the gimmicks.

Susan B
24-07-2003, 08:31 PM
Well before you change your mind and decide not to join us all on the Dark Side I had better hurry up and get the ball rolling. ;-)

I suggest a Pentium 4 2.4 GHz as being plenty grunty for your needs now and for many years to come. That will then influence your choice of motherboard and hopefully others can help out with that.

For RAM go for a minimum of 512MB of DDR333 PC2700 - it makes Windows XP fly and will be good with with your graphics editing.

A good graphics card that will suit you is a Leadtek WinFast GeForce4 Ti4200 TV Out, DVI Out, 64Mb 4ns DDR. You could go for a cheaper card but these have come down in price quite a bit since I bought mine so why not get a good one? That will suit your graphics needs well.

Hard drive: I like Western Digital 7200rpm, ATA100 80GB drives and the 8MB cache model JB is a good choice IMHO.

Monitor: If it fits your budget I would recommend going for a 17" LCD. Do a search here for Godfather's recommended brands. With the graphics card I have you can use a digital cable with a LCD monitor and have a nice crisp digital picture. Way to go! B-)

DVD drive - haven't got one myself but others here have posted recommendations which a search will reveal.

Hope this helps. Maybe others will add their recommendations. ;-)

24-07-2003, 10:20 PM
Okay Pollly,

I recently purchased a MSI K7N2 Delta motherboard. This board has a reasonable number of features, but what might be of interest to you is the built-in SPDIF audio. Rather nicely this has an optical out that you can plug into your stereo system.

The sound is great and having all of your music on hard disk is very convenient. :)

The thing is that this motherboard uses an AMD CPU, but if you are moving to the dark side why not go the whole way ]:)

24-07-2003, 11:37 PM
Built in SPDIF audio out??? :O ... decent sound? Any reviews of it??


24-07-2003, 11:57 PM
Just my thoughts, seeing you live perilously close to the PC Company main office, I'll try a pre-emptive strike: Don't buy a supermarket pc from them!

Are you confident with building a pc yourself? Seems the best way to go these days if you are. Otherwise get a respectable company to make it for you (One that doesn't use OEM software).

Jen C
25-07-2003, 12:29 AM
> Just my thoughts, seeing you live perilously close to
> the PC Company main office, I'll try a pre-emptive
> strike: Don't buy a supermarket pc from them!

Crikey Powa calm down! Polly lives in Holland, I wouldn't call that "perilously" close to Hamilton :D

Polly: If you are looking at a PC instead of a Mac, don't forget to include in your budget the new software eg OS, Office etc that you will need to get to replace your current Mac versions.

25-07-2003, 12:52 AM

As most of us are aware, additional functions built into motherboards seldom perform to as high a standard as add on cards. If I was after performance rather than convenience, I wouldn't have selected a MSI motherboard. :)

Comparative reviews of the NVidia nForce 2 chipset motherboards put the MSI about the middle of the road, but this didn't cover audio reproduction. I'll leave the finer points of this to audiophiles like yourself. :)

But I will say that the SPDIF means that I only need one tiny wee cable running from the computer to my stereo AND I don't need my hearing aid in either! ;)

25-07-2003, 01:49 AM
Hang on Powa. Whats wrong with OEM software? It should perform as well as the original product.
Can you elaborate please?

25-07-2003, 02:52 AM
OEM software does work the same, However the licence means that you aren't meant to sell it seperately from the machine. Which also means if your motherboard dies or you sell it and buy a new motherboard then you aren't allowed to install the OEM software on that machine, which to me is rather stupid.

25-07-2003, 03:06 AM
Yes and often you can't use the OEM software on another motherboard etc anyway because the software is tied to it. Search the forum for PC Co. topics of late.

I was just making a joke anyway :D

25-07-2003, 03:46 AM
Thank you guys and guyesses for your comments and advice. I was a bit premature with the funeral arrangements because I'm back on my iMac complete with new HD (4 x original capacity) and all my old data.

That doesn't mean to say I've given up the idea of buying a PC. On the contrary, I've decided to go ahead and join the rest of you in the fast lane instead of plodding away on this crappy old thing. The good news is that my shiny new HD is also installable in a PC (but you probably all new that), so it's only the labour costs which I have to write off.

....and I can always convert my old iMac into an aquarium! :D

25-07-2003, 03:54 AM
> So why the change over to the dark side?

Main reason is lack of back up when things go wrong, and paying for repairs is a costly business. And working on a PC over the last 4 days makes my iMac feel like something from Fisher Price. :^O