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Need a new PC

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by jmurrayhead, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. jmurrayhead

    jmurrayhead Well-Known Member

    It's time for a new PC and I'm looking for suggestions.

    Primary uses:
    • Web browsing, (email, research, forum administration, videos, etc.)
    • Software development utilizing the Microsoft .NET framework, Visual Studio, SQL Server
    • Listening to music
    I have a server with a TB of space, so storage is not a concern. Visual Studio likes to eat memory, so that is a concern.

    Ready. Set. Go. :)
  2. Vincent

    Vincent Well-Known Member

    Wanna buy the full package or wanna buy the pieces and puzzle them in eachother? :D
  3. jmurrayhead

    jmurrayhead Well-Known Member

    lol That's actually a good question. I'm looking for the full package. Just don't have the time to play with toys anymore :(
  4. Vincent

    Vincent Well-Known Member

    Well, go to a Computer Store in the neighborhood and look there what compilations of PC's they have there :)
    jmurrayhead likes this.
  5. Trekkan

    Trekkan Well-Known Member

    Check out the bundled machines from NewEgg. I buy the parts and do it myself, so I can't say from personal experience, but from people I know that have bought them, they are happy.
  6. Fred Sherman

    Fred Sherman Well-Known Member

  7. fos

    fos Active Member

    Top quality: Microway - must have deep pockets.

    PS. As mentioned above, iMac, MacBook Pro.... But you are planning to develop MS aps.
  8. Fred Sherman

    Fred Sherman Well-Known Member

    Developing MS Apps in a fusion VM is actually a pretty good idea. You can reconfigure your VM for single or multiple CPUs, vary the memory amount and do away with any driver specific oddities. The best performing "PC" I've ever had has been a Fusion VM on my iMac. Its the only one that has never blues screened on me.

    Plus, if you set up fusion properly, you could have the MacOS side of things provide code management - check in, check out, revision control, version diffs - because its still Unix.

    You could also test different versions of windows just be shutting one VM down, and starting up a new one.
    fos likes this.
  9. Quillz

    Quillz Well-Known Member

    I like the build quality of Apple but use the software of Microsoft. You can get an iMac or Mac Pro, and just make the Mac OS X partition as small as possible, and then use all the remaining disk space for Windows via Boot Camp. The Lion drivers work nearly flawlessly.
  10. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Very light requirements. Really and PC would do.
    Is space an issue ?

    Dual monitors are great for writing code.
    Dual monitor video cards = $40
  11. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    I usually use http://ibuypower.com for premade systems (They don't have any of the cases I love anymore though :().

    http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/ and they carry a lot of the hot-swap cases I prefer (I haven't used them however).

    I'd suggest doing a custom configuration just so you can be sure your system fits your needs.
  12. Fred Sherman

    Fred Sherman Well-Known Member

    The only issue with that is you can't readily suspend one OS and immediately switch to a different version. With Fusion, you can do pretty much the same thing, but you can suspend your Windows XP VM, restart your Windows 7 VM exactly where you left it and then suspend that and jump over to your Windows 8 VM and test there.

    I wouldn't exactly say that the Mac OS drivers are more stable. Its more that unix drivers, because of the kernel internals, are more stable than their windows alternatives. Mac OSx benefits from being Unix based in that respect.
    fos likes this.
  13. EQnoble

    EQnoble Well-Known Member

    Do you prefer Intel or AMD or does it not matter to you...

    And what have you set as a budget if any?

    By your requirements I would say almost anything current would work for you ...with the only thing to focus on being cpu and ram... and even so I don't see you say playing games as a requirement and the comment of not having time for toys anymore would lead me to think that you don't need some fantastic type of video card just something that is enough to render an image on a monitor.

    Playing music on any current hardware is pretty lightweight itself especially if you will not be loading the machine up with crapware...and since it looks like your a building a dev box there won't be much on there I would assume that will gobble up resources.

    Anything with 4-8 gigs of ram and a quad core or better and you can't go wrong really for what your looking to do in fact it could even be overkill...I have no clue at how resource intensive development w/ .net or sql server can be but if you take an audit of all the software you will be running simultaneously and add up their memory requirements and double them, generally speaking you have the amount you need give or take if you don't want to make a science out of it.
  14. jmurrayhead

    jmurrayhead Well-Known Member

    hmm..I didn't even realized they sold bundles on NewEgg.
    I would probably never use the Mac side. In fact, my first experience with Mac OS was just recently on my girlfriend's Macbook, or whatever the hell they're called, and I wasn't very impressed in the least bit. If a non-biased person can give me a good technical reason to go with Apple hardware versus PC, I'll consider it.
    I'm starting to think I could probably get away with a PC for around $600 or so. I hardly do anything else other than what I described in my first post. I definitely would want dual monitors. Ever since my first experience with them at work, I've wanted to get some at home. Space is not an issue, I have a server that I store all my stuff on.
    Thanks, will have a look :)
    I do not have a preference on Intel or AMD. I've used both in the past and have had good experiences with both.

    I don't really have a set budget - really, I'm going to end up paying for what I need.

    As for the video card, I did forget to mention that I'll be using Photoshop/Fireworks/Illustrator for some graphics work. So, while yes, I will need it to be enough to render an image, it will have to be of pretty decent quality. But yes, nothing to the extremes of what a hardcore gamer would get for his/her system.

    I definitely won't be loading it up with any crapware.

    I was definitely thinking between 6-8 gigs for memory, simply because any less usually causes Visual Studio to be a complete ****. As for applications running together while I'm developing, I'll typically have Firefox and Chrome open, Outlook, and SQL Server Management Studio.

    In the past, I've always bought through Dell. I can honestly say I've never had any bad desktop experiences, however, it's the complete opposite with the notebooks I've purchased from them. Just looking for alternatives and since I know there are a few people who do the kind of work that I do here, thought I'd get some good input. So far I've seen some helpful things :)
  15. Allen

    Allen Active Member

    I use a local brick and mortar store called PC BUZZ. They’ll build pretty much anything I want using any parts I specify. The parts are priced at competitive online rates and they don’t charge for the build. They’re knowledgeable and will offer advice if I ask. Plus, they’re nice people. :)

    It’s nice to be able to support local, walk-in businesses.

    I know this doesn’t directly address your original question, but it may inspire you to seek out a business local to you and begin a mutually beneficial relationship.

    jmurrayhead likes this.
  16. whynot

    whynot Well-Known Member

  17. jmurrayhead

    jmurrayhead Well-Known Member

    Here's a quote from a local shop with the following configuration:

    • Antec NSK4482 Case with 380W High Efficiency Power Supply
    • 2X 20" ASUS Monitors
    • Intel Core i5 2320 Quad Core Processor
    • 8GB DDR3 RAM
    • ASUS P8H61-M Motherboard
    • 256GB SSD Drive
    • LG DVD Burner
    • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
    Total: $1497

    Am thinking about going down to 6GB RAM, going down to 128GB SSD and having them remove Windows as I have my own copy I can use.

    Thoughts on mentioned hardware?
  18. Gene Steinberg

    Gene Steinberg Well-Known Member

    The reason to go with Mac hardware is the OS, which is far more elegant and noticeably less complicated than Windows. If you must do Windows development, you can use a virtual machine (Parallels or VMWare) and get great performance, or use Boot Camp to restart the computer in a Windows environment with identical performance to any Windows box. You get the best of both.

    As to pricing: If you actually match up the features, including RAM, bundled software, etc., the price differences are very, very minor. The cheap PCs always lack something. One trick to cut prices on a Windows box is to use a lesser version of Windows, you pay more for the Pro version. The Mac OS is never limited.
  19. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    He already mentioned he isn't interested in a Mac, and it is really down to personal preference. Pricing is significantly cheaper on a Windows, no matter how you look at it (Part to part comparison is cheaper even with a high end hotswap / liquid cooled case).
  20. Gene Steinberg

    Gene Steinberg Well-Known Member

    I realize. I just wanted to pose the alternative anyway based on the needs expressed at the beginning of this thread. The Mac can meet those needs with the considerations I mentioned.

    And one more thing: No, pricing is not significantly cheaper on Windows if you do an equivalent hardware/OS/bundle comparison when you compare mainstream PCs with the Mac. You can get white-label PCs, or build-it-yourself boxes and knock the price down a lot, but I have gone back and forth for years on the price comparisons otherwise. They are always very, very close. Where Apple suffers, if suffer they do, is that they don't compete in the ultra-cheap PC space. There's no profit there, as PC makers know full well.

    Consider now how notebooks using Intel's "Ultrabook" platform aren't significantly cheaper than a comparably equipped MacBook Air.

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