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Old 07-30-2008, 06:08 AM   #1
Patrick Donnelly
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Default Anyone here computer savvy?

So, I'll be leaving for college in about a month. I need a new computer. My current one is an 8 year old Dell Desktop running on Windows 2000 with 37GB of HD space and 256MB of RAM. I'm fairly certain that's not going to work. I don't know if there's any minimal specifications required by my college department though; I'll be calling later today.

I'm thinking: laptop, running Windows.


That's all I got. I'm really "out of the loop." Any recommendations? My budget is about a thousand dollars.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:13 AM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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buying the latest model = waste of money

buy something 1-2 years older model you will get more value.....as it was top of the line 1-2 years ago...just now costs 50% less.

That and always backup your data on an external HD, laptop HDs have a life expectancy of like 2 years if you are lucky.....that and it costs $500+ to do data recovery of lost data....not cheap.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:31 AM   #3
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What major will you be going into? You are better off with getting a slower processor and getting more RAM. External HD would be an essential buy as well. If you are completely non-computer savvy I'd opt going with a Dell.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:33 AM   #4
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Do you want a desktop or laptop? What applications do you plan using it for? Plan to game with it?

If it doesn't involve much in the way of high computational power and you want a desktop pick up an iMac. Fairly inexpensive, highly reliable. Can't go wrong with a MacBook or any Mac really. (I don't own one actually hah).

My last laptop was from www.ibuypower.com -- It works pretty good and is fairly cheap. Can get decent desktops from there too.

Building one is fairly simple so if interested you can go to say www.newegg.com and after a bit of research purchase the individual parts. Save lots of money if you want a Windows PC gaming machine.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:49 AM   #5
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For convenience and price I would consider a bottom of the line Dell laptop. If you want something a bit nicer but are willing to pay more go for a Lenovo IBM.

These days any laptop will do a good job of browsing the web, watching DVD's and doing work on. If you are interested in things like portability you will need to pay more.

I second MOD's recommendation for an external HD they are pretty cheap these days and can save you a load of hassle.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:57 AM   #6
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Mike
Good call on getting an older model. I've already waited this long to buy since I didn't want to get anything that'd be outdated by the end of the summer. In all honesty, my current computer "works," despite being 8 years old. It also buzzes (loudly - a problem with the cooling fan), slows, freezes, crashes, and glitches often, but it works, and is a testament to the fact that technology doesn't have to be state-of-the-art.

Re: Allen
I'll be majoring in physics - so, the computer would be important, at least you'd think so. I just got off the phone with the head of the department, and he really couldn't give me any specifics. Simply put, he said that if I went with any of the Dell computers UMD sells, I'd be fine. Of course, one must wonder if that's his answer or UMD's answer...

Re: Scott
I'm not much of a computer gamer. StarCraft 2, maybe, but that's it.



The page for UMD's Dell computers requires a student log-on, but I'll get some printscreens for you guys.

Is a SD/Transflash card slot standard on laptops? My cellphone uses a MicroSD card for additional memory, which I use frequently. (I have a MicroSD to SD card adapter and my family's computer has a place for it.) I'd hate to loose the ability to use it.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:14 AM   #7
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Allen brought up a good point...you will most likely NEED to buy more RAM....especially if you are getting anything with Windows Vista (a memory hog....hell I bought a new laptop and had to format the drive to reinstall XP to make my computer work fast....that and more RAM....did I mention I paid $350 for it off Best Buy's website and it works like a charm? Knock on wood). A slow computer will drive you insane. So count another $100 or so for more RAM. Not familiar with Apple ibooks but people seem to like them as well.

Look online at Best Buy (like I did), Circuit City, Overstock, Gateway, Dell, etc.....you will always find better closeout deals on older or non-name brand models if you look hard enough. Consider a laptop a throw away....if it breaks, it's cheaper to buy a new one....so secure your data (back it up) and then get whatever laptop works best for you.
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Last edited by Mike ODonnell : 07-30-2008 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:18 AM   #8
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These are the laptops they offer, for a price below the standard Dell student discount.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:42 AM   #9
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Actually, looking at Dell's website... It seems to be that UMD's prices are higher. Significantly higher. This is odd.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:46 AM   #10
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The last one on that list is a pretty good deal. I'd go with that one. Good screen size, good video memory, decent processor, etc. It will run Starcraft 2 for ya too (I am guessing).

4 years of support for that price too is awesome. (laptops break down often enough).

p.s. Blizzard games run on Macs too

Your school probably has a Mac discount too. Might want to check into it.
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