Like to buy PC but which one?

It’s time to forget about my mac and get a new PC for the schooling.
I like to install various 3D programs- solidworks, Alias and Rhino.
I’m not a PC person and have small knowledge of it.
So I tried hard to search what’s good enough but still in big questions.

What I found was…
Self-built PC will be cheaper but have no future service when it breaks down, and I must know how to assemble it…(maybe its not a good option for me)

Some great PC packages includes crappy things like speakers, small monitor, or bad graphic cards and it will increase $$

PC ARE expensive… system will cost easily over $3000–that’s the price of Mac G5…

Guys who are great with PCs, please give me some hints.
Which is the better processor? graphic card? What do I need for the fast rendering?

Windows XP Home; 2.666GHz Intel P4; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 266MHz; Nvidia GeForce4 MX 440 64MB; IBM IC35L120AVVA07 120GB 7,200rpm

Gateway 700XL
Windows XP Home; 3.06GHz Intel P4; 512MB RDRAM 533MHz; ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 128MB; two Maxtor 6Y200P0 200GB 7,200rpm

Don’t buy a gateway. Just ask anyone who has owned one.

First of all what is your major, what software do you intend to use, and how “top-end” do you want to go?

The best bet is to first look at the software that you intend to use on your new machine, and use the requirements of the software to speck out your choices. For instance the NVida GeForce 440 is a good card however it is not recommended for Solidworks (need SW 2004 and updated driver out last month) or Pro/e, when used with XP Home. Actually had it in my laptop running XP professional, tech said it was being certified (pro/e wildfire) but it would cause errors and freezes. Once I changed to a wildcat problems were fixed.

My advice in other words is:

  1. Decide what you want the computer to run and use this to decide.

  2. Check into Dell and HP…If NASA canceled the contract with Dell and switched to HP they are worth looking into in my book, also they hired onstaff industrial designers in the last summer, and contract design out to a couple of different firms. Just keeping the IDers working.

  3. 19+ in CRT or 17+ inch Flat Panel

  4. If possible video inputs for video capture, makes it easy for in-use task audits.

  5. Wacom Tablet (not 4x6, spend the $ its worth it) with airbrush stylus

  6. RAM…1-2 Gb (new pro-e machine will have 4Gb cant wait to get it)

  7. Think of it as an investment in the future…not as an expense.

  8. If you are in Graphics only go with the G5. because you will be spending $2500+ in most cases for a good ID ready PC.

Stay away from the Vaio if you want to save money. it is a yuppie computer, and all you are paying for is the nameplate. i agree with looking in to the Dells. Value for money I have not been able to see Dell beat yet. I have also heard that HP is getting better, but I would still go Dell.

what is wrong with gateway? they make a great TV!

Anyone I have known with a gateway has had problems… and their customer service s*cks. Also, if you ever want to upgrade or add hardware it better be from gateway or you’ll have huge problems getting it to work.

There’s a reason why their stock wasn’t doing so great. Their TVs may be great but don’t buy a computer from them.

I am on my second Dell system. Its worth the extra money. Customer service isn’t as good as it used to be back in the late 90’s but its still pretty good.

Thanks for the good advice.
So I guess I need to build custom PC with seperately purchased graphic card. I need the PC to work on ID. mostly for 3D, product designs.

What’s the good Dell system you got?
and If there are other systems out there for good price and function, please let me know.

Thank you

I’m not in ID anymore. I very really use 3D applications (3D Studio Max.) Mostly graphic and web software. My system is also 2 years old so I doubt you would want what I have.

I do have a great monitor though. Sony flatscreen. Flat screens are not the greatest for viewing accurate color but you get used to that. Granted no monitor is going to be accurate or consistent.

Get the best system you can afford… graphics card is important as well as processing speed and memory.

If you do go with Dell, remember you don’t have to go with their packages. I know I upgraded memory, monitor, graphics card. (You might need a better card than they can offer. If that’s the case buy an inexpensive one and replace it.)

My first Dell (1997 I think) came pre-packaged with an internal zip drive. Since I already had an external one I didn’t get that and used the $ for some other upgrade.

I will also have to give up my mac as I start studying ID this March…
I’m looking for a laptop/notebook because I need the mobility [no powerbook :frowning: ]
but am not really familiar with PCs too

Looking at the specs mentioned above, I would need to make a good choice because the graphics card can’t be changed (from what I heard)

so for a notebook, what specs would I need or get by with?

I’m looking at the following specs due to budget constraints:

HP Pavilion Zt3027
Intel Pentium M 1.5 Ghz Centrino
15.4" WXGA ultra bright
ATI Mobile Radeon 9200 (32MB)

Could someone advise me on the graphics card?

Apparantly windows XP dismisses anything above 512mb of ram so get quality ram instead of wasting money on quantity. Graphics cards are tricky at the moment because they are just incorporating a new feature called pixel shading or something, these will begin to become standard by march and prices will start to drop, but dont wait, get something like a radeon 9600XT or good gforce card. Dell has some very good deals but check with your local computer stores i find they can be very cheap also. With screens i myself would not waste money on LCD get a 17" CRT flatscreen minimum. I am in the same situation as you at the moment, it is quite confusing with all the choices out there at the moment. I’m also ditching MAC and going PC, because i am a poor student. I’m also starting to doubt the benifits of having a mac besides compatability.

Well, I’m getting 1GB of RAM cos I just worked out a deal with the vendor. Saw my friend’s notebook using 100% of the CPU’s resources running MS Word (XP) on 256MB of RAM…
I hope Radeon 9200 is fine cos I can’t get a better card at the moment (dell doesn’t sell in stores over here, only on the net and the aftersales support is…well…)

which school are you in btw? I’m headed to UNSW in a few weeks…

-definitely have 1 gb of ram
-definitely faster than with 512 mb of ram
-definitely using XP