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JamesStone, Analyst, Programmer, Writer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 195
Experience:  BA English Teaching, Data Analyst 7 Years
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I am trying to decide on a new desktop computer. I would really

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I am trying to decide on a new desktop computer. I would really prefer to buy a Mac but I have alot of software that will only run on a PC. I am looking for a new PC computer with an i7 processor, a 1 Terabyte hard drive, min 8 GB ram and a 1 GB video card. I will be using Windows 7.

I would like recommendations based on reviews of different computers, not just personal opinion. Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  JamesStone replied 6 years ago.
[Remember, if you like the answer, click Accept. Otherwise, feel free to ask for another expert! Thanks!]

Hello, I own a number of computers and have built a few in my time. I'd be happy to provide some guidance, but I'd like to have an understanding of what type of priorities you have.

IE if you are price driven, if you are loyal to a particular type of brand, video card, etc.

I personally do quite a bit of gaming, and I've found as long as your components are up to par in terms of processor power, video card, and memory, branding doesn't make much of a difference.

If you are looking for a great deal, I tend to keep an eye out for the best places to acquire a computer online and could assist you with that as well.

If you think I could be of assistance, please let me know. Otherwise I can opt out and another expert will be happy to assist you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I want to spend around $1000 and name brand components are preferred
Expert:  JamesStone replied 6 years ago.
Do you need a monitor included in the price?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No, I have all the peripherals I need
Expert:  JamesStone replied 6 years ago.
The best deal I'm finding is via an affiliate site for dell:

i7-2600 8mb cache 3.4ghz processor
12 GB ram DDR3 @ 1333mhz (4 dimms)
1 TB HD SATA 3gb/s
ATI Radeon 5450 1GB DDR3 vid card

Windows 7 home premium
MS Office Home and Student 2010 (vs a gimped version)

2 year service/support
Dvd Burner

Total is $1010 with a coupon and discount, plus tax.

You could bump the video card to DDR5 for an extra $70, and/or the hard drive to SATA2 for an extra $50.

They also have an alternative configuration where you could just go with the same stuff but with 8gigs of ram instead of 12. That will knock off about $160 ($850 total).

My strategy in the past has been to get a dell or something along those lines with the greatest discount on the core components, then buy the graphics card separately. Most brand name computer companies are never up to date on the latest video cards, and if they are, they charge you dearly for not buying it yourself and popping it in. On some occasions you would need to bump up the power supply, depending on how big you go.

If you check out the passmark comparisons you'll find you can get a graphics card that score upwards of 5-10 times higher than what they include (for example, you could pick up a Radeon HD 6870 w/ a free PC game for $180, and that is nearly a top 10 performer). EG:

You could also take a look at HP for comparison, they offer similar deals. These two companies are pretty much neck and neck, they just offer slightly different things to tweak their pricing.

The site I like to use for getting the latest coupon and discount info is If you roll through them you get the free upgrade to MS office and a $100 coupon off the dells. Often times if you aren't directed to the site by an affiliate, they won't show you all of the promotions they are offering, because they don't want to discount if they don't have to.

They've also got comparable offers on the HP.

I would personally recommend going with the 8GB system @ $850 then adding a better graphics card than what they offer. Installation of those is a snap. The only potential thing you'd need to be wary about is the power supply, but even those are extremely cheap.

Let me know if this is what you had in mind. If you've got more questions, I'd be happy to help. If you want some more references to opinion sharing or are also excellent references when watching for deals on components (among other things).

Expert:  JamesStone replied 6 years ago.
In case you were interested in the vid card benchmarks:

Pretty much any desktop package deal that isn't something like alienware (overpriced) will have a very gimpy card and some very expensive options to upgrade to a card that is still pretty gimpy.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Just to be clear is it a Dell computer and does it come with Dell's warranty?

Expert:  JamesStone replied 6 years ago.
Yes, if you went with the dell it would include their standard 2 year warranty.

That is one thing that tends to set them apart from HP, I did not see a coverage plan included.

What happens with these affiliate sites is they have a special link set up with dell, so when you navigate through for example, you just
click on DELL
then click on DESKTOPS
then click INTEL
then click Intel Core i7 Quad Core
then click on 8GB

The top item should be the XPS 8300 with the specs previously mentioned and a final price of $849.99 (excluding taxes, I believe ground shipping is free).

You click buy and they display a coupon code to use LM?BF7P$FR9KCK, but when you finally click to make the purchase, you are redirected to dell's website, which is already set up with all of the specs (instead of having to "build it" from scratch).
JamesStone and 37 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX any reviews of this system by previous buyers?
Expert:  JamesStone replied 6 years ago.
41 reviews that can be read here:
Expert:  JamesStone replied 6 years ago.
Looking at the reviews, it looks like the only issue there was related to an INTEL recall of processors that were used back in January. It should not be impacting machines that are in use now.

By the way if you are satisfied with the help provided, just click on the "accept" button by one of my answers. Thanks.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ok, thanks