Cheap Branded PCs still Proprietary?

Discussion in 'Computers & Gadgets' started by Rustynuts, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Haven't bought an off the shelf PC since about 1990. All I recall is that most of them back then we're laden with proprietary hardware/BIOSes, etc. And we're a nightmare to work on or upgrade. Is that still the case?

    Looking for a budget PC, like $600 or less, for my daughter. Just to do normal crap, not be an uber gaming rig. I know if I try to build one I will get into upgrade fever an end up spending double! A quick stab at PC Hound confirms this. Any recommends?
     
  2. PornoSatan

    PornoSatan 2[H]4U

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    Check your local Craigslist, you might find something decent for extremely cheap.
     
  3. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    If you buy one of the Micro PC's you'll have to deal with proprietary hardware (motherboard/power supply) but otherwise as long as it's a full or mid tower everything should be the same as do-it-yourself parts. There may be custom brackets or screwless designs but that shouldn't affect working on them.

    Also keep an open mind to the online system builders you find on Tiger Direct and Newegg. Many companies build low priced PCs with commodity components.
     
  4. rive22

    rive22 [H]ardness Supreme

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    A lot of them frame their steel cases around the motherboard ports. So if the mobo fries you have to buy the same mobo. Which leaves out future mobo/chip upgrades unless you get a new case.
     
  5. blank

    blank 2[H]4U

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    All BIOS in 2015 are proprietary. You need a computer compatible with http://libreboot.org/ to have a free/open source bios that does not contain binary blobs.
     
  6. thedocta45

    thedocta45 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Go to Dell.com and buy a desktop and call it a day.
     
  7. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Build your own if you want to upgrade/replace when a part breaks.

    Let Dell build it if you don't mind throwing it away when a part breaks. But the bigger systems tend to be more standard than the smaller ones.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
  8. Rav3n

    Rav3n Gawd

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    While almost all standard size desktop parts are generally replaceable, the drivers for the hardware are still unique to most vendors. Other than that, stick to a normal size desktop, and you will be fine.
     
  9. thedocta45

    thedocta45 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Kind of, I took a Dell SFF 7020 and stuck it in an old ATX case, with a regular off the shelf power supply, and it works fine, the power button and some of the headers and fan controllers are proprietary but you can splice them to work with out issue.

    Dell uses ATX standard now, if its for your daughter just get a Dell toss a three on it and call it a day.
     
  10. seaneboy

    seaneboy Limp Gawd

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    Quite honestly, I think a Dell is probably a good idea if you're scared of the upgrade situation. I say this as a business owner having gone through (3) servers, and about (10) desktops so far, all worked great. I've only had (1) server go down, and I figured that out, let alone their next day is top notch for my business.

    However, if you ever dream of doing anything but blowing the dust out of the darn thing, RUN from Dell. I'm sitting here having to build a whole new machine due to my desire for desktop pixels... because they use older technology, OEM wherever possible, and just enough to get by. Honestly, they run great for me, but for business/non intense computing purposes.

    If it's for your daughter, sounds like a Dell is in order, as in, give it (3-5) years, if it makes it that long, you're lucky. If not, you're only out what, $200/year anyway? If you really want to get fancy, there are some refurbished deals, but I don't know if that would be an option for you, and they also have off lease tech which will be a step or two behind.
     
  11. altafking

    altafking n00b

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    if any one need laptop Intel i3 procesor used one the reply me my laptop is now having starting problem so i want to sell its parts
     
  12. plugwash

    plugwash [H]ard|Gawd

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    My experiance is that big brand desktops sometimes (not always) use weired form factors so you can't replace the motherboard with anything but the one the case was designed for. Afaict this is actually more of an issue with the slightly more expensive ranges like "optiplex" than with the bottom of the barrel stuff.

    It's also quite common to see cases that need mouting trays for the hard drives but not actually have the full complement of trays included.
     
  13. swatbat

    swatbat [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yea or go to someplace like amazon or cdw and get one of the preconfigured ones. Many times you can save some money this way.

    I had a client that needed a new home desktop and newegg had a business hp with an i5, 4 gigs of ram, 3yr warranty, and windows 8 pro(downgraded to 7 pro) for 500 bucks and newegg was including a 120 gig ssd that you could use to replace the 500 gig normal drive in it. I threw the ssd in and reloaded it with the included media and was done. The case was pretty cheap but what did I care? The only weird thing with that one is that it was a tower case and it had a laptop dvdrw in it instead of a desktop sized one. Still for the money who cares?

    Edit: With something like this you can't really upgrade much but with a 3 year warranty it isn't a big deal. For standard school use stuff throw some memory in down the road and an ssd if you get one that doesn't come with it(or just get one of these like 500 dollarish machines and put the other 100 in your budget into the ssd right away). You should be able to get a solid 4 years out of one of these and at that point it would be a full rebuild anyway in most cases.

    Most of these use non standard power supplies so good gaming cards are going to be out. A cheap video card for some basic stuff past the intel graphics would work though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  14. Mr. Bluntman

    Mr. Bluntman [H]ardness Supreme

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    Just buy her a $400 laptop, it's what all the kool kids do these days. /s

    Better yet, build her something based on an AMD A10 APU, mITX case and motherboard, 4GB of RAM, and a DVD drive for movies/programs and 500GB mechanical hard disk. Done. She won't need more. Perfect PC for the kiddo's school work while circumventing proprietary mounting holes, outrageous out-of-warranty repair costs, etc. and flimsy consumer laptops with atrocious build quality.
     
  15. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Have a decent laptop already, she doesn't like it. Was looking at Microcenter's Powerspec line. Anyone have experience with those?


    $579, only 250w PS though.

    Intel Core i5-4590 Processor 3.3GHz
    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (w/ Free 10 like everyone)
    16GB DDR3-1600 RAM
    2TB 7,200RPM Hard Drive
    Intel HD Graphics 4600
    SuperMulti DVDRW Drive
    Multi-in-One Memory Card Reader
    10/100/1000 Network
    802.11b/g/n Wireless
     
  16. horrorshow

    horrorshow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Looks solid to me.

    I'd go ahead a spend a couple of bucks on a name brand PSU just for piece of mind and reliability though. (Like a $40 Corsair or something)
     
  17. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Modern computers are extremely power efficient. Especially with everything being put into as few chips as possible. A computer like that, at full tilt, might....might use 100W. And even then I think I'm being optimistic.
     
  18. Ryankirsch13

    Ryankirsch13 Limp Gawd

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    Build one and fight the urge. You have much more control over the quality and it is usually less expensive. On top of that, most part RMA's are much easier to sort out than requesting one for an entire pre built PC
     
  19. Millerboy3

    Millerboy3 Limp Gawd

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    Dude, get a dell. Probably your best bet, even though they aren't super proprietary anymore :S