Cheap Branded PCs still Proprietary?

Rustynuts

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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?
 

bigdogchris

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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.
 

rive22

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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.
 

defaultluser

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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.
 
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Rav3n

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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.
 

thedocta45

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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.

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.
 

seaneboy

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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.
 

altafking

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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
 

plugwash

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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.
 

swatbat

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

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.
 
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Mr. Bluntman

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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?

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.
 

Rustynuts

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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
 

horrorshow

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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

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)
 

westrock2000

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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

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.
 

Ryankirsch13

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Jun 11, 2015
Messages
367
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
 

Millerboy3

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Jun 5, 2015
Messages
154
Dude, get a dell. Probably your best bet, even though they aren't super proprietary anymore :S
 
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