Windows 7 or 8? Apple?

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CarefulBuilder14
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Windows 7 or 8? Apple?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sat May 09, 2015 10:08 pm

The last time I had to buy a computer, Windows 7 was the big, semi-new thing. Now, I need a new computer and I'm not sure what to look for. Until recently, I thought this old one would last until Windows 10 came out, but it's just not worth the headache it at the rate it's freezing. It's lasted a lot longer than I originally expected, though, since I bought the cheapest laptop I could find for a trip years ago and have just used it since then. I think I could get an upgrade to Windows 10 for free, anyway.

I use a Samsung Galaxy 4 phone, no tablet, and my photo/music/media collection is very disorganized. I'm not really tied to any "ecosystem" yet.

I mostly do web browsing, Skype chats, and work with small Excel files. I don't do video editing. I want a desktop* with at least a 20-inch screen - 25-inch is better. Super-high resolution is not necessary, nor is having a touch-enabled screen.

There's no fixed budget, but I do want a good value, and it looks like Windows computers are better values in the under-$1000 range. On the other hand, it looks like the Apple computers are a lot more powerful, even if they are more expensive ($2000+). It looks like the power of (or at least the purchasing power of $700-$1000 for) Windows computers really hasn't improved very much in the last few years - although maybe my most recent (this) computer was just a good value at the time.

I'd like something that will last a long time. Suggestions, anyone?

*I mention a desktop simply because I won't really need to move it, and I assume I can get a better value in one than in a laptop, tablet, or similar device. If some spectacular deal is available for a laptop, I'm open to that.
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Re: Windows 7 or 8? Apple?

Postby lobbythis » Sun May 10, 2015 2:19 am

I'm confused.

You list menial tasks as what you most often use a computer for. Yet, you then mention spending $1-$2K.

Spending that kind of money is going to buy you a good machine regardless. Now, if you start talking sub-$800, that's when performance and quality start to be sacrificed. But, to be honest, I have a $220 HP Stream 13" that handles the little work you do on a PC without hesitation. Also, any W8 machine is supposed to get W10 for free.

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Re: Windows 7 or 8? Apple?

Postby popamode72 » Sun May 10, 2015 6:38 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:The last time I had to buy a computer, Windows 7 was the big, semi-new thing. Now, I need a new computer and I'm not sure what to look for. Until recently, I thought this old one would last until Windows 10 came out, but it's just not worth the headache it at the rate it's freezing. It's lasted a lot longer than I originally expected, though, since I bought the cheapest laptop I could find for a trip years ago and have just used it since then. I think I could get an upgrade to Windows 10 for free, anyway.

I use a Samsung Galaxy 4 phone, no tablet, and my photo/music/media collection is very disorganized. I'm not really tied to any "ecosystem" yet.

I mostly do web browsing, Skype chats, and work with small Excel files. I don't do video editing. I want a desktop* with at least a 20-inch screen - 25-inch is better. Super-high resolution is not necessary, nor is having a touch-enabled screen.

There's no fixed budget, but I do want a good value, and it looks like Windows computers are better values in the under-$1000 range. On the other hand, it looks like the Apple computers are a lot more powerful, even if they are more expensive ($2000+). It looks like the power of (or at least the purchasing power of $700-$1000 for) Windows computers really hasn't improved very much in the last few years - although maybe my most recent (this) computer was just a good value at the time.

I'd like something that will last a long time. Suggestions, anyone?

*I mention a desktop simply because I won't really need to move it, and I assume I can get a better value in one than in a laptop, tablet, or similar device. If some spectacular deal is available for a laptop, I'm open to that.

Not really a big fan of Windows here at all quite frankly, though I think that had to do more with the kinds of laptops and brands I had (HP and Toshiba mainly) than anything else. I've been using a MacBook Air for nearly a year now and couldn't be happier with the results. It still works nearly as well as when I got it last year. I know you're looking more for a desktop, but the least expensive Apple desktop comes around $1100. External hard drives are pretty cheap if you're not happy with the 500 GB hard drive that model comes with. Seems to be what you're looking for. It has a 21.5 inch screen.
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Re: Windows 7 or 8? Apple?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun May 10, 2015 9:03 am

If I get a Windows computer, I would probably get a Dell. I see some apparent bargains for H-Ps...including one nice HP bundle through Costco, but I have my doubts about how good the service would be if there are problems with the computer.

On the other hand, I get a free extended warranty with Costco...
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Re: Windows 7 or 8? Apple?

Postby lobbythis » Sun May 10, 2015 11:59 am

Dell still does fine. I set up 10 of them for a small office 3 years ago and all are running fine. Each desktop ranged from $250-$400. They are not power users so there was no need for anything insane. But, a few of the computers run 24/7 for VPN access and still work great.

Monitors I bought separately for $90/each (24") when Dell had another sale.

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Re: Windows 7 or 8? Apple?

Postby Vermonster » Sun May 10, 2015 1:53 pm

I think the number one rule for getting a PC is that you should build it if you can. And IMHO if you understand credit scores, you have more than enough brain power to build a PC. The AMD APUs offer great performance for the price, and fit your needs to a T.

If you are considering a less traditional desktop, a Surface Pro 3 and dock with an external monitor is a great setup. Work just bought me the high end i5 SP3 and I love it. All Win 7/8 devices will have a free upgrade to win 10 if you do it in the first year. Win 10 will have a lot of improvements over win 8 and will be well worth it for Cortana alone.
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Re: Windows 7 or 8? Apple?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun May 10, 2015 2:12 pm

I think I'm going to go with a high-end Windows Dell 8700 bundle via Costco for about $1500.

Going directly through Dell to use something like ShopDiscover is not an option I'm considering. Costco's "fixed spec" computer is at least $600 cheaper than a comparable custom-built Dell would cost (there are minor differences, like slightly different 27-inch monitors). The fixed spec HD is only 1 TB, and some Dells do have more, but I can use an external hard drive, too. If I got the same computer custom-built with 2 or 3 TB of hard disk space, it would be around $2400-2500**. Whatever method of payment I use, it's going through Costco.com.

Without my opening a new card, can anyone think of a more rewarding way to buy it than with EDP to get 1.5 MR/$? I'm interested in rewards, not special financing. Costco.com does take cards other than Amex, but special offers or bonus categories rarely include Costco.

**That's without considering the "savings" (Discover cash back) of about $250.**

I know it's probably overkill, but it should last me a long time and be nice to use.
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Re: Windows 7 or 8? Apple?

Postby darkguy2 » Tue May 12, 2015 11:15 pm

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/HdXGMp

That was only what I built in 10 minutes. The one you are buying is way overkill. You have no need for 32GB of RAM or 4GB video card. You also have no need for a i7. But that is a pretty good price for what you are getting even if you will not use all its power.
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Re: Windows 7 or 8? Apple?

Postby lobbythis » Wed May 13, 2015 3:21 am

darkguy2 wrote:http://pcpartpicker.com/p/HdXGMp

That was only what I built in 10 minutes. The one you are buying is way overkill. You have no need for 32GB of RAM or 4GB video card. You also have no need for a i7. But that is a pretty good price for what you are getting even if you will not use all its power.


While I totally agree with you, what CarefulBuilder did is what most people end up doing anyways unless they are technically savvy and enjoy building tech stuff. Those bundles are always easier, especially since Costco can offer decent equipment most of the time. $1,500 but at least the computer is future proof for a good while.

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Re: Windows 7 or 8? Apple?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed May 13, 2015 7:04 am

darkguy2 wrote:http://pcpartpicker.com/p/HdXGMp

That was only what I built in 10 minutes. The one you are buying is way overkill. You have no need for 32GB of RAM or 4GB video card. You also have no need for a i7. But that is a pretty good price for what you are getting even if you will not use all its power.

It seems to me that I'd probably get better customer service if there's a problem with the computer by only having to deal with Costco and Dell. If I assembled something myself (which I could probably do), and had a problem, I'd be worried that all the manufacturers would say the problem was with some other company's product.

I'm not sure what to make of high-end HP computers. On one hand, they look really powerful. On the other hand, HP's reputation for reliability and customer service isn't that great.
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Price rewind: Costco
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