PC recommendations needed ASAP

Discussion in 'General Casino Affiliate Area' started by Engineer, Apr 13, 2010.

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    Engineer

    Engineer Super Moderator

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    Hi everyone,

    Skip to the bottom if you're in a hurry....

    <begin anti-Mac bitchfest>

    A few days ago, I bought a Mac Pro. This was a big mistake. It's been a disaster. :(

    If you're used to using a PC, and if you use a lot of keyboard shortcuts (like I do), do yourself a favor and don't bother looking at Macs. Stick with PCs.

    The appearance of all text on the Mac is blurry. I'm used to crystal clear, sharp text on Windows XP. The Mac OS X operating system deliberately blurs all text, for some reason, and I'm just not able to get used to this. I searched high and low for a way to turn off this "feature" to make the text sharper -- there's apparently no way to do this -- this is how it's "supposed" to be. :rolleyes:

    I bought a program called VMware Fusion, which allows me to run other operating systems on the Mac. I attempted to migrate my existing PC (Windows XP) -- it failed over and over again.

    So, I went to Best Buy and bought a new copy of Windows 7. I was able to intall it on the Mac through VMware. I figured I'd just copy and paste the files from my old XP computer and reinstall the applications that I needed (Photoshop, StatsRemote, online casinos, etc.)

    For the heck of it, I tried to migrate the XP PC one last time before I put it into the closet -- this time, it worked. AAAAHHH!!!! So now I have Windows XP and Windows 7 on the Mac, along with OS X.

    The Mac keyboard is nice and quiet, but the keyboard doesn't work the same way as standard keyboards. I tried to get used to this, but I wasn't able to. I didn't realize it before, but I used a LOT of keyboard shortcuts, and the Mac keyboard just doesn't cut it. I ended up hooking up my old keyboard.

    The Mac's "Magic Mouse" is kind of neat, but it doesn't work properly in Windows. There's no way to go "back" or "forward" when you're browsing the internet. This feature works when you're browsing the internet on OS X, but like I said before, the text is very blurry in the Mac operating system, so I needed to browse only in Windows....

    So, I hooked up my old mouse. Last night I got my old keyboard and mouse to work properly on Mac and on Windows.

    Next step -- get everything working on all 3 of my screens.

    Windows XP works fine on all 3 screens. So does OS X. But Windows 7 (oddly) doesn't. If I put Windows 7 on all 3 screens, the mouse jumps all over the place. Click a link, and suddenly the mouse cursor is all the way across the screen for some unknown reason. If I put Windows 7 on only one screen, it works fine (no jumpiness), but that isn't really what I had in mind. I want to use all of the screens.

    I installed drivers and such, to no avail.

    Setting up the printer was a blast, too. After messing around with it for over an hour, I realized that I had to download a special application from the Canon website to make the printer work on the Mac. I also had to dig out multiple USB cables so that I could connect the Mac directly to the printer (for its initial setup). The printer is across the room, and it's heavy, so I just connected a bunch of spare USB cables together to get this done. Anyway, after much playing around, I finally got the printer to work with OS X and with the 2 Windows systems.

    But -- right now I'm trying to print something and it won't print. ??? But it worked last night!

    I mentioned earlier that I was able to get my old keyboard and mouse set up on the Mac. When I went to bed last night, everything worked fine. But today, all of the settings are gone, and my PC keyboard acts just like a Mac keyboard. The "home" and "end" buttons don't work properly (they take you to the top or bottom of a page instead of to the beginning or the end of a line), the Alt+Tab command doesn't work, and the forward and back buttons on my mouse don't work, either. It worked last night, but now it doesn't.

    So, even though there's a 10% restocking fee, I decided to send it all back tomorrow. I cannot believe how much time I've wasted trying to get everything to work the way I want it to. :mad:

    </end anti-Mac bitchfest>

    I still need a new computer. My old PC was an HP (HP Pavilion m7560y), and I was never really happy with it. It started having problems shortly after I bought it. I've burned up 2 power supplies, the removable 300GB hard drive died (I lost a lot of data as a result), and after I had the machine for about a year, it started whining like a dying sheep every time I turned it on (not that I know what a dying sheep sounds like, but you get the idea). In short, I think my old HP is a piece of shit, and I'm reluctant to give HP my money again.

    Are the current HP desktops any good?

    How about Dell? Are their call centers still known as "Dell Hell?"

    Is Gateway any good?

    What else is there?

    I'm heading to a few electronics stores tomorrow to check out what they have in stock. I need something with multiple graphics cards to power my 3 screens, and ideally I'd like something with a fast processor and a lot of RAM and storage.

    If anyone has recommendations or suggestions, I'm all ears. ;D
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
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    dominique

    dominique Certification Member

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    Dell sucks IMO. Never again a Dell for me.

    I also had a whiny HP, although it always worked, it was really slow and the whining drove me to distraction.

    I have had a Gateway now for over a year and am quite happy. I haven't touched it since setup and it runs happily and speedily.

    I had been considering a MacPro, but I think if you have been sitting at the screen for years, you have habits and re-learning everything must be very frustrating. And I hate a blurry screen, if I want that all I need to do is take off my glasses. :p
     
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    Guard Dog

    Guard Dog Guard Dog Staff Member

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    wow! Sorry you had so many problems!

    I've really only known Windows OS', but I know them very well and haven't even considered going Mac as a result.

    I've had VERY good experiences with Dell and I've worked with a lot of them in harsh manufacturing environments with applications that require a lot of horsepower.

    Dell would be my first choice.

    eMachines (Gateway) are also nice, but Dell is still #e for me.
     
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    Adrian-LiveCasinoPartners

    Adrian-LiveCasinoPartners Affiliate Program Representative

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    I migrated to a MAC a year and a half ago. It was a very painful process. I was geared for Windows from head to toe. I was swearing and regretting my new MAC within 24 hours of installing OSX. After the first week I started getting used to MAC OSX and gradually warmed up to it.

    Now, a year and a half later I would never go back to Windows. I find my OSX more intuitive. Also, "spaces" and "expose" has made my life much easier in terms of bouncing back and forth between programs.

    My system never crashes and everything is pretty much plug and play. I don't worry so much about viruses either.

    So, I think if you get over the technological hump then you'll be happy. Meanwhile, I understand your frustration 100%!

    One of the best features you'll appreciate Engineer is that you know where all the program files are. They are not distributed in your system files or folders. All of your preference files are stored in one place too. I can't tell you how many times improper software was not fully uninstalled on my old Windows XP and slowed my system down by consuming processing resources.

    Anyway, if you can get through your current barrier then I think you'll like your Mac system.

    Good luck Engineer.
     
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    TheGamblingGuru

    TheGamblingGuru Turning Over Stones

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    What else is there? How bout this...I built this about 1.5 years ago as one of my new systems...still is ahead of its time IMO...Subtotal: $7757.23

    *Asus P5E3 Premium/Wifi AP Motherboard
    *Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 Quad-Core 2.5GHz 95W CPU
    *OCZ DDR3-1333 Reaper 2048MB w/ Heatpipe Cooling (4) Units Ram Total 8 Gig
    *XFX GeForce 9800GX2 1GB Video Card
    *Asus Xonar D2X PCI-Express Sound Card
    *Western Digital SATA VelociRaptor 10000 rpm 300GB Hard Drive Additional Information: Primary drive.
    *Western Digital SATA VelociRaptor 10000 rpm 300GB Hard Drive Additional Information: Secondary drive.
    *3Ware 9650SE-2LP 2-Port PCI-E SATA2 RAID Controller Controllers
    *3.5inch 1.44 Floppy Drive (black) Floppy Drive
    *Lite-On Blu-ray Burner SATA (black) w/ Software CD / DVD Rom
    *Pioneer 20X DVD-RW SATA (black) CD / DVD Rom
    *Silverstone TJ07 (Black) w/ Window and Liquid Cooling Package Case
    *Silverstone ZM1200M 1200W Power Supply Power Supply
    *Koolance CPU Waterblock CPU-340 CPU Cooling
    *Koolance GeForce 9800 GX2 Waterblock (2) Liquid Cooling
    *Video Case Fans Upgrade Kit (quiet) Additional Cooling
    *Case Mod Package - Blue UV Cabling w/ UV Lights Case Mods
    *Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit OEM SP1 Operating System
    *Belkin Firewire b + USB2 PCI-Express Card
    *ATech 28-in-1 USB 2.0 Internal/External Card Reader (black)

    8);D
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    TheGamblingGuru

    TheGamblingGuru Turning Over Stones

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    Basically what I meant to say there in that post above Dave that I forgot to add, was that you can build yourself a much, much, better system and at less $$$ than what you will buy off the shelf. Even a $700 system that you build would probably cost around $1,200 off the shelf.
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    Engineer

    Engineer Super Moderator

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    Thanks for the feedback, guys. ;D

    Rob, that's quite a setup. You spent way more than me! LOL.

    I'm kind of leary about building my own, though. I don't know much about that, and I worry that I wouldn't have enough power or something, or that all of the various pieces wouldn't work together like they're supposed to. I don't really like to play around with hardware and computer settings. I'd like for it to just work right out of the box. So, I'm sort of leaning toward a modified off-the-shelf system. (By "modified," I mean that I will likely need to add an additional graphics card to power all of my screens).

    Adrian, thanks for the encouragement. But I don't think I'll be able to stick with the Mac.... :( I've been trying to get used to the missing keyboard and mouse functions for about 5 days, and it just isn't happening. I agree that the "spaces" feature is pretty cool, and I like the quietness of the Mac -- it's a lot quieter than my old PC.

    Right now I'm leaning toward a high-end Dell. The reviews in a Consumer Reports book I saw tonight show Dell at the top of the list, and it seems like a lot of big box stores have more Dells on the floor than anything else. Dom, you can say "I told you so!" when it dies on me in 6 months. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
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    Renee

    Renee Affiliate Program Representative

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    I have to say that as much as I frickin hate Dells, they are not as bad as they used to be.

    I bought a Dell studio laptop a few months back for graphic and web development. It is not that flash but it has a good graphics card and only 2gb of RAM.

    With dreamweaver and photoshop open, the lappy doesn't even lag, which is more than I can say for some of the PCs I've "had my way with"...

    I have to agree with GG though - you will get a much better computer for less if you build it yourself. It isn't that hard, even I can do it! You just need to find one of the computer fairs where they have like markets and sell stuff really cheap because you can haggle.

    I saw this program once about computers and they wanted to bust the myth that macs are faster for graphic design and all that jazz etc...

    Well, if you spend the same amount of money modding your PC as you would spend on a standard mac, the PC outperformed the mac every time. By a mile in fact.

    Now Adrian you may want to close your ears and eyes when you read this next part, so warning comes first..

    Dave I think you brought it on yourself for buying a mac. I know there are many people who love them, but they are so impracticle for businesses like ours. A lot of things aren't compatible with macs and you have to pay for most stuff whereas for PCs you can get most stuff for free..

    Also, and this was told to me by someone who works for Apple, the reason macs don't get viruses is not because there are only 3 of them (there were only 3 when i was at uni, and this is likely the reason there are/were only 3) but because on a mac it is imposible to run anything without the user's consent. So if you get a virus on your mac its because you're an idiot (i.e. you authorised the mac to install the virus).

    Now the last reason I hate macs is because my ex ****bag boyfriend always wanted everything that made him think he was the coolest kid in town and ended up spending almost 3k on a new macbook. Then anytime something about computers came up, the bullshit that would come out of his mouth made me sick.

    I want to be sick just thinking about it. *puke*

    I have banned the use of the word mac in my house.

    The positive thing about macs is that their software developers work together, so the team who creates the OS is only 1 team and the team that creates software is only 1 team, whereas the people that create the windows OS and software for example are 2 or 3 different teams, which is why it's so unstable. It's like 2 or 3 cooks making the same dish. One doesn't pay attention to what the other is doing and then it gets spoilt. I will hand that to the apple guys. That's all I'll give them though.

    Sorry!
     
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    Aussie-Dave

    Aussie-Dave Former AGD Member

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    Hi All,

    I was using HP up until I upgraded in Feb 2010.

    This time I went for a custom rig because HP uses a cut down motherboard and trying to update it with extra ram and new vid card(s) is either impossible or a right pain in the butt. Plus they us power supplies that are under rated for the specs IMO.

    For a grand total of $3,500AUD I got the following:

    i7 290 CPU.
    ATi Sapphire 5970 OC with 2 gig DDR5 GPU (runs 3 monitors with no effort).
    Corsair 1000W PSU.
    Corsair 4 gig DDR3 ram 1600 mhz.
    Gigabyte mobo - P55A-UD4P (very nice mobo) has two Ethernet ports.
    WD HDD 1TB with 32meg cache, 7200 rpm sata
    Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse.
    LG 23" 3 millisecond response time - (can run in wide screen or 4:3 ratio).
    Antec 912 box - keeps things nice and cool.
    Win XP (though upgrading to Win 7 this month) meaning I got slap in more ram.

    The GPU was $1,025AUD alone but it's a kick ass card and with two graphic processors there is no need to go SLi or crossfire.

    I believe that Nvidia are releasing their new high end card but it still not as powerful as the ATi 5970 OC.



    Cheers

    :)

    Dave
     
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    sipka

    sipka Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    I bought a Macbook last year, and after going through the pains Engineer described I installed a Win 7 on the Macbook lol.
     
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    GamTrak

    GamTrak Google it and see

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    Wow Dave, that sucks big time! Sorry to hear your story and I know/feel your pain as I've had stuff happen that drove me nuts.

    I've used gateway, hp & dell as I have 3 systems running now and found the following.

    Gateway - excelent customer service, products performance was good. Laptop gets to hot and need a cooling pad. Batterys not very good.

    Dell - product performance was great on both desktop and laptops (they don't get hot) - ok customer service (they connect to your system to troubleshoot).

    HP - can't remember much as they are older systems, but held up pretty well.

    My preference is Dell or any PC as I've tried MAC and can't recall it being good for any software that I would ever install.

    Good luck with your next system! :)
     
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    lots0

    lots0 Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    I got one name for you.... LENOVO

    If you want an off the shelf or a built it yourself (thats what I did) LENOVO is top of the line.

    In case you didn't know LENOVO used to be IBM.

    I'd put my Lenovo W700ds custom build up against any mac book, anyday.

    It has.. a quad-core processor, built-in digitizer, color-calibrator, digital pen one of the best hi def 17' screens I have ever seen (not to mention the secondary screen... on a laptop)... and it comes with windows 7 Pro installed... all Standard for under 5K.

    YouTube - Lenovo ThinkPad W700ds dual screen mobile workstation walkthrough
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
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    TheGamblingGuru

    TheGamblingGuru Turning Over Stones

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    Yep, I totally agree. Lenovo is absolutely, hands down, the best laptop that money can buy. Bought my daughter one a couple of years ago when she went off to college and never had one problem with it. The damn thing has power unreal for a laptop.
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    Engineer

    Engineer Super Moderator

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    Thanks for the additional suggestions, everyone.

    I have heard good things about Lenovo, but I think I'll be going with an off-the-shelf Dell available at Best Buy. It's the Dell Studio SPX SX8100-1986NBC. This PC is available at Microcenter and Best Buy.

    The model from Best Buy has a graphics card that will allow me to run 3 screens without adding a second graphics card. The card (ATI Radeon HD5770) has 2 DVI outputs plus a Display Port output. I'll need to buy a USB-powered adapter for the Display Port line. The adapters are hard to find (there's a 2 month delay at most online stores), but my wife luckily found one in stock at a store about 30 miles away. (Hopefully it's there when we go to pick it up today.)

    Microcenter also has this Dell PC in stock, but the graphics card isn't the same. The card in the Microcenter version isn't quite as powerful, and it can only feed 2 screens. So, I guess it's Best Buy or bust. ;D

    Here's a link to the Best Buy PC:

    Dell - Studio XPS Desktop with Intel® Core™ i7 Processor - SX8100-1986NBC

    Specs:

    • Intel® Core™ i7-860 processor, 2.8GHz
    • 8GB DDR3 memory, expandable to 16GB
    • Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support
    • 1TB Serial ATA hard drive (7200 rpm)
    • ATI Radeon HD5770 graphics
    • 8 high-speed USB 2.0 ports
    • Built-in Dell 1505 wireless LAN PCI-E card and 802.11n mini card (802.11b/g/n)
    • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit operating system preinstalled
    • 3 available PCI expansion slots

    I already have 3 screens, but I'll likely upgrade 2 of them in the near future (possibly today, depending on time).

    I used to have three 17" Samsung screens (Syncmaster 730B, 1280x1024). Last month I gave one of those to my wife and upgraded my middle screen to a 23" widescreen Samsung SyncMaster 2343 (2048x1142). I'll probably upgrade my 2 smaller monitors so that all 3 are 23" widescreens. Once I do that, the overall resolution on this puppy will be 6144x1142, which will give me 78% more work space than I had originally with three 17" 4:3 screens.

    I think Windows 7's "snap" feature will make it easy to use 3 wide screens effectively. Like I said before, I use keyboard shortcuts often, and I'm always snapping things to different screens. With Windows XP, there's no way to easily take advantage of a wide screen. You have to manually adjust the window size if you want 2 windows on the wide screen. But with the Windows 7 snap feature, this is a snap (pun intended -- ha ha). On each 23" screen, I'll be able to use half of the screen for viewing one 1024-wide page, which is perfect since most web pages these days aren't wider than 1,000px. Snap 2 browser windows per screen, and I'll be viewing 6 pages at once. ;D

    By the way, to snap with the keyboard in Windows 7, you hold down the Windows key and press the arrow buttons. Before this feature (in XP), I had to use a program called UltraMon to get all of the monitors to work nicely. But UltraMon doesn't support half-screen snaps like Windows 7 does by default.

    Anyway -- that's my plan. Thanks again for all the tips and suggestions. ;)
     
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    TheGamblingGuru

    TheGamblingGuru Turning Over Stones

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    Dave, that sounds like a purdy good system there...I know you will be like a fat kid in a candy store today...lol ;D

    I also run three screens as well, two 24" and I kept a 17" as well just so I could test how my websites would look on a laptop and computers with smaller screens without having to change the res to see. That's come in handy.

    Have fun on the shopping spree!!

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    Guard Dog

    Guard Dog Guard Dog Staff Member

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    I'm jealous... This thread is making me want to go to the store :( I need a desktop to replace my laptop, IMO, because my Laptop (as powerful as it is), just doesn't keep up with my needs.

    I was thinking a similar system and a Netbook for travel-work. Some sort of syncing would have to keep files updated on both.

    Sounds like you are going to have fun at the store, Dave! :) Good luck!
     
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    Engineer

    Engineer Super Moderator

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    I'm back from my shopping spree! I had fun. ;D

    But --

    Dell can kiss my ass. The computer DOES NOT WORK!!!

    First of all, when I lifted the machine out of the box, a piece of metal fell onto the floor. It was a small piece meant to cover a hole in the back. After a while, I figured out how to get it back in place. Not a big deal, but still....

    Strike one.

    When I finally turned on the machine, the Windows logo appeared briefly, then the machine got quiet and the monitor went blank. Hmmm. I manually rebooted -- same thing.

    Strike two.

    Next, my wife and I reinstalled Windows from the DVD that came with the PC. We spent about an hour doing this, uploading drivers for the graphics card, wireless card, etc. Everything seemed good to go. We rebooted the machine so that the updates could take effect. The Windows screen came up, and then.... the machine shit itself again.

    Strike three!

    Seriously -- WTF? :confused:

    We're returning it tomorrow, obviously.

    The day wasn't a total waste, though -- I was able to find the 2 extra monitors I wanted -- on sale, too! ;D

    Now, the new plan is to build a custom machine. My wife said she'd do this for me; she thinks it will be a fun project. Sounds good to me! ;D
     
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    ecb09

    ecb09 Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    buy a mac now!
     
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    Engineer

    Engineer Super Moderator

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    LOL -- nope... been there, done that (see my first post). ;D No more Macs, HPs, or Dells for me.

    I wish Samsung made desktop PCs. Pretty much everything they make is good quality. They make laptops and netbooks, but not desktops.

    My wife is nearly finished designing the custom computer -- we'll be going shopping again tomorrow... :rolleyes:
     
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    Guard Dog

    Guard Dog Guard Dog Staff Member

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    Dell - you can only buy from Dell.com, IMO. However - I have had a LOT of Dells and never a single problem. I get the higher-end Dells, though, not the store-bought cheapies with lesser equipment.

    Building your own... done it... it's easy.. and you get exactly what you want. But - you do pay more in most cases, from my experience. Pick the right parts!!!
     

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