Question Time for a new desktop pc, what do you recommend?


New Member
Hi Louise, KK site is really informative!! Hope you find what you're looking for pretty soon... :computer:

I've had no hiccups with my pc so far...HP is a Winner!!



New Member
I recently purchased a new computer in July and I am very pleased with it. My personal opinion is to purchase a laptop versus a desktop because you have more flexibility. Not to mention that laptops have come a long way and are just as fast. All of my previous laptops have been Dells, however my last two have been HP's. HP's are really making good computers lately and their prices are very good. My recent HP purchase was from Costco. I got a huge saving and I am happy with the computer. My specs if this helps are as follows:
OPERATING SYSTEM • Genuine Windows® (64-bit)(1) - (32 bits are less common now)
PROCESSOR • 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i5-2430M Processor 2.40GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.00GHz(2b)(3)(3b)(4)
MEMORY • 6GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM (2 DIMM) • Maximum supported = 16GB
VIDEO GRAPHICS • Radeon™ HD 6630 switchable graphics with 1024MB DDR3 and up to 4096MB total graphics memory
HARD DRIVE • 500GB 7200RPM hard drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection(7)
FINISH AND FEATURES • Etched aluminum finish in carbon relic • HP TrueVision HD Webcam with integrated microphone(15)
MULTIMEDIA DRIVE • Slot-Loading SuperMulti DVD burner(16a)
DISPLAY • 14.5-inch diagonal HD(8) BrightView Infinity LED-backlit Display (1366x768)
NETWORK CARD • 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector)(9)
WIRELESS OPTION • 802.11a/g/n WLAN(10b) and Bluetooth®(10) with WiDi(36)
DIGITAL MEDIA • Digital Media Card Reader for Secure Digital and Multimedia cards(17a)
AUDIO • Beats Audio™
KEYBOARD • Full-size island-style backlit keyboard
POINTING DEVICE • HP Imagepad with on/off button
EXTERNAL NOTEBOOK PORTS • 1 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 • 2 Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 • 1 mini-Display • 1 HDMI • 1 RJ -45 (LAN) • 1 Headphone-out/Microphone-in combo

Best of luck with your purchase. I'm sure after reviewing all the post you will make the best decision for you and your business.


New Member
- I would recommend any Dell product.
- Intel core i3 is my minimum requirement if you want a PC that will last for 10 years.
- Windows 7 is a great OS everyone should use it. :p
- I would suggest to get 4 gig ram or higher which means you need to have a 64 bit OS
- 2 Gig video card is another minimum requirement for me
- 1 terabyte HD so that you won't have to think of it anymore. lol
Here are a couple of things to think about:

If you don't need portability, then go with a desktop, not a laptop. Lots of compromises are made with a laptop in order to shrink everything to make it fit into a small, durable package. You don't need to have those compromises if you have a desktop computer.

For instance:

* Over time, dust collects in the computer. This dust needs to periodically be cleaned out, to prevent overheating. It is far easier to clean the dust out of a desktop computer than a laptop computer.

* If a part goes bad, it is far easier to replace the part in a desktop computer than in a laptop computer. In fact, with a desktop, it may be as simple as snapping a card into an expansion slot.

* There are no battery issues with a desktop computer. (On the other hand, if the power goes out, your laptop will keep running, while your desktop will turn off.)

* A desktop computer is much more expandable, and the parts are generally much more universally compatible than with laptops.

* Desktop computers are cheaper for the same amount of power.

* On the other hand, if you want to use two monitors, this is very simple with a laptop -- you already have the built-in monitor, and you have a connector for the 2nd monitor. With a desktop, you need a special video card with two ports on it, as well as two monitors.

I can't remember what the other thing was that I wanted to say!

The Perfect Word

Community Leader
I just started looking at Dell's again, so love the information, Mike. My last two desktops were Dell's and have been great. Mine's working fine, but I always like to try to be a step or two ahead (mine is a tad over four years old). Actually looking at one with Win7 that has an XP mode!

Jim, you are SO right on your points! And I have had to replace or add many things to desktops over the years, and I can't imagine trying to do it to a laptop.
Pam: If you decide to use XP mode, keep in mind that you will need to keep up with your Windows and other updates in the XP virtual machine, and you will also need anti-virus software in the vm.

Since this will be a bit of a hassle, I recommend against XP mode if you don't really need it.

On the other hand, if you set up your computer that way, you will then know how to set it up on your customers' computers.

It is conceivable that some of your customers are running some mission-critical old software on an old computer with an old operating system. If you can succeed in getting their old mission-critical software to work in XP mode on their modern computer, you will have eliminated a huge potential source of failure for them -- the old computer. Some of these computers are so old that they are approaching the point of not being able to be fixed, should the machine fail.

By the way, there are several "virtual machine" programs out there, including Hyper-V (comes with Windows 8). If you install a "virtual machine" on a modern computer, you can often install whatever version of Windows you want (even Windows 2000!) in the virtual machine. The customer can then run their ancient, mission critical program on their brand-new computer, and you will be the hero/heroine!

The Perfect Word

Community Leader
Hmm, didn't know it worked that way, so may just go with Win7. (The Dell I have now had the option of XP or Vista, and of course I chose XP. But I guess that's different than a "mode." I don't work on anybody's computer but the ones in my house, and only when I need to! I was just trying to avoid the possibility that some of the programs I'm using now not working on Win7. I'm one of those people that if a computer program is working great for me, why update or change...LOL! For instance, I'm still running Office 2003, although I have a 2007 I could install. (Does Office 2007 work with Win7?)

Here's what I did recently in my wife's office.

My wife is an architect, running AutoCAD 2007. AutoCAD 2007 won't work in any version of Windows newer than XP. The next release of AutoCAD after 2007 won't work in any version of Windows older than Vista.

Since she absolutely had to have something that worked, when I upgraded her PCs (from Windows 2000!) a couple of years ago, I chose to go with XP, because I had no doubt that it would work. In other words, there would be no fiddling and fumbling with anything; everything would work without any delay.

If I had had more time, then I would have gone with Windows 7 / XP Mode, and I would have tried to make it work. I probably would have succeeded, in which case she would have the latest (at that time the latest) OS and a new computer. But she is a small company and couldn't afford any downtime, so I went with the sure thing.

Since you are a VA and providing office services for other companies, I think that a great option for you would be to go with a Windows 7 computer for yourself, with XP Mode. Once you have it all set up and running successfully, not only will you gain the advantages of having XP on a new machine, but also you will know how to do that sort of thing, and you could provide that service for a customer, if they have some must-have software that won't run in Windows 7.

By the way, the "old / must-have" software scenario is the only case I can think of where I would do XP mode, because, as I mentioned earlier, there are some extra hassles that you have to deal with when using a virtual machine. But it could be a life saver in the case of old software.

You will have no problems running Office 2007 with Windows 2007. Or you could stay with Office 2003. There are lots of people using Office 2007, but I don't think there are very many using Office 2003. Again, if you go through the process of installing Office 2007 and getting it all set up and running, you will have gained some valuable expertise which you can then use for your customers.

Another point to consider is after sales service. A few years ago I bought a new HP computer from PC World and less than a month later the motherboard failed. On ringing HP I was told they would need to take my computer away for 10 days for repair. I said no thanks, took it back to PC World who replaced it without a murmur.

Having been put off HP by this incident I exchanged the machine for a more expensive Packard Bell computer, with which I have experienced an intermittent problem with crashing. Before the warranty expired I rang them and arranged to have the machine looked at. Packard Bell (owned by Acer) have the most horrific repairs system. You cannot speak to anyone in the UK, you have to go through an overseas call centre who note down the problem with the machine and pass it on to the repair centre in the south west of England. There is no way to contact this repair centre to check that the they have a proper note of the problem with the machine. In fact the only way to speak to anyone in this country is to put in a complaint, whereupon they will telephone you. When the machine was finally returned over a week later the problem had not been fixed because the person in the call centre had either not understood or had not written it down in a way that the engineer would understand. I would NEVER buy another machine from this outfit.

The next machine I buy will have customer service/support at the top of my shopping list.

The Perfect Word

Community Leader
I will say that here in Virginia I've had excellent customer service for the last two Dell machines I've had. With the current one I had a problem with the CD/DVD drive sounding like it was an airplane taking off. Couldn't even watch a DVD the thing was so loud. After troubleshooting by email with no success, they sent someone local out to my home office. He replaced it, tested it, and was finished in half an hour.


New Member
When I started my VA business I purchased an HP Touchsmart all in one PC. I love it because...

1. Everything is in the monitor, you don't have to have a tower
2. Everything is wireless
3. The display is HUGE! I actually didn't know how I'd fit it on my desk
4. I've had it for 2.5 years and it still runs as fast as the day I got it.


New Member
I have a Dell XPS Laptop which is super fast. I use it as a desk top by connecting a Dell 25" monitor to my laptop. This way I can take my work on the go with me if I need to and if I am home working I have the ability to use a split screen. Now that I have a split screen I can't imagine ever going without it. It always helps to maximize visibility so it's really convenient.

I'm shopping around for a new desktop pc and really have no idea what I ideally need.

Transcription is the primary service I provide (so definitely Windows Office), post but would also like to run say Adobe CS 5 or Corel Draw on my system to mess about with graphics)

I already have a 1TB WD MyBookLive for storage, but just need some advice
re: PC specifications:

What Memory -v- Hard Drive is faster? (i.e. Memory 3GB / Hard Drive 500GB)
Intel core i3, i5, i7?
DVD Writer?
What Make/Model you'd recommend?

My current one is a Hewlett Packard but is dying the death and processing speeds weren't fantastic, albeit it was a reconditioned model. I live in the UK so PC World seems to be the place to go but don't just want in-store 'techie' advice, want to be armed with some VA knowledge too!!

I am looking for the suggestion of a motherboard.

I’m looking for a Mechanical Keyboard and might try out a few at the same time to see which type of switch I want to keep using – and send the others back… looking for suggestions.

Please keep in mind – It must be Wired… ok!

I want it for gaming – but also – for Music Production and general usage?

Would be nice if it had some useful function/macro keys (programmable would be good) for any or most programs and games etc.
Best Mechanical Switches for Gaming
I do want one with the Numpad ok… that’s a given…

I normally just don't care about RGB etc... but in this case - it might be nice to have backlit keys to see in a dark room... but that's about the extent of what I'd want RGB wise.

BTW I'm tall and thin - and have large hands with long thin fingers - if that matters?

Please note – I want wired only ok – and I’m right handed like most folk.

Currently using an old MS office keyboard.

I’ve never used a one before… tried some demo buttons at a shop and I think I like something with some pushback (not sure how much), I think I’d probably prefer a quiet one… but I’d like a suggestion for a non quiet one too to try it out.

I think from memory it was the brown one I liked better but not sure?

Prefer something not too crazy pricewise – good value is ideal – will pay some more if it’s worth it.

So remember – I’m looking for recommendations for a few different types of switches/modes ok!

Thank you for your help
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