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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:08 pm 
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I'm looking for a small desktop computer and wondering if anyone here has any suggestions.

Small is key. Use is mainly home/ home office stuff so I don't really need super high performance but don't mind spending some extra money to get really good performance.

I don't want an all-in-one. So far I have seen some Dells (inspiron 560s or 580s) that would work or gateway but I have heard mixed things about quality for both these companies. hp 6005 ultra slim is the smallest but most expensive and less powerful.

I am considering Mac but heard the mac mini isn't great performance (probably enough for me though) and not good value.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:15 pm 
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Sorry Hammer, I can't help you on this, unfortunately. I built my comp 5 years ago, so I'm not up to date at all on recent tech, sorry :x

I do have a MAC Mini sitting here beside me at work and it's F'n small, but I haven't been able to log into it since it got there so I can't vouch for it's performance, and as you already indicated, not what you want :)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:18 pm 
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We run a bunch of the HP ultra slims in out office and they run great. Not sure what the board in it is but must be good. Only complaint is you have to use a silly dongle adapter for duel screen setup, seems like a money grab to me.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:46 pm 
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Myself, I'm not a fan of anything HP, just found over the years they are consistently too problematic. Mac Mini is nice but expensive for the value. The great thing about Mac is they pretty much just run (and no viruses), you don't have to mess with them. Except for when they do break (rarely), then they are far more difficult to fix.

Best for the money is to build your own, if that's not an option both Dell and Panasonic are pretty decent. Avoid Toshiba.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:52 pm 
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I have an old Dell Dimension slim case. The only problem with the smaller cases is that the parts can be a bitch if you ever want to upgrade - i.e. doesn't take the largest selection of video cards. Having said that I have been very pleased with it over the years and am happy with Dell's service.

Check out some of these: http://www.dell.com/ca/p/desktops.aspx?l=en#facets=6670~0~37278&p=1

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:23 pm 
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if your just using it for daily stuff, checking emails, banking word processing, surfing porn, any pre-fab will do, Every company has its ups and downs, My PC i built for gaming and performance. But for my work, i use a HP, second one, love it old one lasted 5 years of heavy heavy use!

I'm not much of Mac backer, i don't like computers i can't upgrade easily. Sony has a cool slim machine, bit pricey, but its cool!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:17 am 
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I think now a days it doesn't matter much if a computer has an HP, Dell, Gateway, Toshiba, whatever stamp on it. Pretty much the luck of the draw I think.

If you're streaming hockey games & doing a lot of business with photos/videos, may want to go with a machine that has an i3 processor or one of the hopped up AMD premium deals.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:34 am 
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Apologies if I'm hijacking the thread, can anyone recommend a free photoshop-type download for an art project? I'm planning on scanning something in and just retouching it but depending on how things go I might need it to actually paint with as well.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:09 am 
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gimp is good for free


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:13 pm 
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Leonard Washington wrote:
I think now a days it doesn't matter much if a computer has an HP, Dell, Gateway, Toshiba, whatever stamp on it. Pretty much the luck of the draw I think.

If you're streaming hockey games & doing a lot of business with photos/videos, may want to go with a machine that has an i3 processor or one of the hopped up AMD premium deals.


yep good point as well. Except for the whole Gateway thing. If theres one computer i won't buy, that'll be the one!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:58 pm 
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thanks for all the advice guys, this helps. I'll let you know what I decide.

while I'm looking around I'm trying to fix the old computer. It is maybe 3-4 years old and a good computer (but has vista which sucks) but started crashing a lot recently. The only thing I can think of is I clicked "yes" on this "HP Update" thing that pops up all the time, probably the only time I have clicked yes on it so maybe it was trying to update shit for 3 years and messed up the system? If I open the "HP Advisor" that program crashes immediately so I think maybe that was what I updated and the update fd it up due to not being updated for 3 years.

I used ccleaner to clean the registry, etc. but still crashing. I am guessing I should try some sort of windows restore and look for a restore point older than when I allowed the update(which I can't remember!)? Not sure how to do this, but if I can figure it out I assume there is low danger in doing this as long as I backup all my data first?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:07 pm 
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hammer wrote:
thanks for all the advice guys, this helps. I'll let you know what I decide.

while I'm looking around I'm trying to fix the old computer. It is maybe 3-4 years old and a good computer (but has vista which sucks) but started crashing a lot recently. The only thing I can think of is I clicked "yes" on this "HP Update" thing that pops up all the time, probably the only time I have clicked yes on it so maybe it was trying to update shit for 3 years and messed up the system? If I open the "HP Advisor" that program crashes immediately so I think maybe that was what I updated and the update fd it up due to not being updated for 3 years.

I used ccleaner to clean the registry, etc. but still crashing. I am guessing I should try some sort of windows restore and look for a restore point older than when I allowed the update(which I can't remember!)? Not sure how to do this, but if I can figure it out I assume there is low danger in doing this as long as I backup all my data first?


Do you have an XP or Win7 key? I'd back up your shit and try doing a completely clean install of one of those 2 with a Hard Drive reformat.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:42 pm 
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BoscUlrichIII wrote:

Do you have an XP or Win7 key? I'd back up your shit and try doing a completely clean install of one of those 2 with a Hard Drive reformat.


No key. Part of why I was ready to buy a new computer was to switch to windows 7. If Windows 7 alone costs $200, I figured if for an extra $400-$500 I get a whole new computer it is a better deal.

Scratch that, looks like if I have vista I can upgrade for $110. Not a bad deal, maybe I should do this.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:38 pm 
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Av-merican wrote:
Apologies if I'm hijacking the thread, can anyone recommend a free photoshop-type download for an art project? I'm planning on scanning something in and just retouching it but depending on how things go I might need it to actually paint with as well.

Not sure if this is exactly what you are looking for but we just received this:
Our Products Support Unit wrote:
In an effort to decrease license costs, Office Products Support has found an alternative Open Source product that we hope our Illustrator users can switch to. The cost of Illustrator is several hundred dollars per license compared to Inkscape which is a free Open Source software. We will be installing Inkscape on your workstation next week. Please use Inkscape for the next few weeks to determine if it will meet your needs. An additional communication will be sent out prior to removing your Illustrator software.


Thought you might be interested in this as an Illustrator replacement.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:42 pm 
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Thanks guys, I'm looking up both as we speak!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:24 pm 
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Never heard of inkscape but not surprised as it's not a field I've kept up with in the last few years. Traditionally the big dog Open Source application in this field is Gimp http://www.gimp.org/. It's quite good. And the best source for everything Open Source is always Sourceforge http://sourceforge.net/


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:23 pm 
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Kyle, John, and Craig: Thanks much, I ended up downloading BOTH Inkscape and Gimp. Most of my limited training/experience is in Photoshop, so I'll probably use Gimp for this project--I'm not yet well-versed in vectored GD programs to use Inkscape properly.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:29 pm 
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HP update is f'n evil. I doubt that anyone every quality tests it before its released through HP update. It was notoriously bad with Vista. I dropped Vista and went to Windows 7. First thing you need to do is System restore and then disable HP update. I have a HP Pav Elite that is 3-4 years old. It still rocks. You shouldn't need a new one. Just get rid of Vista. I can help you but we'll have to take it offline. PM me.

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 4:42 pm 
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So our 5 year old Dell laptop has been behaving increasing squirrelly... So we bit the bullet and bot a 13.3" MacBook Pro with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 320GB HD, core i5 processor, built in wifi N... And so far, so good. I'm supposed to be able to partition the HD and be able to dual-boot but so far, I see no compelling reason to.


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 2:47 pm 
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the Cunning Linguist wrote:
So our 5 year old Dell laptop has been behaving increasing squirrelly... So we bit the bullet and bot a 13.3" MacBook Pro with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 320GB HD, core i5 processor, built in wifi N... And so far, so good. I'm supposed to be able to partition the HD and be able to dual-boot but so far, I see no compelling reason to.


They're definitely cool, great OS, very intuitive and secure. Certainly the best device to recommend to anyone who's not terribly computer literate but as a work tool the applications just are not robust enough but that doesn't sound like your need anyways. And if you do decide to run Win X on it, I'd suggest looking at a VMware solution instead so you can run both at once.

http://i.imgur.com/Z3Q0y.jpg


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