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View Full Version : Gotta love "mom-and-pop" computer shops!



earthpigg
October 28th, 2009, 06:51 PM
so, christmas time for mom who is using an ancient p4 with 256mb of RAM. she enjoys facebook and other java/flash web-based games, listening to music, booking flights, checking e-mail, working on her resume once in a while, etc. typical web-centric computer user.

the mom and pop place down the street just told me purchasing a desktop computer from them without any operating system preinstalled would discount the system price by $100. no optical drive would save me another $50 (im a fan of the "one external USB optical drive per set of friends and family living in the same county" theory.)

...they also told me that replacing the conventional 250gb hd with a 60/64gb SSD would make it $200 more expensive.

that last part i found interesting, considering this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227461).

So, for the conventional HD to be $200 less than an SSD that means a conventional hard drive must sell for $14.99? :D joking, of course, but im sure you understand what i am getting at.

going to be e-mailing back and forth with them a bit. going to ask them if i can bring my own SSD in, give it to them still in the shrink wrap, and have them put the computer together with that as the hard drive. will not expect their one year parts/labor warranty to cover the hard drive i provide, of course.

(and they specified that they do NOT have a 'warranty void if seal broken' type warranty, which would obviously be a deal breaker for most of us around here.)

by-the-by, would anyone like to offer bang-for-the-buck opinions on this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Pentium_Dual-Core_microprocessors#.22Wolfdale-3M.22_.2845_nm.29) cpu in the "e5200" variant in a 2gb ddr2 800mhz system for around USD $700 with a typical/standard config including an optical drive, win7, 250gb hdd, and microATX form factor?

would potentially be $500 or so without the OS and optical drive, and with me providing the hard drive purchased separately - with a 1 year parts/labor warranty that would require me to drive a trivial 10 minutes up the street.

<3 local shops.

edit: this (http://www.ccmarin.com/systems_intel.php?1000) is the system, as quoted at their website.

SunnyRabbiera
October 28th, 2009, 07:39 PM
Is it possible to update the RAM on her computer?
How old is this P4 computer?
Just curious.

As for the pricing they want, actually seems fair in retrospect as small computer stores dont have the overhead and the inside deals of major computer stores.

xuCGC002
October 28th, 2009, 07:42 PM
Is it a socket 775 P4? And the RAM type?

RiceMonster
October 28th, 2009, 07:42 PM
I go to the local shop around here as well. The employees are far more knowledgeable, and they offer better deals.

sdowney717
October 28th, 2009, 07:53 PM
why not just build it yourself with parts off ebay
and save a lot of money

motherboard 775 29$
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270473742086&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

memory 2gb ddr2 30$
http://cgi.ebay.com/Nanya-2GB-PC2-6400-DDR2-800MHz-non-ECC-240pin-Unbuffere_W0QQitemZ250521083744QQcmdZViewItemQQptZ LH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item3a54385f60

core 2 duo E6550 65$
http://cgi.ebay.com/Intel-Core-2-Duo-E6550-2-33-GHz-Processor-CPU_W0QQitemZ260497769147QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCPUs?h ash=item3ca6e082bb

psu 19$
http://cgi.ebay.com/Dynex-DX-400WPS-400-Watt-ATX-CPU-Power-Supply_W0QQitemZ310176821449QQcmdZViewItemQQptZPCA _UPS?hash=item4837fab0c9

sata drive 200gb 20$
http://cgi.ebay.com/WESTERN-DIGITAL-WD2000-CAVIAR-200GB-SATA-HARD-DRIVE_W0QQitemZ130339198244QQcmdZViewItemQQptZPCC_ Drives_Storage_Internal?hash=item1e58d25524

SunnyRabbiera
October 28th, 2009, 07:55 PM
why not just build it yourself with parts off ebay
and save a lot of money

motherboard 775 29$
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270473742086&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

memory 2gb ddr2 30$
http://cgi.ebay.com/Nanya-2GB-PC2-6400-DDR2-800MHz-non-ECC-240pin-Unbuffere_W0QQitemZ250521083744QQcmdZViewItemQQptZ LH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item3a54385f60

core 2 duo E6550 65$
http://cgi.ebay.com/Intel-Core-2-Duo-E6550-2-33-GHz-Processor-CPU_W0QQitemZ260497769147QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCPUs?h ash=item3ca6e082bb

psu 19$
http://cgi.ebay.com/Dynex-DX-400WPS-400-Watt-ATX-CPU-Power-Supply_W0QQitemZ310176821449QQcmdZViewItemQQptZPCA _UPS?hash=item4837fab0c9

or something more trustworthy like newegg?
I dislike ebay.

coolbrook
October 28th, 2009, 07:59 PM
Is it possible to update the RAM on her computer?

+1 and the processor.

I have faith in Craigslisters. Faster than eBay and there's no payment middleman/interest necessary.

cascade9
October 28th, 2009, 08:00 PM
Is it possible to update the RAM on her computer?
How old is this P4 computer?
Just curious.

As for the pricing they want, actually seems fair in retrospect as small computer stores dont have the overhead and the inside deals of major computer stores.

If its a p4 socket 423, dont even worry about trying to upgrade. The SD ram versions are...bleugh, and RD ram is way to expensive to even try upgrading. Later socket 478 DDR boards might be worth it.

I tend to not go to the smaller shops for just that reason, I'm cheap. It helps that I normally know more about the hardware than a lot of people though, if I didnt the smaller shops would be more temping.

@ sdowney717- a $19 PSU? Your brave.

sdowney717
October 28th, 2009, 08:04 PM
I actually just went this route myself and bought the same psu for an asus p5qc motherboard.
I have had just a few issues with ebay and bad parts that dont work. But you can usually open a dispute and get a refund. It is always a good idea to get the shipping insured in case the shippers destroy the parts.

earthpigg
October 28th, 2009, 08:09 PM
or something more trustworthy like newegg?
I dislike ebay.

and personally have trust issues with it.

and i am indeed considering building it myself -- the question becomes about the value of the warranty. my computer, i pop the hood on all the time. but i am not purchasing this computer for me.


Is it possible to update the RAM on her computer?
How old is this P4 computer?

i put an additional 2 sticks of 64mb in the 2 open slots shortly after purchasing it, 8 years ago. i could probably replace them with a couple 256mb sticks, i suppose.

i recently gutted it and gave it a very thorough cleaning. it is well taken care of, runs reliably, and will not be sent to a landfill any time soon.

but does not cut it for the internet of 2009 given my mom's usage habits - lots of flash, lots of java, lots of websites not designed with efficiency in mind.

I sort of want a NAS anyways. this gets an extra desktop to play with. i have plenty of half-functional extra laptops as a result of places like Iraq and Africa, but no desktops. this lets me accomplish that, and lets me do something nice for my mother.

xuCGC002
October 28th, 2009, 08:10 PM
If its a p4 socket 423, dont even worry about trying to upgrade. The SD ram versions are...bleugh, and RD ram is way to expensive to even try upgrading. Later socket 478 DDR boards might be worth it.

I tend to not go to the smaller shops for just that reason, I'm cheap. It helps that I normally know more about the hardware than a lot of people though, if I didnt the smaller shops would be more temping.

@ sdowney717- a $19 PSU? Your brave.

SOCKET 423!!! Pfft-bledeh-BLAUGH!

And I thought that 478 was bad enough. But that! Go ahead, buy a new one, just make sure you aren't paying too much for someone else to assemble it.

Dragonbite
October 28th, 2009, 09:01 PM
What about Overstock.com (http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Computers/270/cat.html)?

t0p
October 28th, 2009, 10:19 PM
Is it possible to update the RAM on her computer?
How old is this P4 computer?
Just curious.


The computer I'm typing this on is an old P4, 1.7GHz, and up until recently it had 256MB of RAM. It was okay for web browsing, email and downloading stuff; but anything more adventurous would slow it down to a crawl.

Just recently I beefed it up to a gig of RAM and it is so much better now. I can even run VirtualBox on it okay now, Well worth the mere pennies it cost to upgrade. The only problem now is the 20GB hard drive, but I've got a 400GB external HDD that does the job.

steveneddy
October 29th, 2009, 03:06 AM
IMHO - I would install as much RAM as the system would hold, clean the dust out, put some new silver paste on the processor/heat sink, install a new/faster HD (maybe that SSD) , upgrade the video card if necessary, buy her a new monitor and install a new BlueRay DVD player.

The P4 should still be a good processor, just needs more RAM, and then just give everything an update and she'll be good for another few years.

I still use an old P3 at home for general computing and bit torrent stuff. It only holds 512 mb RAM, so that's what's in there.

Until the hardware complete dies, just keep on using it. RAM will add much needed "performance" to any system.

steveneddy
October 29th, 2009, 03:08 AM
SOCKET 423!!! Pfft-bledeh-BLAUGH!

And I thought that 478 was bad enough. But that! Go ahead, buy a new one, just make sure you aren't paying too much for someone else to assemble it.

Didn't see that - maybe she does need a new PC.