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Buying a computer for the parents

Element BrianElement Brian Peanut Butter ShillRegistered User regular
edited February 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So this next week I'm gonna help my mom get a new computer, the Dell they've had for the last 8 years hardly runs anymore, and suffice to say, its over due they got something else.

The thing is, I'm used to looking for something that meets the gaming specs I want, but now I have to tone it down.

I asked my mom what she wants it to beable to do and she says "I want to beable to download music"

Oh mom, you're so great.

Anyway, she's too impatient to wait for someone to order parts and what not and I know she would rather just go to the store and get something. Whats a very reliable basic family computer that we can get at somewhere like Costco? Really reliability is what we're looking for, but this is of course a phrase that varies since reliabilty really tends to mean whether or not you screw up the computer yourself.

Is there anything I should avoid like the plague?

At the same time, I guess I can go ahead and sell the old Dell to people looking for parts or something? Thats not really something I'm familiar with but I'm aware that people will pay money for such worthless things.

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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I would just go to best buy and buy whatever was the 200 dollar computer deal.

    JebusUD on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Yeah, I got my parents' computer at Wal-Mart. It's an E-machines. I didn't shop around or anything, just bought it for them.

    Thanatos on
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    InvisibleInvisible Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Depends on how much she wants to spend. I know Best Buy has e-machine packages for $200-350 depending on the specs, but you can get a better computer for a few hundred more. The e-machines I saw had like 2gb to 3gb of ram and had Vista Home Premium installed, so I can't imagine they run amazingly fast.

    Personally, I'd stay away from the e-machines and just go for a mid-range HP, Dell or Gateway, especially if they plan on using it for another 8 years.

    As for the Dell, is there really a market for 8-year-old used computer parts? You might be able to donate it to Goodwill or some other secondhand store though. I'd destroy or wipe the hard drive first though, unless they don't have any personal/financial information they're worried about losing (not terribly likely, but why take the chance?).

    Invisible on
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    blakfeldblakfeld Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Please don't buy an Emachines, They're notorious for having shit motherboards. Not a goddamn week goes by where I don't have someone bring one in, with that being the resolution.

    blakfeld on
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    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2009
    just buy the cheapest Dell model.

    edit: for brick and mortar, I guess at least look for "Vista Home Premium", make sure it's not Basic.

    FyreWulff on
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    saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    What's the budget? I got sick of fixing my parents' PC so I just bought them an iMac and never had to do anything computer related for them since.

    saltiness on
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    GameHatGameHat Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    A month or two I was helping a Luddite friend buy a computer. See, he had just been laid off and needed something to be able to send e-mail.

    I was actually a bit surprised -- we looked at Best Buy and Circuit City. Pretty much all of the computers there had decent if unspectacular hardware. Perfect for my tech-chump friend who just wanted a machine for internet.

    I'm a gamer myself. I've built every PC I've had since about 2000. And none of the machines I looked at at the big box stores were good (for the cost) for gaming. But for basic needs - not bad.

    If you want to game on the machine, you need to buy the parts yourself and assemble it.

    GameHat on
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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Get cheapest Dell model. Also install an anti-virus/malware program and set them up with an automatically renewing update subscription. If your mom's like mine, she won't realize that anti-virus software needs to be updated regularly.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
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    illigillig Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    definitely get a cheap dell and ******SUPER EXTRA EXTENDED SUPPORT/WARRANTY******

    seriously... the main thing you can get for non tech-savvy people is a reliable 24/7 support line (that is not you)

    you might be able to get a cheaper e-machines or some walmart special, but then you'll have to be the tech-support for a shitty pc

    illig on
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    I'd Fuck Chuck Lidell UpI'd Fuck Chuck Lidell Up Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Yeah, I got my parents' computer at Wal-Mart. It's an E-machines. I didn't shop around or anything, just bought it for them.
    this is actually a good idea

    most computers that are out right now are better than most "gaming machines" built a year ago.

    i was looking at the stuff they had at walmart and they're all like 3.2 dual core 2gigs 320gb hdd.

    the only addition you'd need is a video card as opposed to the onboard and hey you've got a game machine

    edit:emachines warrantys are actually pretty good; speaking for someone who has worked in tech support for the company. most walmart version come with 2 year warranty, you can upgrade an extra year if necessary but i mean realistically that computer will be obsolete in 3 anyways.

    I'd Fuck Chuck Lidell Up on
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