Best/worst computer brands.

CastletonSnob

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If you don't feel like building your own computer and would rather get a prebuilt, what are the best major computer brands? The worst?
 

Dan_D

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Depends on the use-case. IMO for a gaming PC all prebuilts suck.

Companies like Velocity Micro and a few others build fantastic machines that are equal to or sometimes better than anything we can build ourselves. That being said, quality on that level costs considerable amounts of money. Well beyond what it costs to do it yourself. Even including paying for huge mistakes now and again. Boutique builders aren't like the Dell's and other OEMs of the world who build cut rate trash with power supplies rated on wishful thinking and featureless motherboards that gimp any CPU you could install on them and whatever RAM was on sale that week.
 

CastletonSnob

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What if you just want a computer to browse the internet and watch streams? Will any computer do?
 

Susquehannock

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What if you just want a computer to browse the internet and watch streams? Will any computer do?
If that is all you want consider a used workstation. I use Dell T3500 that I was given by a friend free instead of company throwing them to the re-cycler. Whole working systems can be had for less than $75 on fee bay. Toss in a SDD, hex core CPU, more RAM and Win10 and you're golden.
 
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Domingo

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I haven't really explored pre-builds much lately, but there was a time (10'ish years ago) when iBuyPower and CyberPower could put something together for you that was roughly the same cost as building it yourself. Quality was fine, too. I configured 2 systems for friends and everything worked out great for them. Plus, shipping tends to be cheap (or free), while shipping a PC yourself = $$$.
 

grim4593

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Might be hard to find these days but this one is never obsolete:
emachine.jpg
 

Dan_D

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I've heard complaints about all the major brands.

Is "best major computer brand" relative?

As someone who worked in a high volume service center, I've not only heard complaints about every brand out there, but I've had to fix them all. Including plenty that aren't around anymore. They all cut corners or did things that didn't make sense.
 

vegeta535

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If you want a cheap computer that will never be upgraded get a Dell. They are perfect for the parents or anyone that just wants internet and email. If you want a gaming machine go with the "boutique" like ibuypower, main gear, origin and the likes. They at least use standard parts of the most part and give you a good base for future upgrades. I hate how some companies like alienware use proprietary hardware even on their high end system. There is no benefit to the end user.
 

xgrifter

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If you have a Microcenter close to you they now offer the service of building the pc from the parts you picked for a fee
But as others have suggested a nuc or a cheap laptop would work just fine.
 

Domingo

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If you have a Microcenter close to you they now offer the service of building the pc from the parts you picked for a fee
But as others have suggested a nuc or a cheap laptop would work just fine.

I forgot about this option. The location near me charges $150 and will have it ready for you the same day as long as you don't put in an order within 4 hours of them closing. Their parts prices tend to be about as good as you'll find, so that $150 isn't so bad for someone uninterested in building a PC themselves. Never seen a finished build before, but I've seen them working on a machine for someone. Looked pretty good to me.
 

Aurelius

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It won't surprise some to hear that I like Apple for prebuilts, but it's quite a bit to pay to browse the web and watch streaming services.

With that said: the current Mac mini is surprisingly powerful even in its base form. It's fast, it's compact, and it's basically silent (you'd have to go out of your way to make the fan spin). And the kicker: it actually costs about as much as the Intel NUCs it outperforms.
 

Dreamerbydesign

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It won't surprise some to hear that I like Apple for prebuilts, but it's quite a bit to pay to browse the web and watch streaming services.

With that said: the current Mac mini is surprisingly powerful even in its base form. It's fast, it's compact, and it's basically silent (you'd have to go out of your way to make the fan spin). And the kicker: it actually costs about as much as the Intel NUCs it outperforms.
Even a used 2018 Mini would do the job very well and can be had (base model) for around what he paid for this.

Apple isn’t for everyone but if you had a iPhone and were just getting into the eco system it isn’t a bad option. The build quality is top notch.
 

Domingo

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I've always appreciated Apple's aesthetics. Both their hardware and software. They're typically sleek as hell and things have a level of polish you don't often get elsewhere.
The real caveat with buying an Apple PC is that it's (obviously) not running Windows. That's what most people know, it's what most random software runs on, and there's a definitely a learning curve going to the Mac OS when you aren't used to it. It's nothing you can't overcome, but it's something to keep in mind. I used to toggle between Windows and MacOS at my previous job and many "basic" operations in both are in opposite places from one other.
 

CastletonSnob

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As someone who worked in a high volume service center, I've not only heard complaints about every brand out there, but I've had to fix them all. Including plenty that aren't around anymore. They all cut corners or did things that didn't make sense.
Were there brands that got taken to service more frequently than others, or were they all about the same?
 

Krenum

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If you don't feel like building your own computer and would rather get a prebuilt, what are the best major computer brands? The worst?
Best, Falcon Northwest. They've been around for 20+ years. They are the best prebuilt systems you can buy. They are pricey though.

This is the brand we used to drool over when looking at PC's in the PC Gamer magazines back in the late 90's early 00's.
https://www.falcon-nw.com/

Talon: https://www.falcon-nw.com/desktops/talon/design
 

Archaea

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This youtuber does good reviews and some of the results are surprising

Like he really likes the Alienware case, and doesn’t like the Asus RoG case.



 

Domingo

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I wish the cases (and even cables/parts) that pre-build companies use were available by themselves. While they're getting better, build-your-own cases usually look like either a metal box or some kind of anime robot. Cables and connectors have to be long to accommodate a variety of builds, too. You have to special order expensive shorter cables or do a lot of tucking/binding if you don't need it. If you open up a random Lenovo or Alienware, it's usually a work of art in those machines. Everything is the right length and perfectly aligned.
 

Dan_D

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Were there brands that got taken to service more frequently than others, or were they all about the same?
Sure there were. Some are definitely worse than others, but companies like Dell, Compaq and HP sold far more units than everyone else. So, it's hard to get a good picture of what the worst was given the variability of sales between brands. That being said, e-machines, Packard Bell, and some others were clearly trash.

Sony's had decent hardware, shit software. Sony laptops were overpriced crap. I've worked on just about everything at over time or another and could go on for days about this.
 

IceDigger

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Buy from a local ma and pa small computer shop! Don't buy from big box stores!

Support your local stores numnutz!
 

dthree

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Got an hp omen pre-built the other day. I like the case/case design. Looks slick and fits in well for a gaming pc or in an office.
Alienware pre-builts - i don't like the look.
Other thing about prebuilts i don't like is the proprietary video cards/motherboards they use sometimes. Hard to upgrade later on down the road
 

Varmint

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Best, Falcon Northwest. They've been around for 20+ years. They are the best prebuilt systems you can buy. They are pricey though.

This is the brand we used to drool over when looking at PC's in the PC Gamer magazines back in the late 90's early 00's.
https://www.falcon-nw.com/

Talon: https://www.falcon-nw.com/desktops/talon/design

A friend bought one of those ages ago, but for his next PC he used AVA direct. I think AVA’s prices seem pretty reasonable, except for video cards - and they offer like 90 cases to choose from, 50 different RAM etc. I always built my own but I used AVA for a family member.
 

raldo

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In my opinion the best computer brand is Lenovo.
It has a good quality / price ratio, good assistance and I can assure you that it resists well even in the heat and dust of a company .. 😅
from customers in PC workstations for SCADA supervision systems we always install Lenovo and they never gave us problems.
 

raldo

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I remember the decision to replace HP for Lenovo because the power supplies kept failing after 1 or 2 years...obviously always out of warranty
 

BlueLineSwinger

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In my opinion the best computer brand is Lenovo.
It has a good quality / price ratio, good assistance and I can assure you that it resists well even in the heat and dust of a company .. 😅
from customers in PC workstations for SCADA supervision systems we always install Lenovo and they never gave us problems.

I used to like Lenovo (ThinkPads specifically), but then I bought a T490 a couple years ago and hated it. Flexible, creaky chassis, terrible display, jumpy trackpad, gimped Thunderbolt, and other small build and design issues that just added up to a less-than-ideal laptop. Returned it, tried the X1 and a couple other models and they felt the same.


LOL, back in the day I did warranty work for Packard Bell. The stories I could tell..... :p

Ugh, similar stories from my time working at a retail computer store. I always tried to steer people towards the better systems, like the HPs or even the Acers, but they always wanted the PBs because of the software bundles and they were slightly cheaper. So many of those damn things came back.
 

Deadjasper

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A few that stand out -

1. PB sent me a monitor for a customer. I saw the problem the minute I walked in the room. He had it upside down and was using the base as a Lazy Susan. I called PB and they told me to replace it anyway. I did.

2. Customer had a a bad MB. They sent me not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 MB's all were the wrong board (it was one of those where the MB laid flat on the bottom). They finally said fuck it and shipped him a whole new system.

3. Customer called and said the computer dead and wouldn't turn on (Telephone tech should have caught this one too). I show up. Turn the monitor on and then the computer. It fires right up. Old geezer says "Damn, I didn't know about the hidden button down there, why didn't the lady on the phone tell me about it?" Me - "Now that's a good question"

Bonus - Customer complained of computer eating CD's. Telephone tech should have figured this one out. Customer was sliding the cd's in the gap between the drive and the case. OK, I cut her some slack. The gap should not have been big enough for her to do this. When I showed how you push the little button and the drawer pops out she says "Gee, you're so smart". Made my day, LOL.

I lost that gig when they went belly up but did make quite a bit of money while it lasted. The calls were never ending.
 

Format _C:

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2. Customer had a a bad MB. They sent me not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 MB's all were the wrong board (it was one of those where the MB laid flat on the bottom). They finally said fuck it and shipped him a whole new system.
Those were some sort of an oxymoron a non-standard standard known as "LPX" if it what I'm thinking of a board with a riser board in the middle where the PCI/ISA cards were mounted on? The few ones that were new enough for AGP had that on the mainboard as I think the PCB traces were too long for it to work reliably.
I lost that gig when they went belly up but did make quite a bit of money while it lasted. The calls were never ending.
I worked at CompUSA in 2000 when I was 16 and in high school I worked until they closed up as well, I was pissed at Best Buy as I went there after I was honest with the people but they kept telling me to upsell! so I left there but I did get one customer who was an older lady that just needed a defragging the HDD but Best Buy tried to have me sell her a new driver or a new PC anyway I told her how to get a hold of me personally I helped her until she passed a few years later :(/
 

Format _C:

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Honesty is always the best policy. (y)

Yes I still hate "Worst Buy" for that I have not stepped foot in any of their stores since then (2006)!
I remember my Mom needed an AC and they were the only place that had them then (Hot time of the year) I told her to go in and get it and have the "Moron Squad" put it on the cart they did I put the box in the trunk (that needed to be tied closed as it was a 12K BTU heavy & big AC) I did however bring it inside and put it in the window :) just never going into there again.

The old lady had a liking to me I was like her grand son she told me I the only payment I took was homemade food and cookies :) what a great time too bad she passed 4 years later :(
 

Deadjasper

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Yes I still hate "Worst Buy" for that I have not stepped foot in any of their stores since then (2006)!
I remember my Mom needed an AC and they were the only place that had them then (Hot time of the year) I told her to go in and get it and have the "Moron Squad" put it on the cart they did I put the box in the trunk (that needed to be tied closed as it was a 12K BTU heavy & big AC) I did however bring it inside and put it in the window :) just never going into there again.

The old lady had a liking to me I was like her grand son she told me I the only payment I took was homemade food and cookies :) what a great time too bad she passed 4 years later :(

I feel the same way about BB. They automatically assume everyone that enters the store is a thief and they have a yellow shirted goon squad to search you as you leave the store. Not the kind of people I want to do business with.
 
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