Who are you trying to convince? Moreover, who cares how well it's been selling? It's obvious I said I only want a PC and Tarn is simply trying to provide cautionary advice. I've yet to see a real suggestion from you.
A Pickle wrote:
Vista x64 has been selling especially well.
Yeesh, calm down. I guess you seriously mis-construed what was a pretty poorly-expressed point, but I said Vista x64 "has been selling well" because it's (according to it's userbase) vastly superior to XP x64 as far as driver support, program compatibility, etc. Added to that, there're a lot of nice security features and advantages to running Vista in 64-bit mode, such as the PatchGuard kernel protection (preventing kernel access during runtime), the guarantee that HD content won't be downsampled to an SD resolution, and obviously the benefit of being able to address the full 4 GB of RAM + whatever amount of video RAM your graphics card has. It's also quite snappy, I understand.Alienware
Whatever you do, do not get an Alienware. Personal experience with their "support" staff, if you can call it that, has indicated to me that even if you buy a $4,000 laptop with the 2-year warranty -- they'll still charge you component costs if you spill water in your laptop. If you lose the CD's (or in this day and age, DVD's) that came with your computer, you will pay $20 to get new ones shipped to you.
If you ever, say, pay a grandiose amount for Alienware system WITH a warranty... don't think that because you dropped a couple grand on a system that that company will give an extra deuce about you. I spilled water on my laptop, basically turning it into a brick. It didn't do anything when I hit the power button, it was, by every definition, dead. Alienware balked at covering it, despite the fact that I HAD
purchased their warranty. After putting me on the phone for... probably an hour, as I dis-assembled my own computer under the "supervision" of an Alienware tech (he was on the phone, lying on the desk), to no avail. I made it very clear to them that IT WASN'T WORKING, BECAUSE I HAD SPILT WATER ON IT. Nonetheless, they had me remove EVERY component from my computer, and try to turn it on -- and obviously it failed every time, because as I had suspected from the start, the motherboard was the culprit. After this arduous experience, I re-assembled my laptop and asked if I should remove the hard drives and batteries, as Dell always has you do when you're sending in a computer. Alienware said, "No, because we need those components to test your computer." Frustrated enough, I worked up the courage to ask: "You mean to tell me that you don't have some industry standard 2.5" hard drives and batteries to your OWN DAMN LAPTOPS at your test facilities?"
There was an uneasy pause, and the tech came back on the phone, "No sir, we do not. We will need you to remove your OS password and back up your data, because there is a 50% chance that we will end up formatting your hard drives." I replied, "No, sir, maybe you didn't hear me. I spilled water on my laptop, IT DOESN'T BOOT. As a matter of fact, it doesn't do ANYTHING when I push the power button, would you mind explaining to me how I am to remove my OS password and backup my data WHEN MY COMPUTER WON'T TURN ON?"
Suffice to say, there's a $206.25 charge on my credit card that's currently in dispute between Alienware and myself. I will never, ever buy from that company again, and I will recommend that others follow suit.
Alienware is a sheep in wolf's clothing, really. And you won't be able to get NEARLY the hardware in it for the price -- Alienware is awfully (and needlessly) proud of themselves.HP
HP isn't bad, but their self-support resources don't begin to compare to Dell's, and really -- they treat all of their customers like idiots. I balk whenever I have to go to HP's website to find information for an HP or a Compaq that I'm fixing. Sometimes drivers for the OS that I need are... er... missing. Entirely. If you buy an HP, prepare to receive one with a recovery partion taking up several GB of hard drive space, and enough bloatware to measure with a scale. The out-of-box experience with HP's is perfectly abysmal. A friend of mine purchased one of their 12.1" tablet-convertible laptops (Turion 64 X2 1.6 GHz, 2 GB RAM)... and it felt slower than my Compaq Presario 1700US (700 MHz Pentium III, 256 MB RAM).
A couple of friends of mine, awhile back, gave me an MS-6541 v2.0 motherboard with a 1.8 GHz Celeron, and told me that if I could get it to boot into Windows XP, I could have it. Apparently, they'd had all kinds of trouble getting it to work, and the culprit was neither the CPU or the board, but a faulty slot-load CD-ROM drive. I kept the computer, but I faced a problem: This "Compaq" was nothing but a pile of parts, loosely arranged and connected on a table. I wanted a case, and if I wanted a case, I'd need a way to connect the power button, reset button, and hard drive activity light to the motherboard. Also, I, being a geek, was dissatisfied with the performance of a 1.8 GHz Celeron, so I wanted to see what processors and what speeds that motherboard supported.
I searched for weeks. I didn't find ANY information on HP's OWN WEBSITE about that motherboard, which was apparently used in the Compaq Evo D310v Microtower PC. I found on some Spanish website that the fastest supported chip was a 2.66 GHz Pentium 4, and, don't ask me how (I honestly don't remember) but I'm pretty much the only person ON THE INTERNET
who has proper documentation on how to connect a standard ATX computer case to that motherboard. Not even kidding -- I occasionally get e-mails from distressed Compaq Evo D310v owners who've opened the case (for various reasons) only to find that, by opening the case, they inadvertently disconnected the PWR, HDD, and RESET pin-outs.Dell
So that leaves Dell, which I will recommend until they change their ways to those of the Evil Ones (HP). Dell offers you the option of simply getting a Windows re-installation disk, rather than wasting YOUR hard drive space which YOU paid for with a recovery partition that's just going to re-install Dell's bloatware anyways. Dell is also, as of late, taking a fairly pro-active stance against bloatware -- a modern Dell actually feels like a fast computer, and while there's obviously SOME pre-installed software on Dell machines, the software fairly frugal in the amounts of system resources it consumes, and there isn't gobsmacking loads of it. Should you opt to purchase a warranty, Dell WILL cover you. I have metric tons of CD's that I requested from Dell, and they sent them to me free of charge (with overnight shipping), a far cry from the $20 that Alienware charges.
Onsite self-help resources from Dell top anything from any other manufacturer, bar none. What other OEM will provide the consumer easy-access to information on how to remove the video card from their Inspiron E1705, a laptop? That's right: None. Most other OEMs regard their customers as complete morons, and are terrified of the possibility of a consumer, first off, not paying for an upgrade directly from them, and second off, breaking their computer at the same time. Which, I suppose is a legitimate qualm, but there is a level of corporate responsibility to provide me, the consumer, with information about the product I just bought. Particularly when it's a product I just dropped a couple grand on.
And then, if you happen to spill water (or in the case of my parents, a margarita) into your Dell, if you have the warranty + CompleteCare... you don't need to worry about that. When my parents were on vacation in the Caribbean, they spilled a margarita into the laptop. Apparently it still worked, but... was... "flaky," by their description. So they called Dell -- Dell overnighted a pre-paid, pre-foamed box to my parent's house, and instructed my parents to remove the hard drive and the battery before sending it in. They did, sealed the box and DHL picked it up the next day.
Over the next few days, my parents watched the sordid tale of their wounded E1705 unfold in their e-mail inbox, as Dell kept them up-to-date as to the status of the machine. Apparently, Dell deemed the laptop unfit for duty, and so it was replaced with a brand new E1705 loaded with Windows Vista Home Premium. They boxed it up, and sent it back. Total elapsed time: 8 days. I might add, when the computer showed up at my parent's house, it had a battery and a hard drive... and since my parents had already removed the battery and the hard drive... they now have two batteries. And one external hard drive (woohoo 2.5" external enclosures from Newegg). For free. A new computer is half the purchase. The other half is the company standing behind you, or faltering behind you.