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The Computer Buzz May 28th, 2009

Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Fact


Need a PC?

Whether a business or home user, if you're considering replacing a PC, there are some points to ponder before spending your hard earned cash. Low-end "Package" desktop and notebook PCs Dell, HP/Compaq, Gateway etc. are temptingly inexpensive these days, but are they really bargains? There are some good reasons why these "packages" are cheap.

First they are designed and produced by third party manufacturers offshore using absolutely the cheapest, low-end components available. They're garbage. Secondly, the entire industry is "dumping" their Vista PC inventories. In a matter of weeks Microsoft will announce a release date for Windows 7 effectively killing Vista PC sales. Any Vista PCs remaining in inventory will have little or no value.

Why not take advantage of this "distressed" merchandise and save some money? Because you don't want to get stuck with Vista. There are better alternatives.

Unless your existing PC is more than six years old, it's likely that a repair or upgrade on it will save you a ton of money and provide you with a computer that is at least as fast and functional as any of the new $600 Vista "packages."

Even if your old PC is toast, the Windows XP license sticker on it may be used in a new custom built PC. Saving the cost of an operating system may allow you to buy a high quality, XP based, custom built PC for about the same price as a "package" cheapie.

The PC industry is changing over to the faster more efficient 64bit operating systems. Because software makers were slow to bring 64 bit applications on stream, few PCs with 64bit XP and Vista were sold, even though both operating systems have long been available in 64bit editions and CPU makers have produced 64bit CPUs for several years. Today most applications work well in 64bit environments. Microsoft's new operating system, Windows 7, will likely be most popular in its 64bit version.

The upgrade to W7 will not be cheap. Vista and XP users can expect to pay $200 to $300 for the software and another $100 to have it installed from scratch. Vista users will benefit significantly and immediately from the improved performance of W7. XP users, on the other hand, will be in no hurry to switch because the performance improvement of W7 over XP is marginal. Most XP users will sit on the sidelines until Microsoft finds all the bugs in W7.

Our advice is to avoid buying any new PC with Vista. Either upgrade your old PC, buy a used PC with XP, have a brand new PC built for you using your existing XP license or have a PC built for you with a new 64bit XP Pro operating system.

64 and 32bit Windows XP Home and Pro will be available for our desktop and notebook PCs through 2009. W7 will be available around Halloween. You can get Vista PCs everywhere else.





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