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  1. #1

    I went to CompUSA today

    Being the computer illiterate I am, I went to CompUSA today just to browse and pick brains

    Presently, I have a HP Pavillion, circa Jan 2000, with 383mb RAM , new (two years ago) 40 Gig Hard Drive, 550 Mhz Pentium 3, and whatever soundcard and video card was in at that time.

    Anyway, I have been worrying about my computer is just loading pages slower, opening programs slower, everything turns my cpu usage up to 100% or more

    So I figured, I would look into changing everything imaginable.

    So starting with the memory, i figured i would go up to 512mb
    and change the motherboard and get a Pentium 4
    raise the hard drive up to about 160 gig
    add a new video card
    keep the 19" monitor

    the guy tells me this stuff wont fit, because i may not be able to fit the motherboard into the computer, the memory chips wont fit, blah, blah, blah

    I had made a vow (after getting screwed by HP) that i would never buy a pre-packaged kit again, and that I would build my own computer (have someone else build it, to be honest)

    and the kicker was, I asked if XP comes with it, and he said of course, the home version, but if i wanted the professional version, it would be another $200.

    so i asked, what if i didnt want xp, would i get a $200 credit

    he smiled and said, nope, thats a proprietary agreement that compusa has with microsoft

    anyway, anyone have any thoughts on what i should do?

    get a new box and dump xp or work with this old war horse, or just stick with my original idea of building one from the ground up?

  2. #2
    I built my off of (not too long ago but a bit dated now)
    1.6 ghz amd 512mb 40 gb 128mb ati 9200 (I hate ati now btw)

    for $350 with shipping. its down right hard to find better prices than that without looting the di (donations resaleing store) but I have seen a few prebuilt computers that come with ad's and adware already installed that are remarkably cheap if you can find one (I can just imagine someone going up to a clerk and asking this) it may be cheaper. and it shouldn't be a issue if your going to delete it and put linux on it.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004
    If you went to CompUSA, I'm guessing you are in the US. I've gotten 2 computers off of eBay and I've been happy with both:

    Dual PIII 550MHz, 1Gb ram, CD/DVDROM, 100Mb Zip, floppy, Symbios SCSI card. No hard drives: I got 3 good ones, one bad and one marginal off eBay. Total cost, about $250.

    Dual Celeron 750MHz, 512Mb ram, 40Gb hot swap hard drive, 100Mb Zip, CDROM, floppy, loaded with Fedora Core 1: $110 including shipping.

    Computers that are listed without Windows go much cheaper than others. Getting stuff off eBay has some risk and is definitely hands-on, but it works for me. No pain, no gain.
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    san diego, ca
    just build it yourself. go to, they have an awesome selection with good prices. it's really not that hard to build a comp yourself. there's plenty of books and/or instructions online.

  6. #5
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    New York
    Build the machine yourself (or have someone do it for you) and you won't have to worry about forced licensing.

    Just so you know, it's not just CompUSA - every vender with a microsoft license pays through the nose for XP for all the machines they sell, regardless of how many actually have WinWoes installed. The assumption is that otherwise the vender would simply pirate everything anyway.

    Two days ago, to get a usbkey at CompUSA, I had to be redirected to four different employees until someone could open the glass case they were in behind a desk. Then on the way out they offered me three free months of AOL. Not that either of these two facts bothered me, it just strikes me as pitifully funny.
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

  7. #6
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Workaphobia
    Not that either of these two facts bothered me, it just strikes me as pitifully funny.
    CompUSA, Fifth Avenue, NYC: Walk in the door with a satchel and they direct you to the desk to check your bag. Act a little nervous about leaving it with them and the guy says "Do you have a computer in there?" So I say, "Maybe, why?" and he says, "'Cause we can't be responsible for that" and kind of waves me away so I can wander among their crap with my bag on my shoulder. Dorks.
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

  8. #7
    Build your own. If you're comfortable with Linux then put that on there. Make sure to look around these forums and get hardware that works well under linux.

    Good luck.
    You dont need a pocket protector or thick glasses to be a geek.

  9. #8
    Linux User benjamin20's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    jacksonville beach FL
    ya, thats right, there are plenty of people trying to sell old hardware on these forums.

    besides that, you could just order parts of ebay. get some cheap 40 dollar case and a good power supply. thats the tricky part right there. getting the right case and powersupply. make shure the case says it suports the exact type of mobo you have. micro atx is different than atx. also, powersupplies are hard to chose from. im shure people around here can help you out there though. after that just go for the mobo, a compatable proc and some memory and the hard parts finished. get a hard drive, cd drive, and a NVIDIA video card and thats all you need.
    nVidia G-Force 6600GT (bfg) pci-e: amd 64 2000+ (939): 1024 corsair ram: 2X 80gb seagate harddisk SATA: plextor cd/dvd-read/write cdrom SATA

  10. #9
    Linux User geese's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Florida / Trinidad W.I.
    Build it yourself. just ensure that everything is compatable with each other.
    you should do some more reserch if you are not sure about what you need.
    dont pay for something you are not going to ues - XP.

  11. #10
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    I was in the same boat, first with Compaq and then with Dell. After that, I built my own. Using the internet and local computer shops, I was able to build an excellent system for under $450... See my specs. Now a good part of that was the case and power supply, which I'll never have to buy again. Also, the funky blue LEDs added to the expense as well. You can go much cheaper if you mod your own case. Oh and also, since I run 100% Linux, I didn't have to purchase Windows.

    Good Luck!
    Registered Linux user #346571
    "All The Dude ever wanted was his rug back" - The Dude

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