Computers - what to do...

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Computers - what to do...

Postby me_in_japan on Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:50 pm

Well, the time has come that every man dreads. My PC is finally on the blink. It has served me well (9 years) but the power socket has given up the ghost and now I can't charge the battery, rendering my PC nowt more than an expensive doorstop. Meh, it had been getting increasingly flaky with age and I'd been pondering an upgrade for a while.

So, I now venture tentatively into the murky realms of PC shopping. My question to you, the fine folks of nag hammer is threefold:

1) where can I buy a PC that is reasonably high-ish spec (not crazy mega top-of-the-range, just one that has a bit o longevity and can run modern games at an acceptable frame rate.)
2) what does the aforementioned decent spec consist of? How are pcs measured these days?
3) iMacs. Are they any good? Can I game on em? Why are they so eye wateringly expensive?

Many thanks in advance for your no-doubt elucidating replies :)
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Re: Computers - what to do...

Postby Primarch on Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:16 pm

I just bought a new PC. It set me back about 100,000 for the desktop box and a free mouse. It contains about 16GB of Ram (more than is required by any software I am likely to run), a 16GB graphics card (which handles most things very easily. As an example, my 5 year old PC that just got chucked out was running Fallout New Vegas at bare minimum settings. My new PC runs it at maximum with a smoother performance as well), a 1Tb hard disk which should be fine unless you intend to download every episode of every TV show ever made. It's not top of the line by any means, but it is more than enough for what I want, with a good performance so far.

I purchased it from a company called DosPara in Osu. Just google it for their homepage, they might have a shop close to you, I dunno.

When you buy a new PC, Windows will be an issue for you. Windows 7 is very good, but if you want to run a PC in English you are looking at an extra 17,000 yen for the upgraded version to change the language settings. You can still type/read English on any version, but all the windows messages etc will be in Japanese. Windows 8 is.... different. I'm sure it is very good at what it does (and you can change to English, even Scottish English, for free). It just doesn't seem very clear about what it is meant to do. It's been described as being a tablet OS on a desktop and a desktop OS on a tablet. There is an update for it which has been developed based on user feedback which is supposed to solve a lot of the issues people had with it. As I said, it's not bad, it's just not the same as any other version of windows.

One thing to bear in mind when you do buy a new machine is support from Microsoft. At the moment both 7 and 8 are fully supported, but in the future (5 years maybe?) they will eventually pull support from 7 meaning you may have problems with security features and compatibility with newer stuff. I guess you can always upgrade the OS in the future.

As for games etc. I get the impression that Mac is not the best platform for gaming. A lot of games don't make it to Apple. There are some games available, but not everything. As for the price of the machine, only Apple make Macs. Every other company makes PCs. There is a lot more competition so the prices are lower.
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Re: Computers - what to do...

Postby Spevna on Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:42 pm

MacBooks rock for everything but gaming.

There is a pretty good selection if games for Macs but not even close to Windows machines.

MacBooks aren't too pricey, especially when you factor in that you won't need to pay for an English OS ( multilingual ), and also that Apple updates their OS for $20 so you won't need to buy a whole new OS and install it.
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Re: Computers - what to do...

Postby Lovejoy on Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:39 pm

I will add my weight to what Spevna said. I bloody love my Macbook, me.

I know it's supposedly vogueish and fashionable to love them, but I feel it's even more bandwagonesque to slag them off. Anyway..I made the change from PC after yet another windows machine (4th or 5th in my life?) had conked out yet again for whatever reason and required binning or reformatting. I snapped and ordered a Mac and have had virtually zero problems since that day about 5 yearsa go. If you want reliability, you can't do better I reckon. They dont need tweaking or endless updates just to get them to work as they should. The bottom line with Macs, and the reason people buy them, is that they work.

Gaming though, yeah..an utter washout. I think that Napoleon total war just came out, at a silly price and at a spec which only new machines can handle. But my PS3 and ipad cover those gaming bases. I would at least think about Mac though.
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Re: Computers - what to do...

Postby The Other Dave on Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:55 pm

Also, of course, you make a Windows partition on your Mac for gaming - it's what I do.

I have a Mac Mini, using a keyboard and mouse I had lying around and a 20,000-yen monitor from Best Denki. It's reasonably beefy - runs pretty much all the games I'm interested in running, at pretty close to max graphics settings.
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Re: Computers - what to do...

Postby ashmie on Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:14 am

My Toshiba Dynabook is one of the best things I have bought computer wise. I bought mine in 2010. It plays most games and has served me well so far, touch wood. It wont run/handle the newer games so you are best sticking with your console if you like up to date stuff. For other stuff I have made/edited podcasts, run google hangoouts and you tube videos from it no problem. Very fast and lots of memory all in all. Main priority is connection speed with your broadband but that's separate. Get a fast connection and a reliable one if you can. I went with WiMax which is kind of like wifi but more like a phone signal so it can go anywhere but is very dependent on where and how the weather is. :) This is not great for Skype/hangouts etc
If you are a pc man this is a nice laptop/note pc. If you want to save money Acer are very good and affordable.
Gordon is your man if you want help building a computer from scratch. I intend to ask him next time I need to do so. He lives computers.
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Re: Computers - what to do...

Postby job on Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:44 am

I'm a MacBook guy myself. I enjoy the simple integration of the software, the nice support you get at Macstore and their hotlines, and the layout. I bought a nearly new refurbished MacBook back in 2009. The model is the same year and I've been using it happily since. I do play a few games on it, RTW and Combat Mission, dated but fun games but it most definitely isn't a gaming platform. There's also the periodic headaches with difficulties formatting between Window and Mac systems, especially if you are unwilling to pay for Word and its related programs. (NeoOffice is a nice free Word processor that adapts Open Office to be formatted into Word docs.) Otherwise I really enjoy it and give it equally thumbs up like the two dudes above.
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Re: Computers - what to do...

Postby Primarch on Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:10 am

Lovejoy wrote:I will add my weight to what Spevna said. I bloody love my Macbook, me.

I know it's supposedly vogueish and fashionable to love them, but I feel it's even more bandwagonesque to slag them off.


I have no problem with Apple's products, I am sure they are fine. It is the raving fanboys (and girls) that have caused me to boycott Apple entirely. Having worked with people whose entire conversational range was limited to "Buy an iPhone, buy an iPhone, buy an iPhone," I steadfastly refuse to go near any Apple products. Plus, I kind of disagree with a lot of their business philosophy. E.g. The company will tell you what apps you can or cannot have. Minimum wages in Chinese sweatshops etc. Whilst MS may be a bunch of sharks in the business world (setting up monopolies and all), I do like the freedom PCs and Android allows for users.
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Re: Computers - what to do...

Postby Spevna on Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:15 am

Primarch wrote:
I have no problem with Apple's products, I am sure they are fine. It is the raving fanboys (and girls) that have caused me to boycott Apple entirely. Having worked with people whose entire conversational range was limited to "Buy an iPhone, buy an iPhone, buy an iPhone," I steadfastly refuse to go near any Apple products. Plus, I kind of disagree with a lot of their business philosophy. E.g. The company will tell you what apps you can or cannot have. Minimum wages in Chinese sweatshops etc. Whilst MS may be a bunch of sharks in the business world (setting up monopolies and all), I do like the freedom PCs and Android allows for users.



There are a lot of fanboys, or cult members as I like to call them.

I made the switch from PC to Mac for one simple reason. Enlglish OS. If I had bought a PC instead, I would have needed to pay around 20,000 yen for an English version of Windows, and would have voided my warranty by installing it.

If you love gaming, and can get an English version of Windows preinstalled, I say stick to PCs though.
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Re: Computers - what to do...

Postby Primarch on Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:23 am

My understanding of warranties etc (not that I am an expert, just from what I have heard from friedns who have experienced such things), is that a PC warranty should cover all of the original parts and software. You are free to adjust, update and replace such thungs at any time without invalidating the warranty on the other parts. E.g. I have added new hard disks to me PC. The original hard disk is still fully covered. The new ones are not. PCs are modular and in the case of desktops especially, cracking open the case and monkeying around with the insides is fine. Plus you can probably claim against the manufacturer for any faulty parts even if you add a new piece not covered under your original plan. So in Spev's case, updating Windows should only have affected his coverage of windows. (Obviously different stores will have different policies, but that is the general way of things as explained to me by a couple of IT savvy friends).

Apple is the opposite. Popping open the case to switch out disks, video cards etc is frowned upon. You can update the OS yourself, provided you use an Apple OS. For example, you can delete a PCs OS and install an alternative e.g. Linux with a few clicks and a little time. If you want to put a different OS on a Mac, you need to make physical changes to the circuit boards inside. A friend of mine installed Windows on his Mac as he didn't like the original system. (This mod is apparently called a Hack-intosh).

I guess that for most people this will rarely be an issue, but a desktop PC can be upgraded as you go, should you feel like it.
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