I used to build or buy generic barebones and add my parts and OS but don't have the time to chase for parts. I'm looking at a cheap replacement desktop near $400 (an upgrade for me). I was looking at something like an AMD A10-5700 4 core Gateway or maybe an HP. A good example is the win8 Gateway DX4380-EB35, 8 gb ram, graphics HD8570, 1tb hdd, nice enough case unfortunately only usb 2.0 in front but couple of usb 3.0 ports on the back. Don't know anything more about the MB etc... The actual model extension -EB35 isn't even listed on the Gateway site. I have a spare 3TB hdd and will probably add a BD burner soon after. Comes in on sale at $400 this week.
My concern is everything I've ever owned was generic except for one IBM PC a long while back. Nothing I mean nothing was standard with that thing. I had to buy everything from IBM and they fleeced the heck out of me. I swore I'd never buy non generic again. So you can probably guess my question.
I'm pretty sure most things are standard and the case looks like a normal atx design (based on an angled youtube clip posted by a kid who bought one) but does anyone know if recent Gateway desktops can take a regular power supply. I read where some other companies like Dell wired theirs differently and they fried the motherboards of unsuspecting users who wanted to upgrade with non Dell parts.
Any other flaws, issues, concerns please post them but I'd really like to know about the ps.
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There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
Gateway was rather infamous in their heyday of using non-standard parts, but they've been in the dregs for so long that I am struggling to remember the last time anybody I knew actually had one so I cannot say what they do now as I think it may be almost 10 years since I last even saw a Gateway anywhere.
Dell ALWAYS uses non-standard parts and non-standard setups to lock you into to buying their stuff if you want to upgrade.
It's been about 8 years since I last bought a PC off the shelf instead of building my own, but at the time I bought an HP and they used standard parts. In fact, I was impressed at the time with how good the parts were that they used. It was easy to put extra cards into my HP. If I was going to buy an off the shelf PC, they'd be who I'd go with, but again, my experience is not current.
Win 8 sucks more than you can possibly imagine unless all you want to do is surf the internet, send email, look at photos and maybe play music on your PC. If you're planning on using this as a box to do video work on, you're gonna hate Win 8. You can probably get enough programs to work to make it usable, but you're gonna hate Metro and what you have to do to get your PC to act more like older versions of Windows. In fact, some in the industry are actually speculating that the next Windows may abandon Metro and go back to the old classic style Windows. I'm not sure I'd bet on that, but the fact that it's being discussed in IT circles, even if just an unfounded rumor, shows you how much of a failure Metro really is.
I'm using Win 8 and 8.1 preview and I disagree that Win 8 sucks. I do agree that Metro sucks. It was designed for a handheld device and not a desktop or laptop. Win 8.1 will allow you to boot directly to the desktop and bypass Metro. The final version will be released in October. You can also install programs like Classic Shell that makes Win 8 or 8.1 work like Win 7.
btw) That's part of my reason for wanting to update Windows at a reasonable cost. It wouldn't be cost effective or sensible to update my old machines. It still leaves the option for either another new desktop or a laptop as my second PC some time in the future. I just don't want to be stuck with a desktop PC with any proprietary components.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
Hell, I mean DELL has always used proprietary components in the past. I've been recommending to friends & family to purchase a HP desktop with Windows 7. Here's a few that you may want to consider.
I know your budget is $400.00 but for a $100.00 more you could get a Intel i5-3330 quad-core processor, 6gb ram, 1T sata hd.
This one is $329.99 Intel dual core.
Don't be afraid of Windows 8 for video work. It performs flawlessly if you set it up properly. The new GUI (Metro) sucks, no doubt, but adding StartisBack for $3 gives you the Windows 7 interface, plus a faster operating system. This thing flies on an SSD. Every time I have to go back into Windows 7 on my backup machine I'm struck by the difference.
Anyway, StartisBack or Start8 and setting all the file associations to anything other than the crappy Metro apps is all you need.
I would look at HP or Lenovo before Gateway if shopping for a OEM made machine. But I've built every computer I've used over the last ten years, so I can't advise you on specific pre-assembled models.
It's going on sale for $430 today at BB (now past midnight in my area so it's the Friday the 30th)
Those who said HP was ok... it helps, I could be changing my mind about the Gateway.
Last edited by gll99; 30th Aug 2013 at 00:37.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
Whatever you buy, be sure to remove the countless "Free to try" and "helper" programs that are installed. One of the ways OEM PC makers can sell them cheaper than you can build is because they get subsidized for putting those free programs on your new PC. The catch is that those "free' programs take up valuable resources. It took hours to clean up my last laptop purchase and after the pre-installed Win8 bluescreened, I did a fresh install of Win7 and called it a day.
Build your own system,makers like hp still sell crappy systems with custom parts such as psu plus have boatloads of crap software installed.I think,therefore i am a hamster.
Thanks for the heads up on the HP 500 at Best Buy missed that one
I am in the same boat as you and ready to replace my 8+ year old patheic PC.
Been advised to pick Intel over AMD but liked the Gateway 4 core AMD $399 over the HP 2 core Intel $430
Kinda torn cause I like a good deal but want something that is good quality will last and if needed easily upgradeable.
What did you end up buying?
It's $440 and that puts it back to an AMD A10-5700 although it has 12 GB of ram and 2 USB 3.0 ports in front. The killer here is that the reviews are generally bad.
As far as building my own...I can't do it for those prices without seriously cutting corners too.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
So 4 core and the graphics card on the Gateway AMD HD 8570 looks alot better than the HP Intel HD 2500 too.
I am leaning towards the Gateway DX4380-EB35 over the HP 500-096ca unless i am missing something here??
btw) If you want Intel and are price conscious but don't mind a tiny case and usb on the back you might look at this Acer I5-3330 3.0 Ghz at BB http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/acer-acer-axc600-desktop-computer-intel-core-i5-3330-1tb-hdd-6gb-ram-windows-8-axc600-eb2c/10255181.aspx?path=72bd62689cf4c2eab717571447fff7b ben02&SearchPageIndex=1.
On quick read I saw no graphics specs. EDIT: I also quickly checked the Acer site for the axc600 and it says 8 usb ports but does not mention usb3.0 so BB could be wrong. It's always buyer beware.
Last edited by gll99; 30th Aug 2013 at 14:23.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
More good info thanks.
Interesting on the Best Buy site under specs they show only 2 cores on the HP 500-096ca?
Just took a look at the Acer AT3 and although looked good the reviews are a concern for me.
I need to move on this and although it appears the Gateway DX4380 hasn't been around long enough to get any reviews I have put one on hold and will swing by and pick it up today. Don't forget your $25 discount if you use paypal.
Any problems I'll let you know.
I have a BD burner / player installed in my now four-year old AMD system, which has just on-board 785G graphics. I can play 2D Blu-Rays with no problem using PowerDVD 12 and a DVI-I connection with my HDCP compliant monitor.
Was just doing a litte follow up on warranty support for the Gateway product when I found at the bottom that all correspondence goes through Acer customer servicer.
Is Gateway an Acer box....or do they just provide the warranty service.
Starting to second guess and look back to HP as 4 core is confirmed on the HP site but am with you on the HDMI slot.
Any input on the graphics card in the dx4380-eb35 hd8579 vs hp 500-096 intel hd 2500?
gateway used to be a company, they were purchased by acer. now it's basically just a name put on a box made in china or mexico.--
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
There's a PC repair company who advertise online (Texas?) about repairs to Acer desktops. http://www.asapcomputerservices.com/acer-computer-repair/ They say they recommend the brand mainly because they use all generic parts. EDIT: ***** Not to mislead future readers. The following statement may not be true I found contrary comments see a later post by me----- I was looking for a definitive answer on proprietary vs non and that combined with the info about Gateway / Acer hopefully means the question is answered for those 2 brands. *********
I used one of those dvi to hdmi plugs on one PC before and they sometimes block an adjoining port. I had to shave one down on 1 PC. It wouldn't be my 1st option but given what you said about hdcp compliance it could be back in the running except the BB site is coy by just saying HDCP compliance information not available. Although the Intel cpu is a strong selling point, it has front usb 3.0 ports and the HD2500 graphics is sufficient for my needs, another thing that hurts the HP 500-096ca I5-3330s is that they say there is no extra external 5.25" slot available. It's not critical but I would like to keep a BD and DVD drive on the system. That could possibly even mean an issue with adding an extra hdd if things are so tight.
It will be good to get your 1st hand observations on the Gateway DX4380.
btw) The price point is not that different for the systems I'm looking at since they range from $400 to $440. It's all about clearing my head, understanding / accepting the advantages and limitations of each unit and then local availability. That's why I'm taking the time to get all my ducks in a row before I step out to buy. I don't want to waste time asking questions or discussing in store with guys who know little about the products except the obvious exterior shine but insist on bluffing their way through a sale. The time spent here is well worth it.
Last edited by gll99; 31st Aug 2013 at 11:40.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
The only statement on the BB website regarding HDCP that I saw applies to the display, but since a monitor is not included with the system BB sells, it is understandable that BB can't say anything about its HDCP compliance. You can look at the specs for Intel's CPU-based graphics and the motherboard chipset to verify HDCP compliance.
Here are the specs for the HP Pavilion 500-096 http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c03826060&lang=...riesId=5358992
A lot of current pre-built systems only allow one optical drive and only 2 HDDs to be installed, so you may have difficulty finding everything you want. One thing you should know is the specs indicate the HP's motherboard has the Intel H61 Express chipset, which means the 4 SATA ports are SATA 3Gbp/s
Thanks for the specs on the HP. That's a great find.
Another variable to consider! The 3TB sata drive I want to add is a Seagate ST3000DM001 6Gbp/s. I know they are backwards compatible since I now have it specially formatted in a XP system with only the 3Gbp/s interface but I don't really know if the gain would be really noticeable choosing a different computer with the right controller speed. When I originally started thinking of upgrading it was with the idea of building and the sata speed was on my list but it totally escaped me when I started looking at pre-built until you brought it up. Nice catch! Although I'm not really sure I can find the MB specs for the Gateway DX4380 and the Acer Acer AT3-100-EF20.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
Fer What It's Worth dept.: HERE is an Acer unit from Newegg. No tax, and free shipping if you take the 5-7 business days option, or +$10 if you need it in 3 days. Check details on the page for additional technical info.
HERE another, rather bottom of the line, but...
As far as HP vs DELL vs ACER.... I regularly work on oldies, I always have between one and three on my bench at any given time. All these manufacturers use jobbers for parts, Dell and HP mostly use Foxconn motherboards so that somewhat dictates what the component setup is going to be. Anything other than hard drive, memory sticks or optical drives is going to be whatever the manufacturer's tech designers configure so you are always on your own. Their tech directive is not quality, but to get the thing together with the least parts and lowest construction time possible. Time=money. NO commercial made unit is going to be the quality of a home-built unit. I have seen old Dell and HP units that were put together in the damndest ways I ever saw. I have a Foxconn/Dell LS-36 board on my bench now with seven (7) blown capacitors. The heatsink & fan assembly pops (yes, I mean "pops") down over the CPU by pushing down until two small plastic tabs on either side of the heatsink retainer "pop" over the protruding lip of the heatsink. That's it. No screws, no lever latches, nada. You get it off by pushing the edge of a screwdriver under the edge of the heatsink lip and prying up slightly until the plastic tab pops under the lip (hoping that it doesn't crack off). Unbelievable. Why didn't they just duct-tape it down? Cheaper.
Anyway, I hope this helps you. These are all under $400.
Last edited by ranchhand; 31st Aug 2013 at 10:06.
Remember he's up in the "Canadian Tundra." Newegg.ca doesn't appear to have any of those models. They've got other stuff, though, like a Canadian Red Cross Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight for those long, sunless winters.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 31st Aug 2013 at 10:08.
I'm working on an older HP machine right now, trying to get the thing to work properly. Everything is a struggle, it's real fussy about RAM; 2 DIMMs might work just fine on their own, but not together, but either will work with a different third one. They appear to have crippled the IDE controller, it won't operate the drives at their full speed even though the chipset is capable. And the BIOS is so sparse it's as if you were loading failsafe settings on all your PCs.
I've seen similar crap from Dell and Lenovo. Acer isn't as bad, Gateway is owned by Acer and often they share internals. The only issue with Acer is their choice of hardware, they seem to only go for the cheapest components i.e. it's all onboard. On the other hand they use of the shelf hardware which is better for repairability.
If you don't mind cheap components you might want to look at barebone kits, tigerdirect is a good place to look if you can stomach the mail in rebates. Newegg has some too and they're not as bad with the MIR BS. Canada Computers is the best place for components, they may not always have the lowest price, but they're never too far off and they will ship all over the country.
Contrary to my previous supposition based on what I found at the time (post#19), Acer may not be consistently using standard atx power supplies after all. I was looking at a higher priced PC from Staples Acer AT3-605-ES20 I7-4770 but couldn't find a lot of info on the internals so tried a shorter name search and came up with the very similar Acer Aspire AT3-605-UR21 Desktop (Black) on Amazon.com. I don't know anything for a fact just passing along another viewpoint from 2 owners of their desktops.
At the bottom of the page 2 new owners say the PSU is non standard.
User identified as Vulfie:
Since the machine has a PCI Express slot, I took it for granted that I'd be able to pop the new video card in once I'd installed the new power supply. We got it home and the machine was fast and silent and my son really liked its speed. We were initially very happy.
When time eventually permitted, I went out and bought a GeForce GTX 660 video card which requires a 450W power supply. So, I bought a 600+W ATX compliant power supply from Fry's and brought it home and pulled the original power supply out with no problem. I then popped the new one in and was suddenly amazed to discover that the plugin on the logic board that the power supply needs to plug into in order to deliver power to the logic board was PROPRIETARY!
The logic board power plug receptacle only has 12 pins! But ATX power supplies *ALL* *REQUIRE* 20 or 24 pin plugins!
NO ONE MAKES A POWER SUPPLY THAT CAN FUNCTION WITH THIS MACHINE BECAUSE OF THE PROPRIETARY POWER RECEPTACLE ON THE LOGIC BOARD!!
The stats were great, aside from the lack of a dedicated video card, but there was an open slot for one, and I'm comfortable choosing and installing one myself. I bought a Radeon 7750 (hardly a demanding card), only to find out that the power supply in the machine was insufficient to run even that. (300W, and most intro cards need 400W) That's annoying, but I thought I could just install a more powerful supply. I'd done the same with my old Dell several years ago. Except for the fact that the motherboard uses some weird 12-pin power connector which isn't compatible with any power supply I was able to find.
When I asked Acer support for information on compatible power supplies, however, they told me that the video card wasn't meant to be user-upgradable (why advertise the open slot?!) and refused to give me the information. This makes the video card slot essentially useless, which is ridiculous on a computer in this price range.
I can deal with the lack of support for what they consider non standard actions by myself but until the PSU confusion is cleared up I guess Acer is off the menu for me.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
Basically you get what you pay for,best to invest in a bit more if you plan to do further upgrades in the future.I think,therefore i am a hamster.
As consumers, when we see a 1/3 size mini PC we might expect non-standard parts but when we see a normal looking case with advertised extra pci-e, sata, ram slots, drive bays etc.. then there are normal expectations. There are things I personally don't care about like the mb / psu being SSD ready / compatible or if it has the 6-8 pin video connector (you can buy an adapter) but the psu must be commonplace. It's something that I've dealt with so often for myself and others that it has to be easily serviceable or replaceable with a standard one. I'm not a gamer so I'm quite satisfied with on-board graphics to save a buck but I also don't like my options taken away by a company that uses a normal looking matx / atx case but then treats it like it should be a sealed system only to be serviced by authorized personnel with uncommon parts. If that's what they expect then advertise it that way and don't try to fool us with the packaging. I also think very little of a company that totally hides their detailed computer specs and won't even answer questions about simple and common owner hardware upgrades.
Last edited by gll99; 31st Aug 2013 at 16:13.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
You are absolutely correct. Dell and Gateway, and now it appears Acer, have been frustratingly uncustomizable, even for run-of-the-mill desktop PCs. I've had more luck with HP in that respect, at least in the past. Carefully check out their current specs to make sure they haven't recently gone over to the dark side.
If not, it may still be a good deal for what you said you were originally looking for.
If so, roll your own.