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Thinking about getting a desktop to replace the Toshiba laptop which I'm using as a tower (with another screen) since the Toshiba's screen went dark!

1. Should I wait until Vista is retired? If yes, when will that be?

2. No games, no music, but lots of files, this website, photos, etc. How much memory and other stats should I look for?

3. Brand suggestions?

4. Any of you have good experience with Server Hosts for a high traffic website? If yes, which ones?
 

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I wish you luck with this, these decisions are head bangers, you have to second guess the future including your own needs.

Because of my limited knowledge,(most things) I wouldn't presume to recommend any brand, but I am curious that you are doing a laptop to desktop route, the trend is the other way with sometimes 19" screens.

If you are to go with a desktop it is a good time to check out larger monitor screens, they have become affordable at 24" and even 26", just the thing for viewing Asia trip images.:icon_smile:

F.
 

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Can't help you with the server problem but as for a laptop I bought an HP last year from Costco and have had very good luck with it. It runs Vista and I've had no trouble with it. Hope that helps.
 

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Vista is better than it was when it first came out. Pretty much everything uses it now, and it will probably be around another five years like Windows XP was. I'd say in that case you may as well go for it. With Vista you need to be packing at least 2 GB of RAM and have a great processor, as it is more memory- and processor-intensive than its forebears.

Personally, I suggest finding someone you know (if you do) who builds their own computers and asking for help in selecting parts and putting it together. Building one that is fast enough to meet today's demands is not that hard and is much less expensive than a pre-built one, especially if you buy the parts from NewEgg.com.

Good luck!
 

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Vista is much better.

I would look for ~2GB of memory. For a hard drive, I don't know how much you currently use, but you can check that easily. I would say 500 GB should be plenty, although on Newegg you can get a 1.5 TB drive for less than $200.

I hear good things about Sony's computers. They're a bit expensive, but you can get blu-ray and the like. I build my own, so I can't help you with brands.
 

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I always have been and always will be a Mac user, as for PC's and Windows there the bane of life as they use it at work. My biggest complaint is the structure and architecture of the filing system. If you want ease of use with your applications and a stress free life get a Mac, the 24 inch is superb both in the way you can relate to the information on the screen and the aesthetics of the machinery.

With my new Mac I sit down and can here Jean-Luc Picard say in that senatorial voice 'Engage.':icon_smile_big:
 

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No specific brand name blows my mind as they all come with their respective pros and cons. Value for money, I'd say go the Acer route. HD wise, the bigger the better so I'd say you go for a minimum of 500gb (as someone mentioned prior, 1.5tb is available.) RAM shouldn't be less than 4gb to enjoy Vista even though 2gb is sufficient. So shoot for the following combo irrespective of brand name:

Vista Home Premium, Business or Ultimate
22 or 24 inch flat screen monitor
500gb to 1.5tb Hard drive
4gb RAM
Dual or Quad Core processor
 

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Recommendations from my friends, who do nothing but spec out computer equipment for a largish university:

Dell XPS M-series - lightweight and loaded with features, built well for a Dell

Lenovo Thinkpad - Still built very well

HP Compaq series notebooks - These are the business laptops, built solidly, much better than the consumer Presario models

Apple Macbooks - Outstanding laptops, I know a windows guy who runs one with Vista, he hardly uses OS X, though he's getting to like it

As for specs:
Don't worry about the processor speed, any celeron/core/athlon will work fine
2GB of RAM is plenty these days
Get a fast internal hard drive, 7,200RPM. Don't worry about space, 100GB should be fine. Then get a 700GB USB hard drive to store your files, they are much cheaper than buying a large internal hard drive and plenty fast for storing files.
Vista is fine, but get the Home Premium or Business editions, Vista Basic is so stripped down it's just silly.
 

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That's what I had read, that Windows 7 was coming out soon to replace Vista which reported has lots of problems!! But I didn't expect it to be as late as end of 2009!
Vista isn't bad with new hardware designed run it. Most people have problems upgrading older hardware, or getting older peripherals to work with Vista. If you have a printer or scanner more than a few years old, you might have issues. Otherwise, Vista is a decent OS - I like the GUI better than XP's, I always go back to the Windows 2000 style interface when using XP. I don't mind the updated Vista UI at all.

Seems to be some sentiment to keep with a laptop! Any rationale?
I thought you wanted a new laptop. If you don't *need* a laptop, by all means get a tower. Dells aren't bad, as long as you aren't expecting it to last forever. The OptiPlex line, designed for business, tend to use better components than the Inspiron consumer-oriented line. If there is a Microcenter near you, their PowerSpec systems are pretty good for the price.

I'd also recommend looking at the Mac Mini - you can still run Windows on it, it's small, efficient, and quiet, and will probably do everything you could want it to.
 

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You sure it won't be like Windows ME?
We are talking about Microsoft - the only thing you can be sure of is that the product will have lots of teething troubles when launched. I think of Vista as the modern ME. The corporate customers' reaction to Vista was a shock for Microsoft. We will see what that's going to result in.

Seems to be some sentiment to keep with a laptop! Any rationale?
Convenience mostly. Easy to put out of sight or change locations with. A desktop/tower will always be more customizable than a laptop. Since you don't seem to have special needs that doesn't matter though. A lot comes down to personal preferences. I prefer big external monitors over a laptop's screen. I do a lot of things with my laptop, but if it were my sole computer I would still hook up two external monitors and external keyboard and mouse to it for the bulk of my work.
 

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If need (or really want) the convenience of carrying (lugging) your computer around, and you think you will do it and use it fairly regularly... get a laptop. That's the ONLY reason to choose a laptop over a desktop/tower. In every other respect a laptop means a lot of compromises.

Other than portability, the desktop/tower has all the advantages... easier to upgrade, better keyboard, more bang for your buck, choose your monitor, etc. etc.
 

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I just kind of jumped to the decision of wanting a desk top since I'd had the problems with the Toshiba Laptop.

Should I reconsider a laptop?
NO. Unless you are going to travel with it then get the desktop. You can get more horsepower for less money, it will be easier to upgrade and repair, and you will have a wider selection of systems, options and repair centers.

btw, are you actually running this site from your laptop or just designing, editing, and backing it up there? That will make a big difference in what you want to get.

In general, get the biggest fastest CPU you can afford. Next, the memory (RAM). Vista has a minimum requirement of 512MB. While it will run (walk?) on that you would be better off with pen and paper!:icon_pale: At least 1GB of RAM is needed to get any performace. I suggest 2GB or at least memory slots to upgrade to that if it is not in todays' budget. 2GB is what Vista runs best on. Any more and you start running into problems with memory overhead cutting your performance. Video card should be listed as Vista comaptible and have a minimum of 128MB of video memory (more means faster). Video cards run hot. Make sure yours has its own active cooling system (fan, water, etc.) Hard drive: 500GB or better SATA. Drives have dropped in price so go with 1TB. I usually use Seagate drives for machines I need to count on. Get two and mirror them if your life depends on this system. Eternet port with a 1Gb rating (1000/100/10). Make sure it has enough USB2.0 ports to hand all the garbage your may want to hang off of it (printers, scanners, cameras, etc.). Try to get a system that does NOT come with all kinds of 'free' software. Have only the programs you will use installed. This will save you a lot of headaches later.

Computers are obsolete before you buy them. Your top of the line system today will be your middle of the road computer in under six months. So, just like good clothing, buy the best that you can afford today so it is not totally out of style before you even try it on. :teacha:
 

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I'd be looking somewhere along these specs: 2GB RAM, Core 2 Duo processor, 250-500 GB hard drive. Lesser priorities are a DVD-RW drive, Blu-Ray drive, sound card, video card, etc.

Definitely get a larger monitor, 20" or bigger. You won't regret it. Best upgrade I ever bought.

Windows 7 won't be out for at least a year, and even then, it's mostly just a spruced up version of Vista. Vista gets knocked around, but it is workable for most people's web and email usage.
 
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