Best/worst computer brands.

CastletonSnob

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If you don't feel like building your own computer and would rather get a prebuilt, what are the best major computer brands? The worst?
 

Gordon_4

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If you don't feel like building your own computer and would rather get a prebuilt, what are the best major computer brands? The worst?
Well, you don't have to go for a brand name. There are boutique builders who will assemble a PC of your own specification who aren't a big box brand like HP or Dell. And I personally go with Dell - they don't make the best machines and Alienware are a shocking rip off - but Dell have (or had) some of the best after purchase support. You pay for it, but its good.



Now Linus Tech Tips are not the be-all, end-all. However these are interesting looks at both big box and boutique builders.
 

Chimpzy

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Hmm, I wouldn't really worry too much about the brand. They're largely interchangeable in terms of actual component quality. You can have a bad time of it even with supposed high quality brands if you're unlucky and lose at the silicon lottery, and vice versa, get great bang for your buck from a low tier brand. I've personally had good experiences with Asus, albeit for laptops. But as Gordon points out, if you're going prebuilt, might as well go with whatever gets your the best customer support, which Dell does indeed have a decent reputation for. Tho I've heard Lenovo's is pretty good too.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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I would avoid Dell, Lenovo, and HP like the plague actually.

Dell sucks because they use a lot of proprietary parts that prevent you from upgrading your system in the future.

HP has bad quality control.

I have my own beef with Lenovo going back to 2009 when I bought a Lenovo thinkpad laptop for school. It ended up dying within 6 months because of a known issue with the motherboard which Lenovo refused to fix under their warranty. It was a $1300 laptop and fixing it out of warranty would have cost me over $400 and I didn't even like the computer all that much (I had gotten it cheaper through the company my dad worked for at the time). Ended up tossing the laptop and buying a $700 Acer laptop instead, which I actually still own and still works. I played overwatch on it about 6 months ago and managed to get a whole 18fps average on the lowest graphics settings and it didn't even catch on fire.

I don't typically use prebuilt computers anymore, I prefer to build myself, but from what I hear ibuypower and maingear are pretty good, though both are more gamer focused. Not sure what's good for a basic office type set-up. I will say that my old job had mini-desktops from Lenovo and I hated them with a passion and constantly threatened to throw my computer across the room every time it froze in excel.

If you have a microcenter near you I would recommend checking out their prebuilds. They put them together in-house with off the shelf components and they do a pretty good job and the sales people are fairly knowledgeable
 
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Dirty Hipsters

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Well, you don't have to go for a brand name. There are boutique builders who will assemble a PC of your own specification who aren't a big box brand like HP or Dell. And I personally go with Dell - they don't make the best machines and Alienware are a shocking rip off - but Dell have (or had) some of the best after purchase support. You pay for it, but its good.



Now Linus Tech Tips are not the be-all, end-all. However these are interesting looks at both big box and boutique builders.
I like how you included Linus's videos when talking about Dell's support when Dell completely ripped Linus off in their prebuilt in the last secret shopper.


Don't buy shit from Dell.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
I tend to get Lenovos for my clients and they work well and do good support, but my friend got one that had endless issues and their support gave her the runaround. So, its kinda hit or miss.

Dells used to suck but they have gotten a lot better since they went private again.

I've had bad luck with acer machines and HP ones but few enough of my clients have them so I can't really say they are all together bad.
 

Drathnoxis

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I have a Gateway laptop that's served me well for over 10 years. I've never heard of Gateway before or since, but there you go.

The number of HP machines that arrive DOA is honestly shocking.
That's redundant.
 

laggyteabag

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I can't really offer much advice over PC manufacturers, but I would like to chime in and say that in my experience, MSI parts, and Corsair peripherals, have garbage software.

If you are in the market for peripherals, my pick would certainly be Logitech.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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I work at a business that is (among other things) an authorized HP reseller.

The number of HP machines that arrive DOA is honestly shocking.
Does HP completely skimp on padding when shipping their systems? I've heard nothing but horror stories that only seem to make sense if they send all their PC in cardboard boxes with no foam.
 

Gordon_4

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Does HP completely skimp on padding when shipping their systems? I've heard nothing but horror stories that only seem to make sense if they send all their PC in cardboard boxes with no foam.
Dunno about HP, but Dell have been shipping desktops in all cardboard packing for at least the past seven years. Mainly as a way to cut down on waste I think.
 

Baffle

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I've got an old Acer laptop I paid ~£600 for almost ten years ago, still going pretty well though the battery life is rubbish now.

I tried downloading some drivers for an Asus or Acer laptop I have, which is a few years newer, but the tech support and website are just shit.
 

Agema

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Well, you don't have to go for a brand name. There are boutique builders who will assemble a PC of your own specification who aren't a big box brand like HP or Dell. And I personally go with Dell - they don't make the best machines and Alienware are a shocking rip off - but Dell have (or had) some of the best after purchase support. You pay for it, but its good.
I buy Dell for my laptops; friend in IT recommended them to me back when I first got one (2008 or so) and I've always been happy with them, so stuck with them. On the other hand, I think the market's sufficiently competitive that none of the major players are going to get away with a worse than decent laptop. I feel like this about mobile phones as well really. There is almost no such thing as a bad mobile phone. One £700 phone is much the same as another and one £200 phone is much the same as another: the differences are so small it doesn't matter which one you get, they'll all serve you fine.

I get my desktop stuff from various indy online stores; can grab something good off-the-peg or custom built. Scan.co.uk was usually best value for money for individual components if you wanted to make your own, but I felt that Overclockers.co.uk did a better job on whole systems. And when I lived in London I used Yoyotech, because it was the only shop in the Tottenham Court Road area of London (where there are loads and loads of computer hardware stores) where the guys inside knew anything about computers. It was dispiriting traipsing around all these shops speaking to salesmen who clearly had learnt lots of words connected to computers but didn't know what any of them meant, and then there's this one store where everyone knew their stuff.
 

Baffle

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One £700 phone is much the same as another and one £200 phone is much the same as another: the differences are so small it doesn't matter which one you get, they'll all serve you fine.
I think Huawei phones usually punch above their weight in the £200 range, but they are kind of intrusive. Something I think about more now with phones is whether they can realistically be repaired for a cracked screen (which IME Huawei can't).
 

Dirty Hipsters

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For those who think Dell's customer service is good, here's another example:

 

Phoenixmgs

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All brands are basically good and bad, everyone makes super budget level models and top-tier quality models basically. It's really based on the model and not the brand.

The key with looking for a pre-built would be the power supply. Regardless of the brand, they give you the power supply for what components are in there at the time vs what you may need in the future if you say add a video card. I think you'll at least need a 500 watt power supply for a video card today, probably even higher to be safe, 750 watt should be enough I would think off the top of my head. The best bet is to buy a prebuilt with a video card so they are forced to give a good power supply. However, with the availability of video cards today, the price will be on the high end. You can look at what power supply comes with an expensive pre-built with a video card and ask to upgrade to that power supply and buy a pre-built with a Ryzen APU (model number will end in a G) to play most games that aren't current AAA games until you have the money for a video card later on and the system will hold you over until then. Also, look at which Windows version you get (try for Pro instead of home), 16GBs of RAM should be pretty standard now, and make sure it has an SSD vs HDD. Depending on what you need/want like wi-fi or a disc drive look to make sure it has that. Just filter by those kind of things on an online store and you should be able to find a few models, then see if there's Youtube reviews for those models.
 

Agema

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I think Huawei phones usually punch above their weight in the £200 range, but they are kind of intrusive. Something I think about more now with phones is whether they can realistically be repaired for a cracked screen (which IME Huawei can't).
That's almost certainly because China subsidises Huawei so that it can cut a fair chunk off the sale cost of its phones.

Of course, this is a tricky accusation. Western countries also effectively subsidise their companies with R&D tax breaks, large government grants (often via defence funding) and so on. So it might more be an accusation that Huawei (amongst other key companies) gets an unusually large amount of government support compared to its competitors. Much as I generally like to avoid conspiracy theory, I avoid Chinese tech: I don't really trust what the like of Facebook and Google do with my data, never mind companies which arguably have uncomfortably close links to the Chinese government.
 

Gergar12

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My ASUS gaming laptop is pretty good. As for dell, they have good customer support.