Mac guy buying PC for school

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jeffy.dee-lux, May 28, 2009.

  1. jeffy.dee-lux macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #1
    Hi there. i've just been given the go ahead by my advisor to purchase a desktop PC for my office at school. Unfortunately, I've been a mac guy since the beginning, so I don't know much at all about the PC market. I'm a Mechanical engineering grad student, so I'll be using this PC for 3d CAD, Matlab/Simulink, and LabVIEW. I've been asked to find an appropriate PC and give an approximate price range for what I need. I kind of wish I had been given a price range and told to find an appropriate PC within that range, but my guess is anything under $1500 including monitor should be okay.

    Any suggestions for brands/processors or any input at all?

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    I run, if one is close by, to best buy and see what they have and then give Dell a call to get a price. You may want to consider checking out a local shop that builds specialty computers and see what they have to offer.
     
  3. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    I would check out your campus computer store. There's a good chance the staff there will be more knowledgeable than at BestBuy/Futureshop, and probably at least one person that has dealt with people switching between Mac and PCs.

    Good luck!
     
  4. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502

    jtgotsjets

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    #4
    Tell them you want an iMac and throw windows on it?
     
  5. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #5
    haha... that's what i was thinking! In fact the Sys admin guy for my department suggested a mac pro, he's also a mac guy.

    The campus computer store sells an HP dc7800 for $849.00


    Convertible Minitower
    Core 2 Duo E6750 2.66GHz Processor
    2GB PC2-6400 (DDR2-800) 2x1GB
    160GB SATA NCQ SMART IV
    NVIDIA QdroNVS290 256MB PCIex16
    USB Standard Keyboard
    USB 2-Button Optical Scroll Mouse
    SATA 16X SuperMulti DVD writer LightScribe
    Windows XP PRO



    How does that sound? My mbp harddrive is twice that size!
     
  6. maclover001 macrumors 6502a

    maclover001

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #6
    Get a Mac and either use CrossOver or Bootcamp it.
     
  7. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #7
    No Problem ~

    Just get an Imac or a Mac Pro.
    If you advisor say's anything, tell him he told you to get a 'PC'(personal computer) and that's what you did!
    If he said he meant a windows based pc, just tell him, it can run Windows natively as well! :D
     
  8. JuanGuapo macrumors 6502a

    JuanGuapo

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #8
    If you have an Intel-based Mac, there's really no reason you can't Boot Camp your computer w/ Windows XP, Vista, or 7.

    Otherwise, if you have to buy a PC, get a Sony. At least it'll look nice. ;)
     
  9. dsnort macrumors 68000

    dsnort

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Location:
    In persona non grata
    #9
    If you decide on a PC, see if you can wait out long enough to get Win 7, or a free upgrade when it's released. It's a ton better than Vista.
     
  10. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #10
    What a crap deal. You could configure an i7 Dell under your budget. If all you are doing is running Windows, and CAD in particular, stick to a PC as you will be getting a much faster machine for the limited budget you are working with. I'm not a big fan of HP in the last 5 years. Dell or Lenovo.
     
  11. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #11
    Can you get the money set to buy a computer, and build one yourself?
     
  12. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #12
    Ya I've got Windows on my MBP, and I run some of my stuff for school on there. But if I can get a school owned computer (free of charge to me) for all my work, I'd rather save my mac for personal stuff and music recording. Some of these programs take up tons of space and I'd rather keep my Windows partition down around 30 gigs.

    I could probably convince my advisor to get a mac, but I would probably get tons of flack for wasting money if its just gonna be running windows anyways.

    I don't have to worry about waiting for Windows 7. My school will be paying for any software I use, and they are planning on upgrading to Windows 7 soon after it's available (they've stuck with XP for the most part). That's what I like about this HP, it comes with XP! But thanks for the input on that HP. Should I really push to find a deal on something with an i7 processor? I'm surprised to hear this isn't a good deal, I would have figured it would have a bit of a discount being the standard desktop for the school.
     
  13. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #13
    what would building one myself involve? Buying a box, motherboard, hard drive, ram, networking stuff and USB stuff and putting it all together? Sounds like fun, but I dunno if i could really justify spending the time on that - i've got work to do on this computer! The billing might be a bit complicated too.
     
  14. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #14
    Most cities have plenty of small companies that will build custom boxes for you. It might be worth doing if you have specifics needs or wants.

    But really, Dell has some very good offerings at reasonable prices, and they offer a decent degree of customization, so I would take a look at their site first. There's often discounts on Dell products, too, so you should be able to snag a good deal.
     
  15. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #15
    It's not hard- All you need is a case, motherboard, power supply (A good one, most that come with cases aren't good), processor, RAM, CPU fan (The stock Intel one is decent, but not for stuff you're doing), Video card, and Hard drive.


    Everything really fits together on one place. Mostly everything is labeled on the motherboard. It's cheaper than buying a computer outright, and its more fun. Plus experience!!!
     
  16. pinoyplaya macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    #16
    Consider building your own computer. Will save you a lot of money and get the parts you need. Especially since the software you mentioned will require a different graphics card to get the best results.
     
  17. kyleaa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    #17
    I work at a state university, so I don't know exactly what your situation is, but we would never be allowed to build our own computer. State budget restrictions are ridiculous. If your campus does have a computer shop they probably are well versed in departmental purchases and should be able to set you up well.
     
  18. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #18
    I've experienced that as well; even though it's cheaper, the people that keep track of grant expenditures don't like seeing a bunch of part names they don't understand.

    And buying a Mac just to run Windows is stupid. Try not to listen to all of the fanboys here, save money, and buy a PC desktop as your advisor asked you to.
     
  19. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #19
    thanks a lot for your advice. I'm simply going to go with the HP tower described above. I'd look at a Dell, but a campus store purchase will make the transaction a bit easier.
     
  20. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #20
    Good move. An iMac is tempting I admit, and I'd lean that way too. But for practical purposes, for your office, you're making the right move. Ignore the guy who suggested a Sony. And the guy who said the HP tower is a ripoff, notice a small detail: The HP tower has a nVidia Quadro card, which is a professional graphics card, and expensive as all hell. So it's not quite of a rip off as he might think.
     
  21. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #21
    seriously why the heck are people reccomending an apple?

    its for a department in engineering in which there are NO MAC COMPATIBLE programs

    why to even suggest a mac is beyond me
     
  22. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #22
    Got the computer this week, ended up being a DC7900. It's got a 3GHz processor instead of 2.66.
     

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