Need A New Work PC - I'm a Clueless Mac Guy

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jay42, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. Jay42 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    So I need to choose a new PC for work. I haven't purchased a PC since the 90's so I really have no idea what to get. I do most of my work in Excel, Access, and Adobe Reader, so I need at least a 14 or 15" screen and some solid speed for multitasking. Budget is $800 or less. I also need to buy it in person or have it shipped overnight - no build-to-order in 2 weeks.

    Also, any suggestions on how to keep a PC clean and fast would be greatly appreciated. What should a Mac --> PC switcher know or do right off the bat?

    Please help educate a clueless Mac person... :confused:
  2. szolr macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2011
    London, UK
    You're switching from Mac to PC? Normally we're advising people going the other way. lol

    By the sounds of it there's no creative pro tasks involved so you won't need hardware that runs Creative Suite with ease or anything. Just a standard nameless machine with an i3/i5 processor should suit you.
  3. Jay42 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    I should have been clearer that I'm not actually switching; I still have my iMac and MacBook Air! ;) I've always had IT people that handle all of the hardware for work, but now that I'm at a start-up, that's my job.

    I'm in finance, so not really very heavy duty software, but a lot of multitasking. I guess I would also say that I need to connect at least 2 external monitors in the future. I'm thinking this shouldn't be a problem with any modern video card these days... right?
  4. szolr macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2011
    London, UK
    Ah, more information. :) I'm understanding the situation better now. Should be fine for most modern graphics cards from AMD or Nvidia. For properly good multitasking make sure you've got an i5 processor on reflection.

    The trouble in giving specific computer models is that there's loads of Windows lineups out there. With Macs there's 2 laptop lines and 3 desktop lines-hence less to discuss. ;)
  5. Jay42 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    Tell me about it! I much prefer the Mac buying experience, feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment.

    Considering a 15" Dell XPS if I could get it quick enough.
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd probably get an acer or toshiba over a dell, if you're looking for a laptop. Lenovo is a good choice as well.
  7. szolr macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2011
    London, UK
    The only Windows computer brands I'd consider would be Dell or Sony to be honest. I would have looked at HP more intently in the past. But with all their faffing around deciding which of their tech arms to kill off I'd give them some breathing room. I'd not fancy getting a new computer and then finding within a month customer support has dropped to level 0.
  8. RUGERMAN macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2010
    Why not use your Macs or get another one since you're used to them? The software you mention runs fine and if you do occasionally need something that is only available on the PC run Windows on the Mac. Just curious. Without an IT guy to help I know I'd be going nuts in that situation.
  9. Jay42 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    One of our sales guys has a Mac an it apparently causes a lot of headaches from an IT standpoint especially with Access.
  10. Nick McEnjoy macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2011
    You're in finance? What computer have you used for work so far?
    You can install Windows 7 in your Macbook Air and your IT guys should be able to handle it without problem.
    If you have to get a Windows laptop, I recommend a Lenovo Thinkpad.
  11. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    ok hope you haven't pulled the plug yet!
    now a huge problem was knowing your location and all [not to be creepy or anything, but you know to see if there is a store in your vicinity and all]
    but the first site you should look at is
    ^they have a BUNCH of deals.

    This brings me to:
    which is


    you can also look at:

    in particular i was looking at the Acer, for $500 or even that dell for $600

    here is an HP:

    I was actually talking to my friend a while back about HP and their products, and he said that HP 's business notebooks are much much better then the consumer notebook. MR does state that HP is still in the PC business, so i don't think you will lose out if you try [especially the HP Business]
    but if you keep checking dealnews say everyday or something, you will find an amazing laptop for a decent price.
    .But ill keep checking if i find some really great deals.

    Finally, I would lower your budget, 800 bucks for a mid range PC is waay too much. Shoot for $500-$600 ish. I mean it's an obvious choice to get the more expensive product [well for me lolz] so if i lower my budget i find that if i get a laptop at that budget level i would be more satisfied. To simple things up: if my original budget was $800 and i made it $600. I would be equally satisfied with the $600 product as i am with the $800 product. Psychology :D
  12. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    As a Windows tech I will say do NOT go with Dell, Sony, or HP. They often have the highest fail rates in any company I work at.

    I would suggest an Asus. Do NOT confuse that with Acer :p
  13. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    Rosewill challenger case $39
    AMD x6 1090 CPU $$159
    8Gb RAM $39
    AM3 Mobo $79
    DVD RW $29
    Win7 $79
    ATI video card (mid end) $89

    Total = ~$515 (pricing from and build it yourself = easy, cost effective and more powerful than what you'd buy in that price range.

    If you watch the sales you can get better pricing also!
  14. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    I've wondered about Asus, but dont know anyone that's had one. What makes them good and where's the best (not the cheapest) place to buy one?
  15. Jay42, Oct 30, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011

    Jay42 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    Considering this Asus. Not the smallest and lightest but seems like a good machine.

    I need a laptop so I can work at home if necessary and have all my files with me, so the iMac's not really an option. I would love to dual boot my MBA with Windows 7 but I am worried about HD space, and I was told that if I want to use my Mac, I would have to solve any IT issues I ran into. I suspect there wouldn't be many running W7 with bootcamp, but it makes me nervous. No IT team at the new company, only about 10 people working here and we're very busy!
  16. stordoff macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2009
    Why not use Bootcamp and use Windows on your Mac? Once it's set up, it shouldn't be any different to using a Windows laptop, and saves you buying new hardware.

    If you do buy a new laptop, watch out for the ability to connect _two_ external displays. AFAIK, it's not a common feature.
  17. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    I'm sold on the Asus, but once again isn't this a bit too much for financial multi tasking?
    Don't get me wrong, I think that ASUS is an amazing choice, definitely a keeper. But you might be able to find a better deal?

    But seriously, great choice! Just look on Amazon or something [tax + shipping free??]
  18. Jay42 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    I actually picked this one up at Best Buy since they have a 14 day return period with no restocking fee. Getting something fast and reliable is more important to me than saving $100 here or there at this point. I will probably sell it once we get some more funding and square away our office IT situation.

    The only thing I would trade it for is something smaller and lighter with at least an i5 and 4gb of memory. I also might try experimenting with bootcamp on my MBA before the return period is up.
  19. Kyles3399 macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2010

    Hi, Just thought I'd chip in my two cents. why don't you just buy a copy of windows and bootcamp it onto the AIR, That would be much cheaper than a $800 new laptop. If your air has a ssd >64GB there shouldn't be much of a issue with space. Then you don't have to waste your time with crappy windows machines.
    Good Luck
  20. heyloo macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2006
    ^ Absolutely. I'm puzzled why @szolr would suggest a Dell or Sony as the 'reliable' computers because they've been far from being reliable. Dell is 'okay' being that it's reasonably easy and cheap to fix, and you could practically get it fixed anywhere; however with Sony computers...ugh.

    Seeing from your last post, it looks like your choice is pretty good. Asus makes solid computers and the specs look pretty good too. I'd check out the BootCamp option as well; however having a 'real' Windows computer to assist you at work might not be a bad idea either.

    I'm all for Best Buy's 14-day return policy too. It's quick and easy. I had some bluetooth issues with my MBA and returned it hassle-free. I know Amazon does an excellent job with customer service and without tax, but the convenience of driving up to the Best Buy and walking away with a new computer (or a refund) wins for me.

    Best of luck! (Also I don't know how intensive you would be working with your Windows computer but BootCamp + Parallels working off the BootCamp partition may be a pretty good option too) :)

  21. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Newegg usually has a large selection of Asus computers, but Best Buy has been getting them too and often run some really nice deals on them.

    We started replacing the Sony's and Dell's at work with Asus machines and they are extremely reliable. We've only replaced about 500 (maybe 700 not sure, I'm not at work) so far but not one has ever had an issue hardware wise with them yet. I cannot say the same about the Dells, HP's and the Sony's.

    Many of the techs have Asus machines too and do nothing but praise them. You can usually get a good amount of hardware for the price. If I were using Windows, I'd have an Asus machine in a heartbeat.
  22. DirtySanchez6 macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2011
    I could help you with this. I have built numerous pc and hackintosh systems. If you would like personal professional support than I would be happy to assist you. I am in the North Jersey area about 20 min west of the GWB!
  23. staradder macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2011
    From my experienced stay away from


    Recommended brands are as follows

    These 3 i believe are the top of the line and they provide excellent laptops.
  24. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
  25. CustyMac macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2011
    Actually the new Samsung Ultrabook ultra slim computer is pretty sick! I personally love the Mac air but I have to say after messing around with the new Samsung, it is plenty powerful to be a serious desktop replacement and has all the curb appeal you could ask for. I'm serious!

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