Requesting advice on new system

A little over a year ago (October, 2008), I purchased an inexpensive laptop (Toshiba) that came with a DVD burner (Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-K17LF ATA). I’d never had a computer with DVD burning capabilities, and once I found this website, I recognized the value of backing up my (growing) DVD collection.

To date I’ve managed to backup close to 1,000 DVDs, using the invaluable advice and software suggestions provided here (many thanks to the vets here and the developers of DVDFab HD, DVDShrink and ImgBurn)! I’ve used primarily Verbatim and TY media and for the most part have produced flawless copies of my originals.

I realize this little laptop won’t last forever (especially the burner) and I’ve decided to purchase a desktop. I’m just wondering what features I should pay particular attention to - especially in the area of the DVD burner.

I guess my question is, what would you buy (selecting from what’s currently available) if you needed to replace your current system in the near future? Respectfully, I trust the information I’ve received here in the past far more than that I’d get from an electronics store salesman.

PS My collection consists primarily of standard DVDs which I play on an upconverting HD player. I haven’t yet begun to purchase BlueRay DVDs, nor do I own a BlueRay player.

so your saying all you have right now is a Laptop?

if so and your looking for a desktop i would just get something decent cause i dont think your the type who plays games on there PC which would mean you dont need a monster PC for your basic needs

typically speaking if you get a desktop i would get something at least dual core (from Intel since they have the fastest CPU’s) and probably 2GB of ram. (2GB of ram if the PC u get comes with Vista… otherwise you could get by with 1GB on WindowsXP if your just doing rather basic PC stuff) and as far as hard drive space i think anything new (which will most likely be 250GB range or more) will most likely satisfy your needs unless you download alot of stuff… but if you like keeping copys of dvd’s you copy on your PC for a backup then getting a large hard drive will be a good idea and you can find 1TB (i.e. 1000GB, meaning about 212 standard 4.7GB DVD’s could be stored on it ) hard drives for around the 100 dollar mark nowadays.

as far as DVD Burners… odds are no major mfg offers good ones so as soon as you get that replacing it might not be a bad idea. but not to worry since you can get a DVD Burner for dirt cheap on newegg.com (roughly 30 dollars out the door give or take a little, in fact u can get some in the low 20’s out the door right now)

so i guess it just depends on what your going to do with the PC as to what you want to get :wink: , but i suspect what i said above is a good ball park figure.

but if you already have a desktop computer… depending on it’s specs all you might need to get DVD burning capabilities is to buy a dvd burner online (i suggest newegg.com if your in the USA) for around 30 dollars… which will most likely work unless your current desktop PC is ancient.

p.s. you said, “I trust the information I’ve received here in the past far more than that I’d get from an electronics store salesman.” … that about sums it up especially in the DVD Burner/Media dept cause you can pretty much bet money that vast majority of typical salesman dont have a clue about what’s good and what’s not etc etc.

Thanks for the reply, [I]NBR[/I]. I figured the major PC makers would only include generic DVD burners, but thought I’d ask anyway. I wouldn’t have a clue how to install a DVD burner into a desktop, so I guess I’ll just pick a machine that has my other requirements for memory, hard drive size, etc. and make do with what they give me.

The only other project I’m involved in is transferring my VHS tapes (home movies) so that they can be edited and burned to DVD. Because of that, I’d probably want at least 500GB of space. (The 1T looks cool - may have to look for that)!

I’m wondering how soon they’ll begin to include BluRay burners as standard issue on most PCs. I’m still on the fence about those, but just curious.

Again, thanks for your input. I always know I can count on good advice being offered here.

You can always add a dvd drive later if you like. Get one with a SATA interface, like the Pioneer 216.

And adding a hard drive afterwards isn’t all that hard either. 1tb drives are down around $100 these days at Newegg.

Blu Ray burners are not mainstream yet and will probably not be for a while yet, not until the drives come closer to the $100 mark and the media prices fall a long way. People have gotten spoiled with cheap dvd drives and media. :slight_smile:

Thanks for checking in, Kerry :slight_smile:

You have to realize you’re talking to a real “newbie” here. I couldn’t “add” a dvd drive later if my life depended on it (well, maybe if it was life or death LOL), but other than following directions on how to rip and burn DVDs, I’m pretty technologically challenged.

I’ll most likely just keep my eyes peeled for something in the retail market that sounds like it will meet all my needs, even if it means I have to forego the better burning devices that most here seem to prefer.

One thing I dislike about this laptop is it’s inability to check my burns - when I followed the instructions provided here on CDFreaks, it appears my model burner isn’t an option for doing that. And although I realize it isn’t critically necessary, I always thought it would be kind of cool to be able to do that.

But … thanks anyway, neighbor :slight_smile: (I’m in SE Texas).

Ah, well if you want to do scans, you’ll want a Lite-on drive. And I believe we could guide you through installation pretty easily if you ever want to try it.

Good to meet another Texan on the board! :slight_smile:

Look for one with a fast CPU and more than 2 slots for RAM, upgrading DVD burners and HDD drives is easy.

[quote=Kerry56;2206432]Ah, well if you want to do scans, you’ll want a Lite-on drive. And I believe we could guide you through installation pretty easily if you ever want to try it.

Good to meet another Texan on the board! :)[/quote]

I’ve seen the Lite-on drives mentioned frequently here. Any experience with the external versions of that brand? I notice many here own more than one type/brand. Again, the burner is my primary concern with whatever new system I choose.

Hi CC - what’s the minimum speed processor you’d consider if buying today? My current machine is 1.80, but browsing on Frys.com (there are a couple stores near me), I found several systems with between 2.50 and 3.00 GHz, with 8GB memory and 500GB to 1T HD. Unfortunately, they were all sold out (economy sucks, right? LOL)

Watch out what you buy at Fry’s, meaning look at the product real close as they sell a lot of refurbished stuff so make sure it’s NEW, just my 2 cents on Fry’s as I have done a lot of shopping there myself. If you buy online I would look at Newegg.com or Meritline.com

Thanks, Jimbo. I did notice all the refurbished stuff Fry’s sells. Most comes with a 90 day warranty, so probably better for more advanced users than newbies like me. I need the maximum warranty :slight_smile:

I’ll definitely check out Newegg and Meritline.

A machine with an Intel Core2Duo between 2.5 and 3ghz is going to be fine for most people. If the computer comes with more than 3gb of memory, you’ll need a 64bit operating system to utilize all of it, and the only good Windows version is Vista 64.

I don’t use external burners, so can’t help there. You should look in the Lite-on forum here at cdfreaks, and maybe read a few of the reviews.

LadyC. The slowest C2D system is plenty fast. Even a dual core 2.8ghz is fast enough if you are just coping dvd’s. 2gbs of memory is plenty. 2 separate HD’s would be beneficial. Unless you are storing them forever on your HD, you don’t need huge HD’s. But buy HD’s as large as you can reasonably afford.

If you are encoding video, that is an entirely different matter.

I’ll probably be lynched for saying “Dell” ;), but I have two Dell desktops (one Dimension E520, and an Inspiron 530, which I just purchased).

Edit: Just saw Rob’s post - my older Dell is a 1.8 GHz Core2Duo, and certainly fast enough for me :iagree:

I’m very happy with them performance-wise. I got to pick and choose the components that I wanted.

Talking of refurbs, my older Dell is a refurb, and it’s worked beautifully since the day I got it. Stuff can be sold as refurb for a number of reasons, doesn’t always mean the stuff is second hand or used. :wink:

[quote=Kerry56;2206795]A machine with an Intel Core2Duo between 2.5 and 3ghz is going to be fine for most people. If the computer comes with more than 3gb of memory, you’ll need a 64bit operating system to utilize all of it, and the only good Windows version is Vista 64.

I don’t use external burners, so can’t help there. You should look in the Lite-on forum here at cdfreaks, and maybe read a few of the reviews.[/quote]

Thanks for the input, Kerry. I’ll definitely look into the Lite-on forum - can’t hurt to have a backup burner just in case. The warranty ran out on this little laptop in October and although it’s performing fine for now, I know these burners don’t last forever (especially as much as I use it). I bought an external HD yesterday so I’ll have a backup in case something goes wrong. Oh, and I just remembered that the VISA card I used to purchase the laptop doubles the warranty, so really I have until next October.

[quote=Arachne;2206805]I’ll probably be lynched for saying “Dell” ;), but I have two Dell desktops (one Dimension E520, and an Inspiron 530, which I just purchased).

Edit: Just saw [B]Rob[/B]'s post - my older Dell is a 1.8 GHz Core2Duo, and certainly fast enough for me :iagree:

I’m very happy with them performance-wise. I got to pick and choose the components that I wanted.

Talking of refurbs, my older Dell is a refurb, and it’s worked beautifully since the day I got it. Stuff can be sold as refurb for a number of reasons, doesn’t always mean the stuff is second hand or used. ;)[/quote]

Yesterday I was browsing desktop reviews on Cnet and they have a couple of Dells as ‘editor’s choice’. I like the idea of choosing the components a lot, so I’ll definitely be looking at their website. I shopped a couple of the big box stores yesterday, but none carry the Dell brand so I always forget about it.

I agree about the refurb stuff. My very first laptop was a refurbished Toshiba that took tons of abuse (I was traveling a LOT) and the thing just refused to die in spite of even being dropped a couple of times LOL.

Arachne - if you don’t mind my asking, what were some of the key components you decided upon with your latest Dell purchase (the Inspiron 530)? Right now, I’m pretty much just focusing on processor speed and HD size, but I realize I need to do something fairly quickly (before Windows7 hits LOL).

[QUOTE=LadyC;2207518]Yesterday I was browsing desktop reviews on Cnet and they have a couple of Dells as ‘editor’s choice’. I like the idea of choosing the components a lot, so I’ll definitely be looking at their website. I shopped a couple of the big box stores yesterday, but none carry the Dell brand so I always forget about it.

I agree about the refurb stuff. My very first laptop was a refurbished Toshiba that took tons of abuse (I was traveling a LOT) and the thing just refused to die in spite of even being dropped a couple of times LOL.

Arachne - if you don’t mind my asking, what were some of the key components you decided upon with your latest Dell purchase (the Inspiron 530)? Right now, I’m pretty much just focusing on processor speed and HD size, but I realize I need to do something fairly quickly (before Windows7 hits LOL).[/QUOTE]

LOL @ your poor Tosh :bigsmile:

Hmmm, some of the key components for me:

a) getting a slightly faster processor than my other two PCs - for my needs it doesn’t have to be a blistering fast quad core or anything (though a Quad would be pretty sexy LOL), so I went for a Core2Duo E7300 (2.66GHz).
b) a better graphics card - again, didn’t have to be anything top of the line, so I settled on an 256MB ATi Radeon HD3650

Disk space wasn’t an issue for me as I have an external Western Digital 1TB drive, so I settled for 500 gigs.

I also settled on just 2GB of RAM as it suits my current Vista needs, but I could have gone for more if I’d wanted to.

Monitor etc I had already. :slight_smile:

However, what I’d recommend you do is visit Dell’s site and play around with various configs - see if you can find what suits for a good price. I played with numerous options and setups before I settled on something. :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing, Arachne!! I’ll let y’all know what I end up with :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=LadyC;2208500]Thanks for sharing, Arachne!! I’ll let y’all know what I end up with :)[/QUOTE]

Please do! :smiley: