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*Aasen Jr, Carroll
Message 1 of 6 (187 Views)

What to spec for New PC system for home and Practice on LDD?

187 Views, 5 Replies
11-17-2000 01:06 PM
My wife and I are going to give each other a new PC for xmas. I get to spec
it out under her budget guideline of $2,000 max.
I want to use AutoCAD Land Development Desktop, Civil Design, AutoCAD MAP,
CadOverlay and Survey (This so I can keep up to date on all the changes and
maybe do some contract work). I'll also install MS Office Pro 2000. I want
MS WinNT4.0. I would like a 19" monitor, CDR-RW, 256 Mb Ram, 20Gb HD. 56K
Modem. Which is better price/performance Intel or AMD, I'll not accept
Celeron. I am partial to Gateways as we've been using them at work for 4
years and I can tap our IS staff for support.

How about some advice on features, Video cards, other brands, etc.?
I think I can swing enough extra for a All in One Printer, Scanner, Copier,
Fax. What is your experience with these?

Carroll Aasen Jr,
Chaska , MN.
*Shipley, Jonathan
Message 2 of 6 (187 Views)

Re: What to spec for New PC system for home and Practice on LDD?

11-17-2000 01:47 PM in reply to: *Aasen Jr, Carroll
Carroll,
You aren't asking for much. But if you are looking to spend only $2K you
probally would want to check out Dell or HP refurbished machines (Gatways
are questionable????). Be sure to buy into there mid to high range machine
because if you ever want to upgrade there lower end machines have all
intergated parts. You may also drop the price if you do not need all the
legend computer junk (parall ports, com ports, ps2, ect....), you can now
purchase most external hardware for USB (printers, mice, keyboards, zip
drives, and the list goes on...). With USB you can add just about an
endless chain of hardware and have better performace but you will have to
step up to Win2K.

To you question on Intel or AMD, Intel hands down. AMD has the speed on
Intel, but I have yet to see an AMD that hasn't burnt up in our office.

If you can get support from your staff at work, think about buying a
computer @ an online auction. I don't recomend it but I have seen numerous
good buys out there.

I suggest doing a little planning for tomorrow before purchasing a computer
today. You need to think about upgradability, speed, and how much will you
actually use the system at home.

"Carroll Aasen Jr" wrote in message
news:B575E4560DDBE46E471120E01F270C82@in.WebX.SaUCah8kaAW...
> My wife and I are going to give each other a new PC for xmas. I get to
spec
> it out under her budget guideline of $2,000 max.
> I want to use AutoCAD Land Development Desktop, Civil Design, AutoCAD MAP,
> CadOverlay and Survey (This so I can keep up to date on all the changes
and
> maybe do some contract work). I'll also install MS Office Pro 2000. I
want
> MS WinNT4.0. I would like a 19" monitor, CDR-RW, 256 Mb Ram, 20Gb HD. 56K
> Modem. Which is better price/performance Intel or AMD, I'll not accept
> Celeron. I am partial to Gateways as we've been using them at work for 4
> years and I can tap our IS staff for support.
>
> How about some advice on features, Video cards, other brands, etc.?
> I think I can swing enough extra for a All in One Printer, Scanner,
Copier,
> Fax. What is your experience with these?
>
> Carroll Aasen Jr,
> Chaska , MN.
>
*remg
Message 3 of 6 (187 Views)

Re: What to spec for New PC system for home and Practice on LDD?

11-18-2000 08:07 AM in reply to: *Aasen Jr, Carroll
Hi,

I think Gateway is a very good choice as I own one personnally and also all
of the systems at work are gateways. They have a very good warranty. But,
there are many good systems out there that will fulfill your needs though.
You are really restricted by your budget. As for your software, the AutoCAD
software on your list is going to run about $15,000. Usually a good system
comes with a good MS Office package pre installed. Good luck in your search.

"Carroll Aasen Jr" wrote in message
news:B575E4560DDBE46E471120E01F270C82@in.WebX.SaUCah8kaAW...
> My wife and I are going to give each other a new PC for xmas. I get to
spec
> it out under her budget guideline of $2,000 max.
> I want to use AutoCAD Land Development Desktop, Civil Design, AutoCAD MAP,
> CadOverlay and Survey (This so I can keep up to date on all the changes
and
> maybe do some contract work). I'll also install MS Office Pro 2000. I
want
> MS WinNT4.0. I would like a 19" monitor, CDR-RW, 256 Mb Ram, 20Gb HD. 56K
> Modem. Which is better price/performance Intel or AMD, I'll not accept
> Celeron. I am partial to Gateways as we've been using them at work for 4
> years and I can tap our IS staff for support.
>
> How about some advice on features, Video cards, other brands, etc.?
> I think I can swing enough extra for a All in One Printer, Scanner,
Copier,
> Fax. What is your experience with these?
>
> Carroll Aasen Jr,
> Chaska , MN.
>
*Furman, Paul
Message 4 of 6 (187 Views)

Re: What to spec for New PC system for home and Practice on LDD?

11-18-2000 10:04 PM in reply to: *Aasen Jr, Carroll
Here's some general thoughts & opinions for what it's worth. You can set up
something a little more specialized with other CAD oriented computer shops,
allowing you to focus on a good 2D video card, not getting forced into a world
encylopedia, clip art collection or other junk you don't need or some fancy kind
of new RAM that is hard to upgrade, & add what you want like a dual cpu or
whatever. I found Dell & Gateway want to push you into their standard package
with proprietary components. Expect that a home computer may last many years &
need to survive many upgrades... you can scrimp on the sound card & speakers &
get something fancy later or even upgrade the cpu as long as you have something
fast enough for now & other important things. An HP pavillion or something like
that can be impossible to upgrade the video card that's built into the
motherboard. Ask what the limitations of the motherboard are. Tell them you want
plenty of open slots, a good power supply & an extra fan to keep from crashing
in hot weather. Get a big fat monitor now.. 21" & not to cheap. Sorry no real
specific advice though... what do you want to do with it?

The all-in-one printer/fax/scanner is not much good for scanning anything but
8-1/2x11 pages, not books or small stuff. We got one from HP for the office &
found it to be a poor fax for professional use; lacking features like speed
dial, etc. which is OK for home but it also had a very awkward printer driver,
not like a nice clean straightforward printer. A basic printer & basic fax
probably perform better & can be quite inexpensive & compact... get a fancy
printer later maybe. You can get a usable scanner for $70.

Carroll Aasen Jr wrote:

> My wife and I are going to give each other a new PC for xmas. I get to spec
> it out under her budget guideline of $2,000 max. I want to use AutoCAD Land
> Development Desktop, Civil Design, AutoCAD MAP, CadOverlay and Survey (This so
> I can keep up to date on all the changes and maybe do some contract work).
> I'll also install MS Office Pro 2000. I want MS WinNT4.0. I would like a 19"
> monitor, CDR-RW, 256 Mb Ram,
> 20Gb HD. 56K Modem. Which is better price/performance Intel or AMD, I'll not
> accept Celeron. I am partial to Gateways as we've been using them at work for
> 4 years and I can tap our IS staff for support.
>
> How about some advice on features, Video cards, other brands, etc.? I think I
> can swing enough extra for a All in One Printer, Scanner, Copier, Fax. What
> is your experience with these?
>
> Carroll Aasen Jr, Chaska , MN.
*Rayman, Andre
Message 5 of 6 (187 Views)

Re: What to spec for New PC system for home and Practice on LDD?

11-21-2000 04:29 AM in reply to: *Aasen Jr, Carroll
$2000 can get eaten up fairly fast. I would buy the cheapest 19" monitors
you could find. Last year we purchased 4 for $350 each plus $50 back on
each. It was a generic no name brand. I would get the best video card you
could afford (32 meg ram or better), and as much ram that you can afford-
384 or better.

We've personally walloped about 100 Gateway machines over the last 7 years.
Good to excellent service. I suspect any of the other name brands... Dell
Compaq etc would do equally as well.
*Atkinson, Jon
Message 6 of 6 (187 Views)

Re: What to spec for New PC system for home and Practice on LDD?

11-22-2000 05:49 AM in reply to: *Aasen Jr, Carroll
My 2 cents. (This is my personal machine and does not necessarily
reflect what we have in our office.)

I personally went with an AMD Thunderbird 900. Yes it runs a little hot,
but if you use the heat sink compound, like they recommend, it's great.
I have never seen one burn out unless it was overclocked, and even then
it took a long time to burn out (right around the time it should have
been upgraded anyway). AMD has come a very long way. ($170 + $110 Asus
motherboard).

A minimum of 256 Mb Ram, generic will do. ($150)

A 20.5 Gb Ultra ATA-66/100 hard drive, 7200 rpm. ($110)

I went with the best non-professional video card on the market - GeForce
2 GTS DDR w/ 32 Mb Ram. ($220)

I picked up a Viewsonic GS790 (19") for $350, very nice.

Of course I put it all together myself. And all of this plus many of the
other parts (Case, Nic, modem, sound card, speakers, keyboard, mouse,
CDRW, floppy, 52x CD), I put together for under $1700. The most
expensive part I bought was the video card for $220. All of it is high
quality name brand parts. The only questionable part in my computer is
the operating system, Windows ME. :smileywink:

I build my own systems simply because it's cheaper and I know what parts
I'm buying. If you buy somebody's prebuilt machine they charge an arm
and a leg and may use inferior parts. A lot of times they can't or won't
tell you what parts they use. And upgrades are a hassle. And it really
isn't as hard to do as you think. It took me about an hour the first
time I did it. I have used MAX and Viz, Autocad r14 and ADT2i, several
rendering programs, with absolutely no problems. And many graphically
intense games.

Jon Atkinson
Minneapolis, MN
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