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I need a new (i.e faster) computer. Not for gaming, but for surfing, email and picture editing.

Thinking of just picking up one at FS or BB (same me the hassle of picking out components and building it myself). Any drawbacks to this? Specs look decent but they never disclose the motherboard.
 

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I would highly recommend against it. Staff knows nothing about computers most of the time, if you need maintenance, you need to bring it in and more often than not, you're without it for a few weeks, etc.

Why not pay a visit to one of many very good computer stores in Ottawa? PC Cyber and RB Computing are two of my personal favourites. You can get personalized upgrades to the advertized models, not to mention quick and easy service if you ever need it. You might end up paying a little more than at FS/BB, but in the end, it's more than worth it IMHO.
 

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Imagine if you are buying a car and these are the specs you have available:
  • 4.2m long
  • red(ish)
  • 4 tires (Bridgestone, black) + 1 spare (also black)
  • seats 4, sometimes 5
  • roof
  • trunk
  • 6 cyl. engine
  • $27,500
Would you buy such a car? We can argue that giving $750 for PC is not same as giving $27,500 for a car, but principle is same.
 

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My uncle is in the habit of buying computers from FS. Based on his experiences, I'd recommend against them.
 

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agreed.

Even if you took your budget from BB and FS and just went into RB,PCYPER or so many others and said "I got XXX$ to spend what do you have?" You will walk out with a system with zero bloat ware and specs above the BB/FS system.. Name brand components. Most notably you'll get a good mother board and better graphics card.

IF you want to put i bit of effort into it, what i do is go to tomshardware and look up his charts on CPU,vid cards and mother boards. You can usually find the "sweet spot" in component pricing wich will help you get the best bang for your buck....
 

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I need a new (i.e faster) computer. Not for gaming, but for surfing, email and picture editing. ... Thinking of just picking up one at FS or BB ... Any drawbacks to this?
My previous PC was a custom unit from the Clones Society (it's a shame they went out of business), but my current PC is an Acer that I picked up from Best Buy about a year and a half ago. The specs looked good and met my needs (similar to yours), the price was right and the machine has been perfectly reliable since Day 1. In terms of overall value and utility, the Acer is comparable to my last PC.

If all you want is a basic-but-decent machine, I don't see any reason to avoid buying from FS or BB if you find one that addresses your requirements.
 

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See, that's the thing. You've been fortunate enough that you have not had the need for any advanced support with your system. The day you do is the day you will curse the day you ever decided to buy from there.
 

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metalhawk said:
... You've been fortunate enough that you have not had the need for any advanced support with your system. The day you do is the day you will curse the day you ever decided to buy from there.
I get your point but, given that I didn't pay all that much for this PC (a subjective perspective, to be sure), if the day comes that I need "advanced support", I'll just recycle this machine and buy a new one. Given that my data's backed up on an external HDD, there's nothing tying me to this PC.
 

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I agree with Eljay. I got a very good deal on a laptop at BB in US and it has been flawless. Most custom and mom and pop type shops around here don't provide warranty on electronic components(What else are they selling when they are a PC store???)
Anyway even my desktop came from FS and is now about 4 years old with no problems. I have stressed the power supply with multi new HD's added and a new graphics card a while ago for simulation software and it is still ticking along just fine.
BB and FS are good sources for inexpensive PC's but do your own homework to determine what you need and what is really a good deal. The do your own minor maint./additions.
I actually have an 11 year old laptop running weather underground linking software from an amateur weather station. 11 years old!!
 

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At FS and BB, stay away from the house brands and stick with a brand name like Acer. Also, wait for a good sale. FS and BB are overpriced on many of their items, even over list price. There are better deals elsewhere but FS and BB sometimes have the lowest price when they have a sale. Compare prices online before making a purchase. The "sale prices" at FS and BB are often above some online regular prices or reflect price drops, not true sales.
 

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I would highly recommend against it. Staff knows nothing about computers most of the time, if you need maintenance, you need to bring it in and more often than not, you're without it for a few weeks, etc.

Why not pay a visit to one of many very good computer stores in Ottawa? PC Cyber and RB Computing are two of my personal favourites. You can get personalized upgrades to the advertized models, not to mention quick and easy service if you ever need it. You might end up paying a little more than at FS/BB, but in the end, it's more than worth it IMHO.
+1 to metalhawk's suggestion of PC Cyber or RB Computing. When I lived in Ottawa, I usually used those stores as well as OEM Express, Network Supply and even Trailing Edge. Although I hear now that the last two are no longer in business.

Now that I'm on the West Coast, I use NCIX exclusively. I don't think I ever bought any PC parts from BB or FS. The staff there have no idea about PCs, except for what's written on the label (I'm sure that there might be a few exceptions, but I haven't seen one yet). Then they start pushing for the extended warranty, which is not worth the paper it's printed on.

The "hassle" of building your own PC is not a problem as places like PC Cyber will build it for you.
 

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NCIX will also build a PC for shipping anywhere in Canada. They have some preconfigured models or will assemble one from purchased components. They often have good deals on components. (Check the site on Wednesday at 9PM EST.) Anything can be price matched on checkout to get the best prices on everything. Wait for one of their cheap ground shipping promotions and save even more.
 
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