I’ve been pondering a new computer for the last while. The machine that’s running this site is getting a bit long in the tooth (it’s a shade more than 3.5 years old) and I’ve been pining for a new Athlon64 rig. I have three basic choices: an eMachines T6000, a Compaq Presarrio 8000Z, or a custom made Gamer Ultra 6000 SE (64) from Cyber Power.
There’s three problems with these selections:
- I’ve never had good luck with hp/Compaq equipment. Taking a look at the specs of the 8000Z, it looks like they’re using good components and I could potentially get a great machine for a good price, but the fact remains that it would still be a Compaq.
- I don’t know anyone who owns an eMachines box. They are getting better and better reviews all around the ‘net, but I’m still not sure. They were just bought by Gateway, after all, and the mobo on the T6000 is an MSI that doesn’t appear to have dual channel memory support and definitely doesn’t have an SATA controller on it. Plus, I’d be limited to a subpar ATI Radeon 9600, whereas with the other machines, I can choose top-o-the-line GeForce cards (much, MUCH better driver support under Linux).
- I’ve read some negative reviews of Cyber Power’s customer support and response times and am a bit worried about getting the machine on time. Also, the other two machines have the advantage of free shipping from BestBuy.com.
Above and beyond all this, I promised my wife that I would get her a laptop before I get another machine. I’d like to balance her laptop between features and a decent price. Once again, eMachines sells the fairly attractive Athlon64-based M6805, as well as the less expensive Athlon-based M5309 and M5312. There’s always an iBook as well.
Any advice on these subjects would be most appreciated.