Buying new PC

Hi all
We are a firm of Landscape Architects working near Bath in the UK & are
looking to buy a PC for a new member of staff.
We are thinking that a budget of £700 should get us what we need. The work
is all 2D using ACADlite with an average file size of under 2Mb.
Info on specs. isn't really a problem but we would be interested in your
opinions on the quality of PC's from different manufacturers, reliability
etc. also can anyone help with info on any retailers you could recommend
local to the Bath area.
Thanks for any help
Tim Lynch Associates
Eastern House
16 Silver Street
Bradford on Avon
BA15 1JZ
Tel: 01225 865866
Fax: 01225 865084
Mob: 07880 745504
web site:
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You may or may not want to do this, but I suggest for £700 that you buy the parts and build a pc. This can be great fun (sad but true) and you learn a lot whilst doing it, you will be able to build a much more powerful machine than the one you would get already assembled, and you can customise, so if you are, as you say, producing 2d drawings then you wouldn't need a powerful graphics card, but you could build up on RAM for those essential regens. The money you save on the system would mean more to spend on a descent monitor, which when buying a CAD workstation is a very important thing. Don't be overwhelmed by this prospect, it really is straight forward enough, buy yourself the latest OS and your away.
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To do what you seem to need/want to do, just about any PC from anywhere would be fine - and at that price. You say you know the specs, reliability is not such an issue any more. One problem might be that brand-new stuff (from the high street stores) is home and multi-media oriented - rather than for work - hence XP - and hence ACAD's notorious XP problems, getting drivers for older ploters and so forth. You might buy the deal, including XP, then ditch it for something compatible with you (and your clients) - or get a PC built for you to spec (so you only pay for what you want) - or even buy second-hand. Last thing you want, I would imagine, would be to have to work around or upgrade plotters etc.
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We run a similar system, to what Tim wants. We just go to the local PC parts supplier and collect bits as you suggest. Some of the stuff (eg monitors operating systems) get re-used from older PC's. For £700 I'd expect to get nearly 3 system boxes.
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