I have always felt that one of the best sources of advice on how good something is or is not so good, are consumer reviews of a product. Most of the major electronic sites usually have reviews available, as was the case for the Everex GC3500 Desktop system being offered by Wal-Mart for a low price of $299. The system is a plain vanilla system as one would expect, using a VIA processor at 1.5 GHz, 512MB RAM, 80G HD, DVD burner, modem, ethernet and a 17″ CRT monitor. The operating system is Microsoft Windows Vista Basic, which itself is a plain vanilla OS.
The Wal-Mart site uses a five star rating system and the overall rating was a bit over 3 stars, from 34 reviewers. One of the better reviews I read stated:
The trick to this computer is to type the command msconfig in the start>run box. Go to startup tab and uncheck un-needed stuff. Then un-install the Norton software from control panel>add-remove. This will make the system much faster after freeing up the processor and memory. Should work fine for web browsing. Remember, this processor is for single tasking, and requires memory to function. If it’s not fast enough after freeing up resources, then install more memory. Check software mem req. before installing. WinXP needs, or will use most of the 512MB with the intergrated video. Installing a basic descrete video card ($50.00), will dramatically speed up everything by freeing up more memory and taking the task of processing off the CPU. For the price, it’s a great deal (just plug in a video card and you’re done).
This is fairly common for most new systems. Remove the junk and gunk and normally this will improve the performance, even if you are using Windows XP. But if one buys this system, spends another say $50 on a video card and say another $30 or so on more RAM, is the system still worth the price?
That depends. If the user can do the video and RAM install themselves, than it might be. But if they have to take it to a shop and pay for additional labor, than it may not be. I took a spin over to the Geek Squad at Best Buy just to use as an example. They charge $39 for installing video cards and memory each. So using an estimate of $78 for labor plus $ 80 for parts for a total of $158 would bring the system up to $457.
So here is my question to you. Is this a ‘deal or no deal’ ?
Full reviews are located here.
PS I used the Geek Squad just as an example, since someone buying a computer such as this, most likely would be a novice and may just use Best Buy for the upgrades.
[tags]everex, desktop, computer,wal-mart, best buy, geek squad,¬† [/tags]