Reason you have more problems is they do have chips probably on the motherboard they make so you can't upgrade them easily. This is actually very brilliant on their part so you have to buy their memory part or any other part. This dude asked for help with a problem he was having with no sound in Need For Speed 3. This was when I was on aol anyways. Well it looked like he needed a new sond card and he did. I don't know how he made out. I had a problem with a memory chip from another system in a very old packard bell and it wouldn't even recognize it. So i scratched that idear.
I myself rather build my own than buy a prebuilt from any maufacturer of pre-builts. Reason beign is its easier to upgrade and you can solve your own problems. My Aunt and Uncle want to get a new system sometime and I told them do not buy a compaq. I would build them one instead. Anyways thats my story and im stickin to it .
i agree, my self built p2/350 is blinding...
i disagree on the dell/gateway groan, we use dells at work here in england and i think the build quality is some of the best around... once you uninstall all the software extra crap dell puts in there machines they run really well... i think their cases are very robust as well, plus double fan cooling which is a good touch.. mind you they do tend to intergrate the cheaper entry level stuff which is a disapointment in any computer as we all know.
I agree whole-heartedly about the Packard Bell - Compaq statements, but I have to disagree about the gaetway and Dell comments. My folks picked up a Gateway and it's pretty fast, unfortunately they thought it would be better to "surprise" me when they had a computer rather that ask me what kind to buy. I have a Dell PII-450 and maxed out every option (except stayed with reg CD rom vs DVD) and it's a screamer. We use Dells at work here in the northeast US and they are high performance CADD machines. The work machines don't get the better soundcards (hell we just started getting ANY sound so no complaints there) and only come with the 8M video, but my home/gaming rig is kick *** with the 16M 2XAGP TNT card.
BTW, just in case someone is unaware, NEC and Packard Bell are brother/sister companies.
I don't think the magazines really PUSH dell or gateway as much as dell and gateway really invest in six page ads for every computer-related magazine. It's all about the money.
About the Compaq thing, I have worked on a lot of Compaq's, and they are a strange breed. The higher end machines tend to include non-integrated sound and video, but they are extremely finicky. A large percentage require a specific type of RAM (exactly 3.3volts for example), and most have a hard time using new video and sound cards (as do many Packard Bell's, Emachines, and IBM's that are sold in retail store). Building your own is definitely the way to go for the veteran user.
Only way you get better system by homebilut and get good motherboard. Find good name motherboard is important like tyan,gigabyte and etc.If you know how to built will be better.Mine system is gigabyte mb 440bx ,
voodoo3,64 ram,and etc that it work fine so far. Depend on your knowledge problem then fix it.