Buying a new computer


1. First decide if you want a desktop or a laptop.   Here are some guidelines:


– Laptop or desktop? This is an easy one.  If the computer can stay stationary you can get a desktop and will get more bang for your buck.  BUT you need a monitor as well.  Also remember a laptop can be turned into a desktop by purchasing a monitor and keyboard/mouse.


– Gaming? Get a desktop.  You will want a big video card and a fast processor with lots of RAM.  For more information Google “buy gaming pc” and you will find plenty of information to help you with the purchase.


2. Decide your budget.  


This is key and will dictate what you will get.  Make sure ANY PC you get includes at least the specs shown below.


3. Minimum Suggested Specs


– make sure it has an iCore processor (i3, i5 or i7 – we suggest i5 or i7)
– at least a 500 GB hard drive (we recommend solid state drives whenever budget allows)
solid state drive options.  Unless you buy the PC with the SSD already in (much more expensive) you will have swap the drives
– at least 6 gigs or ram (6 or more is best, 4 is OK if you have a solid state drive)
– HD video card (either built in or standalone if you plan on gaming but either way you want an HDMI out port)
– built in webcam (for laptop).  For desktop you can get an HD webcam cheap
solid state drives are worth their weight in gold. If you can afford one GET ONE


4. Will we be setting this up for you and supporting you going forward? If so a Dell would be best.  


Otherwise take your pick of manufacturers and checkout these online sites (,,  and retail stores (Best Buy and others).  Once you have your new computer in front of you, do the normal startup and setup then install: so we can get it setup for you


5. Need help purchasing at the dell outlet? —> Go to the dell outlet and read below:


– Dell Outlet Links: Coupons – Deals –  Home Laptops – Home Desktops – Business Laptops – Business Desktops – Dell Outlet Servers
– use the filters on the left side of the screen
– your choice between dell outlet new (brand new) or refurbished
– you will save even more money with refurb and they work fine with the same warranty as new
– do a google search for Dell Outlet Coupons and try them at checkout for an even greater discount
– we buy refurbished from the dell outlet for all our personal and work PC’s (they have same-as-new-pc warranties)
– a note on shipping: sometimes it ships right away, the next day, 2 days later or we get a notification of a delay – there is no way to tell unfortunately.   This is the biggest downside of the outlet in our opinion.


If you would like MoonRivers to handle the search, warranty selection and purchase please do the following:


  1. go to the dell outlet and create an account & setup your shipping, billing & credit card info – make sure its all saved and ready
  2. email with what you are looking for (if a laptop, what size screen) and your budget
  3. send us your dell outlet login information securely: (text the info, leave a Voice message or use form)
  4. the inventory moves fast so when we find a deal we need to purchase right away.  If you aren’t ready to purchase right away, we’ll hold off looking until you are. That way when we find the deal we can get the system right away before someone else buys it.
  5. Links: Coupons – Deals –  Home Laptops – Home Desktops – Business Laptops – Business Desktops – Dell Outlet Servers


Hard drives, failure rates and why & when to upgrade


A useful way to visualize the cause of failure rates in hard drives is with something called the Bathtub Curve. The Bathtub curb tells us hard drives have a high rate of failure in their first few days, weeks, and months of use. This is usually the result of factory defects. A hard drive might be dead on arrival, for instance. Some call this the hard drive “infant mortality” rate. If a hard drive has no factory defects, it will typically endure over the next two or three years without issue, which means the failure rate falls. By year four and five, the failure rate is well on its way back up again. These failures are due to general wear and tear, but pinpointing a specific cause has proven troublesome for researchers.
SOURCE with more good information:


Why refurb from the Dell Outlet – They come with new-computer warranties and this person below puts it perfectly:


I’m an accountant and strongly recommend refurbished products.  So… what does accounting have to do with it?  When products are sold, they often aren’t tested first. They go in the box and ship out. Some are duds and some are damaged in transit.  Now, when a product is returned, that’s a financial hit. You have to ship out another and usually lose the profit on that sale. Further, you then have a damaged product that cannot be sold at full price even when repaired. That’s another hit to profits.  Accountants hate that!  So do CEOs.  Now, the profit margin gets even worse if a repaired product comes back a second time.  CEOs and accountants get really, really, really pissed off when there’s a second return.  They make sure that refurbs are fully tested and thoroughly gone through to make sure that it never, ever comes back again. Oh, and they have to discount it because it is a refurb.  This is why you should buy refurbs. They often have a lower failure rate than new products and have been thoroughly tested, which doesn’t happen to new products. Plus refurbs come at a discount!  In my opinion, refurbs are the only way to go. Save a little money and you’ve got something that’s been tested more than a new one. This post is being typed on a refurb laptop. It’s been running 24/7/365 for a bit over six years. I only buy refurbs. I trust them more than new products.  —- Uncle_Erik –> reddit