on September 10, 2005
I got this PC after trying the RA-834G, which Sony doesn't make anymore. The only difference is that this machine has the 3.0 Ghz Dual-Core Pentium D, compared to the 3.6 Ghz Pentium on the 834G, and this one has 100 GB bigger hard drive.
I was very pleased with this PC straight out of the box. I could tell that the processor is a little bit slower than the 3.6 Ghz Pentium on starting up applications, but when running multiple applications it really pulls ahead, and in my opinion, outperforms the 3.6.
This computer is very quiet. I keep it on the floor under my computer desk, and the only time that I hear it is if I restart it or if one of the DVD drives is spinning. I like the styling of the VAIOs, but I think that the little flip down doors that cover the DVD drives seem kind of cheesy and cheap. I guess they blend in with the sleek black style of the PC, but one of the doors wasn't working when I first opened the box. It was just a spring out of place, though, and easily fixed. Also the slide-down door that covers the floppy drive is kind of awkward and takes some getting used to. I don't like the door that covers the USB ports, since I have my PC on the carpet it's hard to open all the way since it swings down. It wouldn't be a problem if the PC was on a desk or a hard floor, since it wouldn't sink down like it does in the carpet. These are minor complaints, though.
One complaint that I have had with this computer is with the software that came pre-installed. I had a glitch develop where anytime I tried to shut down, log off, or restart the PC, like after installing updates, it would take almost 10 minutes to shut down. It would just hang for a long time, like an application wasn't able to close. I got two different registry cleaners, I uninstalled a bunch of programs, and I tried system restore, all to no avail. I finally traced the problem to Norton Internet Security, which comes pre-installed with a 90 day trial. I uninstalled this program, and the problem was alleviated. I just got a different antivirus program and it works well. I was having another problem with the blue screen of death and 'fatal' errors, but it turns out that it was my HP printer software and a faulty driver causing the problem.
One final complaint I have is that the DVD drives, both the DVD-ROM and the DVD-RW wouldn't work at all when I first booted up the PC. I tried uninstalling and re-installing the hardware, downloading new drivers, troubleshooting, and none of it worked. I finally had to search online and found an obscure forum posting that talked about deleting a random registry value that would fix the problem. Something to do with CD/DVD burning software. I followed the instructions and it worked, but I had to reinstall the Sonic burning software.
Overall I am really happy with this PC. You really can't find anything else with these specs for such a cheap price. I got a Dell laptop a couple months before buying this PC, and I have had absolutely no problems with it. I looked at Dell desktops but couldn't find one for the right price, and I'm not sure how they measure up. If you're looking for a PC that you can take out of the box and use with minimal problems, this may not be the machine for you. I may have just gotten a little bit of a faulty specimen, Sony did just start making this model. I would recommend this PC to anyone who has plenty of time and patience to work out all the kinks.
on January 9, 2007
Elecsurf Computers provided me with this excellent computer -- it is more adequately powerful, even, than what I had expected; and the price was more than reasonable. Also, the computer is in nearly perfect condition. And, when I requested another GB more ram, the company immediately provided it prior to ship date at a pretty decent price! I definitely will buy from Elecsurf again. The quality of the merchandise and excellent service provided were outstanding!