Dell's prebuilt systems better than Anandtech's recommendation on build your own?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by JEDI, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. sharq

    sharq Senior member

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    Forgot to ask, is this discussion about what you build for yourself (assuming you have a decent bit of computer knowledge)? Or is this for a friend/family member who doesn't know enough and would otherwise be constantly calling on you for tech support?
    :)
     
  2. txxxx

    txxxx Golden Member

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    Sure its not a placebo effect ? 5400RPM drives arent that bad.
     
  3. Lyfer

    Lyfer Diamond Member

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    Hahhahah!:D:beer:
     
  4. trevinom

    trevinom Golden Member

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    Personally, I'd rather have a low-end AMD XP system with low-end MB, PC133, wimpy 16M AGP card that will run me under $150 (With a home copy of Windows XP)and give me countless hours of 'putting together' satisfaction, than buying one pre-made from any Company, be it Dell, Compaq, EMachines or whatever. I did it once with a Compaq and ended up voiding the warranty the first time I decided to peer inside to see what kind of parts it had and for expansion possibilities. Anytime I see a sticker on a case that says 'void if opened' it just ticks me off to no end. I will therefore never buy a system pre-built unless it is a.) given to me b.) at a garage sale cheap and I need parts or c.) the 'void' sticker has already been torn, therefore used, therefoe cheap.

    It is a good idea for someone who doesn't have the time, inclination or knowledge of computers to buy a pre-built system. It also makes sense when you are thinking of pawning it off on others legally because once you take into account all the included applications, the cost rises considerably.

    Just my .02 worth,
    Martin
     
  5. GonzoDaGr8

    GonzoDaGr8 Platinum Member

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    Yeah they are...

     
  6. AIWGuru

    AIWGuru Banned

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    Yes, they are.
    For example, a friend of mine's laptop uses a 5400rpm drive. I've never seen a less responsive system even though it's a P4 2.66 with 512MB of ram. It's just...pokey.

    Also, my sister's 5400 rpm HDD in her crappy emachine desktop, even after upgrading the ram, is pokey as heck. It's just SLOW and unresponsive.
     
  7. JavaMomma

    JavaMomma Senior member

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    I'm running SQL Server & ISS on my machine with pretty heavy I/O, the hard drive is painfully slow. (I do development in ASP.NET with SQL Server)
    I'd ask for more memory but the board only has 2 DIMM slots :(
    Then again I'd ask for dual display as well, but onboard vga with no AGP hurts, PCI video?
    Meh whatever my Dell sucks, maybe its more then the just the hard drive, but i know it is damn slow at loading VS.NET compared to my home machine that has a slower processors & half the RAM.



     
  8. AIWGuru

    AIWGuru Banned

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    Now that's a real-world testimony.
    The HDD is the slowest component IN the system and all processors wait at the same speed.
     
  9. ELopes580

    ELopes580 Diamond Member

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    That is an unfair comparision. The platters on the desktop drives have to cover much more distance compared to the laptop drives.
     
  10. AIWGuru

    AIWGuru Banned

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    You don't seem to have read the post thoroughly. If you had, you'd notice that I wasn't comparing the laptop to the desktop. They were BOTH pokey.
     
  11. ELopes580

    ELopes580 Diamond Member

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    I did read the post thoroughly. I made the comment because just cuz a laptop drive is *only* 5400rpm, doesnt mean is just as slow as the desktop drives. I would suspect that something else was causing the laptop to feel "pokey". Though i do agree 5400rpm for desktops is way to slow.
     
  12. caz67

    caz67 Golden Member

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    I think its always better to build your on Rig.

    That way you get all the components you want, at a price your happy with. I reckon, prebulit systems, are very basic, and lacking in most areas.
     
  13. whoiswes

    whoiswes Senior member

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    i'll chime in here, even though i'm by no means a hardcore gamer or any kind of power user.

    what i do want (and have) is a computer that can do just about anything decently, and for as little cost as possible.

    i did the research, checked the prices, watched the boards - and here is what i ended up with:

    Dull 400sc
    2.26 P4 @ 533 FSB - final cost after rebates, price adjustments, and trade-ins: $90
    256MB PC2700: FAR from staples
    160GB WD SE: $30 AR from CC
    Geforce 2 MX: pulled from old system. free

    I'm running on this setup as I type. For $120, I have a machine that can do light gaming, programming, or plain surfing.

    For comparison, I was looking at a NForce2 based system and the approximate cost breakdown was as follows:
    cheap case: $30
    decent PS: $40
    Mobo: $120
    Hard drive: WD 160GB SE: $30 AR
    Proc: pulled from older system, so free.
    RAM: FAR from staples

    So, for the same basic system (case, PS, proc, and mobo) i would be spending much more and still be running older hardware. in addition, my older machine would no longer be functional. this way, it goes in the closet as a server and will continue to work for me.

    In my case, buying the dell was a no-brainer. i am on a shoestring budget but wanted/needed a second computer. true, i could have spent more and gotten a bit more performance, but what i have now is a great budget system that can't be touched (IMHO) for the same price.

    i don't need anyone telling me that what i got sucks, because, for my purposes, it doesn't. eventually i'll upgrade the vid card, RAM, and processor (and sell the old stuff or build another machine) and have a very decent rig (or two!) in the end.
     
  14. batmanuel

    batmanuel Platinum Member

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    Also, doesn't the Command Queueing only make a noticable performance difference if the drive is being used in a server, and not desktop environment?
     
  15. Cerb

    Cerb Elite Member

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    It will help in multitasking, like those massive virus scans Mechbgon is stuck doing, but otherwise, it will be minimal.
    Otherwise, yes, servers.
    So tell those 1U web servers with 1 or 2 HDs that they can rejoice and be merry, not waiting for the HD all the time. :p
     
  16. mchammer187

    mchammer187 Diamond Member

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    there are simply some things that you cannot get cheap

    video cards is one of them you will never find a 9800 Pro for 60 after MIR or else everyone would have one
    and if i could find them for that price i would certainly have one in all my comps at least


    that is why i get a nicely equipped dell with either a crappy hard drive and no CD-RW or DVD since i can get those for free

    only things you can get a hefty discount on are CD-RW, HD's monitors, and RAM maybe a few other items but

    you will never get a crazy hot deal on motherboards and CPU's because they simply don't offer rebates with those

    video cards you can get for semi-decent prices but nothing ridiculous
    same with cases

    I like dell because you can get a complete system usually at a fantastic price and a deal comes around once a month

    an HD deal might be around now but you might have to wait 3 months for a good deal on a video card (which still wouldnt be that great)

    right now you can get a 400SC from dell

    w/ canterwood mobo
    2.4 Ghz 800FSB PIV
    128 MB DDR 400
    80 GB HD
    keyboard
    mouse
    integrated video
    this includes a NIC IIRC

    for 300 after 100 MIR

    I bet you cannot get anything close to that price doing as many MIR's with anything you buy as well

    the CPU you will not a great deal on neither will you on the mobo or case unless you get an ultra cheap case

    and anything I didnt include I can still get from hot deals as well

    also they dont run this 24/7 but they will run it about once a month so it is still a much better route than buidling going through hot deals


    I would have responded earlier but was on spring break all last week
     
  17. Accord99

    Accord99 Platinum Member

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    onboard Intel Gigabit, though I don't think it uses CSA.
     
  18. mchammer187

    mchammer187 Diamond Member

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    shipping is more often than not free(and in this case it is free) and I am one of the few that live in a tax free state but tax on that cannot be more than $32 which would be if you state taxed 8%

    but if you buy through FW you get 2.5% cashback as well (no rebate forms to fill out you just have to click through their link)

    and it is only slightly less expandable

    yes the PSU and case and mobo are proprietary but i can add numerous hard drives, change the CPU and there are ample 5 1/4" drive bays
    there is an AGP slot and numerous PCI slots as well
    and there are also ample memory slots
    I believe it has firewire as well but I may be mistaken

    for that price it simply cannot be beat

    find me a case, mobo w/ firewire , psu, 2.4 Ghz PIV, keyboard , mouse, 128 MB RAM for that price, 40 GB 7200 RPM HD and I will salute you

    for 30 more you get can an 80 GB HD as well which is also 7200 RPM

    the way i break it down
    the CPU is worth 140
    no matter how much wheeling and dealing you do it is still fixed @ 140 because there is no MIR you can get

    40 HD you might be able to get for 10-20 on a really good hot deal

    128 MB DDR lets say you can get some Free after rebate
    keyboard Free after rebate
    mouse free after rebate

    nice case + nice PSU (dell's are proprietary but they are definitely top notch) at least $65 but probably more
    motherboard will run at least $120 for any canterwood board not springdale

    120+10+140+65 so that is 335 already and that is probably with way more than $100 in rebates
    say keyboards is a 20 MIR
    mouse 20 MIR
    HD 60 MIR
    RAM 30 MIR

    i did not overestimate the MIR's either because when an item is sold free after rebate the rebates are usually a lot more than what the item is worth
    cheapest HD on pricewatch was 50 so it probably should be 70 with 70 in rebates if you can get it for free

    so even if it get all of these FAR you still pay more out of pocket and more in rebates

    you also do need a vid card as well for lets say $20 and the dell is integrated so that is 355 + tax shipping or whatever
    vs 274 + tax

    some of you may be saying AMD ok a 2500+ barton is 83 shipped which has a HSF

    and cheapest NForce-2 board is $55 so 138 total

    so that drops the price to about 235 + shipping /tax/ whatever

    I still contend that the dell is very competively priced with this and if I had the money to spend I would still choose the dell


    I just get mad at comments such as this
    ol is this a joke???

    do you like not having an AGP? it has AGP
    do you like 128 ram on winXP? you can get more easily and if you build it you still have to pay for more ram and you have that option with the dell as well
    do you like integrated graphics? it has an AGP slot you are not paying more for it
    do you like 5400 rpm hard drives? 7200 RPM hard drrive

    if the answer is yes, buy a dell.




    I dont think I was unfair in any of my comparisons

    also some you


    I did not include any shipping figures in their as well
    as I stated before more often then not dell does not charge for shipping for small business though they do tax for most states

    but dell home about 50% of the time does not charge shipping and they do not charge tax to most states either

     
  19. skace

    skace Lifer

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    Everytime I go to Dell's website and try to customize the $400 dollar system, it ends up at 800-1200. Go figure, eh?
     
  20. Budmantom

    Budmantom Lifer

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    Last week Dell had :

    4600
    2.8ghz (800mhz)
    dvd
    cdrw
    256mb
    17lcd
    xp
    40gb hd 7200rpm
    1 year tech support

    This came with $100mir but the price was $530 and it did have an AGP slot. You could also upgrade to a 9800pro for $200. If you wanted to do some legwork you could sell the lcd for about $350 and have nice rig with 9800pro for $380 ($730 -350=$380).

    I'm sure NICK could do a lot better for $380 or even $530.

    Tom



     
  21. mechBgon

    mechBgon Super Moderator<br>Elite Member

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    The benefit is not limited to "extra-high-I/O situations," in my experience. I don't have to wait for the daily virus scan to notice that the HDD is extremely responsive when browsing the hard drive, generating thumbnails of a folder full of 1600 x 1200 images, launching programs, etc. JavaMoma, sounds like you need an infusion of SCSI goodness into that Dell they stuck you with. Try a Fujitsu MAS (or MAU if you can find one yet), if you can talk the Powers That Be into buying it for you.
     
  22. mechBgon

    mechBgon Super Moderator<br>Elite Member

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  23. smahoney

    smahoney Senior member

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    Hmm. my 2 cents:

    Which would you rather do?

    Option 1) build a machine for your in-laws that your sister in-law will load all of the applications her friends say to load that all run at startup and get calls all the time for support of why the 2.8C 512MB seems to be slower than the old 486 they were running...

    Option 2) Get them a Dell and have somebody else fix the damn thing because they don't listen to you in the first place...

    I went with option 1 once, tried it again, finally went with option 2 and have been a much happier person since I don't have to explain why you don't want AOL and Kazaa running at startup along with four other music playing/trading programs.

    I have 2 Dell machines at home - one for my wife and a server and a PC I built myself.
     
  24. smahoney

    smahoney Senior member

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    Hmm. my 2 cents:

    Which would you rather do?

    Option 1) build a machine for your in-laws that your sister in-law will load all of the applications her friends say to load that all run at startup and get calls all the time for support of why the 2.8C 512MB seems to be slower than the old 486 they were running...

    Option 2) Get them a Dell and have somebody else fix the damn thing because they don't listen to you in the first place...

    I went with option 1 once, tried it again, finally went with option 2 and have been a much happier person since I don't have to explain why you don't want AOL and Kazaa running at startup along with four other music playing/trading programs.

    I have 2 Dell machines at home - one for my wife and a server and a PC I built myself.