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Posted: 1/5/2003 1:56:30 PM EST
My box is now 3 years old and running at 500mhz. The time to upgrade is upon me. The system I just priced out at best buy is a P4 @2.53 Ghz 533Mhz FSB w/ 512Cache 256 MB RDRAM PC 800 80GB Seagate HD 2mb Cache 7200 RPM Promise Ultra 100TX2 IDE Controller PlexCombo 20/10/40-12A CD-RW/DVD PlexWriter 48/24/48A CD-RW Soundblaster Audigy 2 6.1 NVIDA GeForce4 Ti 128 MB Intel PRO/100S Desktop network interface NEC 19"AccuSync Flat CRT all for the low low price of $2,219. Should I jump on this or keep looking? Any sugestions on places on the net to buy? Thanks, Echo6
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 2:28:32 PM EST
256? go 512 ram WHy on earth are you getting TWO CDRWS!? make one just a straight DVD and you can slash the price a bit btw.. i system that is near to that probably only cost me 1000. course i built it myself. ThermalTake Xaser2 A5000A Shuttle AK31 Mobo 512 megs DDR ram AMD 2000+ 120 Gig Primary 7200 RPM Drive 100 Gig Secondary 7200 RPM Drive DVD Drive (CDR is in server) Geforce TI4200 64 meg (faster ram than the 128) USB 2.0 card Network Card 420Watt ThermalTake PSU Live 5.1 19" Planar 1904Z Active Matric LCD monitor Logitech Z560 4.1 400Watt speaker system. Logitech Wireless Black Natural Keyboard, Logitech Wireless MX700 mouse.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 2:34:08 PM EST
The only DVD drive available with the Alienware system is the DVD/CDR combo, not a major issue, its only a $45.00 add on. I would LOVE to build my own system, but fear that I dont have quite the technical skill to put a box togeter from scratch [:(]
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 2:52:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/5/2003 2:52:56 PM EST by DavidC]
Originally Posted By echo6: The only DVD drive available with the Alienware system is the DVD/CDR combo, not a major issue, its only a $45.00 add on. I would LOVE to build my own system, but fear that I dont have quite the technical skill to put a box togeter from scratch [:(]
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I've got a friend who's a VAR in Florida who does custom system builds and could duplicate that Alienware system for you probably for a resonable savings and with a warranty. I've bought hundred of systems from him for my businesses, and sent many friends to him, with nary a complaint. If you're interested, email or IM me and I'll send you his contact info.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 3:04:07 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 4:44:58 PM EST
Well, I'm knowledgeable enough to assemble a better computer and cheaper, however I think that if you don't have a lot of technical skills, Alienware is a good place to buy from. Everything I have heard or read about their service and support is really good. So basically when/if you call them, they tend to have someone very technically smart and will help you out without making you feel like a jerk. They are small enough to care about their product, but big enough to be able to afford good people for their technical support roles and realize the importance of their customer as they don't cater to businesses, but rather individual home users/enthusiast. Their technical support is 24/7 which is a big deal when your confused at 3:00 AM. They choose quality components, maybe not bleeding edge, but you know they have been tested to work together and work together well. They seem to keep their website updated with all the latest patches and stuff. Real computer geeks build their own, but probabaly are only gaining 4-5% performance at the cost of a lot of trial and error without the benefits of good customer/technical service department. I've built my own for years, but some of the hassles I have had with bleeding edge single item stuff is not always worth the headache. I have to laugh when so and so says "my ____ can build it for xxx less" Yeh, well try calling ____ at 3:00 am because you just bought a new game and it won't install properly. Do they have their own website with all the latest drivers in one convenient location? Do they have a database with the most common problems, etc, etc, etc. As a home user without tons of technical skills, this type of support is very useful and convenient and should be high on the list of priorities. Sure, real computer geeks can find all the drivers, manuals, problems, etc with the components of their computes, but can YOU and is it worth the hassle? What's your time worth to you? Do you want to learn more tech stuff, or do you want to use and play? Is it "fun" for you to have all your crap ripped apart to finally diagnose why the PC only crashes when the RAM is put into certain slots in certain ways, and after 500 rebootings? It is for me, but if it isn't for you (especially if you don't have spare parts to test with), don't bother with the hassle of doing it yourself. You can do much worse than Alienware. HP home crap, Dude it's a Dell, IBM, etc. All big corporations, who cater to big corporations. Try being an individual and getting real technical people on the line.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 5:48:46 PM EST
Nova5, you're full of crap on a $1000 bucks for your system. Typical of people who "recommend how much cheaper they can do it for". Straight from Pricegrabber: ThermalTake Xaser2 A5000A $126 Shuttle Motherboard $80 512 DDR $110 AMD 200 $85 120 gig $156 100 gig $108 DVD Drive $45 ti4200 $134 USB 2 card $40 Network Card $20 Thermaltake 420 Power Supply $57 Live 5.1 $30 Planar $759 Logitech Z560 $150 Logitech Keyboard $25 Logitech Mouse $60 Total $1985.00 with all shipping charges Subtract about 8% of total so no shipping charges and it's still $1826.20. And where's the price of the Operating System. I'm sure Echo6 won't want to use Windows 98 anymore. You're only $400 below Echo's price now without the $140 Windows XP will cost. Now you're only $260 below the ALienware cost, and the Alienware "is" a faster system, with better warrantee. And how long did it you to build it, tune it, and get all the bugs out? 4-5 hours? How long did it take you to find and update all the drivers? 2 hours? Did your case/keyboard/mouse all match in color? Might not mean much to you, but I bet it might to echo6 and to imply that you stuff is so much cheaper than anyone else can find it does not help him in the slightest. Echo6, if you buy the Alienware stuff, buy it from their website rather than the local Best Buy, so that you aint getting tax raped.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 5:57:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/5/2003 6:01:48 PM EST by sharky30]
can you field strip your guns? if so you can put a computer together, especially now. They've been making things much clearer when it comes to what plugs in where. buy a $20 book (or find the info online for free) and get retail versions of parts so you'll get their manuals and you'll be fine. I haven't priced a system recently but the last time I did the exact same components as what an Alienware system has could be purchased from reputable retailers for much less. if you buy online use [url]www.pricewatch.com[/url] for good prices, then use [url]www.resellerratings.com[/url] to make sure it's a reliable seller if you do put one together yourself find a retailer that will sell an OEM version of windows if you buy a major system component (like a mother board or cpu) I got win98se a few years ago for about $60 (when it was retailing for over 100) because I bought a hard drive and motherboard from the company
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 6:05:42 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 6:14:04 PM EST
Alienwear is overpriced
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 6:17:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/5/2003 6:18:23 PM EST by uglygun]
I just got a new box from Dell to use as my new gaming machine. 2.4Ghz, 128megs of PC2700 DDR Ram, 30gig harddrive, integrated video and networking. It cost only 750 bucks delivered. To this I added the following from my old machine. 512meg stick of Crucial PC2700 DDR Ram, installed the Geforce 4400Ti card that I already had, use my Soundblaster 5.1 surround PCI card, my 19inch flat tube monitor, Klipsch 4.1 speaker setup, and a few other little things. For 700 bucks basically I just upgraded to a PIV and kept things as minimal as I could. I figured by the time I put up with the hassle of trying to update my old computer, it was easier and probably a bit cheaper to buy a 2nd machine and move all my "good stuff" over to it. Point? If at all possible, salvage whatever "booty" your old machine has and move it over to a new machine. If you can get away with using the old monitor then you can save 150-200 bucks depending on what the minimum monitor offerings are, flat screen or tube type. Go minimal on RAM because you can likely buy it cheaper some place else.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 7:35:48 PM EST
I upgraded my system to the following, I am sure that echo6 could do something along the same lines. Abit BG7 400MHz-1000MHz BS = $129 (USB 2 included) (network card included) (on board AGP video) P4 2.4 533MHz FBS = $148 PC2700 DDR333 memory X 2 = $260 XP-Pro = $135 Shipping = $50 Total = 722 Have: Case 500 watt power supply 80 gig Western Digital hard drive TDK CDRW GeForce2 GTS/PRO 64mb Live 5.1 19 inch View Sonic MS Natural keyboard Logitech Mouse
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 8:55:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By Xero: Nova5, you're full of crap on a $1000 bucks for your system. Typical of people who "recommend how much cheaper they can do it for". Straight from Pricegrabber: ThermalTake Xaser2 A5000A $126 Shuttle Motherboard $80 512 DDR $110 AMD 200 $85 120 gig $156 100 gig $108 DVD Drive $45 ti4200 $134 USB 2 card $40 Network Card $20 Thermaltake 420 Power Supply $57 Live 5.1 $30 Planar $759 Logitech Z560 $150 Logitech Keyboard $25 Logitech Mouse $60 Total $1985.00 with all shipping charges Subtract about 8% of total so no shipping charges and it's still $1826.20. And where's the price of the Operating System. I'm sure Echo6 won't want to use Windows 98 anymore. You're only $400 below Echo's price now without the $140 Windows XP will cost. Now you're only $260 below the ALienware cost, and the Alienware "is" a faster system, with better warrantee. And how long did it you to build it, tune it, and get all the bugs out? 4-5 hours? How long did it take you to find and update all the drivers? 2 hours? Did your case/keyboard/mouse all match in color? Might not mean much to you, but I bet it might to echo6 and to imply that you stuff is so much cheaper than anyone else can find it does not help him in the slightest. Echo6, if you buy the Alienware stuff, buy it from their website rather than the local Best Buy, so that you aint getting tax raped.
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Try reading what he was getting, a 19" flat CRT monitor, not LCD monitor. You have a $760 monitor... when in fact a 19" CRT like quoted can be had usually for around $250. (sometimes you'll find good deals for closer to $200) ------- In response to the original post... JMHO. Just upgrade what you have, or build a new one yourself. If you don't feel compotent (there'll surely be plenty of help from people on forums like [url]forum.oc-forums.com[/url] ) try and find a friend who can help you. For my work, I've been taking our really old and outdated systems for less than $400 (we use below setup but w/o operating system, as we already own lisences for each computer). go to www.newegg.com and look for these pieces. N82E16811125853 (Chieftec Case w/ Power supply) $68 N82E16813131433 (Asus nforce motherboard) $73 N82E16819103327 (AMD XP 2000 retail w/ HSF) $90 N82E16837102014 (Windows XP home OEM) $140 N82E16820145022 (Corsair 256MB DDR RAM) $82 those 5 items provide: New case 450W PSU XP2000+ processor with heatsink and fan New Motherboard w/ Integrated Audio, video, and network MS Windows XP home edition 256MB RAM If you're not into gaming or anything that requires top of the line computing, this will let you take your old system and use some of your stuff (CD, HD, keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.), but still get a fast, upgradable setup. You can disable any of the onboard items (video, sound, or network) if you want to put in a better card in the future. I recommend that setup to newer people because it's one of the few systems I build that don't require any special stuff to do to it. All you have to do is put it together, install windows, install everything on the CD that came w/ the motherboard, and then run windows update until you've got all the recommended/critical updates and drivers. Oftentimes the brand new technology leads to lots of headaches trying to get everything working right... I found that if you just get the tried and tested but still current technology... You've got a better chance of a better working computer, plus more help from users on forums if you have problems. You can probably build a comperable system as what you quoted for around 1/2 to 2/3 of that price... but, it may not be worth the hassle if you or someone you know isn't comfortable building your own system. But if you ARE going to buy prebuilt systems, you're better off w/ system from alienware or dell, as opposed to the usual Compaq or HP, etc... Compaq and the other "usual" bestbuy type computers have so much junk loaded on them, that it really bogs the comptuer down, regardless of how fast it is. Also they tend to not be upgradable like most custom built systems are. (Altho it's debatable how standard dell parts are...)
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 9:30:30 PM EST
Yes, you can do better and yes, Alien is overpriced. Your money gets you a good system in a pretty box. The pretty box is what you're really paying for. My system (newly built today): -Asus Nvidia NX8 motherboard -built in 3d sound -2 network connections -6 USB 2.0 ports -AMD 2000+ processor -GForce4200Ti4 vid card -Western Digital 80 gig hd @7200rpm -48/16/48 RWCDROM -DVD drive -256 meg PC333 DDR RAM -56K internal modem Total cost to me was about $1100. If I had it built it would have been about $1300. I would suggest looking around for a local computer rag. Usually you can find a local guy who builds. Be careful to pick one that has been around for awhile though.
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 2:02:07 AM EST
I keep thinking I want to build my own, but I don't think it really saves you any $$. It might be fun, and something to be proud of, and in certain circles populated entirely by males it might even get you laid, lol. The other crucial element that all home builders leave out is the software. Of course, most of them travel in the computer circles and can get everything pirated, but for those of us that don't we'd have to buy it on our own. Windows XP Pro is close to $200, Office is over $200...not to mention all the little shit like antivirus software and such, it really starts to add up eventually. The price of software is what's keeping me out of the home-built market. Of course, if any of you want to volunteer to send me pirate copies of everything....
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 6:45:47 AM EST
I've pretty much decided I'm going to build my own box. Pricing out the componants INCLUDING the monitor the total came to $1303. I dont get the cool Alienware case, but their are some pretty nifty cases out there for sale relativly inexpensive. Maby I should mount everything in a 20 mm ammo can. That would certanly make my system unique [:)] Someone mentioned on board vid/sound cards. That is something I [b]DO NOT[/b] want. I've had bigtime problems with onboard/propriatary componants in the past and want to avoid that issue again at all costs. Another issue is pre loaded software. If I was buying a custom box,I was planning on specifying that all I wanted on the HD when I got it would be windoze and drivers. Can anyone suggest a good book so I can study up on what is required before I start buying componants? thanks echo6 echo6
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 6:55:00 AM EST
I bought an HP 753n recently, from Best Buy. 2.53 Ghz Pentium 4 512 MB DDR SDRAM memory 80 GB HD 64 MB Intel onboard graphics CD-RW 40/10/40 DVD-ROM 16x And USB/IEEE1394 ports, modem, sound output etc. $999 There was another HP for like 1100 with a real video card on board and more disk space. I threw in an AT Radeon 9700 with 256 MB memeory for $400. The tough part about building is getting all the software that you want.
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 10:07:27 AM EST
Unless you are planning on doing high-end graphics or you are a gaming freak you do not need the fastest system you can build. Why don’t you take a look at the Shuttle SB51G Pentium barebones systems? (Shuttle has just released an AMD box with APG slot if you want to do an AMD processor) Link below to a review. You drop in the processor you want, add memory, hard drive, CD-RW and then a good graphics card and you have a fast system that is easy to put together and has a real small footprint. The size of the box will limit the amount of expansion you can do… but it has USB 2.0 and Firewire so you can add external hard drives or CD/DVD burners if you want. The onboard audio is good and with the APG slot you can add a fast APG graphics card for gaming. New Egg has these and about anything else you will need to build a system. [url]http://www.newegg.com/[/url] Review: [url]http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.html?i=1661[/url]
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 10:13:29 AM EST
Originally Posted By echo6: I've pretty much decided I'm going to build my own box. Pricing out the componants INCLUDING the monitor the total came to $1303. I dont get the cool Alienware case, but their are some pretty nifty cases out there for sale relativly inexpensive. Maby I should mount everything in a 20 mm ammo can. That would certanly make my system unique [:)] Someone mentioned on board vid/sound cards. That is something I [b]DO NOT[/b] want. I've had bigtime problems with onboard/propriatary componants in the past and want to avoid that issue again at all costs. Another issue is pre loaded software. If I was buying a custom box,I was planning on specifying that all I wanted on the HD when I got it would be windoze and drivers. Can anyone suggest a good book so I can study up on what is required before I start buying componants? thanks echo6 echo6
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What do you want to study up on? Which brands are good? Which parts are needed? How to assemble, step by step? If you're even slightly technically inclined, you probably won't need a book... find a good computer forum and ask a few questions and you should be fine. Integrated video does pretty much suck, the "nforce" boards, however, have a gforce2 integrated into the chipset from the original design, and they work great, however (and can be disabled). If you just don't want the integrated video at all... Another motherboard I've built several systems on that was hassle free was the Abit KR7A-Raid, but unfortunately they're hard to find now. They also don't come with onboard sound, network, etc... Some tips for building your own: 1. Make sure you install the heatsink and fand properly. (more details on any computer forum) 2. Make sure you have at least SOME ventilation thru the case. (specifically over your hard drive(s) ) 3. Make sure you always ground yourself before you touch any piece of electronics. Easiest way is to touch the side of your case (if it's grounded) to discharge any static electricity. 4. Read the manual, install software off CD's and disks that came with motherboard and other pieces of equipment. 5. And most important, Ask questions... Don't guess. And small things you might overlook: 1. thermal paste/grease (If you plan on removing and re-installing your heat sink on the CPU) 2. case fan(s) for case ventilation... almost always 80mm fans in a standard case. 3. network cable (if on network/cable/dsl) 4. extra 80 pin ribbon cable (if your motherboard only comes with 1) 5. phillips screwdriver (w/ magnetic head is handy) 6. rheostats for fans. (if you like to slow them down for less noise) Have fun! A good source for info is [url]forum.oc-forums.com[/url]
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 12:37:40 PM EST
i'm an old gray-bearded (ex-navy) computer tech from jax, florida. Alienwares make excellent computers; if i had to buy one rather then build my own it would top my list. however... it may be over-priced for what you are going to use it for. my first question i ask someone who needs a new computer is: what kind of programs do you want to run and what kind of budget do you have? run away from anyone offering help who does not ask this question!!! building your own computer is very easy IF all the parts you receive are in working order. if one part is not right you are going to have a hell of a time getting it to work if you do not understand computers.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 8:12:46 AM EST
You can build the same system for less, but how much is your time worth to you? It cost more than a similarly configured system from other makers, but if you want the best gaming machine, I think Alienware will deliver.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 8:38:16 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 10:00:55 AM EST
I just built a new box also. Actually went with an Intel D845EBG2L MB this time, onboard audio, LAN and 6 USB 2.0 Intel PIV 2.4ghz 256 mb DDR PC2700, added a G-Force AGP vid card. Stripped the drives out of the old box [BD] Works for me.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 10:15:31 AM EST
echo6, you might try to go to the DELL.com site and use the "build your own" program to see what their machine would cost. I found I could get more "stuff" than Alienware for less money. It won't cost you anything to check it out. Good luck.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 2:43:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/7/2003 2:45:02 PM EST by DJbump]
Are Alienware PCs worth it? Nope. You can build one of equal specs and components for several hundred dollars less. And as others have noted, it's as easy to assemble your own PC...as easy as it is to maintain, clean and take apart/put back together an AR.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 3:06:35 PM EST
My recomendation is: If you're going to build, get an Asus Motherboard (www.asus.com), AMD Athlon XP processor and Crucial RAM (www.crucial.com). The Athlon is a better performer than the P4, and is usually cheaper. If you get the retail version, don't use the retail heatsink because they SUCK. I've found the Vantec AeroFlow to be quite good. You can use the compund that comes with the heatsink, but Arctic Silver 3 is much better. after that, you can add on any other goodies you want. Just as a note, I'm A+ and MCSE Certified.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 5:02:43 PM EST
some times u are able to salvage the ram also.
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