Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 5/28/2003 4:37:54 PM EDT
I've gotten the OK to buy a new computer at work. I use it for personal and business. Since I spend more time here than at home I want it to have all the bells and whistles. Need advice on hard drive memory, operating system, speed and what ever else you can layth on me. I need serious advice because I know some of you are full of it and you know who I'm talking about.[;d]
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 4:50:39 PM EDT
Do you like M$ windows or are you capable of using a computer? I generally recommend not buying the latest and greatest due to the premium pricing that is charged for them. Get a mid-range system and add whatever you want to it.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 4:54:19 PM EDT
Also, dont rule out corporations like Dell setting you up. I contracted a small local firm to custom build me a desktop. It was a fucking nightmare, messed up, took a month for them to build it, so outrageous. I haven't had Dell or any big firm build my computer, but after my hellish experience with incompetent locals (after my upgrade, my cpu crashes regularly) I am going to them from now on.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 4:57:04 PM EDT
Get a dell. I know that their politics are supposed to suck, but hey make a good product.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 5:00:27 PM EDT
Build it yourself. Thats what I do I refuse to let anyone touch any of my rigs. Unfourtainatly I don't want to touch them anymore either.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 5:01:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/28/2003 5:02:18 PM EDT by Peetmoss]
OOps double tap.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 5:20:54 PM EDT
dell.com
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 5:22:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 5:42:14 PM EDT
stay away from the dell hell, you are paying that extra money for the name, nothing more.... is it gonna be a gaming pc, do you need high end stuff? w/o knowing much, here are 2 sites i bought my last pc's from, you can customize as much as you want [url]http://www.cyberpowersystem.com/home.htm[/url] [url]http://www.fticomputer.com/[/url]
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 5:59:42 PM EDT
get a computer that won't make you insane....get a Mac.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 6:01:34 PM EDT
My company buys Dell. We have about 200 Dell 'puters. From my experience, Dell's response on any equipment failures has been excellent. At home I personally have an E-Machine, I know - Iknow, but it has functioned flawlessly for me for the last two years. I'm going to upgrade this year (only because I need more speed for my work related CAD programs) and I will go with the DELL. If you plan on doing video capture get the largest HD you can find. If you're into gaming audio/video cards and speed is important. Personally - I'd look at Dell or the Cow "Gateway", unless you are a computer freak forget about building it yourself unless you want all the headaches of trying to make all the pieces talk to each other!
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 6:12:28 PM EDT
check out the forums over at [url]http://overclockers.com[/url] these geeks are good!
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 6:21:46 PM EDT
I have heard too many horror stories from Dell. Personally, I am extremely happy with my Compaq. Excellent product, great prices and customer service is excellent. I had a battery failure (third party manufacture), called them up, talked to a rep and had a replacement in the mail in 2 days. Not only did they send me a battery, but a new cover for it too. We have 2 Compaq at work and have no probs out of them either.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 6:54:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/28/2003 6:56:00 PM EDT by Cerebus]
Avoid Dell, quality control is lacking and customer support is so-so at best. Do yourself a favor and buy a Compaq/HP. I use the Evo line exclusively at work (about 120 PC's), and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone. They're top notch quality at a decent price ...and their customer service is the best I've ever dealt with. [b]If[/b] there's a problem, they'll overnight the part to you, or send a tech out within a day. And it's a 3 year warranty to boot.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 6:57:56 PM EDT
if you do buy a dell, go to [url]http://ableshoppers.com[/url] for the most recent online discount codes, you WILL save a couple hundred bucks.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 7:14:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By gaspain: if you do buy a dell, go to [url]http://ableshoppers.com[/url] for the most recent online discount codes, you WILL save a couple hundred bucks.
View Quote
Buy anything BUT A DELL. I have had 0 quality concerns, But the REBATES you are supposed to get will never make it too you. DELL OWES ME $100 & 6 months free internet service. This a a nightmare. I have call to talk to them every other day for the past 4 months. ON HOLD FOR COUNTLESS HOURS. BAIT AND SWITCH tactics. Bait and SWITCH tactics.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 7:29:34 PM EDT
I'll sell you mine. I built it to be a HTPC. It has multiple players, an ok processor, lots of RAM and a good size hard drive. Windows XP home. E-mail me if you are interested. [email]q3131a@ar15.com[/email]
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 7:37:49 PM EDT
1.Micron 2.Micron 3.Micron
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 3:53:08 AM EDT
Yea, I've had a Gateway and Dell. They're good but may not go this route again. Got any advice on speed and operaton system??
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 4:57:47 AM EDT
For the OS, go with Windows XP Pro ...not the Home version. Get at least a 2 GHz processor and at least 512 MB of RAM. Max out the RAM if you can afford to, it will have the biggest impact on system performance.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 5:15:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/29/2003 5:15:57 AM EDT by AimSmall]
[url]www.pricewatch.com[/url] Build the sucker yourself.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 5:59:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/29/2003 6:02:27 AM EDT by KC0CXA]
I would build it your self or have some one build it for you with the parts you want. Here are the specs I would stick with AMD XP 2200+ or Higher stay away from Intel. They are overpriced for the same to less proformance. 512MB of DDR 333 or 400 memory (RAM) more if you can afford it. 40 gig hard drive or bigger what are you doing with it? 64MB AGP 4x or 8x video card. More for games or graphic stuff. It is cheaper and easier if you can get a motherboard with the NIC and Sound built into it. It also gives you better air flow in your system. With that said dont go cheap on cooling fans make sure you add a few extra case fans. and if your video card doesnt have a fan on it I like to put a slot blower fan next to them. Keep everything cool it will run faster and longer that way. CD drives and what not can be added as you need them or want them. You need at least one CD drive. I wouldnt waist my money on floppy drive. Software what ever you are going to need. I dont care for Microsoft but if that is what you are used to then go for it. But I would get Win XP Pro. You can do far more with it if you need to. I just pretty much built a system like that on Monday for home it ran me $650 with a new monitor and everything. But I had all the OS and everything too. Plus I run linux so it is cheaper. HTH if you have any other questions ask. KC Edited to add: That if you use it at work and you guys use a linux server then you Need XP Pro because home wont talk to SAMBA.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 6:44:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By raven: Also, dont rule out corporations like Dell setting you up. I contracted a small local firm to custom build me a desktop. It was a fucking nightmare, messed up, took a month for them to build it, so outrageous. I haven't had Dell or any big firm build my computer, but after my hellish experience with incompetent locals (after my upgrade, my cpu crashes regularly) I am going to them from now on.
View Quote
go find another local shop, i build my own and build them for a buisness. rarley do i get callbacks on a unstable system. when i do its fixed quickly. building takes about a week to a week and a half if parts are not in stock. if in stock.. you could possibly have it the next day if it plays fair.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 6:49:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By thecleaner: get a computer that won't make you insane....get a Mac.
View Quote
thats right.. a mac will not drive you insane... just to murder. you will kill the damn macintrash.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 6:51:49 AM EDT
My children built a computer and they are only in high school, they ended up buying a AMD 2100 CPU, mother-board, case, 256MB RAM memory, a video card, and 40G harddrive. I gave them a 3½ floppy drive(you need it to boot it up the first time, $20), keyboard & monitor. I think it costed them something like $400. And it screams. They are already talking about 100G hard drive for $120.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 8:02:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/29/2003 8:03:22 AM EDT by Hellraiser]
For an office PC, I recommend Dell. As the VP of IS, I buy all the computers for my company. Dell has been consistent in their service, when something fails (all computers can fail, just a matter of time), I get replacement parts delivered next day and with no BS. Been through all the major brands IBM, HP, Compaq, Gateway and none has had the level of service that I have received from Dell. Edited to add: For my personal computers, I build them myself.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 8:13:37 AM EDT
you guys are actually recommending a compaq over a dell? [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 8:18:11 AM EDT
Dude... get a Dell. Two of my last 5 systems have been Dells. They funcioned the best and I've had the least trouble with them.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 8:31:27 AM EDT
Incidentally, the computer I'm on now was made by ABS [url]www.buyabs.com[/url] The only real problem with companies like Dell and Gateway is that alot of their shit is proprietary and integrated. My friend wanted to upgrade his video card, only to find out it's integrated into the motherboard. ABS is basically a large version of your local builder. They assemble computers from parts that are readily available, so when you want to upgrade or change out parts it's easy to do and you don't have the compatibility issues that you do with Dell or Gateway.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 8:31:29 AM EDT
I think Dell is pretty reliable. I deal with >1100 dells every day @ work. I work desktop support @ MNDOT. Dell has the best support and we rarely need to use it. Much better than some of the old Compaqs and Microns we still have left. If you get a Dell, go to their small business line and get an Optiplex or a Precision, better models and better support. A refurb might be a good choice too, Dell has full warranty on their refurbs. However their gaming machines are quite spendy. Falcon NW, Alienware, Cyberpower, Voodoo Computers, Monarch Computers, iBuypower, Pentium 4 2.4Ghz or faster, A motherboard that supports Dual channel DDR and Hyperthreading, 512MB DDR or more, Windows XP Pro, However much harddrive space you need/want & whatever optical drives you need/want. ATI 9500 or greater video card.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 9:07:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By norman74: you guys are actually recommending a compaq over a dell? [rolleyes]
View Quote
Anyone saying they have experience with both Dell and Compaq, and actually claiming Dell is a better computer backed by better service [b]is full of shit[/b] and I have to doubt you actually have any real computer experience. Over the past 6 years, and two companies, I've tried at least 4 dozen Dells (both Optiplex and Precesions) and I've had hardware problems with [b]at least[/b] half of them within the first 2 weeks. That's poor quality ...no way you Dell folks can rationalize that. During the same time span, I've had at least 120 Compaq's/HP's from the old Deskpro EN's to the new Evo 510's ...less than 10 hardware failures. And all but 2 of those have been after the machine was in service for a year or more. I did have 2 power supplies go within a month of receiving the PC's. Parts have [b]always[/b] been delivered by the next business day, either through UPS, or in the hands of a [i]competent[/i] tech. This is real world experience ...not hyped up BS because I want you to buy a particular brand 'cuz I'm in love with the [b][i]DUDE![/i][/b] that sells them.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 9:22:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Cerebus:
Originally Posted By norman74: you guys are actually recommending a compaq over a dell? [rolleyes]
View Quote
Anyone saying they have experience with both Dell and Compaq, and actually claiming Dell is a better computer backed by better service [b]is full of shit[/b] and I have to doubt you actually have any real computer experience. Over the past 6 years, and two companies, I've tried at least 4 dozen Dells (both Optiplex and Precesions) and I've had hardware problems with [b]at least[/b] half of them within the first 2 weeks. That's poor quality ...no way you Dell folks can rationalize that. During the same time span, I've had at least 120 Compaq's/HP's from the old Deskpro EN's to the new Evo 510's ...less than 10 hardware failures. And all but 2 of those have been after the machine was in service for a year or more. I did have 2 power supplies go within a month of receiving the PC's. Parts have [b]always[/b] been delivered by the next business day, either through UPS, or in the hands of a [i]competent[/i] tech. This is real world experience ...not hyped up BS because I want you to buy a particular brand 'cuz I'm in love with the [b][i]DUDE![/i][/b] that sells them.
View Quote
Need a refill for your meds? People describe their real-world experiences and you say we are full of shit??? Obviously your experience with Dells are much different than ours and is not the "norm". I have over 600 dells that have been in place for a few months to 5 years, of those 600, I have only had 9 go down with the usual quick fix problems and 5 of those were a blown power supply from a lightning strike near one of our buildings. I get the same level of service (next day parts) from Dell that you say you get with Compaq. You sound like a Compaq salesman.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 10:48:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Cerebus:
Originally Posted By norman74: you guys are actually recommending a compaq over a dell? [rolleyes]
View Quote
Anyone saying they have experience with both Dell and Compaq, and actually claiming Dell is a better computer backed by better service [b]is full of shit[/b] and I have to doubt you actually have any real computer experience. Over the past 6 years, and two companies, I've tried at least 4 dozen Dells (both Optiplex and Precesions) and I've had hardware problems with [b]at least[/b] half of them within the first 2 weeks. That's poor quality ...no way you Dell folks can rationalize that. During the same time span, I've had at least 120 Compaq's/HP's from the old Deskpro EN's to the new Evo 510's ...less than 10 hardware failures. And all but 2 of those have been after the machine was in service for a year or more. I did have 2 power supplies go within a month of receiving the PC's. Parts have [b]always[/b] been delivered by the next business day, either through UPS, or in the hands of a [i]competent[/i] tech. This is real world experience ...not hyped up BS because I want you to buy a particular brand 'cuz I'm in love with the [b][i]DUDE![/i][/b] that sells them.
View Quote
No joke "dude", amp the fuck down. If you're really needing 4x BDU's and are 5'8" 325lbs, I'm not sure your heart can take the stress of reading an internet board. Ask your mom if you can come up out of the basement for awhile and get some fresh air.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 11:01:09 AM EDT
Dell has been the only company to sell me a PC ( I am on my 2nd Dell ) that worked out of the box. [b]DO NOT ADD[/b] components after purchase to a Dell and expect them to support it. Skip the extended warranty. Dell customer service is useless after the return period. Try to get one a few steps down from state of the art, fewer bugs and you won't be paying a premium for a few percent more speed. Good luck!
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 11:14:46 AM EDT
I priced a really nice Compaq system a little while back for somebody at my old job...it was around 600 bucks, after rebates, and was a P4 system with 512mb of ram and a halfway decent sized hard drive. Like most nerds, I build my own...but if you even have to ask what to buy, I'll assume you don't really have the expertise/inclination to build one yourself. If that IS the case, then get something that has an 800 number, where you can call and get tech support. Otherwise, the first time the thing breaks, you'll be annoying all your friends to come fix it lol. The last 3 sytems I've built have all been AMD, they give great value for the $$..but don't discount an Intel...Compaq and Dell get great prices on these CPUs, when they buy them 10,000 at a time. Now, if you want to run Unreal 2 at 1600x1200 in 32bit color at 160fps, THAT'S gonna cost you mucho $$. If, though, you just want a reasonably performing box that you won't have to upgrade for a while, then you should be able to do that for WELL under $1000, depending on CPU and video card. Bare bones minimum, though, should be: P4 2.4gb or Athlon XP 2100 CPU--under NO circumstances should you buy an intel CELERON processor. A LOT of systems still have these, and they blow goats by today's cpu standard. 512mb RAM--RAM is dirt cheap, so don't scrimp. All of your stuff will run faster. 40GB Hard Drive. Hard drives are cheap too...get the biggest one that doesn't break the bank...I'd get at least a 60mb. GeForce 4 4200, or a Radeon 9000 or so. This is the hard part...most name brand folks like Dell and Compaq are WAY behind the power curve on video cards...or they charge WAY too much for a good one as an upgrade. The Geforce 4 Ti4200 will give you very good gaming performance, and the street price is under $100. IF you can swap out the card yourself, this might be the way to go. The Radeon is a good card, too, but they've got WAY too many models to me to be able to sort it out...but from 9500 on up, as long as it is the PRO, you're getting a great card...but I wouldn't go lower than an 8500 under any circumstances. What the OEMs have around is anyone's guess, and good luck requesting something they don't have. If there is a REPUTABLE mom and pop shop in your area, the chances are better that you could get a good video card from the get go. Well, I hope this helps. Good luck. If you have any geek friends, pester them into teaching you how to build your own...it's not too hard, and you have the ability to put what you want in it, and insure your upgrade path. Oh yeah, BEWARE PROPRIETARY MOTHERBOARD/CASE DESIGN!!! Nothing is worse than plunking down hard earned $$ on a computer, only to find you can't even change the sound card because of the case or the motherboard. Good Luck!
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 11:21:38 AM EDT
ONE GIG of PC2100 DDRAM!!!!
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 11:26:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By norman74: No joke "dude", amp the fuck down. If you're really needing 4x BDU's and are 5'8" 325lbs, I'm not sure your heart can take the stress of reading an internet board. Ask your mom if you can come up out of the basement for awhile and get some fresh air.
View Quote
It's scares me you know this much about me. It's sad you don't have anything better to do than keep tabs on people's BDU sizes, height, and weight. You're off on the mom part though, she's died a long, painful death from cancer, so feel free to leave her out of it. Oh, wait! There's something else to put in your Cerebus biography! [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 11:36:12 AM EDT
DO NOT BUY A DELL (DELL
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 11:41:28 AM EDT
DO NOT BUY A DELL!!! (DELL is an evil company that DOES NOT support american workers!!) micron is a good company that sells largely to the goverment. Your best bet is to find a small, honest, company that supports local business. i am a computer technican for such a company in Jax, FL (so i know). Find a similar company in your area and you will get a good computer that will last a long time, be cheap to repair/upgrade (a DELL while cheaper to start WILL NOT be cheap to repair/upgrade) and you will be supporting american workers. Michael DELL is EVIL
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 11:46:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By warlord: I gave them a 3½ floppy drive(you need it to boot it up the first time)
View Quote
Nope, you don't need a floppy drive for that at all. You just go into your BIOS and have it boot from the CD-ROM drive. I always install Windows that way.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 11:48:27 AM EDT
My wife's Dell laptop was DOA. She now has a Toshiba and it is spiffy!
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 12:20:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 12:23:31 PM EDT
Never used a Dell. Current computer at home is claone made by the same company that did the clones for work. Was impressed by them, even after reloading all the software on 24 units shipped to NJ with in-house network suite and settings rather than field package. Gateway worked great until mb got flaky and then had to scrap it as being u/a repair. New IT staff caught up with us too. Gateways weren't on approved list when we got them. The bennies of being off-site. I guess the only thing I would be concerned about is mo-board built-ins like sound and nic. If those fritz yer screwed, if on a separate card, the nic card is $5 for a D-Link and sound can be about the same unless you want the philharmonic on your desk. Get the biggest case and more fans. You can get a great machine for WORK for under a K and get the biggest monitor you can swing. Since you aren't really using it for gaming you don't need the screaming video cards. I personally have seen great results from the local clone works, but I did my homework each time. If it's for work at work, check with your IT folks (if any) you want them to be on your side if there are problems for them to fix.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 3:10:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/29/2003 3:13:02 PM EDT by kels]
Since no one has mentioned HP, I will. Run away as fast as possible. I bought the top of the line one at Staples. Didnt know any better. HPs take HP parts. They have no fans to cool the damn thing off. Mine cooked itself about 2 months after the 3 year warranty ran out. One of the college kids works for one of the call in help/repair sevices that helps you when you screw something up. He said the same thing about Compaq (run away fast). Whenever he is ranting about Compaq, it usually starts with, this POS........................... I am looking at Gateway at present.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 3:38:48 PM EDT
i built a computer. i then bought a dell for financial wheelings i'll not delve into. next time, i will build again. it's not that dell is a bad machine, it's just got too much preloaded crap and a proprietary version of xp and blah blah blah... i had to have some buddies at ms send me a clean version of xp pro so i could nix the dell version. i'm running jbuilder and oracle and weblogic and about a billion other things on there and i can't have any unnecessary system hogging when i'm doing ms testing. it's kind of difficult to get hard numbers on how fast your computer serves pages when dell support is eating up 24 megs of ram and running a daemon program every minute. build it. it will then be yours and you'll feel comfortable knowing nothing has been loaded behind your back. and do learn linux if at all possible, it is an investment against future headaches.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 6:55:59 PM EDT
Your decission has to be based on your level of experience and your tolerance for problems. If you know PC's well enough you can easily build your own, but if you're less certain of your abilities then you really should buy a package PC from someone like Dell. Here's the pros/cons for building your own: PROS 1. YOU select the components YOU want and search for the best price for them. 2. You will have greater flexability in doing upgrades as your not prevented from making the kind of adjustments you will probably need to make to BIOS. 3. If you want a real screamer (Gamer are we?) then there's little chance you'll find a package that's better then you can build yourself. CONS 1. CO$T. From a price/performance standpoint it's hard to match a package system from the likes of Dell. Remember, you have to buy everything including the OS and software if you build whereas these are usually included in the package from Dell et al. 2. SUPPORT. If YOU build it YOU support it -- if Dell builds it then THEY support it. They, and the others, offer various support packages and if you pay an extra $100 or so you can expect pretty responsive service. 3. TIME. If you build it YOU will spend days assembling the hardware, insatlling the OS and apps, downloading all the updates to the OS and apps, updating the drivers, asking arround for help to resolve issues you've encountered during the build. If you buy a package PC you may still need to download SOME updates but the time spent will be MUCH less. These are the principal diferences and it's up to you to decide you tolerance and experience level. As an aside... I just built my first PC after more than 20 years of PC ownership. I've bought about 10 PC's over this time and up till now I've always felt the balance of cost/performance was in the package guys favor. This time around I came to the same conclussion but the difference was less and I just felt I wanted to do it at least once. Now, I'm no slouch when it comes to electroncs and computers as I've been in the industry since the late 70's. I built a system using the following components: Thermaltake V200A case with Thermaltake PSU, Gigabyte GA-8KNXP MB with Corsair TWINX1024-3200LLPT DDR RAM and Intel P4 3.0GHz-800MHz FSB CPU, ATI AIW 9700 Pro video board driving a ViewSonic VX2000 LCD display, Seagate 120GB SATA HD added to two older IBM PATA HD's of 45GB and 14GB, Sony DW-U10A DVD burner that does ALL the formats, Yamaha CRW2100E CDRW burner added from another PC, and a USR PCI modem with controller (non Winmodem). All of these components glued together with WinXP Pro. As an example of the kinds of issues you will likely encounter if you build it yourself I can point to the Sony DW-U10A DVD burner. As shipped it would burn at a max of 2.4X and was incompatable with some of the blank disks. This drive is actually the same as the Sony DRU-500A except that Sony is not supporting the DW-U10A drive with firmware updates. SOOO, I found out that you could flash the firmware of the DW-U10A to that of the DRU-500A as long as I could find an old enough version of the firmware update and then, once the drive had been "converted" to a DRU-500A, I could downlaod and flash to the latest level firmware. The bottome line is that after some not insignificant work I was able to make my drive fully compatable with all the media and burn at the full 4X speed (4.7GB's in less than 30 minutes!) Now, if any of the terms I've used here are unfamiliar to you then you probably should NOT build your own! Later, Brian Stirling
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 6:58:36 PM EDT
Your decission has to be based on your level of experience and your tolerance for problems. If you know PC's well enough you can easily build your own, but if you're less certain of your abilities then you really should buy a package PC from someone like Dell. Here's the pros/cons for building your own: PROS 1. YOU select the components YOU want and search for the best price for them. 2. You will have greater flexability in doing upgrades as your not prevented from making the kind of adjustments you will probably need to make to BIOS. 3. If you want a real screamer (Gamer are we?) then there's little chance you'll find a package that's better then you can build yourself. CONS 1. CO$T. From a price/performance standpoint it's hard to match a package system from the likes of Dell. Remember, you have to buy everything including the OS and software if you build whereas these are usually included in the package from Dell et al. 2. SUPPORT. If YOU build it YOU support it -- if Dell builds it then THEY support it. They, and the others, offer various support packages and if you pay an extra $100 or so you can expect pretty responsive service. 3. TIME. If you build it YOU will spend days assembling the hardware, insatlling the OS and apps, downloading all the updates to the OS and apps, updating the drivers, asking arround for help to resolve issues you've encountered during the build. If you buy a package PC you may still need to download SOME updates but the time spent will be MUCH less. These are the principal diferences and it's up to you to decide you tolerance and experience level. As an aside... I just built my first PC after more than 20 years of PC ownership. I've bought about 10 PC's over this time and up till now I've always felt the balance of cost/performance was in the package guys favor. This time around I came to the same conclussion but the difference was less and I just felt I wanted to do it at least once. Now, I'm no slouch when it comes to electroncs and computers as I've been in the industry since the late 70's. I built a system using the following components: Thermaltake V200A case with Thermaltake PSU, Gigabyte GA-8KNXP MB with Corsair TWINX1024-3200LLPT DDR RAM and Intel P4 3.0GHz-800MHz FSB CPU, ATI AIW 9700 Pro video board driving a ViewSonic VX2000 LCD display, Seagate 120GB SATA HD added to two older IBM PATA HD's of 45GB and 14GB, Sony DW-U10A DVD burner that does ALL the formats, Yamaha CRW2100E CDRW burner added from another PC, and a USR PCI modem with controller (non Winmodem). All of these components glued together with WinXP Pro. As an example of the kinds of issues you will likely encounter if you build it yourself I can point to the Sony DW-U10A DVD burner. As shipped it would burn at a max of 2.4X and was incompatable with some of the blanks disks. This drive is actually the same as the Sony DRU-500A except that Sony is not supporting the DW-U10A drive with firmware updates. SOOO, I found out that you could flash the firmware of the DW-U10A to that of the DRU-500A as long as I could find an old enough version of the firmware update and then, once the drive had been "converted" to a DRU-500A I could downlaod and flash to the latest level firmware. The bottome line is that after some not insignificant work I was able to make my drive fully compatable with all the media and burn at the full 4X speed (4.7GB's in less than 30 minutes!) Now, if any of the terms I've used here are unfamiliar to you then you probably should NOT build your own! Later, Brian Stirling
Top Top