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Which PC System?

Old 07-23-01, 11:35 AM
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Which PC System?

As a followup to my post from a few days ago, here are 2 systems that I am considering. Any input?

System 1
Dell Dimension 4100
Pentium® lll Processor, 1 GHz
128MB 133MHz SDRAM (can upgrade cheaply with crucial)
Logitech Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Desktop Solution
17 in (16.0 in viewable,.24-.25AG)P780 FD Trinitron® Monitor
32MB NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 4X AGP Graphics Card with TV-Out
40GB Ultra ATA/100 Hard Drive
56K PCI Data Fax Modem for Windows
12X/8X/32X CD-RW Drive
SB Live! Value Digital
FREE! Epson Stylus C40UX InkJet
$1264 + $101 shipping

system 2
ABS PC
FIC AD11 DDR 266MHz FSB Motherboard
AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1.2GHz
256MB DDR SDRAM PC2100
40GB WD 7200RPM ATA100 HD
Lite-On 12x10x32 CD-RW
32MB Leadtek nVidia GeForce 2 Pro w/TV-Out
19in Hitachi CM771 .26DP Flat Monitor
Sound Blaster Live! Value
Zoom PCI 56K V.90 Modem
Microsoft IntelliMouse
Microsoft Internet Keyboard w/o Handrest
$1234 + $130 for shipping

I'm not interested in speakers as I have a cheap pair and it's close to my stereo system. Either system will be run on Windows 2000 professional. I want a good quality monitor. The free printer from Dell is nice, but if I was going to buy a printer, it wouldn't be that one.

Last edited by svadas; 07-23-01 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 07-23-01, 12:14 PM
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same price.. i would go for the second one.. just for the larger monitor, extra ram, and extra processor power..

on the other hand.. the first system is a dell.. which might be worth it for the service and support alone..

I would say the dell service and support about averages out the difference in power of the other system.. so it all depends on how well you can support your own system, and if its worth it to you to have an easy to handle warranty through dell.

Last edited by twikoff; 07-23-01 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 07-23-01, 02:00 PM
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Second what twikoff said, if you can take care of your system and don't need much/any tech support, the second system is more powerful and a better value. That would be my choice.

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Old 07-23-01, 02:03 PM
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how much more powerful though? Would I even notice it? Is it a significant increase. I know that whatever i buy will very quickly become obsolete, but if the difference here isn't much, I trust Dell. As far as tech support goes, I've never really needed any in the past. I'm more concerned about the quality aspect.

Last edited by svadas; 07-23-01 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 07-23-01, 02:15 PM
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Hard to say, with games I think you would see it, harder to say for general computing & internet, apps might load quicker and be a little snappier. You might want to check the speed on the dell harddrive, I noticed the amd system is 7200 rpm, the dell might be 5400, which would affect boot up speed and app loading times. What are you using it for?
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Originally posted by svadas
how much more powerful though? Would I even notice it? Is it a significant increase. I know that whatever i buy will very quickly become obsolete, but if the difference here isn't much, I trust Dell. As far as tech support goes, I've never really needed any in the past. I'm more concerned about the quality aspect.
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Old 07-23-01, 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by svadas
how much more powerful though? Would I even notice it? Is it a significant increase. I know that whatever i buy will very quickly become obsolete, but if the difference here isn't much, I trust Dell. As far as tech support goes, I've never really needed any in the past. I'm more concerned about the quality aspect.
the ram would probably make the biggest difference.. but you can get 128mb stick or sdram for practically pennies anymore

the extra size in the monitor would be nice.. there is a noticable difference between 17 and 19 inches..

the cd burner might make you wonder.. since the lite on should have burn proof.. while you didnt make it clear which brand of cdrw comes with the dell.. but at 12x8x32x, it most likely isnt one with burnproof.. burnproof is almost a deciding factor in my book.

as you said though.. dell is a quality company, and you can count on them..
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Old 07-23-01, 04:33 PM
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mostly will be used for general computing/internet/MS Office/ Scientific apps. I plan on getting some games in every so often, but I'm not focusing on a "gaming pc". How does the quality of the 19inch Hitachi going to compare to a 17inch Trinitron? I've always had Trinitron monitors in the past. I'm not familiar with "burn proof" but I'm sure I could find out if the Dell System has it. I defaulted to the base RAM configuration with the Dell as they charge double what I can order it from on-line so I intend to add another 256MB if I go that route.
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Old 07-23-01, 05:31 PM
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The second PC will blow away the first when it comes to games. The Geforce MX is basically crippled Geoforce 2.

DDR memory and faster system bus of the second PC will be a little quicker than the aging PC133 bus, in day to day applications. Although the difference may not be noticable.

Gaming hands down go for the 2nd system.
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Old 07-23-01, 06:31 PM
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You might want to re-price the dell again, go through the small business link... You'll find it to be much cheaper, especially with the free shipping and $100 off and free palm m100. Furthermore, as people have said, you might want to consider buying certain components that are easy to install separately: like ram/monitor/videe card. Although the free shipping applied to the monitor might be advantageous.

I get $1114 with free shipping for your first system=savings of about $250 (which you can use to upgrade your video card or monitor or something else). plus a palm m100 instead of the printer.

Last edited by raytseng; 07-23-01 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 07-23-01, 06:35 PM
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the trinitron is a better monitor then the hitachi.. but thats the price you pay for the difference in size
in my opinion.. the burn proof.. or similar technology, is a must in any burner these days..
shoeboy is right about the amd system having a better video card.. on the same note, dell prices are somewhat negotiable.. if you tell them what you found elsewhere and the price, you might be able to get the components you want, from them..
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Old 07-23-01, 06:36 PM
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Originally posted by raytseng
You might want to re-price the dell again, go through the small business link... You'll find it to be much cheaper, especially with the free shipping and $100 off and free palm m100. Furthermore, as people have said, you might want to consider buying certain components that are easy to install separately: like ram/monitor/vidoe card.
the small business link almost always means alot of onboard components though.. but of course you can make up for these components elsewhere using pricewatch.com
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Old 07-23-01, 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by twikoff


the small business link almost always means alot of onboard components though.. but of course you can make up for these components elsewhere using pricewatch.com
No it doesn't. It's the same as the home system...Check it out for yourself. If anything, it's more configurable: you can pick your os, you can drop the ram to 64 and get no speakers..

Last edited by raytseng; 07-23-01 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 07-23-01, 07:40 PM
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Thanks guys. Well this old PC can't browse Dell's site without crashing. Now I've got a greater understanding of what components I need for a system that won't be obsolete before it's delivered. So it seems that this is where I need to go:

Pentium III 1 GHz or similar AMD chip
256 MB Ram
40 Gig HD (5400 or 7200 RPM?)
CD-RW with "burn-proof"
32MB nVidia GeForce 2 Pro w/TV-Out
17-19inch high quality monitor (prefer trinitron)
Sound Blaster Live Value
56K modem
no speakers
operating system irrelevant as I have a sealed copy of 2000
and plan to dual boot it with linux
keyboard & mouse (I liked that wireless one that Dell had if using the TV out is really usefull video-wise)

So given this configuration that everyone is steering me to, how do I get their? You guys seem to know more than I do at getting the deals so I'll let you guys go crazy. I can install ram and cards myself. I just don't want to tackle the whole thing hence not building myself from scratch. Can we get there cheapest with a base Dell still?

How useful is the Video out? I mean is it worthwile to try and play games hooked up to the big screen?

Thanks again for all the help. Specific plans will be greatly appreciated as I need to buy in the next few weeks in time for grad classes to start.
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Old 07-23-01, 07:50 PM
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if your going with dell.. make sure you go to techbargains.com and look around on the front page! you may save hundreds

in their news articles today, they explain some of the ways to save money. there are two articles in their news parts.. one is currently at the top of the page.. the other is about half way down.. both in the center

then in their coupons listing on the right side, you will see several listed under dell.. some of these may apply to you

also.. i would suggest calling in the order to make sure you get everything you wanted, and all the possible deals.. make sure to ask lots of questions to the rep, and make sure he gives you every deal that your entitled to.. everything is negotiable.. keep in mind that you are the customer and they need your business.

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Old 07-23-01, 08:07 PM
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Originally posted by twikoff
if your going with dell.. make sure you go to techbargains.com and look around on the front page! you may save hundreds
Also note that the deals at techbargains are the same as listed at dell.com. There is no benefit to you for linking through. If you do want a rebate for linking through, go to you know where.
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Old 07-23-01, 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by svadas

Thanks again for all the help. Specific plans will be greatly appreciated as I need to buy in the next few weeks in time for grad classes to start.
Easiest way is to buy right now. Do it online, to take advantage of the saving $100. If you call, they might cut you a deal, but I doubt it'll match up to the $100 off for no-salesperson online order. I would start at you know where, link to dell small business and configure the 4100 with the following

P3-1G or 1.1G (doubt the extra .1 will make a difference for you,
proper tweaking of your computer would do more)
-64MB ram (throw out and replace from crucial, starting at you know where)
-cd-rom (add a cdrw from elsewhere)
-no monitor (buy separately from elsewhere or from accesory store, given coupon from techbargains. m991 is highly rated)
-sblive
-modem (or buy separately)
-win 98 or whatever. (sounds like you'll throw out anyway, but buying the right OS might be wise, since it will be factory installed, less of a headache when you get the system. Go sell your packaged copy to someone else)
-40GB HD
-GeForceMX (sell and replace with the card of your choice bought separately)

given the sale in Dell software/accesories, it might be a good place to pick up some of the additional things you might need. OR, wait and just watch the bargain forums until the things that you want pop up...
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Old 07-23-01, 08:39 PM
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Originally posted by raytseng


Also note that the deals at techbargains are the same as listed at dell.com. There is no benefit to you for linking through. If you do want a rebate for linking through, go to you know where.
true.. but by checking out techbargains first.. you know which deals are available.. they arent always as obvious on dell's page..
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Old 07-23-01, 08:56 PM
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if dell's still giving the $100 webcert for referral's I'm more than will to refer one of you guys. I think we are on the right track with a Dell base system. The shrink wrap is broken on my copy of 2000. I opened it to read the manual. But I'd think I'd have to reformat the entire drive to partition off a section for linux anyways.

raytseng: which site is the usual site that you keep mentioning going through? I'm just used to buying dvd's and stereo equipment so I'm naive here. I can say that I have gotten 10 years use out of my last pc purchase. That one went very far. I believe the list was 7k and I got it for 3k with edu discount and it still works.

Last edited by svadas; 07-23-01 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 07-23-01, 09:55 PM
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Originally posted by svadas

raytseng: which site is the usual site that you keep mentioning going through? I'm just used to buying dvd's and stereo equipment so I'm naive here. I can say that I have gotten 10 years use out of my last pc purchase. That one went very far. I believe the list was 7k and I got it for 3k with edu discount and it still works.
Naming of the unnamed site is banned by this forum, as well as others for good reason, sorry..., but you'll get 2% back in about 3 months

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Old 07-23-01, 11:27 PM
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or go thru the dvdtalk link and help out Geoff and this site. I know people use the other site( i joined just never use it)
I think helping Geoff pay the bills makes up for the 2% you get. I guess for some the money is more important to them.

I would still go with the AMD system since by pulling out all the parts and making the Dell better you are voiding the great warranty you are paying more for. call ABS and see if they will deal also. I just think the faster hard drive(5400 vs 7200) and the faster ram(sdram vs DDR) as well as the faster processor makes this easy to decide for me.

I own a P3 800 that was overclocked to 880. I doubt the system you are getting from Dell is much faster. my AMD 1.2 Ghz overclocked to 1.33 Ghz is faster than my old system.

good luck either way

by the way I would buy the monitor somewhere else if you can find a deal or even get it locally. the savings from shipping and the price will make it better usually. what is the ABS price without a monitor? how much does shipping go down? cal and see if they will ship the computer for free if you do not get the monitor to match the free shipping for Dell.

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Old 07-24-01, 06:03 AM
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lastnight I was hunting around for the dvd talk link to dell, because I was going to suggest it.. but couldnt find it..
where is it?
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Old 07-24-01, 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by twikoff
lastnight I was hunting around for the dvd talk link to dell, because I was going to suggest it.. but couldnt find it..
where is it?
Dell

click on more at the top of the list of links. it is under the computer list.

here is crucial for good measure
Crucial.com

you need to view source and then cut and paste the link over
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Old 07-24-01, 01:12 PM
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free shipping appears to be gone now at Dell.
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Old 07-24-01, 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by svadas
free shipping appears to be gone now at Dell.
call ABS and see if they will give you a deal on shipping or call Dell and see if they will.

you know what i think so i will not keep beating that cpu

what are you thinking of doing?
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Old 07-24-01, 01:43 PM
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You say you're going to dual boot Linux and 2000 -- in that case, be very careful about which hardware you select. The cheaper the hardware (like a Winmodem) or the more advanced and outside the realm of what the average gamer, geek, or end user has, the more likely there won't be linux drivers for that piece of hardware (or even Win2000, for that matter). I recently had a hell of a time finding Win2000 drivers for my father's old, outdated 56k modem. I eventually dug around until I found an old USRobotics 56k and just slapped that in.

Dell sends out systems pre-loaded with Linux, so I would suspect that all of their hardware has a linux driver either natively on the CD, or downloadable through Dell's website.

Personally though, I'd be real tempted to build the system configuration listed in B, but I'd probably end up buying from Dell. Dell is a proven commodity, I'd have to feel comfortable with the the second company before I'd buy their system.
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