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Is this a fair price for this computer? (Last question)

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Is this a fair price for this computer? (Last question)

Old 01-14-04, 07:02 PM
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Is this a fair price for this computer? (Last question)

Alright....I just got an invoice from a place that builds computers and this is what they gave me:

2.0 GHz processor
All-In-One Motherboard
20 GB Hard Drive
52x/32x/52x CD-RW Drive
1.44 Floppy Drive
Built-In Video/Sound/Network
256 MB DDR 266 MHz RAM
56K Modem
Windows 98 SE

Sub-total: $599.00


OR....

As I said in another of my topics, there's the Dell Dimension 2400 with:

2.4 GHz processor
Windows XP
128MB Shared DDR SDRAM at 333MHz
40 GB Hard Drive
3.5 in Floppy Drive
48x CD-RW Drive
Keyboard
Mouse
17 in. monitor
Stereo speakers
56K Modem

Plus a $25 off+Free Shipping coupon

Sub-Total: $499 - $100 Rebate = $399


Also, I don't remember if I said this or not in my previous posts, but I don't play games on my computer. I think I own two games, and they both run fine on my old computer from '98. So, of these two, which do you think I should go for? Personally, (and I don't know that much about computers) I think I'm getting screwed with that $599 price. But whatever...
Old 01-14-04, 07:18 PM
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Get the Dell! Any PC builder still loading Win 98SE... I'd be wary of them!

Plus.. no monitor! WTF! Run.. don't walk away from the $599 "deal"!

You can upgrade the RAM to 256 from Dell for only $57.00 and it comes with twice the hard drive size.


Sonicflood
Old 01-14-04, 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by Sonicflood
Get the Dell! Any PC builder still loading Win 98SE... I'd be wary of them!

Plus.. no monitor! WTF! Run.. don't walk away from the $599 "deal"!

You can upgrade the RAM to 256 from Dell for only $57.00 and it comes with twice the hard drive size.


Sonicflood
Thanks, man...I appreciate it. Also, Dell recommends that college students upgrade to Windows XP Professional. I'm getting a new computer mainly for school, the internet, and music. Do you think I should get the upgrade?
Old 01-14-04, 07:30 PM
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Get the Dell deal, but upgrade the RAM yourself.

$57 for 128MB PC2700 RAM? Are you kidding me? It's $32 for the Crucial brand. $38 for SimpleTech 256MB. Both at newegg.com

You'll need XP Pro only if you do group networking.
Old 01-14-04, 08:42 PM
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gotta go with Fuzzyballz on this one...

get the ram from newegg.com-you'll get much more ram for much less money.

Also, 128 is less than you want for XP...order your additional ram from newegg (256) at the same time. As soon as it arrives, kick it into the dell. 384 should do you just fine, but 128 in windows xp...meh...I think 128 is the bear minimum required to even run the OS.

Keep in mind, many motherboards from the major pc sellers (hp, dell, gateway, etc) usually only have two slots-at least on their cheaper systems' motherboards...

If you get 128 with the system, and need to upgrade later, that 128 is going to be useless to you. If anything, see if you can get one 256 installed with the system, rather than 2-128's. I don't know if you can convey that need to the people on the phone at dell, but that would be better than getting 128's. Avoid anything lower than 256 (especially the 64's) at this point. I imagine the reason they are offering the 128's is because they NEED to move them while people are still willing to take a system with all slots filled totalling 256 megs of ram. Ram is very important so don't skimp...if anything, get more than you need.

Avoid the windows98se seller. 98se was great, but its time to move on. I would suspect they have some 98se oem discs sitting around that they can't sell so it becomes a "default" option for buyers...who can then "upgrade" to XP for an additional $99 (which is around the price of windows XP oem at newegg).

Anyone trying to stick you with stuff that is outdated, without saying "this is old and you'd probably rather have something newer", doesn't deserve your business. They are using your lack of knowledge to unload their excess stock.

If you think you can manage it, look into pricing for building a system with parts from newegg.com. Its not as hard as dell/gateway/hp will have you believe...and the dvdtalk people are always cool with helping out with problems.

Last edited by andrew_randy; 01-14-04 at 08:56 PM.
Old 01-14-04, 10:12 PM
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Thanks for all the help guys. I've decided to go with Dell.

Also, andrew_randy, is 256 MB sufficient for the time being? Will XP run smoothly and comfortably with 256? I'll upgrade eventually but right now I just need a new computer.
Old 01-14-04, 10:16 PM
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256 is a little on the low side. if you combine it with the 128 from the 2400 then it should be ok if you don't plan to use any intensive programs
Old 01-14-04, 11:58 PM
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Originally posted by D.Pham00
256 is a little on the low side. if you combine it with the 128 from the 2400 then it should be ok if you don't plan to use any intensive programs
Just wondering....how hard is it to put RAM in yourself? I know that for those of you who know about computers, it's a breeze...but I don't know a damn thing about them, so, is it easy?
Old 01-15-04, 12:41 AM
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Piece of cake. Just stick it in the slot... it'll only fit one way too. moving to mature? :P
Old 01-15-04, 12:46 AM
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Originally posted by fumanstan
Piece of cake. Just stick it in the slot... it'll only fit one way too. moving to mature? :P
So do all computers have one or two slots? For example, will the Dell have one with the 128 MB in it and one empty one?
Old 01-15-04, 02:03 AM
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No, number of RAM slots depends on the mobo and what chipset's used in the mobo, ranging from 2 to 10s.

How many sticks of RAM will be in the system is really up to the vendor. Dell 2400 comes with 2 slots, and one of them will be occupied by the 128MB stick.

I forgot to mention one thing. The 2400 uses a highly integrated mobo in which the graphic card is built-in and will take quite a bit of memory from the 128MB system memory. Get the 256MB now and get another stick of 256MB to replace the original 128MB if you feel the system's lagging.
Old 01-15-04, 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by Spike Jonze
Also, andrew_randy, is 256 MB sufficient for the time being? Will XP run smoothly and comfortably with 256? I'll upgrade eventually but right now I just need a new computer.
Depending on what you're doing, I think 256MB is "sufficient for the time being." With Outlook, Word and IE open I'm using 240MB of RAM according to Task Manager.

That said, with the onboard video of the 2400 taking RAM away from the system, I'd recommend buying an additional 256MB stick to sit alongside the 128 that comes with the machine as "sufficient for the time being." At that point you can use the Task Manager to watch your RAM usage and decide if you need more.
Old 01-15-04, 09:39 AM
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The guys above all know their stuff...

Just for the sake of getting an idea of what 256 can do, I have a system set up in my living room where the only display outputs to my tv (granted in this case, I have a higher end video card that isn't pulling from system ram...). I use the system primarily for playing some older games (emulation), and watching video files. I basicly set up the computer to have tivo like functions using one of ati's all-in-wonder video card's software packages...The point is, while I am not using it to the level I do with my main desktop, the 256 megs of ram is perfect for what I need out of that system.

Its all dependant on what you're going to use. Don't run out and get a gig of ram because you're competeing with some overclocker video game nut...

Like I said, if at all possible get one 256 installed from dell (not 2 128's). If you can get 256 now, from them, you'll be ok for light use. If you're listening to music, browsing the internet and checking email, 256 is "ok for now". If you decide you need more, you can easily add more in a couple of months...

If they will only let you get 2x 128's, just get the one and order another 256 from newegg right away. The 384 should suit you just fine for a while...dell will likely try to talk you into adding the second 128 from them. Thank them, but tell them its not what you want.

If you want to go all out get a 256 from them and a 256 from newegg...or, if need be, pull out the 128 from dell, and order two new 256's. 512 is a beautiful number. My girlfriend and I both have 512 in our laptops (256 was in from the manufacturer).

Don't get more than 512 total right now. Its just not something you're going to need based on what it sounded like you wanted to do with the system. getting the 128 from dell and adding a 512 is just not something needed and you'll be wasting money that could be better spent on a spindle of cd-rs.

Just as was said above, your "shared video ram" is going to steal from your system ram. Expect to see your total ram (as reported in my computer --> properties) drop by 16 or 32 megs.

See what works for you. Adding a little more ram is probably the most cost efficient way to increase your computer's preformance. If you use the system for a couple of months, and feel the need to add more then, go for it then. If you don't feel the need to have 512 out of the box, start with 256 or 384 and see how it goes.

Oh, and don't worry about adding ram. Its easy-pop it in, push it in firmly, make sure its clipped in (you'll see what I mean when you look at the slots), and turn the system on. That should do it.
Old 01-15-04, 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by andrew_randy
Like I said, if at all possible get one 256 installed from dell (not 2 128's).
OK...I just emailed customer service to see what they can do. Hopefully that won't be a problem.

Once I do order my 256MB from newegg.com, how will I know what brand, etc. to get? Are there different sizes?

Also, something I forgot to ask a long time ago....I've already ordered the computer, so it really doesn't matter now, but....will my Epson Stylus Color 400 ink-jet printer work with this new computer, or will only Dell printers work?

Thanks for all your help so far.
Old 01-15-04, 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by Spike Jonze

Once I do order my 256MB from newegg.com, how will I know what brand, etc. to get? Are there different sizes?
I haven't used that site, but on crucial.com (another memory place) there's just a series of drop down menu's that you select your computer manufarcture, model, model number etc. and then it takes you to the right Ram for your system.

I imagine this site has something similar. If not, do a phone order and they can help you.
Old 01-15-04, 06:50 PM
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Someone will correct me if I am wrong, but your original post says its 128 megs of 333 Mhtz ram. I believe that means you'll be needing what is called "pc2700" ram. It should be a 184 pin DDR strip.

If someone can just confirm the pc2700 part you should be set. In either case, you can use a pull down menu at newegg.com once you navigate to their "system ram" section. They usually note both the pc number (like pc2700) and the Mhtz (like 333)...so it shouldn't be too hard to get to the right place.

Brands...Crucial makes great stuff...I've had good luck with trancend, pny, mushkin (which is what I use in my main desktop) and Kingston Technology. I believe any of those will treat you well, though someone else may disagree with a name from my list...I don't think anyone is going to disagree on Crucial. Check the prices though and see what looks good. Those five brands should all treat you right. Newegg also has a star rating based on buyers. Pick something from a good brand with at least a 4 rating (4 out of 5).

Kingston Technology ram is usually fairly cheap and does carry a lifetime warranty which I recently utilized. I had a peice of ram that was screwed up in some way after being used for a while. The screw up was probably my fault (it either overheated because the computer was having fan issues, or I nicked with a screw driver when I replaced the fan)...I figured it was money lost and stuck it in a box....Just a week or so ago I was reorganizing my computer parts and I happen to open the plastic casing for that ram, seeing the paperwork in there. I decided to give them a call and see what would happen. They were willing to ship out a new peice of ram immediatly (with a hold on my credit card) if I needed to have the replacement right away. Since I didn't need this ram anymore for something immediatly, I said I could wait. I gave my mailing address only. I was told to send in the ram in a padded envelope. I wasn't even asked for some kind of proof of purchase (like a receipt). The woman on the phone was incredably nice, and WAS IN THE USA! There was even an 800 number to call. Very friendly and informed which is something I don't expect when I call an 800 number. I got an RMA number, had the ram mailed out (first class-not a very fast method) from NY to CA...less than two weeks later I get a box from fedex (second day air no less!) with my new ram. Amazing service. This just raised Kingston Technology's status in my book...

So for a company that calls their product "value ram", which just sounds cheap, they make a good product and back it up with great support.

With the printer question...the only thing that should be a real issue is getting drivers/software for your printer. Get ahold of the model number and go to the manufacturer's web site. The only issue is making sure you can download what you need to get your printer to run on windowsXP.

I am making an assumption that your new computer will have a parrallel port on the back. Some newer ones don't. Printers usually hook up through USB now, but a few years back they were all parallel. That would be your only issue hardwarewise.

As long as you can find drivers for windowsXP and have the right port to hook it up, you don't need to worry about switching it over to a new system. WindowsXP may recognize it right away, but even if it does, downlaod softweare specific, so you get utilities to manage your ink levels and all of that good stuff.

Last edited by andrew_randy; 01-15-04 at 06:56 PM.
Old 01-17-04, 01:07 PM
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Once again, I'd like to thank all of you for helping me and answering my questions. I'm sure I'll probably have to ask some more once I get the RAM.
Old 01-17-04, 01:16 PM
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i'd recommend going thru www.crucial.com too. it's easy to do, and they guarantee that it'll work in your computer. i've heard stories about dells being picky about which ram they will accept. as for installation, it's a piece of cake. the manual that you get with the 2400, or the ram itself should have details. if you need help, you can always bug us later
Old 01-18-04, 07:04 PM
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When I worked at Dell the only time you had a choice on the number of slots was for the laptops.
Old 01-19-04, 12:17 AM
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Just FYI,

I got a laptop running XP and 256 memory. Had it about 10 months. No problems when doing mainly net surfing, e-mail, watching DVD's etc.

However, I have recently added a home design program (I want to re-model a kitchen) and Photoshop Elements. These two programs seem to run pretty slow on my system. This is the 1st time I have considered adding memory. And think I will.
Old 01-19-04, 10:00 AM
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Memory is relatively cheap for the preformance boost it can have, especially in WinXP.

FYI: Check out Dell outlet too, I just picked up a refurbished 2400 (P4 2.53G, 128MB, 40GB 7200, No monitor, 48x CD-RW) for $260 shipped. They are currently offering free shipping on 2400s, and if you go through links from other bargain websites you get an additional $75 off.
It was $319-$75+$15tax and free shipping.

It looks brand new, so I'm not sure if it's actually a refurb or if it was a cancelled computer that never shipped.

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