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OK, so my 6 year old Dell probably needs to be replaced. It's been reliable, but both my CD rom and DVD rom are taking a shit. I have something corrupt in Windows XP and cannot load Service Pack 2 or beyond no matter what I've tried, and I'm just thinking about a new system all around plus I want Windows 7, and it's not worth upgrading and repairing my current one. My current system is a Dell Dimension 4600 with a 80 gig hard drive, a Pentium 4 2.66Mhz processor and 1.5 Gb of ram.

I plan on getting a Dell, so please leave any other brand or negative comments about Dell out of this discussion for several reasons. I have a revolving credit with Dell which I plan on using, plus my Dell has been ultra reliable, so let's just leave the part alone if we can. I'm a more casual computer user, no hard core gaming etc. I surf the internet, pay bills, play Vice City, watch some pron, download music, and store a lot of pictures.

I've been looking at an Inspiron 560, 570 and the Studio XPS 7100. With the XPS I get no finance charges for 12 months, with the Inspirons I pay finance charges, but they're cheaper, and lesser performing I'm sure.

All can be customized, but I want to keep the price to around $700, ($699+ = free shipping too). Which one would you get, and how much difference is there between processors for my use? I'm leaning towards the XPS because it's a higher line, and I get no financing charges for 1 year, but between the XPS 7100, I can get a 21.5" monitor (I don't really need it because I have a 22" monitor already, but I could use it for work) or I can the AMD Phenom™ II X6 1035T chip vs the AMD Athlon™ II X4 630 chip with the one with the monitor. Is the chip worth forgoing the monitor?





Sorry about how long this was, but I tried to provide enough info for you guys to make suggestions.;)
 

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external hardware (cd/dvd and hard drive etc) makes sense to me, (1 terrabite = $80) !!

and reformatting pc puters.

and macs.


you can use your dell relationship to gift/sell things to other peeps.

just because of your dell benefits doesnt mean you have to use it.
 

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More power, more memory, more blah, blah. What do you do with your computer? Without knowing what you want to use it for, its hard to give useful advice other than stick to your budget and get the best you cna afford.

For most people, the basic Inspiron is plenty of computer. You can get a bunch of memory in it, processors can be upgraded to a higher end, storage is so high capacity these days that whatever size hard disk you choose is almost irrelevant.

For myself, I'd say get the lower end computer with some upgrades...pick a quad core processor thats 2 steps down from the top choice (best bang for the buck), put in as much memory as you can buy (or the OS will support...4GB is plenty), upgrade the video card and get yourself a really nice monitor. You've just cloned the XPS7100 for alot less money...you probably give up a couple points in ovreall system speed and the tower isn't as cool looking, but its all about overall value IMHO.

Good luck.

edit: you could also just back up your data off the old computer and dust off the old reinstall discs and return it to its factory condition. Since you're just now trying to putservice pack 2 on your XP box I'm guessing you either don't think of doing regular maintenance or you've been living with a broken computer for 4 years. XPSP2 and XPSP3 were major OS upgrades, performance and security enhancements abound and frankly if you can't patch it to SP2 then you've got a trojan on there and you need to wipe the computer anyway. You'll be amazed at how much faster it works, you'll be able to service pack it and it'l probably continue to work just fine for another 3 years as a very usable web browing and other application machine. 7 is nice, but if I had the choice between simply wiping my old computer and using XP for another year for free or shelling out $800 for a new rig, I'm gonna refurb the old computer and keep using it and save my money. Just my 2 cents.
 

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edit: you could also just back up your data off the old computer and dust off the old reinstall discs and return it to its factory condition. Since you're just now trying to putservice pack 2 on your XP box I'm guessing you either don't think of doing regular maintenance or you've been living with a broken computer for 4 years. XPSP2 and XPSP3 were major OS upgrades, performance and security enhancements abound and frankly if you can't patch it to SP2 then you've got a trojan on there and you need to wipe the computer anyway. You'll be amazed at how much faster it works, you'll be able to service pack it and it'l probably continue to work just fine for another 3 years as a very usable web browing and other application machine. 7 is nice, but if I had the choice between simply wiping my old computer and using XP for another year for free or shelling out $800 for a new rig, I'm gonna refurb the old computer and keep using it and save my money. Just my 2 cents.
OK, so my 6 year old Dell probably needs to be replaced. It's been reliable, but both my CD rom and DVD rom are taking a shit. I have something corrupt in Windows XP and cannot load Service Pack 2 or beyond no matter what I've tried, and I'm just thinking about a new system all around plus I want Windows 7, and it's not worth upgrading and repairing my current one.
More power, more memory, more blah, blah. What do you do with your computer? Without knowing what you want to use it for, its hard to give useful advice other than stick to your budget and get the best you cna afford.
I surf the internet, pay bills, play Vice City, watch some pron, download music, and store a lot of pictures.
 

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May I ask, why buy when you can build? Like a lot of the folks on here, I can definitely help you pick out the exact right components for a perfect fit.

You can use credit to your advantage via say, a Newegg credit card or something.

I really wouldn't give Dell or any other builder my money.
 

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May I ask, why buy when you can build? Like a lot of the folks on here, I can definitely help you pick out the exact right components for a perfect fit.

You can use credit to your advantage via say, a Newegg credit card or something.

I really wouldn't give Dell or any other builder my money.
It's hard for a casual computer user to go the DIY route. Without tools, and knowhow, you run into various nickle and dime issues that end up costing you time, money, and possible hardware failure. Stupid little things like CPU thermal grease, buying a video card and finding it's too big for the case you bought, power supply cabling, etc, etc, can all frustrate a first time DIYer.

Then there's software. A huge issue with me. One of the reasons I started DIYing computers was the software bloat that came with prebuilt machines. However, I will NEVER give somebody a machine that I built with pirated software and a list of things "not to do" in order to keep their machine running (famous XP pirating). By the time you get a certified copy of Windows, and things like Office, you find your budget is a lot less for hardware.

So, I rarely recommend somebody build something themselves if they're casual computer users. It's just too much time and energy for somebody that only cares about watching a bit of porn.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Couple of points. A: I thought I was fairly descriptive of what my issues where, and what I use the system for, but I didn't think anyone wanted to read a novel so I tried to keep it fairly brief while providing enough info...at least I thought.

B: I have tried to update to service pack 2 for several years. I did a clean wipe and reinstall of Windows XP, and after that I couldn't do the update. My problem seems to be known as Microsofts website offers "solutions" to my problem, but they don't work. It takes about 45 minutes in total to find out it hangs at some point saying "access is denied", then it uninstalls the files, and you have to reboot. Then I follow Microsofts instructions, try to update, then it hangs up and the whole process starts all over again. I give up on it, the try again every so often with the same "access is denied" half way through the update. Fuck it, I've given up on it.

The reason I want to buy the Dell is I already have a $1000 line of credit with them and 0% interest for 1 year. I don't want to build my own because I really don't have the cash on hand, and I don't want to apply for any other credit at this time, not to mention just the software, if purchased separately is hundreds of dollars. My last Dell has served me well for over 6 years, even now in it's somewhat broken state. I don't think about $700 for a pretty top notch Dell system is that outrageous and more than likely, I'll keep that one for years to come so it really isn't that much money over that amount of time.
 

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Being that everything in a computer is really outdated in 5-6 months I would get the best processor and the most memory at the time of purchase you can. I wouldnt go as far to say you need the 6 core processor, but the fastest quad they offer should last awhile. Alot of programs are not going to use a 6 core, they are just finally starting to utilize the quad cores.
 

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I have a base model Dimension from 2002. P4 1.8, 30gig drive, DVD, 256k of RAM. Never gave me one problem and it's been on everyday from the moment I wake till when I go to sleep.

That's not saying much though, all makes break just as much as the next. I used to do all the computer systems repair for a large corporation (2000+ desktops). Gateway, Dell, Compaq, HP, etc., they all had parts that failed equally. When you get up to large quantities like that, you see they are all the same. The only computers that aren't like that are the high end graphics ones from SGI, Sun, etc. There you get what you pay for.
 

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Just for some constructive input, I know this is not what you asked but,
I fix old computers that I find in dumpsters.
Except for the recent used laptop I bought broken and fixed, I havn't bought a computer in over 10 years.
But that's not something I'd recommend to the casual user as it can be very frustrating if you don't know what you are doing.
 

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Being that everything in a computer is really outdated in 5-6 months I would get the best processor and the most memory at the time of purchase you can.
I'm a more casual computer user, no hard core gaming etc. I surf the internet, pay bills, play Vice City, watch some pron, download music, and store a lot of pictures.
Meh.... considering what he's looking to do, that's a waste of $$$ IMHO.

I've been running the same old dualcore, with half it's RAM capacity for as long as I can recall, and do nothing more that 89grand is interested in. Why max out on processor tech you'll never use when, as you say, will be outdated so quickly.

If it isn't obvious yet, I agree with mayhem's suggestion.
 

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Considering that you're still using a Pentium 4 processor, it sounds like you keep your systems for a while. That being said, I'd forgo the monitor and spend the extra credit on a more robust system. A six core processor might be more than you need now, but less than you want in 5 years.

I'd also go for the 64 bit operating system of windows 7, unless you're running a lot of old school programs that aren't compatible. This way your RAM isn't limited to 4 GB as it is on 32 bit operating systems. Upgrading RAM is a pretty easy DIY upgrade, but if you had to change your operating system so that your PC recognizes more memory, it may be more work than you want to deal with.
 

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I'd personally go XPS since they generally have better graphics cards already and (most likely) a better selection of processors.

That said, I have an Inspiron (laptop) that's not anywhere near new or top of the line. It does everything but gaming. For basic use, get an Inspiron...then don't pay Dell to upgrade it. If anything, wait for outlet items like RAM and HDDs to pop up...if you can do it, that is...I don't know how the credit works.

The Insprion will do pretty much everything you want. Just give it 2-3GB of RAM (more if you use Win7 64) and pop in your HDD of choice if the stock one isn't big enough. Keep it clean inside...be wary of pron sites...and it should last a while.
 

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You know what's a waste of money? Looking at Dell's site and picking your "upgrades" and finding out that their price for the upgrade vs. the actual price for the upgrade are completely out of whack.

Case in point, a Core i7 upgrade from the 860 to the 870 is something like $100 in Dell's world. In the real world, it is either no difference or about $10. Same thing with memory upgrade, same thing with video cards.


In all my years of building computers I have NEVER been nickle-and-dimed. I respect your reasons for Dell but just know that you can do better. I also find it laughable that their warranty costs XXX, while most computer parts are either 2-3 year warranted, or in some cases, LIFETIME. Another issue for me is Dell's choice of parts for the money you spend. Slower RAM, older motherboard options, slower HD's, weaker power supplies with lower end parts, all at higher cost.


OK, enough with that, for what you do have you considered a LAPTOP? I rarely get near my main computer thanks to my laptop. The convenience of it being where you are is invaluable once you get used to having one. DELL makes OK laptops IMO. Just don't settle for one that has Intel video. For gaming and indeed even just web surfing, you need more oomph.
 

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May I ask, why buy when you can build? Like a lot of the folks on here, I can definitely help you pick out the exact right components for a perfect fit.

You can use credit to your advantage via say, a Newegg credit card or something.

I really wouldn't give Dell or any other builder my money.
Why build when you can buy? :D

Back in the day, you used to be able to save money by building. Today, it's usually most cost effective to buy one of these prefab systems, built either by the manufacturer or an online retailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well to be honest, I don't do that much with my current system, but I also really can't either. It's like a cell phone. For years I just needed a phone to send and receive phone calls, but my phones also weren't meant for anything else. Recently I got a Motorola Cliq with a data plan, and because I can do so much more with it, I'm past just needed one to talk on. I guess a computer would be the same way. The more ot could do, the more I'd probably do.

Here's a link to the ones I'm considering. I think both are beyond what I really need, but being setup for the future is nice as I do keep systems for quite a while. I'm considering either the "Standard" that has a better processor, but it's probably well beyond what I need "More power" that has a lesser processor, but has comes with a pretty nice monitor which I actually could use the more I thought about it.

Dell Studio XPS 7100 Desktop | Dell
 

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