Need New PC recommendations/info

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Dan, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Dan

    Dan Guest

    I'm looking for a PC w/at least a 3.4Mhz processor, 1
    Gig RAM, 128 Meg Vid. RAM and 80 gig hard drive. A 2nd 10k RPM 80 gig
    HD would be nice but I think it'd be cheaper to by that on aftermarket
    & install it. I'd also want a 17 or 18" LCD. I'm looking to spend

    The machine will be used for surfing, VHS video capture to transfer to
    DVDR w/some light video editing and maybe some gaming. My main concern
    is that I'm disabled and want to use Dragon Dictate to
    navigate/control windows as well as dictate. On my current 1Mhz Dell
    w/360k RAM Dragon isn't very fast when using it to navigate Win 2k.
    Its pretty good but I'd want something faster if I were to use DD all
    the time. Based on my usage, do the specs I'm looking for sound
    appropriate? Any idea if Dragon would work better w/less RAM but a
    faster processor or vise-versa? I ask because of tradeoffs I may have
    to make due to lo budget.

    Also, what's the best chipset to look for or is it very important? And
    is XP Home
    or XP Pro the better OS?
    At I can get a system w/
    3.40GHz, 800FSB,
    1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 400MHz (4x256M)
    80GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
    16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write
    17 in 1704FPT Ultrasharp™ Digital Flat Panel Display
    128MB PCI Express™ x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) ATI Radeon™ X300 SE
    for $1408.00 w/free shipping. I've shopped around a lot and it seems
    a good deal. I'd love to be able to build my own at sites like
    or but they seem a bit pricey.

    Sorry for rambling. Thanks for your help!


    Remove NOSPAM from address when replying
    Dan, Jan 17, 2005
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  2. Dan

    Mac Cool Guest

    Home is a lite version of Pro. The MS website is the best resource for
    deciding which version you want.
    It's unlikely you will find a cheaper price than Dell.
    Mac Cool, Jan 18, 2005
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  3. I'm no expert but I don't think it makes any difference which you use for a
    home system. I've been using xp home on this laptop for 3 years and haven't
    run into anything i wanted to do that it couldn't do, so I'd say go with
    home just to save money.

    Dell computers are reliable and cheap, a winning combination. I bought one
    from them, and their support was excellent. I doubt the few bucks you may
    save elsewhere dealing with lessor outfits would off set the secuity you get
    from Dell. Also, if you do go with Dell, I'd get the longest warranty they
    sell. When the hard drive failed they sent a replacement that was larger
    than the one that broke. I called about it and they told me to just install
    it because they no longer stocked the smaller ones.

    -Avery Anderson, Jan 18, 2005
  4. some posts have said Dell's tech support is now crap. So with that
    benefit out the window(if it really is that bad), you may as well get
    one build.
    Loads of ppl now know how to build computers. People in the street!
    jameshanley39, Jan 18, 2005
  5. Dan

    JAD Guest

    <<Loads of ppl now know how to build computers. People in the street!

    <<Dell computers are reliable and cheap, a winning combination. I bought
    <<from them, and their support was excellent.

    Somewhere a solution that falls between these extreme posts exists.

    I too am disabled and although at this time I am able to use a keyboard, the
    future may be different. I also have built many custom systems for the
    disabled. The most important thing here is your control, then everything
    else. For voice recognition its your MIC and soundcard. Not that your have
    to invest tons of money in them, but a little concern with clock stability
    is in order. Some mainboards with integrated sound don't measure up. Mic and
    headsets are rated for dictation and voice recognition. The dragon site has
    some requirement pages and product recommendations.

    JAD, Jan 18, 2005
  6. Dan

    Mac Cool Guest

    some posts have said Dell's tech support is now crap. So with that
    I used their tech support a few months ago, it was an Indian who spoke
    clearer English than many Americans I meet. The phone was answered in a
    timely manner, never kept me on hold for more than 30 seconds and I didn't
    have to navigate hellish phone menus. He was polite, helpful and as
    knowledgable as you could reasonably expect. I'm sure they have bad apples
    like any company but my experience was positive.
    Mac Cool, Jan 18, 2005
  7. Dan

    Mac Cool Guest

    -Avery Anderson:
    It really depends. I went from XP Pro to Home when I changed systems. Pro
    was just better for multiple users. Home is OK, but I have to give
    everyone administrator access or else some programs will not run. My
    daughter cannot even play her Dr. Suess games or use her drawing tablet
    without administrator access.
    Mac Cool, Jan 18, 2005
  8. Dan

    BobR Guest

    Mac Cool wrote in message ...
    Linux is $0.00!!!
    [ the CDs will cost you $ ]

    Pentium 4 with motherboard - $

    $ approx. (2x512M. (depends on stinkin' rebates))

    $ (Seagate or WD (rebates again))
    $ (CRT) ($ - 19")

    Non-Leading edge cards, approx $
    Tower case with 350watt power(atx) $

    total - $
    + $ ($ per hour x 2 hours to put it all together.)(pay yourself!)
    + $ for Debian GNU/Linux OS (comes with 8000+ free software packages)

    == $
    [ prices from Fry's, CyberGuys, CyberGeeks, etc.]

    That's cheaper than Dell! <G>
    If the OP can't use a screwdriver, the Dell is a good deal!

    Fry's has/had some 'weaker' machines for $! (Lindows OS)

    [ sorry, I couldn't resist! "the devil made me do it". ]
    Bob R
    BobR, Jan 18, 2005
  9. Dan

    Tom Scales Guest

    Cheaper than Dell when you replace the LCD with a CRT, replace the PCI-e
    video card with a $75 generic, etc. etc.

    A Toyota Echo is cheaper than a Mercedes S500, but so ?

    Tom Scales, Jan 19, 2005
  10. Dan

    Matt Merkey Guest

    If you try to build your own system, Intel is going to be more
    expensive. Pretty much every home-builder I know uses AMD for the simple
    reason that their CPU's are cheaper at retail prices. AMD seems to be
    more standards friendly as well, which tends to make their motherboards
    cheaper. That Dell system you have listed would be perfectly fine for
    Dragon Dictate. As far as the XP Home vs. XP Pro debate, it's about
    networking. If you don't have a network, or just have one PC, XP Home is
    all you need. If you needed to save money, you could probably scale back
    the CPU a bit.
    Matt Merkey, Jan 19, 2005
  11. there is also a general prob with telephone tech support - the hardware
    prob, proven either by swapping hw or reinstalling everything.
    jameshanley39, Jan 19, 2005
  12. Dan

    Al Smith Guest

    some posts have said Dell's tech support is now crap. So with that
    One of the big advantages of building your own computer is that
    you don't need to pay the Microsoft tax. That was a main reason I
    built my own last time. I'm tired of sending my money to
    Microsoft, so I decided not to do it anymore.
    Al Smith, Jan 19, 2005
  13. Dan

    Steve Guest

    Just because you build your own computer does not mean
    you still do not purchase a Microsoft operating system.
    I have built many computers and I purchased windows.
    Linux has it's uses..but I can't play they games that I play
    Doom 3, FarCry, Hal Life on Linux. So I have no choice
    to use windows.

    Steve, Jan 19, 2005
  14. Dan

    Mac Cool Guest

    Al Smith:
    One has nothing to do with the other and buying MS products is a choice
    not tied to prebuilt systems. I used to have the direct link to buy Dells
    without an operating system, but a quick look in my bookmarks didn't find
    Mac Cool, Jan 19, 2005
  15. Dan

    Mac Cool Guest

    True, assuming it works with the hardware you choose, assuming you have
    the time and aptitude to learn how to use it.
    I don't know what the OP spec'd out but the default hard drive on Dell's ~
    $1400 machine is 250GB, not 80GB.

    I think you're on the cheap side but I'll give you this one.
    Comes with 19" LCD
    I can live with $75
    $1329 shipped, sans software
    Mac Cool, Jan 19, 2005
  16. Dan

    Al Smith Guest

    One of the big advantages of building your own computer is that you don't
    If you already own a full retail copy of Windows XP, you can
    legally transfer it from one computer to another. Why buy a
    computer with an OEM version of Windows if you've already got Windows?
    Al Smith, Jan 19, 2005
  17. Depends on what is happening with the "old" computer.

    If one is keeping it [for spouse, offspring, resident MIL, or as
    one's own second, third, or whatever computer], one will still
    need an OS for it.

    If one is selling it, how easy is it to find buyers for an
    OS-less computer that one cannot, legally, even demonstrate works
    after one has put Windows into the new one? Strident as they
    are, linux users are still a rather small minority of computer
    users. And even those will want to see that the old box they're
    buying still works.

    Only if one is salvaging components from the old one, and
    trashing the rest is a need for an OS eliminated.

    Or, if the old computer came with OEM Win9x, WinME, whatever, one
    can reinstall the old Windows version and hope someone buys into
    getting WinME [spit!, even 3.1 would be preferable] or Win9x.

    At least that's how it looks to me.

    [Who had to include the retail copy of XPPro that I bought for it
    with the old Dimension L733r I just sold, because the buyer was
    too smart to let me stick him with the WinME that the L733r
    originally came with.]
    Ogden Johnson III, Jan 19, 2005
  18. Dan

    Steve Guest

    In response to your

    Computers without operating systems sell by 1000's or more a year
    on eBay.
    Plus you don't even see it person before you buy it, only a picture
    and description.

    Steve, Jan 19, 2005
  19. Dan

    S.Lewis Guest

    And, legal or not (and I doubt ebay would allow it listed if Microsoft had a
    problem with it) there are dozens, perhaps 100's of systems on ebay at any
    given time that have an MS OS installed but the auction includes no OS or
    software CD's. Those units are probably or near equal in number to used
    systems over there sold with no OS - usually only tower, keyboard, and

    S.Lewis, Jan 19, 2005
  20. Dan

    Dave C. Guest

    If you try to build your own system, Intel is going to be more expensive.
    That is misleading. It depends on what level of performance you are aiming
    for. For the typical mid-range system, an Intel solution CAN be cheaper to
    build, when total cost is considered. You can spend many hundreds of
    dollars on a CPU, regardless of who makes it. But if you want to spend
    about ~$200 on a CPU (or a mid-range system), you are going to get the same
    relative performance level, as far as AMD vs. Intel goes. THEN you will
    discover that there is a wider selection of mainboards/chipsets/etc. for the
    Intel chip, so your mainboard is likely to be cheaper for the Intel chip, if
    you shop carefully.

    It's pretty much a wash either way, but it's POSSIBLE to build an Intel
    system for less money . . . especially if you are aiming for the average
    mid-range system. -Dave
    Dave C., Jan 19, 2005
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