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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking it is time to replace my everyday home machine (a PII/450) to one of the superfast PCs out there.

While perusing PC Magazine they were saying that the speed difference between lets say a P4/2GHz and a P4/2.4GHz was pretty miniscule expecially with the chipsets currently being used (was looking at a Dell Dimension 8200, PC800 Memory at 400MHz, using Intel 850 chipset).

Anyone have an inkling about when the major vendors will start using a newer chipset and such that would take better advantage of the faster hardware?

What is wild is that a 2.4GHz, 512MB Ram, 80GB Drive, 19" Trinitron Monitor, 16x DVD and a fast CDRW, and SB Live card with nice set of speakers, etc was just a tad over $2,000. And when I started putting on stuff for the sake of it, the price just pushed past $2500. Even if not the most efficient hardware combo, that price is really great.
 

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Sams Club had a nice PC, a HP Pavillion for $1799, here are the specs, that I remember, keep in mind the price is only $1799. 17" LCD monitor, DVD-R, it was an Athlon processer dont remember the speed though, WINXP Pro, 256MB RAM, 10/100 NIC, and the PC came with a HP multifunction printer, excluding fax, which was FREE after rebate. This was a sweet deal, only saw it once, if I had $1800 bucks on me I would have bought it right there and then :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've had my share of building computers in the past and really don't want to bother with that anymore. And with the prebuilt HP pavillion type systems I don't like those because I end up throwing stuff off the machine and adding stuff that I want.

So I usually stick with options that allow me to pick the specs I want on a base system (within some limitations). I usually goto Dell or Gateway type sites and customize an existing system specifying the CPU, RAM, Video Card, etc that I want That gives me a good price with little waste of money on equipment I don't want and with less hastle of self build.

As for the sound cards, my hearing is starting to go, so sound card isn't very important to me. Right now I think I have the sound muted on the PC because I got a phone call and muted the CD playing. I forgot to turn on the sound and that was weeks ago :D
 

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I've always been a diehard Intel guy, I've briefly read some reviews where AMD biggest chip is still out performing Intels 2.4 gig. Plus you can save a few bucks with AMD. My last puter I went with AMD and LOVE IT.
 

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If I was getting a new PC Id probably go with what Compaq higest line is with a 2.4Ghz P4 and custom build it from there, while AMD maybe a lot cheaper and faster, Intel is all I ever used. After some terriable experiences with Dell and IBM Ill never get anything from those 2 vendors again. Although if I was getting a new PC Id most likely get a laptop, A Compaq 1800T (if thats still there best series). With the most of everything, so it would be a desktop replacement, I wouldnt care if it weighs over 10 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Originally posted by Steve Mehs
Although if I was getting a new PC Id most likely get a laptop, A Compaq 1800T (if thats still there best series). With the most of everything, so it would be a desktop replacement, I wouldnt care if it weighs over 10 lbs.
While the difference between the features of a "Desktop Replacement" laptop and a "Real" Desktop are quickly disappearing, currently the equivlant Laptop would still be noticably more expensive. And if looking for state of the art, the laptops are still limited (drive size, memory and CPU size). Using Dell as an example 256MB Ram, 20GB drive, 15 inch screen and 1.2-1.3GHz CPU a real desktop is $749, while as close an equivlant of a laptop is $1397

But on the odd time you need to make it mobile or if not so interested in State of the Art, then a Laptop as Desktop Replacement can make a very good choice.

I suspect that soon you will see only desktops that are real low end (for basic Internet access and Word Processing, etc) or the super desktop systems, with everything in between being a Laptop or Laptop as Desktop replacement.
 

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Just did a hypothetical custom build of a Presario 2800 laptop, P4 1.7Ghz, 768 MB DDRSDRAM, 40 gig HD, 8X DVD-ROM, 15" TFT UGXA Display, Integrated 56K v.92 PCI Modem and 10/100 NIC, JBL Pro Audio System w/Bass Reflex, WINXP Home and Corel Office 2002 all for $3,208. Thats my dream machine, although I could save $450 by downgrading to 512 MB of RAM and another $125 by going with a 30 GB HD, which is what I would probably do if I was actually going to by it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Originally posted by Steve Mehs
Just did a hypothetical custom build of a Presario 2800 laptop, P4 1.7Ghz, 768 MB DDRSDRAM, 40 gig HD, 8X DVD-ROM, 15" TFT UGXA Display, Integrated 56K v.92 PCI Modem and 10/100 NIC, JBL Pro Audio System w/Bass Reflex, WINXP Home and Corel Office 2002 all for $3,208. Thats my dream machine, although I could save $450 by downgrading to 512 MB of RAM and another $125 by going with a 30 GB HD, which is what I would probably do if I was actually going to by it.
Don't it make you crazy :D

But I'm betting that once you are out of college and working 1-2 years (before you get married and have kids, etc) you will be able to buy your dream machine (or at least the 2008-2009 equivlant of it) :D

My first big purchase as an independant "Adult" was my dream machine. Most of my friends got that NEW Ford Mustang. I guess we all have different priorities
 

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While I like having a laptop available, I don't worry about having the latest and greatest laptop. I've got an old Toshiba Tecra that I bought used. The thing is built like a brick, and is about as heavy. The weakness is the AC adapter plugin. I had one jack burn out a while back, and even though I got it fixed, I bought another case just in case. It was getting a little tempermental again, so I thought I would see if I could fix it myself this time, since I didn't have much to lose. I think nothing of changing cards, drives, or motherboards in a desktop. I spent at least four hours on that thing and it doesn't work at all now, and I have two screws left over that I have no idea where they go. If you just want the computer you bought in the first place, consider a laptop. But if you're the type who likes to do upgrades between brand new computers, forget it. BTW, if you are looking for a computer to take to college and you really want a laptop, buy an old one. Things like that at college have a tendancy to grow legs and walk off, and its better to have that happen with a $600 clunker than that $3000 dream machine.
 

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Originally posted by Rick Densing


Drop $125 by going from a 40 to a 30 HD? A new 40gig HD costs about a hundred bucks.
A 40gig HD for a desktop costs a hundred bucks, but here you are talking about a laptop. Always more expesive.
 
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oops, I missed the laptop part also:) No, I can't even build a laptop for you, much less witht he specs I quoted for $2100:) LOL.
 

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Sorry, I'm in the "build my own computer" camp. I usually equip my systems with removable drive bays so that one hard drive has "Windows", one has Linux, etc.
 

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There might be a few local computer stores in your area that you could call. The last 2 puters I had built. Personally, I like having them built, its always fun looking around and picking out your components, there's alot of wonderful sites that review this stuff.
During my gaming days, a popular place to go to have that ultra fast gaming rig built was www.gamepc.com. These people do excellent work, but they can be somewhat pricey.

As far as buying one and not having it built, I've always liked Dell.
 

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Don't it make you crazy
Yes it does! :) When I my mom asked me what I wated for Christmas a few years ago I said a new computer, I really wanted a laptop, but speeds were only at 400Mhz while desktop speeds were about to reach 733 Mhz. I eneded up with 700Mhz P3 since if she waited for the 733 it might not have gotten delieved in time for Chirstmas. She got it custom build from Circuit City.

missed the laptop part also No, I can't even build a laptop for you, much less witht he specs I quoted for $2100
Yeah, Mark I kinda wondered about that, as I was reading through your list but the Mid Tower 400W case is what gave it away :)

While I feel there is no replacement for a top of the line desktop weather it be a HTPC, gaming machine, jukebox or digital photo/graphic center, I still would love to have a laptod so I can take it on vacations and not be confined to one area all the time. And maybe even experiement with some 802.11B wireless networking ;)
 

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Also look at this Dell system for $2799. Remember, while it's only 1.2 GHz clock the Pentium 3 is a far faster processor than the Pentium 4 so they are much closer in performance:

Dell Inspiron 8100 Notebooks: Mobile Pentium® III Processor 1.2GHz-M 15in UltraXGA P120UHN [220-2344]
Memory: 512MB,SDRAM,133M,2DIMM 512M2D [311-1322]
Video Card: 64MB 4X AGP ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 M764MB [320-0159]
Primary Hard Drive: 40GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive 40GB [340-3425]
Floppy Drive: No Modular Floppy Drive NFD [340-6352]
Operating System Software: Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition WHXP [313-0837] [420-0271]
Modem: 10/100 + 56K Capable V.90 NIC/Modem, Internal Mini-PCI PCI1010 [313-9795]
Fixed CD/DVD Drives: Special! Take $100 OFF 8X CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive with Roxio's Easy CD Creator®! you pay COMBOP [313-0833] [461-3281]
Wireless Networking Cards: External Wireless Networking Card (Wi-Fi Certified) T1150PC [430-8564]
Bundled Software: Microsoft®Works Suite 2002 with Money 2002 Standard IWORKS [412-0134]
Virus Protection: Norton Antivirus® 2002, 90-day introductory offer NAV2002 [412-5623]
Limited Warranty, Services and Support Options: 3Yr Ltd. Warranty- 3Yrs At-Home Service+Lifetime Phone Support SQ3OS [950-4452] [950-3339] [950-4450]
Internet Access Options: 6 Months of America Online Membership Included AOLDHS [412-0183]
Digital Photography: Dell Picture Studio Image Expert® 2000 DPSXP [412-3807]
Mail-In Rebate Offer: Save $250 with mail-in rebate - Online Only! Price shown before rebate. REBATE [461-2956]
Power Protection: Notebook Surge Protector NBSURGE [114242]
 

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Noflat panel, just a big clunky a 17" CRT, back when I got this machine a 15" LCD was ~$1200.

but you can use 802.11b on desktops
But the problem is I have nothing to network it with. Okay, theres my old IMB Aptiva, but that PC has so many problems and at 100Mhz I dont have the patience to deal with it anymore. I use it many as an experiment machine. I download a buch of utilities from Kazaa, burn em and test them on there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well went to Dell's web site and made the jump. And not only had the price dropped but the changed their current discounts, but now they had free shipping up to $95 , $50 online instant rebate and memory upgrade break.. I was going to just go with the 2.2GHZ, but since the price was less than what I had expected to pay I did some creative additions to get it to $2000

Dimension 8200, P4/2.4GHz, w/512K L2 cache
512MB PC800 RDRAM
80GB Drive Ultra AA/100
64MB NVIDIA GeForce2MX iwith TV-Out (wanted TV, But better card with TV-Out was $310 more, not worth it for me)
19" P992 FD Trinitron Monitor
XP Home
Intel Nic
Modem
1st CD drive = 16xMax DVD-Rom
2nd CD drive = 40x/10x/40x CD-RW with Roxio
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz DSP Sound Card (extra $40, I figured what the hell)
Monsoon MH-502 Flat Panel Audio (extra $30, I figured what the hell)

After $95 off shipping (off 102.50) and with tax of $5.70 (I believe they have to tax the full price shipping.

Total = $2038.20


In the past my purchase of similar (But current level of tech equilvant) new machine with monitor would be $3500
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
But I don't play ANY games on the system. so the video card dosen't need all that horsepower. The next card up did not have TV-Out and the next card up offered with TV-Out was an additional $300.

I might watch DVDs and MPEGs on the machine, but I have 2 other dells in my home lab, one with 16MB video card, one with a 32MB card and they play fine. So this unit should do fine for me.

For me the important stuff is Drive space, CPU speed and Memory. The apps I use do not really benefit from fast video or even sound The only reason I pushed up to the better audio was because I was $100 below budget and decided to round it up.
 
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