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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I moved the DVD player off my PII/450 with Win98 (The one that gets replaced with the Dell 8200) and put it in the PIII/1000 in my "lab". There is no DVD software that came with the OS and I went out to CNET. There were some nice DVD player SW out there but the really good ones seemed to blow up in 30 days, or would only play 5 minutes of anything until registered.

Anyone have a recommendation for a Freeware/Shareware DVD player that runs under Win2000 Pro. I downloaded Maximus DVD 1.2 and wasn't very impressed with it. Or if registering is the only way to go, is there one you guys like?
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Well that explains it :(

Something will come with the new PC, but was looking for something good as an alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Here is one for the the stored away anecdotes.

Got my Dell machine 2 days ago, blew away XP Home and repartitioned and reinstalled (just something I do with any machine I ever get). Well it didn't ask me for an Activation key. So I'm searching MS KB and all leads tell me that the install didn't go right and in order to not end up with a dead OS in 30 days I need to fix a bunch of problems. None of them work and last resort is to do a reinstall again (after I have gotten all my legacy HW and SW working). So I do it again and No Activation key again, etc.

So now I decide to look at the Dell KB and look what I find...

http://support.dell.com/us/en/kb/document.asp?DN=1053642

Not every version of XP out there requires you to do the activation key. Dell's custom XP cds will do it for you automatically if you have the CD boot...

Well I guess the 2nd time around I installed the system .005% more to my liking, so it wasn't a total waste. :grin:

Most of my old SW and Hardware work fine, either it was just recognized and worked or needed one XP friendly patch.

Right now only thing not working is my old DOS games Steel Panthers and Steel Panthers 2. Will have to investigate those, but talk is that it may be time to retire those 1994-95 games :(

:computer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I found some How-Tos (especially with Steel Panthers and SP2), still having to tweak them. Never thought I would need a "Dos VM Emulator" in a Windows "Home" product :D
 
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