T Nation

Computers

Hey Boys,

I read Mufasa’s thread on Gateway vs. Dell (vs. Custom, later in the thread) and found it helpful to decide where to get my new desktop from. Thanks for that.

Anyway, here’s the specs on the Dell I’m thinking about buying. Let me know what you think. Do I need anything else or less of something?

Thanks in advance.

Dell Dimension 2350:
Intel Pentium 4 Processor at 2.20GHz w/ 400MHz FSB
Memory: 512MB DDR SDRAM at 266MHz
Keyboard: Dell? Enhanced Multimedia
Monitor: 17in (16.0 viewable,.25dp) Flat CRT Monitor
Video Card: Integrated Intel? Extreme 3D Graphics
Hard Drive: 60GB Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM
Additional Storage Devices: Dell 16MB USB Memory Key
Operating System: Microsoft? Windows? XP Home Edition??
Mouse: Logitech Optical USB Mouse
Network Card: Integrated 10/100 Ethernet
Modem: 56K PCI Data/Fax Modem
CD Drive: 48x CD-ROM to 48x/24x/48x CD-RW Drive
Sound: Integrated Audio
Speakers: Harman Kardon? HK-395 Speakers with Subwoofer
Productivity Software: WordPerfect Productivity Pack with Quicken New User Edition
Security Software: Dell SecurityCenter by McAfee, 90-day Introductory Offer
Digital Music: Dell Jukebox Powered by MusicMatch
Digital Photography: Dell Picture Studio, Image Expert Standard
Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty, 1 Year at Home/On-Site Service, 24x7 Phone Tech Support
Digital Camera: Logitech QuickCam Messenger

If I recall correctly, this thread also purported that Dell has an excellent customer service.

Have you called this customer service and asked them this very question? Just curious. Since, quite honestly I doubt if anyone can say “yea” or “nay. here’s what else you need…” to this. Since, you know, we don’t know what you’re doing to require this set up.

How much?

Also, have you compared it with a Sony or emachine with same specs? You may find a better deal with them.

I don’t care for Dell or Gateway. I’d get a Sony over all, but I like my emachine because it was very affordable, has many of the same things you have, but I also have a 15" LCD flat panel monitor instead of a flat screen, and I know it was much less than that Dell you’re looking at.

Patricia, Nate, thanks for the replies.

I haven’t called the Customer Support. Not a bad idea. I just don’t want to be on hold for 3 hours. I’m sure the sales rep. can help me out when I order.

Nate, I’m in Toronto and I haven’t seen too many eMachines or Sony Desktops. I haven’t started shopping around yet, but for the sake of reference, the package listed above is $1375 CAD ($900 USD).

Thanks again.

Do you know what you plan to use the computer for? I don’t know about Dell’s being overpriced, they used to be, until most people who’d order something online instead of going into a Circuit City or Best Buy or something and getting one started building their own. Now their prices are great. As far as what you plan to use it for, is it just going to be an email and internet box, because if so, it’s a good system, although I don’t know that you need that kind of power for something like that. If you plan to be a gamer, you’re going to want to look into an upgrade in video cards, the onboard video and sound is not that great, especially when you can get a GeForce 3 card now for less than 60 bucks, just don’t go with the Geforce 4 MX series, that should be some kind of marketing violation. Everything else looks good, USB keys are nice, although Nate Dogg was right, my parents have an Emachines system and have had no problems at all with it in 2 years. They used to use really bad quality stuff when they built them, but now, I’d recommend looking at them. If you’re not a gamer, and might be into digital video or graphics, the new Macs are nice, and OS X is a great operating system. It all depends on what you want to do with the computer.

What are you using it for???
Get a bigger monitor. I luv my 21
". Monitor that is.

It sounds like many people have become jaded when it comes to Dell. I personally think they make good boxes. Their support has been been fine, I usually get through to someone knowledgeable in a reasonable amount of time.

Seems that every hardware vendor struggles with support at one point or another. So just because Brand X has great support at the moment, has no bearing on their level of support 6 months, or a year from now.

My personal changes I’d make, if I were going to buy that PC.

The 19" Flat CRT is pretty nice and affordable. 17" is almost too small nowadays, especially at the higher resolutions.

Get the three year warranty. I know it seems like alot of money (probably 125-175 dollars) at the time, but that first year goes by pretty quickly.

I’m usually anti-service plan/warranty for everything except computers and cars.

HTH

mikesmith00’s post was good. It depends on what you want to use the computer for.

If it’s just for email & internet, it would actually be overkill. You could get away with a slower CPU and 256 MB of RAM. This could save you some $.

If you are an “average” user, plan to do internet, email, basic games, basic photo editing, etc. this sytem would be good.

If you are a gamer, you should get a better sound and video card.

BTW, how much would this system you listed cost?

Just a couple things I thought of, if you know how to use computers, and have any computer savvy friends, might want to check into asking them about what they’d charge you for a custom built box, because then you don’t have to deal with all the crap software that’s installed. normally if anyone I know gets a new system, I tell them it’s a good idea to format the hard drive and start with a fresh install of windows. Windows XP activation is kind of a pain with this, but it’s worth it to me, that way you know what you have. Also, if you are a gamer, I wouldn’t go with an LCD display, at least in my experience, the refresh rate will kill your eyes if you’re playing any kind of FPS, and with Doom 3 and Halflife 2 coming out this year, if you’re into games at all, odds are you will probably try one of those. If you do go with having a friend do it, don’t bug them about it, if they’re good, they want to work out all the little bugs before they cut you loose with it. I’ve built systems for almost everyone in my family (my parents got theirs before I got into building them) and nothing is more irritating than getting called everyday during finals week asking if their computer is done.