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  1. #1

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    Default gettin a new computer...

    going with dells high end desk top
    i modified it to have this:
    Pentium® 4 Processor with HT Technology 3.2GHz w/800MHz FSB
    Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition
    512MB Dual Channel DDR SDRAM at 400MHz
    128MB DDR ATI RADEON™ 9800 Pro Graphics Card with TV-Out and DVI
    Sound Blaster Audigy™2 (D) Card w/Dolby 5.1, and IEEE 1394 capability
    Dell Media Experience
    74GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (10000RPM)
    (should i get that or the 250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) for $20 more??)
    Dual Drives: 48x CD-RW Drive + FREE UPGRADE! 8x DVD+RW Drive
    3.5 in Floppy Drive
    56K PCI Data Fax Modem
    19 in (18.0 in viewable) M992 Monitor
    Microsoft® Office Small Business with Money® Includes Microsoft PowerPoint
    Dell Jukebox powered by MUSICMATCH
    Dell Picture Studio, Paint Shop Pro Trial, Photo Album Starter Edition

    is this good??
    should i add/take away/switch anything?
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  2. #2

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    holy crap... yeah, that's good...
    only 2 things i'd change - 1) yeah, i'd spring for the 250 GB drive - the extra rpms of the smaller drive won't matter in any case, and especially if you 2) downgrade the processor and upgrade the memory; for all intents and purposes, unless you regularly edit high-resolution video, that processor is no different than, say, a 2.8 GHz HT processor. if it were me, i'd downgrade the processor and add as much memory as the thing can hold - memory can be accessed much faster than the hard drive, and with a processor that fast, this is where your primary bottleneck will be.

    you've chosen some damn fine components - top end audio and video cards. if you don't need the programs listed - the dell media thingy and from the office w/ money on down the list, and you get money back, might as well remove them; the only thing i've ever needed from those programs is the office suite, but your needs may be different from mine (duh).
    Last edited by neomagus00; 04-26-2004 at 12:00 AM.
    It's not good, very fundamentally simply not good. - geolemon

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  3. #3

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    Go with Office XP Pro. Verify the latency with the RAM. You want CL2, not 2.5 or 3 crap.

    Regards,
    1/2 twin PolkThug

  4. #4

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    Originally posted by PolkThug
    Go with Office XP Pro. Verify the latency with the RAM. You want CL2, not 2.5 or 3 crap.

    Regards,
    1/2 twin PolkThug
    why? (to the office xp pro)
    and what? (to the "verify latency with the RAM. You want CL2, not 2.5 or 3 crap.
    im computer illiterate...sorry
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  5. #5

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    Originally posted by neomagus00
    i'd spring for the 250 GB drive - the extra rpms of the smaller drive won't matter in any case, and especially if you 2) downgrade the processor and upgrade the memory
    vince told me i should be looking for a processor with that amount of RPMs
    a friend told me that the higher the RPMs the faster the computer...
    memory isnt a problem, i dont download a lot of stuff at all, i keep everything on CDs and the school gives me a lot of memory that i can use on THEIR database accessed through the network
    Originally posted by neomagus00

    you've chosen some damn fine components - top end audio and video cards. if you don't need the programs listed - the dell media thingy and from the office w/ money on down the list, and you get money back, might as well remove them; the only thing i've ever needed from those programs is the office suite, but your needs may be different from mine (duh).
    dell media comes free...the office w/ money comes with powerpoint which i use a lot, i might use the money, im not sure
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  6. #6

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    Oops, I meant Windows XP Pro. I'm a little tipsy. The CAS latency is how many clock cycles between commands (of course I'm speaking in very simplified terms here). If you don't play games on your computer, it doesn't matter as much. But if you do, go for the CL2, you'll get better frames per second (FPS). Having low latency RAM also makes it easier to overclock as well, your RAM setting and CPU setting go hand in hand when pushing your system.

  7. #7

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    Dell charges an arm and a leg for their computers. Also avoid any of the pointless extra programs that you wont be using, they'll just slow the computer down. And with what neo said, get as much RAM as you can. A 2.8ghz p4 w/ 1024mb of ram could probably outperform a 3.2ghz p4 with 512mb of ram. If I had to choose, I'd say anything over 1024mb of ram wont help as much as the jump from 512 -> 1024 would. The faster the ram the better, its usually listed as DDR333, DDR400, etc. That would be the easiest way to put it. Unless you think you'll be needing the extra storage, I'd go with the 74gb 10000rpm drive. As we know, the faster the better and this is the case here too. If you need the storage, by no means go cheap and try to settle for the 74gb. If you can, I'd switch the DVD + RW for a DVD - RW drive. DVD "-" R media is cheaper. (I get 50packs of dvd-r's for $40 and the same brand for dvd + r's are $65). If it costs too much and you dont think you'll be making many dvd backups, just stick with the free one.
    2005 Subaru Impreza WRX

  8. #8

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    Originally posted by PolkThug
    Oops, I meant Windows XP Pro. I'm a little tipsy. The CAS latency is how many clock cycles between commands (of course I'm speaking in very simplified terms here). If you don't play games on your computer, it doesn't matter as much. But if you do, go for the CL2, you'll get better frames per second (FPS). Having low latency RAM also makes it easier to overclock as well, your RAM setting and CPU setting go hand in hand when pushing your system.
    Those numbers usually aren't listed when buying Dell systems. Anyways it will make a really small difference. Just going with the fastest clock speed will make most of the difference. The frames per second wont be affected more than 1-2 frames per second because of that.

    The only real difference between Windows XP Home and and XP Professional is networking capabilities. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/whichxp.asp will tell you the differences. Check it out.
    2005 Subaru Impreza WRX

  9. #9

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    thug,
    i dont play games
    why is the XP pro better?
    mbdyer,
    the DVD burner is free so i dont guess it matters
    right now my computer has 40, yes 40mb of ram...so its still almost 13x better than what i have now...lol
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  10. #10

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    the reason i like the 512 is b/c the next one up is 1GB for $150 extra...and im already pushing the budget, ill think about it though
    the XP is $70 more...
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  11. #11

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    thanks for the link mbdyer, i might go with the XP Pro edition b/c i will be hooking up with my college's network
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  12. #12

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    Yep. 512 mb is fine especially considering what you'll be upgrading from. Haha. You'll enjoy it either way. If you dont want to spend the money at all (or want to spend it on audio stuff), then don't. Can you select "No Operating System"? If so, you can get it from www.newegg.com as the "Student Editon" of XP Pro and save a few bucks.
    2005 Subaru Impreza WRX

  13. #13

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    Nevermind. I guess they dont have it anymore. Let me see if I can find it somewhere else.
    2005 Subaru Impreza WRX

  14. #14

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    Oh, well they have something simlar. Its the XP Pro Upgrade for students for $80. If you've got one of the older versions of windows (95/98/2000) laying around. You could install that on the new computer then upgrade to XP with that disc for only $80. If you dont, I guess it would be the same price to just go for Pro unless you want to stick with Home edition. That upgrade still depends if you can select "No Operating System" though

    XP PRO UPGRADE
    2005 Subaru Impreza WRX

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    Cody,

    Maybe this has already been answered in a roundabout way, but if you're only using this computer for email, internet, ppt, etc why get a "High-End" system? Unless you're playing games, or doing some video editing, or other "CPU-intensive" stuff, you'll not need even close to that much power and might be wasting money. Heck, a Pentium II 500 can play DVD's.

    As far as the hard drive, unless speed is critical (doesn't seem like it is) DEFINITELY go with the 250 gig hard drive. They are both Serial ATA (very good), and the difference you might notice would be negligible. True, the 74Gb HD will be a tiny bit faster, but the vastly increased storage space you will never regret. Doesn't matter how fast it is, if the hard drive is completely full, it doesn't do you much good, now does it?

    As far as the processor/memory question... Despite common belief, the CPU speed is NOT the most important part of your computer. It is usually the most expensive component, but not the most important. You'll usually get the biggest benefit by getting more memory and less CPU than the other way around. You usually want to get at least 2 models behind the current version of CPU for the best cost/performance benefit. If I were you and I understand what you want to use your computer for, I'd stay with 512 MB of memory and drop the processor speed one or two levels and save some money. That is a really nice Video card and should keep you running smoothly for a long time. If you're dead set on spending that amount of money, I'll gladly provide my address and you can send me a check for the balance :)
    http://www.silverdragon.com/punkie/c...net.idiot.html - Read it, know it

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  16. #16

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    i want a high end system b/c i want a computer that will not be outdated soon
    i can always add extra memory but i cannot add a new processor...you know?
    i think now im going to get the 1 GB and go with the XP version
    i do other stuff like music editing and video editing and picture editing
    i think in the long run i will value a faster computer than one with more space...
    trust me, after having my current computer, i dont save ANYTHING to the computer
    everything goes on CD--helps out b/c its mobile, unlike the computer, and i dont want a lap top
    i want a computer i can work on
    also, i never have to worry about losing saved info on my computer b/c its not saved on the computer
    if im not mistaken, doesnt the extra ram make your computer faster?
    thanks for all the info guys...ill be getting this in like june or july....so this helps out a lot to know what im looking for before i call up dell...
    thanks again
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  17. #17

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    Originally posted by exalted512
    i can always add extra memory but i cannot add a new processor...you know?
    Just an fyi... Its very easy to upgrade processors, they basically slide in and out.

  18. #18

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    yeah, but theyre more expensive...
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  19. #19
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    and even after you get the computer, there is usually more space to add more ram, thus making it even faster, its easy to do, and pretty cheap to. id go with windows 2000 pro., i personally dont like xp....

  20. #20

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    with all the stuff i previously listed, plus XP Pro and 1GB instead of 512, printer/fax/scanner, battery back up plug in it going to be like $2800
    drop the XP and the 1GB the prices drops $200...
    ill be putting up like $300 for it, so ill see what happens...
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

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    Do you really need a battery backup? How often does the power go out? And for the printer/fax/scanner, unless you're getting a great deal, it's usually much cheaper to go w/ Walmart/OfficeMax/etc. when they have sales...
    http://www.silverdragon.com/punkie/c...net.idiot.html - Read it, know it

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  22. #22

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    Originally posted by exalted512
    with all the stuff i previously listed, plus XP Pro and 1GB instead of 512, printer/fax/scanner, battery back up plug in it going to be like $2800
    drop the XP and the 1GB the prices drops $200...
    ill be putting up like $300 for it, so ill see what happens...
    -Cody
    So, does that mean you're only paying $300 out of your own pocket? If so sounds like a good deal for you. If not, you could probably build that same computer on newegg.com for half the cost. Putting a computer together can be a lot of fun, as well as save you money.

    Also, XP Pro is a good choice, we seem to have more problems with the Win2k machines here. The video card you picked is also very good.

    Regards,
    PolkThug

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    i believe we've reached somewhat of a consensus:
    -xp pro, because you're jacking in to a network and home's networking is ****ty. -512 or 1024 RAM, at the highest speed possible - i personally would save with the 512 unless 1024's not that much more - if you desperately need that much memory (not likely after what you've been running) you can wait 6 months and get it cheaper at a store.
    -i still vote the bigger hard drive (at the beginning, you seem to have gotten memory and disk space confused, but i think you're good now) because once you realize how much easier it is to work off the computer instead of CDs you'll never want to go back. and i don't think the 10k versus the 7k will matter so much if you're getting as much memory as you are, even if you go with 512 (you could use the money saved here to get the bigger drive).
    -yay for getting a good computer so it lasts a long time
    -if you can get exactly the same system (software and hardware) for cheaper, putting it together's pretty easy, if you can save money doing so. if you can't build the same thing (again, that's software, exact model numbers on hardware, everything), don't bother. and, dell comes with customer support, i don't know if that newegg place does.

    polkthug - you said the latency was a measure of the number of clock cycles between commands - how does memory type affect this? i get how faster memory can be (duh) accessed faster, but doesn't it depend just on how efficiently the processor divvies up its time? and doesn't hyperthreading (assuming multitasking) help with this a great deal?
    Last edited by neomagus00; 04-26-2004 at 04:39 PM.
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  24. #24

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    well, i do realize how much easier it is to work straight off the computer, but also, i can save it to the campus's network and never waste any of my memory anyway...
    and i would build my own computer, but im not paying for it...
    the print/fax/scanner is all in one and $130 from Dell with purchase of a system
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

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    Originally posted by neomagus00
    polkthug - you said the latency was a measure of the number of clock cycles between commands - how does memory type affect this? i get how faster memory can be (duh) accessed faster, but doesn't it depend just on how efficiently the processor divvies up its time? and doesn't hyperthreading (assuming multitasking) help with this a great deal?
    Each memory manufacturer will have different grades of RAM. You can read more about it here:
    http://www.corsairmicro.com/corsair/xms.html

    Also tomshardware.com is a good site.

    The trick is to set your BIOS settings to match or exceed the latency ratings of the RAM. Significant gains can be had by adjusting these settings. I think most people never tap into the full potential of their computers. Also do a search on "overclocking" and you will learn even more.

    Regards,
    PT

  26. #26

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    Cody - just for clarification:
    Memory = RAM
    Storage, disk space, etc. = Hard Drive

    When someone is talking about more memory, they are talking about more RAM, not about their hard drive space. As far as disk space, if you put everything on the school's server, everything on your computer would run very slow. For small things like school documents, power points presentations, spreadsheets, sure the school would be fine. But you want most stuff on your computer, or everything would be painfully slow. Not to mention you wouldn't be able to do anything if the network went down or if you ever leave (when you leave).

    As far as building your own computer, you wouldn't want to do that unless you really knew what you were doing. If you build your own, YOU are the tech support. If you get a Dell, make sure to get a good warranty, including Software Support if you want any help on that after 30 days. Also, definitely check into getting No operating system and then purchasing XP Pro from your school bookstore at a huge student discount. Good luck!
    -Austin
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  27. #27

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    why would be putting stuff on the schools server make it slower?
    and wouldnt 74gb 10krpm hard drive with 1gb be faster than a 250gb 7.2krmp with 512mb?
    as i understand it while your computer is running it doesnt always go through the processor, it goes through the ram to speed things up
    is that wrong?
    -Cody
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  28. #28

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    last first - yeah, it is :(. everything your computer runs goes through the processor. the processor can only work on one thing at a time, though, so it has to put the work-in-progress aside for a moment. for example, if the computer needs to redraw the screen, and it's trying to save a file, it needs to set the 'save file' process aside. if it can put it in memory, this is much much faster than putting it on the hard drive, because memory can be accessed much faster. the rpms of the hard drive don't matter as much as the memory because, if the processor doesn't have to resort to using the hard drive to store a process (because that process is too large, or there's too many at once), the rpms of the drive never come in to play. the only time you'd notice the difference is when you load a large file or do large-file manipulations. note that this is pretty simplified - my computer is running 41 processes right now ! this is where that "HT technology" comes in to play. the processor runs at a certain 'clock speed', namely 2.8 GHz. theoretically, this means that it could perform 2.8 billion (or whatever giga means) calculations each second; however, when it has to decide what to do next, or while it's waiting for info, clock cycles slip by. HT fills up some of those empty cycles with other stuff to do, so you get more stuff done with the same clock speed.

    and storing stuff on the network is even slower than the hard drive, because the computer has to do a lot more: it's gotta say, "i want this file", translate that command into a different language, send the command through the network (possible waiting for someone else to move out of the way), the computer at the other end has to process the command and retrieve the file, and then the whole thing goes back. it's just like downloading a file from the net, only the computer that holds the file is across the campus instead of in australia or whatever - it's still faster to open it from your computer.

    oh, and no-one's mentioned this: your first post said you selected the 3.2 GHz P4 w/ an 800 MHz FSB, which stands for front-side bus. if you're going to get the 2.8 GHz processor, make sure to keep that FSB number up (you may have a choice b/w 800 and like 633 or something, pick 800 even if it costs a little more - you're still saving over the 3.2 GHz and there are definite performance advantages).
    Last edited by neomagus00; 04-26-2004 at 08:27 PM.
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  29. #29
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    incase i missed it cody, RAM=random access memory, theres different types, depends on the computer

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    I am SHOCKED that nobody asked this first - what are you planning to do with this computer? Word processing, spreadsheets, homework, accessing the internet? Playing games? What kind of games? Specialized math simulations? The reason I ask is all this crap about CPU speed and disk and whatnot may mean very little if all you want is a word processor. It could mean a lot if you want a high end gaming machine. Tell us what you want to use this computer for.

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