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893 posts

Ultimate Geek
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# 38320 28-Jul-2009 09:55
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I am intending to buy a new computer in the next month or so and have customized a Dell Studio Desktop to These specs:


Intel Core 2 Duo processor E7400 2.80GHz
Windows Vista Home Premium with Free Upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium
3GB DDR2 800MHZ SDRAM
320GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 3.0Gb/s
Dual Optical Drives
16x Max DVD-ROM
& 16x DVD+/-RW with Dual Layer Support
ATI Radeo HD 4350 512MB DDR2


I intend useing it as a media centre as well as a PC for Study and internet
Can you see any problems or hardware clashes. I have the intentioin to add a TV Tuner and Wifi Adaptor in the future


Thanks Tom





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893 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 239572 28-Jul-2009 09:56
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Sorry the price is $1604.25 with a 3 year subscription for McAfee security center 10





3071 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 239604 28-Jul-2009 10:49
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Seems expensive to me for those specs.
Monitor included for that price?
Motherboard specs?

I would also drop the McAfee Sub and go with something like NOD32 instead.
Also 500GB HDDs are cheap as chips these days so I wouldn't get anything less than that.

Edit:  Just did a quick calc and I would sell something like that but with a 500GB WD Black HDD and 3 year NOD32 for around $1500.
That price also includes dual DVD-RW Lite-On drives not one DVD and one DVD-RW. and also a decent motherboard and E7500 CPU.
The case & PSU I use would probably be a lot better than the Dell on too.
Other parts are Asus.

 
 
 
 


282 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 239613 28-Jul-2009 10:58
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I looked at the same machine last month before I bought a higher spec Dell of what you spec'ed above.

You do pay more for a Dell than you would if you built your own. You also cant unbundled many of the stuff you get [e.g. I did not want Vista Ultimate as I already had a licence - and they made me get it)

However, I am happy with it - and the customer service - both emails and phone (run from KL. Malaysia) is second to none.

If you are not in a hurry, just wait - they always have specials on that machine - e.g. $300 Cash back. There is nothing more frustrating than you paying $1.6k and the price goes down to 1.3k next month!!

Also consider what I got (see my spec in my signature) if you can afford it - it gives you years of freedom from obsoletion (is that a word?)


It is also worth reading my friend Jim's blog post from Atlanta USA about his experience with Dell - but as for me  - I have nothing but prasise for the Dell after my user experience.


Tim




Tim M, Auckland
Blog: http://paddler.co.nz







893 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 5


  # 239615 28-Jul-2009 10:59
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Intel? G45 Express Chipset
18.5 inch wide screen monitor
Dad is adamint I have Mcafee and he is paying(he is very untechnological so im not going to argue)
Don't need that much storage as i have storage for all my media on my network







893 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 239617 28-Jul-2009 11:02
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@bluetoothkiwi i will wait a few weeks but i dont think ill go for the higher specs i can't afford it





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Ultimate Geek
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  # 239627 28-Jul-2009 11:11
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thefatmould: @bluetoothkiwi i will wait a few weeks but i dont think ill go for the higher specs i can't afford it



OK. But if you can stretch your budget, increase your memory from 3GB to 4GB. If you are going to play games increase your video card to 4850 - you will notice the difference. Apart from that your spec is fine - The Duo can handle whatever you throw at it.



thefatmould: 
I intend useing it as a media centre as well as a PC for Study and internet
Can you see any problems or hardware clashes. I have the intentioin to add a TV Tuner and Wifi Adaptor in the future
Thanks Tom

Dont buy the tuner and the Wifi adapter from Dell - they have a high markup. You wont have compatibility problem if you buy USB versions of the WiFi and tuner. I am pretty sure you only have one free PCI-E slot free.


Tim




Tim M, Auckland
Blog: http://paddler.co.nz







893 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 239678 28-Jul-2009 12:46
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Not a gamer so have decided to swap the graphics card for a better sound card and up the RAM instead of the second DVD drive what are your thoughts on this:
PROCESSOR Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo Processor E7400 (2.80GHz, 1066FSB, 3MB)
OPERATING SYSTEM Pre-Loaded Genuine Windows Vista(R) Home Premium 32 bit OEM Version
MONITOR Dell(TM) S2009WFP 20"Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor (1600 x 900 at 60Hz)
MEMORY 4GB (2X2GB) DDR2 800MHz SDRAM Memory
HARD DRIVE 320GB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive with Native Command Queuing
OPTICAL DRIVE 16X DVD + /-RW with Dual Layer Write Capabilities
VIDEO CARD Integrated Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator X4500 HD
SOUND CARD Sound Blaster(R) X-Fi(TM) Xtreme audio Card

Still has free windows 7 Upgrade and have also lost the mcafee licence will use avast or something
PRICE: $1534.50





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Ultimate Geek
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  # 239687 28-Jul-2009 13:01
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I'd personally keep the video card you had before, you can offload the h264 decoding to the HD4350 (which will make a big difference for performance). I know that the x4500 can do it as well, but I've never had much success with Intel video chipsets.

I know that you say you have lots of storage space on the network, but unless you're running 802.11N it'll be too slow for saving & playing back hi-def recordings over the wireless connection. I have a 1TB disk on my HTPC just for recordings, and it fills up quick.

I'd also buy the tuner separately, you can pick up an Asus u3100 mini DVB-T for about $80 which will do the job (assuming you're in an area that has DVB-T available).

282 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 239691 28-Jul-2009 13:05
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thefatmould:
SOUND CARD Sound Blaster(R) X-Fi(TM) Xtreme audio Card


Very nice! I could not justify the second optical drive either (however, I went for a single BlueRay / DVD drive instead).

Just curious - what is that you want to do with the Sound blaster X-Fi(TM) Xtreme that you cant do with the one that the Dell comes with?

Normally I hate the bundled sound hardware with PC's - but the Dell comes with a nice quality Integrated 7.1 Audio + Realtek High Definition Audio driver - I find the sound output is just perfect when I am watching TV3 in Dolby Surround or playing a first shooter game in 7.1 channel surround.

How much extra are you paying for the sound card? Apart from that your spec seems pretty good fit for what you want to do - [assuming you definitely want to pay the premium for the Dell brand].

Tim




Tim M, Auckland
Blog: http://paddler.co.nz







893 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 239760 28-Jul-2009 14:54
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ok might keep integrated audio and upgrade hard drive. also my friend says that vista and windows 7 32 bit won't be able to utilise the extra gig of ram so is it worth paying the extra 140 for the extra gig and upgrade the video card. 


EDIT:Ok the specs now are:


  • Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo Processor E7400 (2.80GHz, 1066FSB, 3MB)

  • Pre-Loaded Genuine Windows Vista(R) Home Premium 32 bit OEM Version

  • Dell(TM) S2009WFP 20"Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor (1600 x 900 at 60Hz)

  • 3GB (3X1GB) DDR2 800MHz SDRAM Memory

  • 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive with Native Command Queuing

  • 16X DVD + /-RW with Dual Layer Write Capabilities

  • Integrated 7:1 audio card

  • ATI Radeo(TM) HD 4350 512MB DDR2







At $1,571.62
Any Suggestions






919 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 239763 28-Jul-2009 15:02
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thefatmould: ok might keep integrated audio and upgrade hard drive. also my friend says that vista and windows 7 32 bit won't be able to utilise the extra gig of ram so is it worth paying the extra 140 for the extra gig and upgrade the video card let you know the price soon


32bit versions have a limitation of about 3.5GB RAM, but if you can get the 64bit version the limits range from 8GB through to 192GB (depending on the edition)



893 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 239764 28-Jul-2009 15:04
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meesham:
thefatmould: ok might keep integrated audio and upgrade hard drive. also my friend says that vista and windows 7 32 bit won't be able to utilise the extra gig of ram so is it worth paying the extra 140 for the extra gig and upgrade the video card let you know the price soon


32bit versions have a limitation of about 3.5GB RAM, but if you can get the 64bit version the limits range from 8GB through to 192GB (depending on the edition)



Ok i might stick to 3GB dont think ill need much more





282 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 239808 28-Jul-2009 16:01
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thefatmould:
Ok i might stick to 3GB dont think ill need much more



Good point - However, I have seen 32 bit Windows 7 utilising 4GB without any problem - but it is the absolote limit. So you should be OK with 4GB (2X2GB) DDR2 800MHz SDRAM Memory. 


But it does not hurt to check with Dell before you place the order - so you are not throwing monye down the drain.


[P.S. I have 8GB - but then again I am running 64 bit OS. I suggested 4GB - as that was the maximum Win7 (32bit) can handle.


Please drop a comment here for the benefit of other people if Dell tells you otherwise.


Tim




Tim M, Auckland
Blog: http://paddler.co.nz







893 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 5


  # 239811 28-Jul-2009 16:13
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@bluetoothkiwi what tv tuner are you useing





282 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 239815 28-Jul-2009 16:16
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thefatmould: @bluetoothkiwi what tv tuner are you useing



See my signature - which tells you my setup on every message I write: I am using a Hauppauge WinTV HVR-900-HD [66009]. It is a USB one - works fine with Win7 (64 bit).


If you have more money get a dual channel one - so you can watch one channel while recording another (I dont watch too much TV).


Tim





Tim M, Auckland
Blog: http://paddler.co.nz





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