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Old 11-14-2007, 11:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Possibly buying - some questions

i only have about a thousand to spend
i figured on dell (my last computer just busted (hard drive went and i'm tired of trying to fix it).

if i buy a dell, does anyone know if i can upgrade it later (ie more memory or a better graphics card)

also can anyone tell me how these graphics cards and sound cards match up?

current graphics card : geforce xf 6600

possible for purchase from dell: (which one is better and how do they compare with my current video card
128MB ATI Radeon HD 2400 PRO
256MB Radeon ATI HD 2600 XT
256MB nVidia GeForce 8600 GTS


also i'm not that picky about sound so would integrated 7.1 channel audio sound be good (for playing games and what not (basically, will i have any problems with it.))

thanks for your help
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possibly buying - some questions

Generally, everyone here is going to say build it on your own. It's easier then you think, much cheaper, and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Anyone here would be more then happy to set up a generic parts list for you to tweak.

Out of those cards the 8600GTS is the way to go, and will work as long as your mobo has PCI-E support.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possibly buying - some questions

thanks,

the last computer i had, my friend and i built.
yeah it was nice to build my own, but i've had one problem after another with it, the latest: hard drive busted.

this time i'm going for a more secure computer, one i really don't have to worry about.

thanks for the info on the graphics card, chances are that's the one i'll get.

also, should i be worried about processor speed, my old one was 2.0 ghz and this one is looking to be about 2.33 (biggest worry is about future games and programs ie. can it handle vista and games that are or will be coming out)
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possibly buying - some questions

In years past you could determine the speed of a processor based on ghz, but now there is much more that goes into it. What is the exact processor you are looking into?

Also, if you had trouble with your last build, then just do some reading and try to get it right the second time. The parts you buy to build yourself are as good or better then the parts dell with slop together for you. Plus, a hard drive malfunction is not a big deal, a replacement would cost $50-100.

Also, about sound... the quality of integrated sound depends on the board, but generally I have found integrated to be sufficient.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possibly buying - some questions

You can upgrade the memory on all dells but you can only upgrade the graphics card if the motherboard has a PCI express x16 slot(PCIEx16).All of the graphics cards you listed are PCIEx16 so yes you can also upgrade the graphics card. The only issue with upgading the graphics card would be the power supply. Most dells have a 300 watt power suply which is fine for the graphics cards dell offers but might not be sufficent for a high performance card like the GeForce 8800GT or Radeon HD 2900 Pro that recomend at least a 400 watt power supply. You would probably need to also the power supply if you upgrade the graphics card.
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possibly buying - some questions

A dell has as much, if not more chance of breaking than one you build yourself.
"but dell is a huge company, surely they must use good parts!"

Hah, dell uses the cheapest junk they can get their hands on. And unless you shell out the extra 100-200 bucks for the good warranty, i think they only come with 90 days warranty. So do yourself a favor, build your own, get a much better machine for the same amount of money and know that you got all quality parts because you picked them out yourself.

Also, dont call me shirley.
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possibly buying - some questions

I understand that it's cheaper but my biggest concern is about reliability, the computer that i built seems to have a lot of problems (ie, freezing and other minor things)

does a built computer have the same chance of problems as a boughten computer?
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Old 11-16-2007, 09:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possibly buying - some questions

A computer is a computer. It isn't perfect - you will have problems no matter what.

If you are just going to use it for surfing the internet, email, and word documents & such, then just buy a Dell and save the hassle.

If you are doing anything intensive, build your own. If you do everything correctly and take care of the computer, you won't experience many problems.

Again, no computer will be perfect, they will all have problems. But the thought is that if you build, you get the exact parts you want, which are much higher quality than most pre-configured PC's. Plus you get to see how all the parts work to get a better understanding of how it works, and you get a sense of pride in building such a powerful piece of equipment.

We can help you pick the best parts if you want to build.
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Re: Possibly buying - some questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by damiancds View Post
I understand that it's cheaper but my biggest concern is about reliability, the computer that i built seems to have a lot of problems (ie, freezing and other minor things)

does a built computer have the same chance of problems as a boughten computer?
Damian, who told you dell makes secure computers? Sounds like you didn't do a good job on your first build since you're wanting to get a "secure" dell pc. LOL.

Serious though, building your own is 10x better than dell's or any other manufacturer.
Dells make decent pc's but not for us techs who are always changing and swapping parts.
I say build your own but if you truly want a "secure" pc dell can offer you extended warranties. Good luck
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possibly buying - some questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by motoxer4533 View Post
A computer is a computer. It isn't perfect - you will have problems no matter what.

If you are just going to use it for surfing the internet, email, and word documents & such, then just buy a Dell and save the hassle.

If you are doing anything intensive, build your own. If you do everything correctly and take care of the computer, you won't experience many problems.

Again, no computer will be perfect, they will all have problems. But the thought is that if you build, you get the exact parts you want, which are much higher quality than most pre-configured PC's. Plus you get to see how all the parts work to get a better understanding of how it works, and you get a sense of pride in building such a powerful piece of equipment.

We can help you pick the best parts if you want to build.
Don't know about you, but MY computer is perfect Also, to reiterate. For the love of God, dont buy a dell.
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