How's this computer? [Dell Dimension 8400] - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 06-14-2005, 04:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How's this computer? [Dell Dimension 8400]

I am in the market for a new computer, and am willing to pay around $1200 for it. I'm not looking for it to play the newest games perfectly, but I do want it to run them reasonably well.

Eventually, I came up with a Dell Dimension 8400 for $1175. Here are the specs:
  • Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 640 w/HT Technology (3.20GHz, 800FSB)
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition
  • 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz (2x512MB)
  • 80GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
  • Dual Drives: 16x DVD + FREE UPGRADE! 16x DVD+/-RW w/dbl layer write
  • 256MB PCI Express™ x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) nVidia GeForce 6800
  • Integrated 5.1 Channel Audio

While this is what I'm paying for, I'm not worried about the hard drive or soundcard, since I already have another drive and a better soundcard ready.

What do you think of it, particularly of the processor, graphics card, and RAM? Will it be enough to play, say, Halflife 2 reasonably well? If not, what suggestions might you have that wouldn't break the budget?

Thank you in advance.

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Old 06-14-2005, 04:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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dells all suck

check out

if i had time i'd give you a list of parts, just chose them on monarch's site and they built and ship it to you

im sure if u wait until tomorrow someone can give you suggestions, it's like 230am here in cali and like 530am on east coast


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Old 06-14-2005, 04:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It is enough to play HL2 decently but you could do better at monarch computers or building your own, that way you don't get the cheapest 6800 you can get, the cheapest power supply, RAM and motherboard, and have a more reliable & faster PC.

If you can, get an athlon 64 because they really whoop pentium 4's and you can check out benchmarks to show it at places like toms hardware or
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Old 06-14-2005, 08:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Dell, no.

you can do much better with that cash.

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Old 06-14-2005, 10:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have to agree.. they make crappy computers and then inflate the prices for people who don't know any better. They also put their systems together in a way to make it difficult to upgrade.
Please don't reward them with your money.. they are a blight upon the pc industry!
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you build your own with 1200 you can get a whole lot more
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Being as he is looking at Dell, he probably doesn't have the experience or knowledge to build his own, although I could be wrong. However, you can get way more for the money ordering from a place like MonarchComputers, or even a local mom-and-pop computer shop in your area. Dells also use all proprietary components such as RAM and power supply making it impossible to upgrade it. That system you have listed for $1200 is pretty sad for that much money. You can do MUCH,MUCH better.
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I dunno the company I work for decided to go Dell (before I got here) I am the netadmin and I am finding they are very reliable. We have everyting from the dimension 4200 to the 8400 and some 8300 with quadro fx cards in em. I never have any issues and they ALL run AutoCAD on them.

The people here are uber techs and thus hate all things pre-built. Don't let the discourage you. That machine should run HL2 nicely. BF2 maybe not so much but from I hear that is not a huge loss.

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Old 06-14-2005, 11:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Dell is perfectly fine for the masses who buy them. You have to understand, people buy nnot only from withen their price bracket, but there knowledge bracket.

Dells customer service and warrenties are pretty good, and they'll fix the computer or give you another on. As long as you need the tech service, and don't wish to upgrade, Dells are fine.
Iraq... whee.
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Old 06-14-2005, 11:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The video card and the hard drive are the two areas where that machine is really lacking. 80GB is too small for this day and age if you want to have a lot installed at the same time. Also, the Nvidia 6800 that you chose is nowhere near as good as the 6800 GT, which you could get for the same price if you custom built, either yourself or by somebody. It should run HL2 and BF2 fine, as my X800 Pro does and its not a good as the vanilla 6800. However, as I've said before, you can do much better for the money.

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