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Old 06-08-2008, 06:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Dell...maybe...

After an unfortunate incident involving my current laptop's hinge, and realizing that doing all the work it needs would cost about $250, I've almost decided to buy a new laptop. I was looking at the Dell Vostro 1400 series because they're inexpensive and come with graphics cards and a decent size hard drive.

Planned specs:
Core 2 Duo T5670 (1.8ghz)
Windows XP Home
2gb RAM
GeForce 8400M GS (128mb memory)
250gb hard drive (free upgrade from 120gb!)
XGA screen with "TrueLife"
DVD burner w/o Roxio

Right now, it costs $604 without shipping, so it seems like a pretty good deal for me. I'm curious about the 8400 and gaming. How do you think the system would compare with a Athlon X2 4800+ (overclocked 4000+ to 2.8ghz) and a GeForce 7600GT? The most recent game I have for it is Orange Box, but I might be getting Spore.

One final thing. I went to the checkout menu to see about shipping (looks like it's free, but idk), but it asks for a company name and company phone number. Since I'm not with a company, think I should just put down "none" and my phone #?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Dell...maybe...

I'm looking at the same laptop with a 2.0 proc 1gb of ram (will be upgraded to 4 after purchase for $65) and I took out the DVD burner as its like whatever for me, I don't use DVD's often and thats what my PC is for....
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Dell...maybe...

since the vostro is a business notebook they would ask for company name etc.. ask some of the people who have the vostro's here..
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Dell...maybe...

Graphics card Rankings

The 7600gt would wipe the floor with the 8400gs.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Dell...maybe...

Yap that can't be used for nice games for sure I think.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: New Dell...maybe...

The 8400M GS isn't an awesome card or anything, but it is enough to power Orange Box on a 14" screen very well (a slightly higher card, the 8600M GS, plays Orange Box quite well on a 1680x1050 monitor, while the Vostro and Inspiron 14" models have a 1280x900 or something like that). I've seen an 8400M GS play Half Life 2 Deathmatch and it ran just fine, as did Portal: First Slice.

As for the rest of the PC, 1.8GHz may be a bit slow, but not by much. Core 2 Duo is apparently much faster than the AMD 64 architecture (look at benchmarks) so it would still be a fairly good PC.

I'm sure it'd make a great PC. You really don't need a top-of-the-line graphics card (88xx series) unless you want to play Crysis or other insanely high graphics powered games. Since you're going with XP and not Vista, newer games might even be out of the question simply based on OS. Good thing is, if you're going with XP, you can run unsigned drivers and overclock your card (overclocking in Vista 64 is hard, although possible).
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Dell...maybe...

eh probably won't see any worth while performance increase from oc'ing a 8400... if it's anything like the 8600 then its just a lost cause.
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: New Dell...maybe...

I overclocked my 8600M GS a bit and I noticed a performance increase in just 50 to 100MHz...considering HP underclocks the 8600M GS to 500MHz rather than 600MHz like nVidia specifies. It gets really hot at those speeds though (90 to 95 degrees).
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Dell...maybe...

My vostro has an 8600, and it played fear fine at like medium to medium high settings. I personally wouldn't oc my laptop. It's hot enough being on my lap as it is. I didn't get it for gaming, so I wouldn't necessarily suggest my specs, either (but I do definately like the vostro).


You don't need to provide "business" information unless you are trying to finance through them (at least I'm pretty sure I didn't). But even if they do, just make something up or use your name.
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Dell...maybe...

I hope to get the laptop before too much longer, but now I'm debating about a few other things.

They offer Vista Home Premium as an option for $29. I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to get it, since it is a more recent operating system. Then again, it'd mean I was paying extra for Vista. I can always install XP on it later.

Also, is the "Dell Wireless 1395 802.11g" card any good? There are a few upgrades, but they all seem pretty expensive. I don't have any use for a "n" card, since none of my hardware supports it.

Or maybe I should spend the extra $40 for a higher res screen? 1280x800 seems to work pretty well for me now, but would the extra bit of screen area be useful on a 14" display?

I did decide to just go with the CD burner / DVD reader drive, since it saves a few bucks and I have access to other burners. Thanks for all your help - I kinda rushed into my last laptop purchase, and have been stuck using an underpowered Compaq for awhile, and just don't want it to happen again.
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