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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Should I buy a Dell? I've heard good things about them.

    I've had a Compaq Presario for 2 years now, and I think it's time for a new one. I need something that will last me another two years and basically not take forever to open a program. Don't need anything that allows me to open more than half a dozen windows at a time usually - I close any I don't need.

    In that case, is MhZ more important than RAM? I can get one for roughly $1,000 with 866MhZ, 128MB of RAM, and a 20GB hard drive...

  2. #2
    I'm a college yuppie now! sbdi's Avatar
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    i have a dell at the moment, they are cheaper that the other brands out there but i think the reason for that is because the hardware doesnt last as long ive only had a mac before this computer and dont know much about hardware so i may be wrong but from what im told it wont last as long as a compaq ibm etc.
    Back Again

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot Isaiah's Avatar
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    According to my understanding of RAM (and I may be wrong, I hope not though):

    You can have the highest MHz in the world (currently 1 Gigahertz), but that is useless without a feasable amount of RAM for what you will use the computer for.

    What happens with RAM (Random Access Memory) is that it stores currently needed information so that it can be readily accessible for currently running programs.

    For example, when you are jamming to those MP3s you have, your computer has stored that MP3 into your RAM so that the player can play the MP3. Now, if you have many other programs running at the same time and performing different tasks, your MP3 may begin to skip because your computer is trying to find room for all the information it wants to store in your RAM. When the RAM runs out, it starts to use you Hard Drive, and the computer slows down, because the real-time info swap is slower as a result.

    The less RAM you have, the more your computer will have to use your Hard Drive, and, consequently, the slower it will run.

    According to the stats you posted, 866MHz with 128M of RAM should work fine since you apparently don't use more programs at once than you absolutely have to.

    Now did that all make sense or am I terribly wrong?

    HTH! (Hope This Helps!)
    Isaiah Walter
    Owner / Visionary
    White Wonder Studios - San Diego web design & graphics
    www.whitewonder.com

  4. #4
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
    Patrick's Avatar
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    You know how you recommend ThinkHost? I recommend Compaq the same way!

    I like Compaq's a lot and I'm also a shareholder. I consider Dell to be a cheaply made computer, and Yes, I have some experience with them.
    <Edited by ifroggy on 12-24-2000 at 03:42 PM>

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Perhaps I am wrong, but with the unbelievably low price of RAM at the moment you could get 256? Or you could just upgrade as you need to.
    The only drawback with Dell is that they do not offer the AMD Thunderbird processors, which are far superior to the P3/4 in terms of price. As well as being cheaper, tests in PCPRO (a British computer magazine) that the 1.1Ghz athlon will outperform the P4 1.4Ghz in quite a few areas.
    But as most people will tell you, Dell computers are pretty good, and the support is very good too

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Dell is simply OUTSTANDING. I've never put that much emphasis on anything at all.

    Today, more MHz doesn't mean more speed. You won't notice a huge difference between an 800MHz computer and a 1.5GHz computer unless you are doing some unhuman work.

    However, you will notice a performance boost between say, 64MB of RAM and 128MB of RAM. If I were you, I'd get the following:

    800MHz-1GHz (If you have the money, a P4 would be nice, but there is no real reason to have one)
    256MB of RAM
    20-40GB Hard Drive

    That should keep you up-to-date for quite some time. I really think you should get 256MB of RAM because prices are really low right now. You'd be fine with a 20GB hard drive for now, but it will save you a lot of trouble down the line if you get a 40GB hard drive. Hard drives are pretty cheap these days. I remember a quote I said in (I think) 1998:
    I'd love to see the day a 10GB hard drive is under $200
    I have written a few articles you may be interested in, Chris. Let me know if you are interested (by email) and I'll send you the URLs.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I've read several on Spotster.net - so I've likely already seen them.

    I have to say: I expected everyone to reply with major support of Dell - surprised only Aidan thus far recommends them.

    I've got a Compaq, and it's been okay. Not bad, but not great.

    Why do I like the way Dell looks?

    1) I like being able to customize the system.
    2) I've heard good things about them. Are you guys sure they're not well built? I've heard the exact opposite everywhere else.
    3) They must be doing something right to have unseated Compaq for the top slot in the industry.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by TWTCommish
    Why do I like the way Dell looks?

    1) I like being able to customize the system.
    2) I've heard good things about them. Are you guys sure they're not well built? I've heard the exact opposite everywhere else.
    3) They must be doing something right to have unseated Compaq for the top slot in the industry.
    1. Dell definately offers superb customization. I haven't seen anything quite like it.
    2. I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot of cheers for Dell soon
    3. Yeah, you're definately right there. I haven't purchased a Compaq myself, but I have a good friend who has one. Compaq is definately a leader, but it doesn't come close to Dell!

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by sbdi
    i have a dell at the moment, they are cheaper that the other brands out there but i think the reason for that is because the hardware doesnt last as long ive only had a mac before this computer and dont know much about hardware so i may be wrong but from what im told it wont last as long as a compaq ibm etc.
    Actually, Dell is known for overpricing systems. The extra money you spend is all put to making things higher quality. It's like buying a BMW instead of a Toyota, if you think about it.

    IBM used to be terriffic, but it is going downhill now. They don't even make their own computers! My dad is the manager of the place where they assemble parts of IBM (also other companies including Acer and HP) computers. There is no quality associated with IBM anymore. Sort of like an Alabanza server, if you think about it. The only real reason to buy an IBM today is to take advantage of good deals they have (if they have any).

  10. #10
    Nice Mug jer's Avatar
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    I'd definately recommend Dell. Beyond personal opinions, most PC magazines always have DELL rated at the top, and have great reviews in all areas. I don't see how people can say they're "cheap", Dell's tend to be as or more expensive than most other computers.

    And since you buy them right from the manufacturer, it shows that they're even more expensive because most retailers have greatly inflated prices (you'll know what I mean if you've ever priced computers at places like Future Shop).

    I'm hoping to get a Dell in the near future, right now I've got a clone and it's a piece of junk - even though its got a 750-mHz PIII and 128 megs ram.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Jeremy Watts :: Co-Founder
    Modevia Web Services :: Experience the Difference.

  11. #11
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
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    Aidan... quality? Has Michael Dell been spoonfeeding you or something?

    A BMW instead of a Toyota? Was that a joke? Its like buying a Volkswagen. LOL

    Chris, in the end, its your decision and go with whichever of the big names for the best price. If you have your heart set on deal (lol), just make sure they aren't charging you much more for the same specs. Compaq's support has been rated higher then Dell's, but that really shouldn't factor too, too much in on your decision. No matter who you go with, the differences will be marginal. I, myself, just recommend Compaq.

  12. #12
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    This is the perfect time to buy a new PC. Because of less-than-expected sales, computer manufacturers are selling quality systems at low prices. I am also interested in purchashing a Dell and I have heard great things about them. They aren't overly-expensive, have good support, and offer a wide range of systems. Right now, I have a Gateway 2000. I highly-recommend this company, too. I have had it since 1998 (exactly two years this month) and it has held up flawlessly.

    Chris, RAM is the more important over speed. You can get one up to 1.4 GHz, but something like 800 MHz will get you by. You really don't need over 400 MHz, though. My system came with 64MB of RAM, but I have just upgraded to 192MB (added a whopping 128MB, thripling my RAM!). It has made a solid improvement. I got it from Crucial.com - couldn't be more happy with them!

    Hope this is to some help.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by ifroggy
    Aidan... quality? Has Michael Dell been spoonfeeding you or something?
    Without a doubt, Dell makes computers of very high quality. I'm sure a lot of forum members will support me on this one.


  14. #14
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
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    Well... if its between Dell or Gateway... buy Dell. lol

  15. #15
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    I think it all depends on your needs.

    Two years ago I had a ctx computer, 266mhz, was a nice machine, I upgraded several times over the past 2 years, at one point bought a compaq 500mhz, it now sits on the shelf looking stupid, I will never purchase another big name brand computer. I had nothing but problems with the power supply on the ctx computer, the first 5 months I was driving it down to city of industry to their support area once per month to get either a new cd drive or a new power supply put into it.

    The compaq, man talk about c*&^, was nothing but problems and when it came to upgrading, forget it, couldn't upgrade the processor, couldn't add a better video due to the built in video card.

    Then their was the IBM, another piece of work, had 6 expansion card slots, but you could only use 3 of them at a time, only because you could only fit 3 cards in it, called IBM and they told me that was true, and that was the way it was designed.

    So, my latest purchase, which is now about 8 or 10 months old is a UMAX computer, P3 600mhz, 256mb ram, 64mb video card, all seperates, ie video card, sound card etc. not built onto the mother board.

    I don't know how dells are, but I have certainly gotten my money out of this UMAX computer and when it comes time to upgrade again next year, I'll be purchasing another one, it has given me no grief whatsoever.

    Bbox

  16. #16
    Misfit
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    What a great thread Actually we have two PC makers here - Compaq, which I hate, and Dell, which I love. I currently have a Dell and it's Awesome! Aidan has been right in everything he's said. They're spectacular! I'd definitely recommend them.

    You might also want to check out Quantex - http://www.quantex.com

    EDIT: hrm, looks like the Quantex site is closed. Oh well...

  17. #17
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
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    Right in YOUR opinion Justin.

    Anyway, Chris, check out http://www.baddealings.com/ - Dell is No. 2 on their consumer complaints list. Here is a direct Dell complaint link: http://www.baddealings.com/forums/sh...hp?threadid=62 and here is another one http://www.baddealings.com/forums/sh...p?threadid=102

    In all fairness, he is the link to Compaq complaints: http://www.baddealings.com/forums/sh...hp?threadid=87

    I've stopped arguing with people... people like Compaq, people like Dell, people like Gateway. So, now what I recommend is buy what you want and live off your on experience. Thats what I do and I'm pretty happy.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Every company will receive complaints. I'm not surprised Dell has a couple.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Only problem with Dell (at least in the UK), they are hardly noted for their blazing performance (as you might expect from a high priced machine). In PCPRO, they regularly come near to last place in performance tests, especially when compared to similar machines in terms of price.
    To give you some idea of the sheer magnitude of these differences, here are some figures from latest PCPRO..

    Dell Dimension 4100; 128mb pc133 ram, PIII 1ghz,
    1448 exc vat: 2.29
    Panrix Magnum Magnum Gamer; 1499 exc vat, 128pc133 ram, tbird 1.1ghz: 5.99

    Okay, so it is a P3 vs Athlon, but I still think it illustrates the point.

    btw; merry christmas!

  20. #20
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    Aidan, I am getting a little sick of your comments. Of course, every company has complaints, do you think I'm an idiot? Knock it off. I didn't and don't insult your intelligence and would appreciate you doing the same.

    Anyway, that post was pretty fair, your just hell bent on Dell. If you read what I said, I said to buy what you want and live from your own experiences. Thats what you have done, and thats what I do.

    But, I do believe that complaint sites, as well as large business validation companies, like the Better Business Bureau, can be of aide when chosing the company to buy a product from.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Well, the first thread seems reasonable (not filling up all media bays is a decent policy, and not a concern of mine)...other than that, the second one is concerning monitor performance (at least partially), and would probably buy my own monitor.

    Anyway: there are thousands of complaints for every company out there no matter what, so neither the Dell threads nor the Compaq threads will effect me much.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    I have a friend who works for MS customer support for large accounts. His clients are companies like MCI, etc. He highly recommends Dell. He says that the business lines are tested very well for compatibility and quality. The business lines are slower to get the newest gizmos because the testing is much more extensive. The home user lines are the place where they have the more exotic and new products. Of course the products are tested, but not to the same extent. That's why the home models of their laptops will have the newest DVD, sound, etc., and their business models won't.

    Anyhow, he highly recommends Dell and IBM, but he gives low scores to Compaq. This comes from providing support to clients with thousands of computers.

    My company has a bunch of Dells, and I've liked all of them. My wife is working on one right now. My laptop is an IBM, but the previous one was a Dell.

    TWTCommish, that configuration you named sounds great. Don't get anything less than 128K. If you can afford 256K, you'll like that even more.
    Jim Lewis
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  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by ifroggy
    Aidan, I am getting a little sick of your comments. Of course, every company has complaints, do you think I'm an idiot? Knock it off. I didn't and don't insult your intelligence and would appreciate you doing the same.

    Anyway, that post was pretty fair, your just hell bent on Dell. If you read what I said, I said to buy what you want and live from your own experiences. Thats what you have done, and thats what I do.

    But, I do believe that complaint sites, as well as large business validation companies, like the Better Business Bureau, can be of aide when chosing the company to buy a product from.
    iFroggy, calm down!

    There is no need to argue, and no one insutled your intelligence. We are not competing for anything. We are just giving our recommendations. The only thing that happened is that you said that Dell had a few complaints. I replied saying that all companies have complaints, my point being that posting a few URLs to complainers shouldn't affect Chris's decision.

    Anyway, lets get back on topic...

  24. #24
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    ifroggy,

    I would just like to step in here and tell you that I am getting a little sick of your comments. So why don't you act just a little bit mature and friendly. It is the holiday season, do not get all upset and mad over these little things.

    - jfv

  25. #25
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
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    Aidan, I was just providing some resources... and Yes, customer reviews/complaints/praises should/could factor into a decision. Your point wasn't clear, now you have elaborated, and it is.

    Mconet, Happy Holidays... you made a very warm first post on this thread. Keep it up.


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