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Thread: Dell computers

  1. #1
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Dell computers

    I'm looking to purchase one, and I know they've got rave reviews from PC magazine, but I was wondering if any of you Dell owners have anything to add before I finalize my decision? How is support and upgrading? I know that Gateway only lets you upgrade a small portion of your computer and that they dont provide enough slots for you to really do anything with.

    Comments?

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    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    Really, I love my DEll laptop but I have had a Dell desktop before too adn they are very good! However, (and this is a very BIG but) I think they are overpriced and the best solution is to get one custom built. That way you have complete control. I built mine nearly 4 years ago and it is basically a top of the range machine still because it is very upgradable and has qualityt compenents. It also works out cheaper.

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    I've had my Dell desktop for about 2 1/2 years. It's been great so far (with the typical exceptions). I've recommended Dell to my friends and so far 3 out of 3 are very happy customers.

    As far as upgrading, I been able to add whatever I needed (from CDRW to more RAM). It hasn't been a problem running out of slots.

    Nicky made a good point about price...it's cheaper to have someone custom make you one - but the Dell Customer Support has been good for me and that may be the price difference.

    The last person that I recommended Dell to bought one of their refurbished pcs (basically they sent the wrong pc to someone and it was returned). There's nothing wrong w/ them other than the fact that you have to pick out your pc (versus having it custom made) But there's a lot to choose from and you save about $150US (i think)

    Dell has my recommendation!
    Joseph Schell
    AMICO-Online

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    I am the night... bman's Avatar
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    i love my dell. i think they are great computers.. and they have good tech support. I have never had to call them for anything with my home computer. But many times at work i have had to call them, and they have been very helpful. I always get my problem solved very quickly.
    one of our hard drives went bad in one of our dells at work onetime. called support, they sent someone out the next day to replace it.
    if you ask me, that good support was worth the extra money to me.
    Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice.
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard dominique's Avatar
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    I have my DELL for just about 1 and 1/4 years now and I can't complain one bit. They are pricey, I admit that, but the support is wonderfull!

    I didn't know about the support before I bought mine, but now that I do, I would actually buy another DELL just because of the support.

    They will help you fix anything, even if you know you messed it up (just don't tell them that! ). And the hardware waranty is great, my video card fried on me (unluky I guess) and they replaced it no questions asked, they even sent someone over to replace it.

    Upgrading is great too, DELL computers are basically just like clones, you can replace cards, motherboards, RAM, HDs, in short, everything in your computer can be replaced without any problems if you ever want to change something. They also come with an extra slot for a second HD and form the pictures you can see that they have plenty of slots in the front for DVD and CD-RWs or Zip or whatever.

    I actually ran out of slots in the back though because I have two network cards and two sound cards, but in general you should have enough room.

    If you have a lot of USB devices you might want to note that DELL computers usually only have two USB ports and they're in the back only (at least when I bought mine) versus the 4 (2 in the front, 2 in the back)that many HPs have. But you can always buy a hub.

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    SitePoint Wizard
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    I'm a happy Dell owner and I highly recommed them.

    As far as support goes, I have no experience with it. Either my computer is too good to require support, or I always work independantly to work out problems :P

    I haven't run into problems with upgrading my computer...but then again it doesn't need much upgrading for a while. Dell isn't picky about parts though.

    The computer works fine with the seven Operating Systems I have run it with (Windows 98, Windows Millenium, Windows 2000, Windows XP Beta, BeOS, Mandrake 7.2 and Mandrake 8.0). I have little incompatibility problems of any sort.
    Originally posted by Sparkie
    I know that Gateway only lets you upgrade a small portion of your computer and that they dont provide enough slots for you to really do anything with.
    Gateway also makes computers with several expansion slots. Most large companies make low-end and high end computers. Low-end computers almost always have fewer expansion slots. Don't hate gateway for having limited expansion
    Last edited by Aidan Bahta; Jun 7, 2001 at 13:20.

  7. #7
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    I would buy a laptop from Dell and I would buy components but I honestly wouldn't buy a complete system! If I need technical support then just ask here!

    I just don't see why I should pay an extra 30 for a Dell case just because it says "Dell" on it when generic one will do the same job!

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    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by Nicky
    I would buy a laptop from Dell and I would buy components but I honestly wouldn't buy a complete system! If I need technical support then just ask here!

    I just don't see why I should pay an extra 30 for a Dell case just because it says "Dell" on it when generic one will do the same job!
    Good point. I don't plan on buying any desktop computer from any company now that I am comfortable enough with hardware, but I will always recommend Dell to people who aren't willing/aren't ready to build their own.

    One thing you have to think about is the 30 that you are paying extra isn't going towards the name, as it does in clothing and other things. It is going towards great support, better quality control, shipping/storage, and several other things that generic/home built systems don't have. It isn't like you are getting ripped off. $200 athletic shoes are another story though

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    SitePoint Wizard
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    I have a Dell desktop and laptop. My desktop 2 years and 2 months old, and my laptop is 3 months old.

    My laptop is excellent--I seriously have no complaints, except for one "dead" pixel.

    My desktop, on the other hand, isn't as good as I would expect. This was the first PC I ever got (before I used Macs), so I might be a bit biased, but even under stable OSes like Linux and Win2k it crashes randomly every 10 days or so. Whenever I access any of my hard drives, my whole computer freezes for a few seconds. My CD-ROM drive, hard drive, videocard, and keyboard have all failed in just two years.

    I know some people love Dell tech support, and used to as well. Maybe it was the instance when they told me to run 'zztop' (as you may have heard about on these forums from me, before), their low-level HD formatting tool. They expected that another tech told me what it did. Also, all recent calls to them have resulted in about a 30 minute wait, only for me to be told that because I don't run Win98, the computer's original OS, they can't help me. Even when I have a hardware or BIOS problem, they refuse to help me. I paid $300 for 3-year support that I'm not recieving.

    My recommendation would be to find a local computer store or even build your own. Maybe I'm just unlucky, but Dell has not lived up to my expectations.

  10. #10
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    I'm not worried about tech support, but my family members dont know much about computers and they will be using this one, so I'm sure they'll have to telelphone them for help.

    I dont think they're that expensive. I got the perfect system of my dreams for under 800$.

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    SitePoint Wizard dominique's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Nicky
    I would buy a laptop from Dell and I would buy components but I honestly wouldn't buy a complete system! If I need technical support then just ask here!
    Not if your computer is down! That only works if you have more than one computer that can access the web.

    Originally posted by qslack
    My recommendation would be to find a local computer store ...
    I don't know what kind of local computer stores you have, but all the ones I've dealed with just outright suck! And that includes everyone from super stores to small time stores to stores where you know everything *fell* off the truck.

    Originally posted by Sparkie
    I dont think they're that expensive. I got the perfect system of my dreams for under 800$.
    Your perfect DELL is under 800$?!? You don't need much do you?

  12. #12
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    No, I dont need much since I dont play a lot of graphics-intensive games and stuff like that

  13. #13
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dominique
    Not if your computer is down! That only works if you have more than one computer that can access the web.
    As a matter of fact I have home network with 4 machines, and at work we have a network with over 35,000 users!
    So no problems there!

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    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Sparkie
    I dont think they're that expensive. I got the perfect system of my dreams for under 800$.
    Sherice, I am in the same boat with you (about to purchase my first Dell, after previously owning a Gateway) and so I'm glad you started this thread. Just curious, what system are you likely going to get? The one I have customized is about $2000...

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    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Marc,

    4100. I dont want to splurge for the 8100 that has tons of stuff I'll never use (DVD player, surround-sound, etc.) although they do look pretty sleek

    I just got tired of messing around putting my own computer together, plus the local computer store that I frequent keeps shifting locations and I have to keep up with them, although since I did their website, I do get a discount, so I'll buy all my upgrade parts there, hehe.

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    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Sparkie
    Marc,

    4100. I dont want to splurge for the 8100 that has tons of stuff I'll never use (DVD player, surround-sound, etc.) although they do look pretty sleek

    I just got tired of messing around putting my own computer together, plus the local computer store that I frequent keeps shifting locations and I have to keep up with them, although since I did their website, I do get a discount, so I'll buy all my upgrade parts there, hehe.
    Certaintly nothing wrong there, but I'm diving in for the 8100. I am in love with that black metallic case.

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    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Black metallic case

    Oh come on! A can of black lacquer spray paint will get you the same effect!

    Although your computer might not like the fumes...

  18. #18
    SitePoint Evangelist Timothy's Avatar
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    I recently bought a new Dell for my home use and I also built a custom system about a week later. I've been happy with both so I'd say either is fine and if you're not comfortable with building one, just go for the Dell. Mine has been great!
    Last edited by Timothy; Jun 8, 2001 at 17:58.

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    SitePoint Wizard big_al's Avatar
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    Hi,

    great systems, great support, love the laptops.

    Only down side is (from a technicians point of view) they make their cases hard to get in to for other techs that have never delt with their systems (alot of brand name manufactuers do this).

    But other than that they have always been good people to deal with.
    .NET Code Monkey

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by big_al
    Only down side is (from a technicians point of view) they make their cases hard to get in to for other techs that have never delt with their systems (alot of brand name manufactuers do this).
    Could you explain this? My case is quite easy to get around in...easy to open (no screws) too. Do you mean the small cases?

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    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    Re: Black metallic case

    Originally posted by Sparkie
    Oh come on! A can of black lacquer spray paint will get you the same effect!

    Although your computer might not like the fumes...
    Good one.

    I did try to customize the 4100 and compared what I get in that with the 8100 and the 8100 is a better value.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard big_al's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Aidan Bahta
    Could you explain this? My case is quite easy to get around in...easy to open (no screws) too. Do you mean the small cases?
    Hi,

    some of the cases I have encountered had switches that if the case was opend a message would be displayed on startup, not the easiest to reset either

    They also do use some none industry standard screws to make opening the case a little harder (Compaq)
    .NET Code Monkey

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard dominique's Avatar
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    Originally posted by big_al
    They also do use some none industry standard screws to make opening the case a little harder (Compaq)
    Well there you said it: Compaq. Never buy a Compaq if you plan on opening it for upgrades. They have gotten a little better in the past few years, but they are still notorious for using integrated sound cards and RAM and all kinds of crap so that you have to go to them for pricey upgrades. Yuk!

  24. #24
    Victory shall be mine tubedogg's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dominique
    Well there you said it: Compaq. Never buy a Compaq if you plan on opening it for upgrades. They have gotten a little better in the past few years, but they are still notorious for using integrated sound cards and RAM and all kinds of crap so that you have to go to them for pricey upgrades. Yuk!
    Gateway is the exact same way. Speaking of Gateways, I have one friend who has had to replace almost *everything* in her 2 year old gateway because it just crapped out, part by part.

    I love Dells. My dad has bought two of them and the one I'm using right now is my first. It's just about a year old and I've never had any problems with it.
    Kevin

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    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    Originally posted by tubedogg
    Gateway is the exact same way. Speaking of Gateways, I have one friend who has had to replace almost *everything* in her 2 year old gateway because it just crapped out, part by part.

    I love Dells. My dad has bought two of them and the one I'm using right now is my first. It's just about a year old and I've never had any problems with it.
    How interesting it is, these Gateway stories. I have a Gateway and it is now 2.5 years old - been extremely reliable and durable - no problems whatsoever. I do not think Gateway makes it hard to get into the cases for upgrades. I easily took the side of my case off to add a new 128 MB stick of additional RAM.


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