New Home Computer - is there a better deal?

Scott Dautel

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 6, 1998
Messages
471
I'm getting very close to ordering my first new computer for home in 5 years. I would really appreciate the opinions of my fellow HTF'fers re my price & configuration. I'm pretty sure this is close to the config I want, but my main question is ... can I do better on price?
$858.00 delivered
Dell Dimension 4300 tower
** no monitor ** (plan to get a 15" flatscreen separately $275.00)
Intel P4 - 1.5 GHz
40GB hard drive
256MB SDRAM
32MB NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 4X Graphics card w/ TV out.
16X DVD-ROM w/ decoding
16X/10X/40X CD-RW
3.5" diskette drive
56K Modem
HK Speakers (basic)
Dell enhanced keyboard w/ MS intellimouse
MS Windows XP, Works Suite 2001 & Money 2001
etc....
So what do y'all think?
[Edited last by Scott Dautel on October 03, 2001 at 11:00 AM]
 

Rob Varto

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 5, 2000
Messages
711
I think that's pretty darn good. I too have been pricing computers lately. I usually go to www.unitedmicro.com and customize my computer and see how the prices go down from week to week. You might want to check them out as you can get exactly what you want and they seem to be very reputable from other boards I've visited.
But, for the price, you can't beat the configuration you described and it's coming from Dell. The only thing that kind of stinks is the video card. With some of the games coming in 2002 (I don't know if you're a gamer) you may want to upgrade to a 64MB card or a GeForce3 or wait for the Radeon 8500 (which is supposed to be better than the GF3).
 

Carlo Medina

Executive Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 31, 1997
Messages
11,957
That's pretty darned good! Here's what my girlfriend's computer came out to, I bought the parts and assembled it. I won't include the monitor's price:
$940
Intel P4 1.5GHz 478 pin configuration (faster top speed than old 423 pin P4s)
Intel 850MV Motherboard w/ built in LAN/NIC and audio
Maxtor 40GB ATA-100 7200 RPM HD
256MB Kingston 800MHz RDRAM
64MB Leadtek GeForce2 Pro 5.5ns Video Card w/ TV Out
Pioneer 16X DVD-ROM
Plextor 12x10x32x CD-RW
Sony 3.5" Floppy
Labtec Speakers
MS Optical Mouse
Microsoft Innovations Active Response Keyboard
InWin A-500 ATX case w/ 340watt P4 Power Supply
I paid a little more to build it, but from what I've seen of Dell's, I paid more for:
1. The newer P4 config, Dell will use the old 423 pin processor - the only difference is the top speed of the 478 pin processor will be significantly higher than the 423 pins can achieve.
2. The motherboard I bought uses RDRAM rather than SDRAM (800MHz vs. 266 MHz RAM clock speed) - this will have little to no effect on apps now, but is more headroom for the future.
3. I have a NIC rather than a modem.
4. RDRAM is more expensive than SDRAM.
5. I paid more for the "Plextor" name because I've had good luck with their CDRWs, I probably could have shaved $50 if I went with another brand.
6. 64MB GeForce2 Pro vs. 32MB GeForce2 MX is about $50-$70
---
I'd have to say, the fact that Dell put it all together for you and slapped an OS and tested it out...that's a great price for the system! Congrats, and enjoy!
 

Rob Varto

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 5, 2000
Messages
711
Scott, I took this off of http://www.unitedmicro.com Im just intrigued by their deals. Anyways, here's what you can get for around the same price - less a quality video card... You can find much cheaper prices for GeForce 3's on www.pricewatch.com. Bear in mind that an AMD T-Bird 1.4Ghz Processor is said to be as powerfuls as a P4 1.7 Ghz.
Category
Component
Cases Mid-Tower 350 Watt 7237 ATX 7 Bay
Motherboards EPoX EP-8KTA3+ Raid KT-133A (200/266)MHz SDRAM ATX
CPU AMD T Bird 1.4 GHz 266FSB
Cooling Fans GlobalWIN WBK38 Heat Sink & Cooling Fan for AMD T Bird/Duron
Memory Micron DDR PC2100 512MB ECC REG.
Hard Drives Western Digital 20.4GB 7200RPM ATA/100
Video Cards eVGA 32 MB TNT 2 M64 AGP NV-02
CD/DVD ROMs TOSHIBA 16X DVD ROM IDE INT
CDRW PLEXTOR CDRW 16X10X40A IDE INT
Floppy Drives 1.44 3.5 FLOPPY INT
Operating System Microsoft Windows 98 Second Editon + Get
3Year Parts Warranty / 5 year Labor
Total Price
$897.00
Hope this helps.
 

Rob Gillespie

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 1998
Messages
3,632
Difficult to comment on the price because ours are different to yours, but combining a P4 with SDRAM (i845 chipset I presume?) I would imagine is limiting the effectiveness of the processor quite a bit. A P4 with RDRAM at 1.7ghz is still outperformed by an Athlon at 1.4ghz (with DDR RAM) in many areas.
Not trying to put the system down but this is something to be aware of.
 

AaronNWilson

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 28, 2001
Messages
451
Hmm it really hurts me to say this but I think you should go for it. The athlon chips are so cheap right now and so fast that they are really the processor of choice.
But having owned Dell systems in the past I know just how darned good they are. Their customer service is unmatched by any PC company in the industry, so I would say just go for it. Although just as a thought I would ask how much you could upgrade the cpu to 1.8 ghz for.
Aaron
 

Nick_Gray

Agent
Joined
Feb 14, 2001
Messages
32
Looks great except...the SDRAM.
Running a P4 with SDRAM is like buying a Corvette and running it on 2 cylinders (seriously, a P4 usually runs with 4 times the memory bandwidth, and it is a bandwidth hungry processor).
If you are looking at Dell, that must mean that you don't have any desire to build your own PC, which really rules out AMD Athlons, though they are absolutely killer for price/performance ratio.
With that in mind, I would go for a high-clock P3 if they have them. The 1.13GHz model is a very good processor. Or, you might look at some other manufacturers.
If your heart is set on a P4, I would STRONGLY recommend getting one with RDRAM.
Something else you can always try is to find a local PC shop to custom build your PC for you. Many of these shops have excellent customer service and fantastic prices. Moreover, it is a lot easier to get help/warranty work locally than via mail-order.
 

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