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  1. #1
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    PC Question : Advice Needed

    Ok so I wanna upgrade and get a laptop and upgrade my PC a little but I have no idea how to actually install new stuff on my PC like a new vid card (upgrade from 128 to 256 or more) and maybe more HD space. Anyway, I go to dell to build a PC, please correct me if this was the wrong place to start for a computer building noob like me, and I start building my PC.

    Now, my current PC is apparently "Pentium(R) 4 2.8GHz 2.79GHz" and "512 RAM" and "128 MB Video Card just from memory because I forgot how to check this kind of thing, dxdiag or something in the run window right? Anyway... I start by selecting my processor and I'm met with these options.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dell
    Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6600 (4MB L2 Cache,2.4GHz,1066 FSB) [add $150 or $5/month1]


    Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6700 (4MB L2 Cache,2.66GHz,1066 FSB) [add $400 or $12/month1]


    Intel® Core™2 Duo processor E6320 (4MB L2 Cache,1.86GHz,1066 FSB) [Included in Price]


    Intel® Core™2 Duo processor E6420 (4MB L2 Cache,2.13GHz,1066 FSB) [add $50 or $2/month1
    I'm confused. Isn't this supposed to be some new strong processor? But it says something about 1.86 GHz? That's almost half of my current processors clock speed right? Isn't that a pretty big loss? Or do the "Duo" and "Quad" processors double and quadruple the respective processing powers because it's really 2 of those working together or 4?

    Anyway, if anyone has a link to a good site where I can read about what the fuck this stuff means and how I can compare and actually upgrade from what I currently have that'd be great.

    Any advice is appreciated because, like I said, I am totally a noob when it comes to "building" a PC. I have no problems running things, writing things, or installing things and such, just have no idea how the hardware works. So thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    1. Forget Dell, Newegg.com
    2. Core 2 Duos have 2 cores @ the respective Ghz (so 2x1.86Ghz for example), the Quad ones have 4 @ the respective Ghz (so 4x1.86Ghz for example), , etc.
    3. Core speed doesn't matter. Most of AMD's CPUs are around the 2.0Ghz mark but their performance matches that of an Intel P4 at 5.0Ghz (example).
    4. http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html - Huge comparison of tons of CPUs, oldish ones and new ones. Select a Pentium 4 and one of the Core 2 Duos and notice the huge performance differences.
    5. If you want to get the most out of your money, state how much you have max to spend on the computer and I'm sure many of us on the forum will help you build a custom one by buying various parts (instead of Dell, rofl).
    6. Did I mention forget Dell?

  3. #3
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    I'm willing to blow about 2.5k on a computer but I really wanted a laptop but I want to be able to play WoW and stuff and be able to shrink it down and maybe surf the web/listen to music and stuff, which I can't currently do with my PC.

    Can you really build your own laptop? I'd assume it'd be pretty tough especially for a first timer eh? But that's really what I wanted. Is there a way to get a really good laptop that can outperform a pretty nice computer for about 2.5k? I was looking around, apple laptops fucking suck, they think having like 5GB of memory and 200 GB of storage justifies a shitty 128 MB video card it's so stupid. Then Dell has the worst interface making you pick from like 50 different looks all with random, not ordered specs so like one will come with 128 MB video memory then the next will come with 256 MB but less processing power or less HD space.

    I eventually found my way to newegg.com but their setup is equally as bad as dells when I was just looking for laptops. You can't sort stuff easily, at least I couldn't figure out how to efficiently.

    But yeh... building a laptop or PC doesn't sound like a bad idea by any means, or even buying from a better supplier. I just want to be able to use this PC for awhile (2-4 years?).

  4. #4
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    Well, I wouldn't totally dump out DELL, I ordered an Inspiron from them for the simple fact I got a big deal through OSU and ended up paynig $900 for a pretty nice setup.

    Dual Core Intel 2.7 GHz
    4 GB RAM
    160 GB HDD (I Run an External 360 GB Seagate w/my iTunes/Anime/TV on it)
    17in
    512mb GeForce Video Card
    (USB Sound Card since they use PCIe slots)

    my only beef would be with the fact i couldn't use my old Soundblaster Z card since the laptop had a PCIe slot. if your willing to spend 2.5k you'll be more then able to get a laptop that will whoop some ass, if you look for the right specs...my friend paid about 2.4 for his XPS (idiot in my opinion because he didn't use any deals etc to get it lowered >.>) Just make sure when you get it...delete everything and put your own personal favorites on there. DELL likes to load up some BS Software with their systems.

  5. #5
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Octavious
    Well, I wouldn't totally dump out DELL, I ordered an Inspiron from them for the simple fact I got a big deal through OSU and ended up paynig $900 for a pretty nice setup.

    Dual Core Intel 2.7 GHz
    4 GB RAM
    160 GB HDD (I Run an External 360 GB Seagate w/my iTunes/Anime/TV on it)
    17in
    512mb GeForce Video Card
    (USB Sound Card since they use PCIe slots)

    my only beef would be with the fact i couldn't use my old Soundblaster Z card since the laptop had a PCIe slot. if your willing to spend 2.5k you'll be more then able to get a laptop that will whoop some ass, if you look for the right specs...my friend paid about 2.4 for his XPS (idiot in my opinion because he didn't use any deals etc to get it lowered >.>) Just make sure when you get it...delete everything and put your own personal favorites on there. DELL likes to load up some BS Software with their systems.
    900 for that? That's a really good system isn't it?

    That'd be more than enough for a few years right? And that's a laptop?

  6. #6
    evilbau
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    dell is fine, not the best (build quality wise), but you'll get the best deal at dell (price vs. performance) thats for sure... they fight pretty hard for market share.

    little cpu jargon ahead:

    on clock speed: it doesn't mean a whole lot, its similar to RPM in a car. Higher clock speed just means its going faster, but now there are dual core and quad core so that means (theoretically) 2x/4x more work being done, and they already implemented doing work on up and down of clock cycles (dual/quad pumped front speed bus) which means its doing more instructions per clock cycle.

    Old P4 was designed to have high clock speeds because it was marketable, and it had a huge pipeline, I believe 25 stages. That means 25 clock cycles per instruction, with less work being done in each. It was done this way so it could hit those 3+ GHz speeds. Its pretty obvious these 1.8Ghz CPUs (C2D, X2, etc.) are much faster than P4s and that is due to other innovations in architecture.

    Just like cars, different models running the same RPM may result in different amount of power. Clock speed is most relevant within the same CPU family (architecture). This is why AMD changed their product numbers during the P4 era: their CPUs were in the 1.5Ghz-2Ghz range and they wanted a number to reflect its comparable performance to Intel. The fact Intel themselves dropped marketing based on clock speed and added more nebulous model numbers should clue you into the fact it is not the be-all-end-all of CPU stats, much like horsepower or how many cylinders your engine has. This makes shopping for CPUs more difficult, I know.

  7. #7
    evilbau
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    heres a current deal at dell, pretty decent imo:

    Edit: forgot price, $999, 959 for EPP if you are eligible

    http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/ ... wls1&s=dhs

    Catalog Number: 29 DYCALF1
    Module Description Description Product Code & SKU Product Code & SKU
    XPS M1210 Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5600 (1.83GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 667 MHz FSB) BLM18HN [222-4753]
    Operating System Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium VHP3E [313-4910][420-5769][420-5924][420-6436][420-6481][420-6813][463-2282]
    A/V Communication Package None 12XGAL [320-4788]
    Memory 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz (2 Dimms) 1G2D6 [311-5987]
    Video Card Integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950 INTVID [320-4789]
    Hard Drive 80GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM) 80GB [341-3553]
    Network Card Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem INTNIC [430-0493]
    Adobe Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 7.0 ADOBER [412-0917]
    Optical Storage Device 24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive 24COMBO [313-4221][420-6464]
    Sound Options Integrated Audio IS [313-4362]
    Wireless Networking Cards Intel PRO/Wireless 3945a/g IP3945 [430-1940]
    Office Software (not included with Windows Vista) No Productivity software pre-installed MSONO [412-1397]
    Anti-Virus/Security Suite (Pre-installed) McAfee SecurityCenter with anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, 15-months VMCAF1Y [420-6914]
    Primary Battery 53 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery 6BAT [312-0432]
    Warranty and Service 1Yr In-Home Service, Parts + Labor - Next Business Day S1OS [412-0360][950-3337][950-9620][950-9797][960-8710][983-7849][986-5869]
    Accident and Theft Protection 1Yr LoJack for Laptops Theft Protection (CD Shipped Separately) LJ1 [986-3557][A0973377]
    Internet Access Service No ISP requested NISPFSS [461-3063]
    Miscellaneous XPS M1210 M12143 [466-5706]
    Dell Digital Entertainment No Entertainment software pre-installed NODE [464-9572]
    Processor Branding Intel Centrino Core Duo Processor ICNDNB [310-8314]
    Labels Windows Vista™ Premium

    EPP takes another $40 bucks off, this is the cheapest sub 5 lb. core 2 duo laptop i have seen, and it is an XPS which has better build quality than their inspirons. Their memory options are expensive and you can get it cheap elsewhere if you want more than 1gig.

    edit: removing lojack gives you another $50 off

  8. #8
    evilbau
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    Also another protip: if you are a AAA member you can get another 6% off dell purchases.

    edit: and 4% if you have DPA lol, probably can't triple-dip all these discounts, but i know you can stack DPA and EPP. Retail price is for suckers (this includes newegg lol)

  9. #9

    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    Check out http://www.currentcodes.com/ for promo-codes that websites have. Right now, dell has a couple of these going for laptops. (Other computer selling websites might too, I only bothered to check dell.) Although it could have expired already, apparently it's limited to the first 400 people. Worth a shot though, if you're buying anyway.

    If you're buying a desktop, it's better to build it yourself if you're comfortable with doing that, and if you are willing to invest the time it takes to search parts/prices. For laptops, just order from dell/HP/etc.

  10. #10
    Cerberus
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    More Tips (Speaking AS a tech that worked for that company >.>)

    Do NOT buy from Consumer accounts. Buy from Business/Gov't or EPP
    Do NOT buy only a 1 year warranty
    DPA is the devil. Use a Credit Card. Account Customer Care is in India. And yes, they are universally a bunch of assholes.
    Buy Online. DO NOT use a sales rep, unless it is EPP or Government. Sales reps have a nasty way of sticking shit you don't need to match quota.


    DO buy complete care. Worth it's weight in gold... seriously. Drop a system, covered. Drive over a system, covered. Only Acts of God are not covered. Terrorism is, funnily enough.

    DO buy a warranty that covers the system by the following formula: x number of years = base price of laptop/ $600US. Round down.

  11. #11
    evilbau
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    I don't know why you say don't use DPA, just charge it then PIF.

    edit: for those who don't know DPA is Dell Preferred Account which is like a dell only credit card with really bad terms, i.e. 19%+ APR. You dont' want to carry a balance on this account. PIF means pay in full, so you get the full benefit of the discount without being subject to their shitty financing terms.

  12. #12
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    So should I get a cheap laptop without a graphics card and without 2GB+ memory and simply install that once I get it?

    The laptop you posted (evilbau) seemed nice except for the 2 stats I mention above. Is installing/changing parts on a laptop easy and covered within the 2+ year warranty? I really want the best deal here because 1k for that laptop seems really nice, and buying those parts for the laptop wouldn't be hard I think eh?

    Also would buying a macbook and simply installing a better video card on it be a good option especially since there is a new OS coming out that allows instances of windows?

  13. #13
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    For a Macbook pro that does instances of Windows you'll spend $2k+, better off just buying anything other then a mac >.> lol.

  14. #14
    evilbau
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Maguspk
    So should I get a cheap laptop without a graphics card and without 2GB+ memory and simply install that once I get it?

    The laptop you posted (evilbau) seemed nice except for the 2 stats I mention above. Is installing/changing parts on a laptop easy and covered within the 2+ year warranty? I really want the best deal here because 1k for that laptop seems really nice, and buying those parts for the laptop wouldn't be hard I think eh?

    Also would buying a macbook and simply installing a better video card on it be a good option especially since there is a new OS coming out that allows instances of windows?

    normally my philosophy is buying a decent comp and then re-sell/upgrade in a couple years. If you got a good enough deal (40%+) the depreciation on resell value will meet the deal you got in about that amount of time. If you want to game on it and perhaps keep it for a longer amount of time, I would definitely upgrade video. It may not be a cheap upgrade, but you won't be able to do it later. Memory is pretty easy though and there are a bunch of deals for laptop memory lately to bump it up to 2GB or more. you will have 2x512 modules afterwards because thats what dell puts in there originally. Still, the cost of getting new will probably be much less than the 'upgrade' from dell.

    It comes down to your level of comfort with dealing with sort of stuff. I don't know how good "256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ Go 7400 TurboCache™ " for $125 is but you probably don't want to be upgrading that on your own.

    Upgrade to 2GB is $250 and 4GB is $1500 (they are insane), there have been lots of deals for memory in the 30-40$ per gig stick range.

    My recommendation is to upgrade video, buy memory and install yourself, they made it much easier for memory these days, its under the keyboard.

    GL with your purchase

  15. #15

    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    I went here to get info on PC stuff.

    http://www.buildyourown.org.uk/forums/

    it's a UK site so all of the prices are in pounds. But as far as information goes it's extremely helpful and a very active forum as far as PC tech stuff goes.

    I ordered all my parts off of tigerdirect.com i'm not sure how they are on deals, but i'm very satisfied with the specs i ordered and it was at my budget and under where yours is. That includes a 768mb vid card, 2 gig of DDR3 1333 RAM, a kickass MOBO from asus and the E6600 CPU. I also have other stuff ordered from my post in this forum.

    But it's gonna be a kick-ass PC that'll run comparable to any out there except someone with a Intel extreme quad core or something like that.

    From what i've read on the BYOPC forum, AMD is better for gaming processors and intel is better for task oriented stuff, although the intel PC is also very good for gaming, the AMD is apparently better designed for it.

    Check out the forum though for some great information, and tigerdirect has a very easy to navigate site for ordering parts, i'm not sure if you can order it and have them build it for you though. You might have to assemble it yourself, or get someone to assemble it after you buy it.

  16. #16
    evilbau
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    tigerdirect has some competitive prices but has quite a reputation... a lot of people have really strong feelings and they are one vendor which no matter how good the deal is I won't buy from them ever again.

  17. #17

    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    My only problem with them is that i ordered my stuff on the phone with one of their reps, and his service was less than stellar.

    Monday night i order it, he say's that if there is a problem he'll call me tues morning, or i can call him. Tues morning i get no call from him, but see on their site that my order still requires credit card verification. so i try to call him, no answer i go straight to voicemail. Tried again on wed a few times, still no him just straight to voicemail. Got tired of trying to reach him and called in somewhere else in their phone service. I find out that my order is still pending after 2 full day's on credit verification before they can process the order and ship it. now i'm pissed because i ordered the damn stuff on the phone with the guy, if they needed verification they should have gotten it then, or called me on tuesday or something.

    So i begin the credit card verification, and the lady askes me some random obscure question about what river is near where i live and what street is closest to where i live. Now i've only lived in tallahassee a few months, i don't know what the fuck the geography is here. So she finally say's that these are the questions they ask for verification, i ask why not ask questions that actually pertain to my identy rather than obscure geographical questions, and then she say's that she can verify my identity through my phone, so i said great call me my phone is right here. So she called and it was verified and finally put through for processing. Thursday morning it finally shows that it's being shipped, but i can't access the online tracking cause it say's i have an invalid order number.

    It's friday afternoon and to my knowledge my stuff still hasn't arrived 5 day's later because they wasted 2 day's not trying to verify my credit card information and getting the stuff shipped out.

    That's my only complaint is their retarded customer service. but as for selection, price, easy use website i think it's good. Not sure if i'll use them again, but it's not like i'll never use them again.

  18. #18
    evilbau
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    i'd say thats pretty typical, even a pleasant experience compared to some horror stories lol

    I won't order from them again because its a real pain to return things (more than normal for online retailers), customer service isn't very good, and they won't honor their rebates/late rebates, etc. There is a joke on deal sites that the tigerdirect's before rebate price is the real price because a lot of times you will never see that money. Just my 2c, some people have really good experiences with them and hope your order doesn't have any more problems

  19. #19
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    Ok, I'm reading that site you linked about building your own PC.

    I don't know wtf is going on... Maybe I'll be better off just buying a laptop prebuilt and trying to install a few parts onto it? Are there any links to guides on how to install hardware like memory and video cards on a laptop?

    Also, it's mad annoying how everything comes with Vista now. It's such a graphic intensive operating system isn't it? I don't want that, and it fucking crashes and has more flaws than XP. Is there any way I can like downgrade without having to buy XP or something?

  20. #20
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    Re: PC Question : Advice Needed

    Just found a PCI-Express Sound Card on DELL's website. CREATIVE just released it at the end of May. I'm going to buy it for my Laptop, and I officially have no reason to bitch anymore. My only digg about my laptop was the lack of express sound card. I'm so Happy. Magus, IMO i don't like installing memory on laptops, i get leary about tooling with them. Desktops i can do, Laptops i get shakey. If your semi-new to laptops i wouldn't try to physically add memory, go for a beefed up memory and add on a Express Sound Card, and you'll be fine. Especially with the sexy GeForce GO cards that our out >.>

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