PDA

View Full Version : Purchasing a new desktop, how does this look?



holdie
May 29th, 2009, 10:27 PM
So I need to purchase a new desktop that I'll mostly use for researching, writing papers, watching movies, and doing photo editing (adobe stuff)...I'd like it to last me at least 4 years or so, and I'll also be using an old laptop for doing more mobile stuff.

I was initially going to try and build my own computer, but as I've learned with linux, sometimes it is best to get something that you know will work rather than deal with the headaches of fixing it yourself, so I'm looking at buying a pre-made PC.

Right now, I'm looking at a Dell Vostro 220 - here are the specs I pulled off of their website



Vostro 220:
Vostro 220 Mini-Tower V220MT 1 [224-0778] 1

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E8500 (3.16GHz, 6M, L2Cache, 1333FSB) WE8500 1 [311-9302] 2

Genuine Windows Vista® Home Basic, Service Pack 1 VHB31E 1 [420-9192] 11

1GB Single Channel DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz - 1DIMMs 1X1G800 1 [311-8570] 3

Dell 21.5 inch S2209W Full HD WidescreenFlat Panel Monitor S2209W 1 [320-7662] 5

Single Drive: 6x Blu-ray Disc TM (BD) Combo (Reads BD and Writes to DVD/CD)

500GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™ 500G72K 1 [341-7603] 8

256MB ATI Radeon HD 3450 -supports DVI,HDMI,VGA Connections 3450HD 1 [320-7114] 6

Dell 19-in-1 Media Card Reader MCR19 1 [341-5285] 10

Integrated 5.1 Channel Audio INAUDIO 1 [313-7020] 17

Dell USB Keyboard USBKYBD 1 [330-1568] 4

Dell Optical USB Mouse OMSSCRL 1 [330-0077] 12


I can get this for under 800 dollars with a 3 year service plan if I use a 35% off coupon that Dell is offering right now. Can you guys give me some input as to whether this would be a good option? It seems like an awful lot for the price...

northwestuntu
May 29th, 2009, 10:37 PM
if you can build it yourself. much better and cheaper route to take.

i've built several new machines over the last couple years and never had a problem getting it to work with ubuntu.

forget those service plans. what a waste of money.

you only get 1 gig of ram? that sucks!!

HavocXphere
May 29th, 2009, 10:42 PM
I would suggest building one yourself. If you can manage with ubuntu then you clearly have some tech skill. Just do proper research to make sure that everything is compatible.

Some thoughts:
1gb RAM is not a lot. Especially if using Adobe stuff on Vista. But you can add another for very very little. You can probably buy some at the same time. Make sure you get the same type.

The graphics card will not be powerful to run future games if running on native res on a 21 inch screen.

It doesn't say what motherboard is being used.:( Kinda annoying that because its fairly important in determining what the pc supports.

I've got no experience with dell mouse+keyboards.

The Real Dave
May 29th, 2009, 10:43 PM
It looks like a good system alright, just a few things to point out

1) RAM-Personally I would never run a Vista system on just 1GB. It will run alright, but you'll find that quite soon it'll start to slow down alot, and wont be performing at a reasonable rate after 4 years :-k. However, its probably better just to add another RAM module yourself after you buy it.

To find how many free RAM spaces you have left (ie, whether you have 512Mbx2 or just 1 1Gb stick of RAM), look at a program like Belarc advisor.

For purchasing RAM, try www.memoryc.com, or www.newegg.com

2)The blue ray disc drive. If this is a build it yourself Dell PC (where you have more control over your computer parts), unless you really need the facility of reading Blue Ray discs, I think its a bit unnecessary. BlueRay isnt really that widespread yet, and thats probably adding to the cost of the PC :-k

Other than that though, it seems like a good PC :D The processor will be great for your needs, giving you plenty of power. The thing holding you back there though will be the amount of RAM. But thats easily fixed :D

*Edit* Not too sure about how good your graphics card is, I dont have much experience in those :-k

holdie
May 29th, 2009, 10:47 PM
Sorry I should have mentioned, I'm intentionally getting the smallest amount of RAM so that I can buy my own off of Newegg, I'll probably get another 2 gigs so that shouldn't be a problem

As for the blu-ray, I just wanted to go with this as a means of extending the life of the computer...do you think it'd be better to just get a DVD drive and upgrade to blu-ray when the time comes?

I've heard a lot about it being relatively easy to build a computer, but as I mentioned before I'd heard that before using ubuntu and my experience with that has been it's always more difficult than you are told.

My biggest concern was the processor/RAM...I know that DDR3 is starting to make it's way to the mainstream, and I dunno if it would be a bad idea to go with DDR2 right now...

gn2
May 30th, 2009, 12:30 AM
Wouldn't bother with the ATI graphics card or the Vista licence if it was me.

But I would never buy a ready built desktop PC, I would always self-build from parts, that way you know what you're getting and you can select top quality components, particularly the case and PSU.

Slug71
May 30th, 2009, 12:33 AM
DELL = Poop.

Build your own FTW.

logos34
May 30th, 2009, 01:09 AM
yeah, don't wuss out with the 'get a dell dude' approach...build it yourself, you can do it! (actually 'build' is a intimidating misnomer...all you really need is a screwdriver, and know how to plug the parts together). That way you'll get EXACTLY what you want

lisati
May 30th, 2009, 01:18 AM
DELL = Poop.

My only hands-on experience of a Dell machine is described here (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1005304). Long story short it was a machine that was as dead as the proverbial dodo, and a solution that fit my confidence, ability and level of motivation didn't exactly spring to mind. End result, "forget it" (or words to that effect) and the machine was duly returned to the person who asked me to take a look, still not functioning.

northwestuntu
May 30th, 2009, 03:16 AM
yeah, don't wuss out with the 'get a dell dude' approach...build it yourself, you can do it! (actually 'build' is a intimidating misnomer...all you really need is a screwdriver, and know how to plug the parts together). That way you'll get EXACTLY what you want

so true.

Sinkingships7
May 30th, 2009, 03:25 AM
I'm going to have to vote for building it yourself too. Do you have any clue how good of a computer you can get for $800 when you buy the parts yourself? We're talking basically top of the line. Also, I fail to see how buying a pre-built desktop computer is going to be more likely to work with Linux than doing it yourself. Companies like that usually aren't out to make their systems work with Linux. Just head on over to www.newegg.com and start building yourself a great rig. You could get the best rated of everything and still be well under the $800 mark. As long as you don't get anything weird or fancy (A tablet, for example. Or a finger reader.), it's almost all guaranteed to work fine.

You could run your desired parts by us, and we can tell you our opinion.

Viranh
May 30th, 2009, 03:29 AM
I'd go with something like Cyber Power PC if you're not comfortable building it yourself. That way you get to pick exactly what you want, but don't have to build it. I will second the statement that building a desktop computer isn't actually that hard. I used to think so until I spent a Christmas break disassembling and re-assembling old computers to get one working one so I could run Mandrake 9.2. :)

burvowski
May 30th, 2009, 03:29 AM
Quick question for you PC-builders. If you had a fixed amount of $ to use on a cpu, would you get a higher-end core 2 quad or a low-end core i7 processor, assuming they were very close in price?

I haven't built a PC since before there were core duo processors so I'm not sure which is the better route. I'll be using the computer for general use, but would like to do a healthy amount of gaming on it.

gn2
May 30th, 2009, 06:53 AM
Do you even need that much CPU?

Buy what you need, don't blow money you don't have to.

Decide what hardware to buy based on what it will be used for.

holdie
May 30th, 2009, 07:04 AM
Bah alright, maybe I'll build one...it looks like I'm flip-flopping on this issue again.

However, I suppose running the parts by you all warrants another thread, maybe I'll put together a list tomorrow...I just finished watching Serenity after finishing season 1 of Firefly and I'm emotionally spent...

...as if I could sound any nerdier...

Sinkingships7
May 30th, 2009, 08:23 AM
Quick question for you PC-builders. If you had a fixed amount of $ to use on a cpu, would you get a higher-end core 2 quad or a low-end core i7 processor, assuming they were very close in price?

I haven't built a PC since before there were core duo processors so I'm not sure which is the better route. I'll be using the computer for general use, but would like to do a healthy amount of gaming on it.

I still don't see quad cores as being worth it. It's better to get a faster dual core when it comes to cost effectiveness.

Warpnow
May 30th, 2009, 10:02 AM
Fry's was running a high end X2 (7xxx) CPU with a nice gigabyte motherboard for $89, they also had 4gbs of ram for $40. and a 1tb hard drive for $87 Add in a PSU for $30, a case for $50, and you've built a VERY nice tower for $300.

Don't think that you HAVE to build a "bleeding edge PC". If you are a gamer, that's one thing, but if you don't game, or work in multimedia, you are unlikely to recognize the difference between a mid-high level dual core and the most badass i7 on the market.