View Full Version : New Computer Components....

10-11-2003, 09:33 AM
Hi all,

Seeing as I have had my laptop for about five years, I really do need a new computer. So, after a trip to the Dell UK website I customized a Dimension 8300 to the following:

Standard Features: Intel 875P chipset with support for Intel® Pentium ® 4 processors with 800MHz system bus
Equipped with Microsoft® Windows® XP operating system
Dual Channel 400MHz DDR Memory
Midnight grey mini-tower with 8 USB 2.0 ports, 4 PCI slots and AGP 8x slot
Integrated 10/100 Pro Ethernet
Norton AntiVirus 2003 (with 90 days free virus updates)
No Floppy Drive as standard
Please Note:If you choose a 15" Flat Panel Monitor, you will have to wait 4 weeks for delivery - Dell recommends a 17" flat panel instead for enhanced viewing capabilities!

Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition

Online Offer - Free Optical Drive Upgrade: 4x DVD+R\+RW with DVD Authoring Software (Free upgrade from 48x DVD/CD-Rewriter Combo Drive)

Enhanced Support Packs: 3 Year On-Site Next Business Day Service Support - Dell Recommends

Processor Upgrade: 3.0GHz Intel Pentium 4 Processor with HT technology and 800 front side bus - Dell Recommends (+ GBP £130)

Memory: 512MB Dual Channel DDR 400 (2x256MB) (+ GBP £90)

Floppy Drive & Additional Storage Devices: 3.5" 1.44MB Floppy Drive (+ GBP £15)

Hard Drive: 120GB (7200rpm) IDE Hard Drive with 8MB DataBurst cache - Dell Recommends (+ GBP £40)

Monitor: Dell 17" UltraSharp (17.0" VIS) (with Height Adjustable Stand) Analogue/Digital Flat Panel Monitor - DELL RECOMMENDS (+ GBP £260)

Video Card: 128MB nVidia GeForce FX5200 with DVI, Dual Monitor Support and TV-OUT via S-Video

Sound Card: Integrated 5.1 audio

Speakers: Dell Stereo Speakers

Modem: Dell 56k Data/Fax/Voice Modem

Digital Photography: Dell Picture Studio Standard Edition (note: contains a 21 use trial version of Paint Shop Pro)

Software: Microsoft® Works 7.0

Keyboard: Dell Standard PS2 Keyboard

Mouse: Dell 2 button Wheel Mouse

Power Protection: APC Surge Arrest (Desktop only) - Four Socket Plug with Power Protection! - DELL RECOMMENDS (+ GBP £14)

Total Cost: £1,418.07 (Including VAT)
USD: $2,360.09

Mainly what I would use it for would be web development and quite a few games. Also, it has to last at least a few years.

So do you think it's worth the price? Would you have different features?

Thanks for advice,

10-11-2003, 10:37 AM
I don't know if you need that good of a processer -- you'll save a bunch of cash by just going down a few notches.

10-11-2003, 10:41 AM
Yeh, I think I may do that. What do you think about the RAM? Do you think that it's not enough?


10-11-2003, 10:45 AM
512 should be enough, you can always upgrade later (for cheaper).

10-11-2003, 11:03 AM
Yeh, suppose. Thanks for your advice:)

10-12-2003, 02:49 AM
Personally I'd wait a little longer until 64bit settles in. Have a look at www.anandtech.com

10-12-2003, 02:52 AM
I may sound like I'm mad... But processors don't mean much... Go for a 1.2GHz one, but get over 1GB of RAM.

Also that norton thing will popup every time you log on after thos three months with an advert to buy it and you can't get it to stop it.

10-12-2003, 03:00 AM
Processors mean a lot if you're rendering etc. Point is, it depends what you're using the computer for. Don't get RAM from Dell anyway. It's much cheaper buying the RAM afterwards. So make sure you get a good base system, mobo / cpu etc and then add stuff on when you need it. (like more RAM).

10-12-2003, 10:56 AM
In my opinion I need at the very least a 1.5Ghz processor, so one that is just a little short of 3.0Ghz will be good lasting quite a few years. Probably get one thats a few notches lower, so I will save a bit as Chris said.

The problem with the RAM chromate, is that I'm not that sure how to install it. Yeh I know roughly, but if it goes wrong and the whole thing breaks down then I've just wasted a heap load of money.

Also what do you mean by 64bit?

Thanks for the input,

10-12-2003, 12:10 PM
almost all cpu's are based on a 32bit architecture at the moment. AMD have just released the Athlon64 which is a new 64bit processor.

It's no big deal really at the moment. But in the future, apps will start being written to take advantage of the newer 64bit architecture. Simply put it's just greater bandwidth within the chip. So instead of sending a 32bit chunk of data through the chip 64bits will be sent through the chip in one go (instead of 2 before). This is really simplifying it though, it's actually more complex as you can imagine! :)

When the new windows operating system is released, (not far off) it will take advantage of the new architecture and should speed things up somewhat. Some flavours of linux can already run in 64bit.

As I say, it's a little way off before it all settles down though.

Installing RAM is seriously easy. You wont have any problems. Just make sure you don't touch the actual chips as they can get damaged by static electricity. You just slot it into the motherboard. If you're buying from Dell though, it may invalidate your warranty though. But you shouldn't have any problems anyway.

10-12-2003, 12:13 PM
Thanks for the info:)

I've heard the new Windows is coming out in 2006, just a rumour though. "Long Something" it's supposedly called.

10-12-2003, 01:16 PM
The brand new Athlon 64 FX outperforms most 32 bit chips on 32 bit apps.

10-13-2003, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by chromate
Installing RAM is seriously easy. You wont have any problems. Just make sure you don't touch the actual chips as they can get damaged by static electricity. You just slot it into the motherboard. If you're buying from Dell though, it may invalidate your warranty though. But you shouldn't have any problems anyway.

Ok. Would it be possible to damage the whole system installing your own RAM?

Thanks for your input:)

10-13-2003, 12:25 PM
Nah. Worst thing that could happen is you cracking the motherboard when you push the RAM into its slot. Very unlikely though because the motherboard is made from several layers. So it would take some doing. The other possible damage would be static. But if you're worried about that then get a static strap. They're about £5.

10-13-2003, 12:49 PM
Generally what I do is simply touch the power supply or something else that is metal (like the chassis) before using components (and I sometimes take my socks off). I've never had a static problem.

10-13-2003, 01:26 PM
Yep. Good advice. Beware of static jumpers too :) I've built loads of computers and never had any problems with static elect. either. The only thing I'm not too keen on is installing the CPU heat-sink because of the pressure needed to do the clip. But even that's never been a problem.

I think the point is, Mike, don't let installing RAM worry you. Save yourself the money and do it yourself at a later date when you need to.

10-14-2003, 08:52 AM
I may give it ago then seeing as it doesn't seem that complicated:)

Thanks for the help chromate and Chris.