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View Full Version : bought a dell machine


radhak
Jun 11, 2004, 11:33 AM
Yesterday I received my latest machine : a Dell 8300 (P4 3000 MHz) dimension desktop with a 17" LCD monitor. I still love my iMac, but need something to do the dirty work of windows-only apps, certain type of programming, etc. (Very like when you still love your wife but need to get a maid to do the cleaning...;-)

I am sorry to say that I was totally un-prepared to see the drop in DELL quality from what I remembered. everything I touch is thin, light, cheap plastic. the CD/DVD drives' plastic-covers seem just stuck-on, and even the keyboard is flaky. I am pretty sure the Apple iMac has spoiled me, for I noticed stuff that I might not have earlier : the USB keys on the front are very ill-positioned, and worst (for me with two hyper-active toddlers at home) is that the most visible and accessible point on the machine is the power switch : so visible and standing-out that I clicked it a couple of times absent mindedly. I might have to hide that first thing. no wonder Dell is still making a profit : it's cost-cutting is showing prominently.

Reminded me of a story a friend told me about how a donut maker managed to keep the cost of his donuts the same for years and not suffer a loss : he made the hole bigger! Dell's hole-in-the-donut is real big by now. I am seriously thinking of selling my Dell shares.

The thing is, for all the 'Dell is cheap', if I had not bought refurbished, it would have been the same cost as my iMac, and all the specs match exactly (other than the MHz of course, but we know how that goes); or maybe the Dell is even less, as i don't know yet how well their software like 'pro-DVD' etc works.

of course, there is a big difference: the 8300 is fully configurable/upgradeable. which is why i bought it, but thats in the future.

Makes me appreciate my iMac all that more. nothing flaky there, and a thing of beauty.

Of course, this being the 'ugly maid', I am going to hide the CPU under the desk and beyond reach, only the screen and keyboard/mouse visible. :p

varmit
Jun 11, 2004, 12:00 PM
They really do cut the corners. I bet you have something go on that machine within 2 years, as do most Dell machines.

By the way, what programming can't you do on a Mac, other than making windows apps.

cr2sh
Jun 11, 2004, 12:57 PM
I am seriously thinking of selling my Dell shares.

Isn't there a class action law suit pending against Dell for their inability to actually mail the rebates that they promise?

Cheap pc.. yes... crappy company... more so.

radhak
Jun 11, 2004, 01:09 PM
They really do cut the corners. I bet you have something go on that machine within 2 years, as do most Dell machines.

By the way, what programming can't you do on a Mac, other than making windows apps.
Well, basically those : .net / VB / ASP and many IDEs; some apps which are pure windows : Rational Rose, ER/Win, MS Project etc. wanted compatibility with what is used at work, and did not want to bother with VPC

jxyama
Jun 11, 2004, 01:14 PM
when i shopped for my sister's laptop, i realized how much of a myth it is to claim that Macs are overpriced, at least for most users.

my sister ended up getting an IBM G series notebook, using my dad's employee discount. the thing is huge. and i wasn't impressed with celeron running XP. the first time i tried to log on, the XP became unresponsive at the login screen. i know it's not typical but it sure didn't impress me much.

if it weren't for my sister being familiar with XP and not OS X, i would have recommended her an iBook G4, which would have been about the same price. i had to respect her choice in wanting a Windows machine, but i think iBook would have been a far better deal.

Soc7777777
Jun 11, 2004, 01:30 PM
when i shopped for my sister's laptop, i realized how much of a myth it is to claim that Macs are overpriced, at least for most users.

my sister ended up getting an IBM G series notebook, using my dad's employee discount. the thing is huge. and i wasn't impressed with celeron running XP. the first time i tried to log on, the XP became unresponsive at the login screen. i know it's not typical but it sure didn't impress me much.

if it weren't for my sister being familiar with XP and not OS X, i would have recommended her an iBook G4, which would have been about the same price. i had to respect her choice in wanting a Windows machine, but i think iBook would have been a far better deal.

btw celerons are a joke... if you go windows.. you should at the VERY LEAST have gotten a pentium m for less than 1400.... any other windows laptop is not worth the money... the pentium m processor is the only thing that keeps those machines competitive with mac laptops

jxyama
Jun 11, 2004, 04:51 PM
btw celerons are a joke...

no kidding.

so i still don't understand how anyone can claim Macs are overpriced when cheap stuff available on PCs are a "joke."

cheap/joke is no more overpriced than pricey/performant.

Mav451
Jun 11, 2004, 05:25 PM
No, no no. Don't blame the entire PC industry for Intel's sh**ty celerons. AMD's Durons and Athlon XP's have been ALWAYS cheaper and BETTER performers.

People claim that Mac's are overpriced SPECIFICALLY b/c of gaming performance (which of course, is a bit unfair to the Mac). The Mac, which thrives on offering consumers/joeshmoe with dual procs, are a bit more expensive b/c of that fact.

The new, "AMD" generation (since 1999, when AMD came and gave enthusiasts an option, an alternative, an open door to a better chip), I presume, is making that argument. Macs are overpriced, ONLY if you use it to game--in which a home built < $800 AMD or Intel (cut its Pentium 4 prices quite substantially last Novemeber).

Obviously, if gaming is not a priority, and using an Apple's platform-specific optimized pro apps is, then the Macs are priced VERY well from that perspective, dare i say, UNDERPRICED when you consider the extent of these optimizations.

So again: Celerons = trash, always. The $100 2.8Ghz Celeron will never be as effective as a $83 AMD Athlon XP 2500+ (runs @ 1.83Ghz). The 2500+ demolishes the Celeron, but more importantly, still competes with the higher priced 2.4 and 2.6 Pentium 4's as WELL.

*However, all of this is in the enthusiast perspective, who can build their own systems. Pre-built systems, from Dell (at any price range), or other companies for <800 will usually be, well shady. While Alienware/GamePC are a bit overpriced (haha here we go again, iff = *if and only if* you are a home builder), they provide the better prebuilt machines in the PC world.

wrldwzrd89
Jun 11, 2004, 05:29 PM
I just bought a PC (check my signature) - it's a fast one, too. I need it for applications that only work on Windows as well as for Windows programming. It's from PowerSpec - a brand that only distributes through Micro Center.

Mav451
Jun 11, 2004, 05:33 PM
I just bought a PC (check my signature) - it's a fast one, too. I need it for applications that only work on Windows as well as for Windows programming. It's from PowerSpec - a brand that only distributes through Micro Center.

Haha, I'm just happy it wasn't a celeron (in the light of this thread). The one thing I WISH all distributors would mention is:

1) Brand of PSU used (this is #1 source of stability problems)
2) Brand of memory used (#2 source, causing restarts/inability to play games).
3) Ventilation (heatsink, system fans).

When these are all verified, than stability problems can be knowledgeably be placed on the OS, not hardware.

jknight8907
Jun 14, 2004, 09:18 PM
I feel your pain, man. I got a Dimension 8200 a few years ago, and its been life full of (many) potholes. I was supposed to get a flat-screen (not flat-panel) monitor, but I was looking at it and noticed that all it is is a regular monitor with a flat piece of glass in front of a curved screen. Then the modem went out. They replaced it with a piece-of-crap Broadcom that was just as bad so I just bought a Creative ModemBlaster. And since it's Hell (I mean, Dell), you get to see the big DeLL logo when it comes on, so I hacked that out. All in all, I cant wait till I get my PowerBook

Dr. K

mgargan1
Jun 14, 2004, 10:25 PM
we just ordered a dell pda... and well, they shipped it very soon!!! great job dell... oh wait, they forgot something, hmm... seems like they forgot to ship the USB cable, not only to us... but to 15,000 people!! okay... so they're going to send us a usb cable so we can actually like to use it to its full potential right?... great job dell you sent the package right away... only this time it has an extra battery in it, which is fine, cause a free battery is always nice... but we just want our USB cable!!!

bousozoku
Jun 14, 2004, 10:32 PM
Well, basically those : .net / VB / ASP and many IDEs; some apps which are pure windows : Rational Rose, ER/Win, MS Project etc. wanted compatibility with what is used at work, and did not want to bother with VPC

The tools on Windows are numerous, if not better than anywhere else. I don't care much for Visual Studio, but Borland has always had the developer in mind. It's too bad you have to have a Windows machine to do that, but oh well, good luck with it.

wrldwzrd89
Jun 15, 2004, 04:47 AM
Haha, I'm just happy it wasn't a celeron (in the light of this thread). The one thing I WISH all distributors would mention is:

1) Brand of PSU used (this is #1 source of stability problems)
2) Brand of memory used (#2 source, causing restarts/inability to play games).
3) Ventilation (heatsink, system fans).

When these are all verified, than stability problems can be knowledgeably be placed on the OS, not hardware.

I knew that funky memory and poor ventilation caused stability issues, but I never knew that a less-than-perfect power supply could cause the same issues, and is actually more likely to do so than the other two reasons. Isn't ventilation for a processor (the heatsink) standardized by the processor maker (i.e. always the same for a given processor model and speed)? If it is, I would expect the heatsink to not be an issue.

Abstract
Jun 15, 2004, 06:01 AM
If you're going to buy a desktop, I really don't understand why people don't buy them from the independent computer shops that will add the components you want? I think many of them will make you a PC that's better than Dell. I have had 3 so far, and they have always been quite good. The cases were beige and ugly, but all computers were ugly back then anyway, and now they offer alternative cases and such that make it less ugly.

radhak
Jun 15, 2004, 10:14 AM
If you're going to buy a desktop, I really don't understand why people don't buy them from the independent computer shops that will add the components you want? I think many of them will make you a PC that's better than Dell. I have had 3 so far, and they have always been quite good. The cases were beige and ugly, but all computers were ugly back then anyway, and now they offer alternative cases and such that make it less ugly.
Primarily, a little bit of wariness, discount-shopping, and a small amount of laziness. How do I search out the independent shops? Thru the advts on PC-World? All of them are at least 30% costlier than Dell. [ try pricing this out : Intel Pentium IV, 3.0GHz with 800MHz FSB, 1 GB DDR 400MHz SDRAM , 120GB HDD, 16X DVD-ROM,8X DVD+R/RW with CDRW, Floppy drive, 128MB DDR GeForce FX 5200 Graphics Card with TV-Out and DVI, 56Kbps Data/Fax Modem, Sound Blaster Live Digital Sound Card, with XP Professional : i paid $890 for all that and the specs generally cover whatever i needed]

Thats because they are not exactly 'independent', just smaller corporations than Dell, and 'unknown devil' too.
The other way is to go shopping locally, but it is so easy to be cheated on components and peripherals that betting $1000 on such is a bit too high a risk for a non-gambler like me. Might as well build something myself, but that brings up the matter of reliability of components again...