Dell e521 a mini look at this new AMD machine

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Dont Hurt Me, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #1
    First this isnt a bashing thread, its just a look at the the otherside and what they offer in Mini's price range and a look at the hardware.
    Purchase price was $678.00
    Athlon 64 X2 4200.......runs at 2.2 ghz
    Nvidia 7300 Le video card with 256 mb
    2-512k memory sticks @ 533mhz
    160 gb SATA II drive 7200rpm. ...............cant see the manufactors name.
    16x DVD+/-RW
    Dell Keyboard
    Dell rollerball mouse
    Windows XP media center edition with free upgrade to media center Vista.
    PCcillin anti virus software 2yrs
    Thats pretty much the basics, I thought it might be kind of fun to take a look at something else since I havent ever used a dell being a Mac User since the 80s. Bottom line is I needed a machine with a few slots and only ProMac has those options hence no Mac would fit the ticket. I was shooting for under $1000 u.s.dollars.
    First thing was the packaging, clearly not a Mac. Brown Box with another box that had the accessories. Nothing fancy for sure. I was surprised after opening it to find everything I had ordered.;)
    My next observation was the actual e521. First I didnt realize from dells website that this thing was White,Silver and black. For some reason I thought this was all silver. I must admit I like the white sides very much. The contrast looks good to me. Turning on the machine it didnt have the soft feel power switch Apple likes in its products, it was more of a hard clickety type switch.
    The keyboard has a good look and is just the opposite of Mac being Black vs White. It has no USB ports which seems strange coming from Macs but the e521 has 2 ports on the front so this isnt a issue for me. After using the keyboard I notice the space bar and some keys seem to rattle a little while typing so I may just use the Apple usb keyboard since it goes so well with the white case plus I just bought my wife a wireless Mac keyboard & mouse so she hasnt a need for the old one.

    Notice the inside view. It has one large central fan pulling from the front of case and over the CPU's large heat sink then over the vdeo card and out the back.The 305 watt power supply has its own built in fan. Notice the 7300Le video card has no fan. I was glad to see this since I dont like noise from fans. I plan on replacing the 7300Le with a silent 7600GT or GS in the near future. I had to throw in a couple of games quickly just to see what this low end card could do. UT2K4 runs like a champ at 1024 x768 all eye candy on and no stuttering at all. Next I threw in a Demo of Call of Duty 2 I was seeing slight lag at 1024x768 so turning down to 800x 600 removed it. I was still pleased because I didnt think it was going to be playable at all. Flatout a racing game looks just great at 1024x 768 all candy was on. All in all im very pleased with what is a very low end card. Simply put integrated graphics dont come close to even this cheap card. For a base card a 7300Le at least puts you into the games.

    Noise from the machine was just slightly louder then the Intel Mac mini 1.66 but is more of a air movement sound rather then the Mini's annoying for me hum buzz. It may have something to do with the rpm's Apple has choosen for its Intel Mini. So though you can hear the fan its not really bothersome. Windows XP media center came with this machine along with a coupon that states January 31st Vista will be here.:rolleyes: I think we know OSX is much more intuitive,easy to use, etc etc so I wont even go there. Perhaps Vista will be more Mac like.:) The actual case though pleasent looking is more appliance like then say a Mac Quicksilver or Mini which is more like art if you will.

    Anyways thats a few quick observations for those curious. Only reason I posted this here after getting approval was because there just isnt many decent reviews on the new AMD powered Dells. As far as the CPU goes its fast, its dual core and AMD chips seem pretty good at gaming. The Intel version of this machine seemed to be higher priced in the same configurations so its why I went AMD. Sure a Intel Mini can do anything this machine can minus the gaming and if you dont need any slots. By the way it has 4 slots a pci express 16, 2 pci, and a very small slot below 16 thats is maybe 1/4 the length. I dont really know what its for. One other thing to mention is the machine doesnt come with a written manual, just a media center book thats more about media then anything else which I thought is strange. Macs allways come with at least a nice little manual you can take to the tub with you:D Hope you enjoyed this otherside view.
    (edit) Doom 3 time demo 800 x600 High Quality no AA 42.5 FPS 1024x768 28.9 FPS.
    F.E.A.R. performance test 800x600 Med/Med no AA 14fps min 21 avg 44 max
     

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  2. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #2
    that's a hell of a lot bigger than my mini...:rolleyes:
     
  3. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #4
    Dell keyboards aren't bad, but the computers are junk. I'm sick of dealing with all the problems that we're having with them at my university.
     
  4. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #5
    I wasn't aware Dell was shipping tiny form factor keyboards like Apple now. Kudos to Dell... now if only their PCs could share the same design style.
     
  5. Dont Hurt Me thread starter macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    Dec 21, 2002
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    #6
    You folks dont get it, this machine holds various kinds of cards is expandable and every item in it can be upgraded. This and Mini are two different animals. Also I noticed not one person has mentioned its a first for Dell having a AMD powered machine or the many Tv Tuners you can purchase for it or the fact that it can be nice lower to middle class gaming rig. Integrated graphics cant play modern games for the most part. Even a older game like UT2K4 struggles on a Mini. It dont on this.
     
  6. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #7
    Then why did you take pictures of them together as if they were somehow comparable?

    Well maybe on a Mac forum nobody cares.

    OK... but as you said there totally different animals.

    It would have been much better for you to not have mentioned the Mini at all or included it in your photos, because once you do, your automatically comparing it to a Mini, which by your own admission it cannot be compared to.
     
  7. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
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    Washington D.C
    #8
    Any reason you posted it with a Mini then?

    You pay for space...look at any similar sized PC and the Mini is a good deal. This is like comparing a Mac Pro and XPS M2010....they are not aimed at similar markets!
     
  8. Dont Hurt Me thread starter macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
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    Yahooville S.C.
    #9
    This was intended as a hardware discussion not a anti fan club thingy:rolleyes: Look past your prejudice. The picture with the mini was for size comparison and cost comparison. Nothing else. Read again my first sentence this isnt a bashing thread, its a hardware and industry discussion thread.
     
  9. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #10
    Well then I think the people who have posted in this thread told people what they think....they don't like it. They don't find a need for one in their life. Not to say that some don't but so far the people in this thread don't.
     
  10. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #11
    I really understand where you are trying to come from, but you just shouldn't have included the Mini in there. Just because you included the Mini, you are automatically comparing the Dell, and because you bought the Dell, we are to assume you somehow think anyone considering the Mini should buy a Dell.

    It should have been just a straight review of the Dell - no other computers, or at least a similar computer.
     
  11. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #12
    While i am not a fan of dell i do like the white look on the sides. The outside, while not hideous, is defiantly not mac like. Now the inside is another story. So many cables and crap all over the place. Of all the things I hate the most (the part i would almost never see) is for the inside to look like crap.

    Now if apple would just release something like this then I think a lot of people would buy it.
     
  12. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Vulcan
    #13
    Pontiac GTO
    $32,295
    6.0L
    400 HP @5200 RPM

    Aston Martin V8 Vantage
    $110,000
    4.3L
    380 HP @ 7300 RPM

    Why is the Aston Martin better than Pontiac???
    Same reason Apple is better than Dell.
     
  13. Dont Hurt Me thread starter macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
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    Yahooville S.C.
    #14
    You might be right,:D Its funny how so many people will take offense I guess they dont realize that that is my Mini in the picture or that i have supported Apple the past 20 yrs. I just wanted to talk hardware but we cant seem to get past the bashing. Amazing its just like politics and the republican party,if your not for staying the course You Are Cutting And Running! Period . no middle is accepted. Is the world that filled with extremist everywhere and even at this rumors site. There must be a few moderate adults in here somewhere. For example: take a look at the cooling solution and how AMD has changed the heat sink!
     
  14. Dane D. macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    ohio
  15. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #16
    Are USB tuners not an option?
     
  16. Dont Hurt Me thread starter macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #17
    Well they do have them now for Macs the hybrid is about $150 but for $150 I can get a new gigabyte silent 7600GS thats highly rated, and get a tv tuner and still have enough $$$ for a burger and frys and a beer.
     
  17. 0010101 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    #18
    The way I read the Original Posters post, and intent was pretty clear.

    Dude had less than a grand to spend, and the only thing in Apples current offerings in the sub 1G range was the Mini.

    So no, his new Dell isn't as small, or look as cool as the Mini.. but he got a heck of a lot more computer for his money.. and has features he'd have to spend twice as much to get with an Apple.

    Yea, that Dell is ugly and big. So is the Mac Pro. Hide it under your desk.

    Of course, the big down side to going with the Dell is you're stuck using that horrible OS.. but hey, when you just don't have the jack, you gotta get what you can afford.
     
  18. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #19
    When I look at a PC, any PC, and these days and think of all the space they are wasting in their PC cases.
     
  19. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #20
    From a purely hardware perspective, the Dell is a great machine. Better than the Mini. But I don't think that comparing the two on a price to hardware scale is an adequate comparison. The two are not able to use the same components, so why hold the Mini to the standard of the Dell or vice versa. Can you get a Dell in the Mini's form factor?

    If Apple wanted to make a cheap computer that competed with the Dell you showed, they could. But they haven't. I know a lot of people think Apple needs an iMac tower (power of an iMac, but in a tower). For whatever reason - and you are free to think this decision is good or bad - Apple sees the consumer market differently. They see the consumer market as a space for the all-in-one/small-form-factor.

    Frankly, I agree with Apple. The common arguments agains the all-in-one/small-form-factor pretty much boil down to no upgradability. Outside of RAM, I don't see a lot of consumers upgrading their systems. Most just buy it, eventually they add more RAM, and then they just replace things as they break until they get fed up and buy a new one.

    The value of a system is more than the sum of its parts. For me, I love the Mini's small footprint. I have no need for fancy graphics cards, nor do most consumers. Contrary to popular belief are millions of people that never play anything more complex than Solitaire. And then there's OS X. So the trade off between what I could get from Dell for the same money is worth it. I am happy to sacrifice raw power, which I don't need, for those things that I do value.
     
  20. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
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    One Nation Under Gordon
    #21
    I suppose it depends on what you want to use it for.

    I started with a PPC Mini in my recent Mac ownership because I wanted an HTPC. That didn't work out that well, but the move to an Intel Mini was fairly positive due to Front Row. And I'll bet a lot of PC switchers moved for those reasons too - for the Mini to be their living room / media computer.

    It so turns out that Media Center Edition is better for this sort of thing. And PC manufacturers have caught up in the noise / cooling stakes, especially for dedicated HTPCs. I gave my Mini the boot recently and replaced it with a custom-built near-silent C2D PC running Media Center Edition using a Silverstone case, which is completely inoffensive sitting in the hi-fi rack.

    If you're anything of an enthusiast user, even just a bit, then the Mini's lack of upgradeability is an issue. As an HTPC, a home digital hub it's also not all that either. And OS X, being merely an OS, may not be that fundamental an advantage compared to a considerably cheaper, more functional, future-resistant and faster machine.

    To be honest I felt I'd been conned a little after making the switch to Media Center Edition and realising that the Windows setup offered functionality in advance of the OS X equivalent without necessarily giving up anything much in the ease-of-use, but the Mini was something I knowingly bought into, I knew it had some limitations for use as an HTPC.
     
  21. 0010101 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    #22
    I think the argument for the 'MacMini Tower" isn't just a matter of 'upgrade' but also service.

    Let's say you have a Mini and decide you want to run dual monitors.. you can't just buy a Mac video card and pop in there.. or let's say the hard drive takes a dump in your LCD iMac.. can you just run out and grab any ole SATA or IDE drive and stuff in there?

    Apple knows what they're doing.. they put the least expandable machine in the 'entry' price point.. effectively making them 'disposable' once the warranty runs out.. and my limiting the 'entry level' machines capabilities and serviceability, they protect the sales of their higher end machines.

    That's why you won't see a low priced tower from Apple any time soon, if ever.
     
  22. calyxman macrumors 6502a

    calyxman

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    Apr 17, 2005
    #23
    A little carried away with our analogies, are we not? :rolleyes:
     
  23. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

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    Jan 6, 2002
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    Vulcan
    #24
    I do not think so.
     
  24. zflauaus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    #25
    I am actually looking into purchasing a new PC, but only for the purpose of Media Center, and maybe a little gaming. For entertainment purposes, iTunes is great, but Windows absolutely dominates the HTPC board.

    I currently use my 4-5 year old HP running XP and SageTV 5 and sometimes it is dog slow. I can't even put it to sleep because when I try to wake it, it gives me a BSOD.

    I need a new PC to be quieter, stabler, and can be run at all hours of the night and the Dell fits the bill. My parents, sister, and my grandma have bought Dell desktops and, knock on wood, haven't had any problems with any of them. I'm ready to get rid of my HP and soon because I can hear the hard drives werring up occasionally and I get worried.

    So don't bash me, I have my reasons. Plus my iBook G4 is just fine for everything else I do.
     

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