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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:41 pm
Post subject: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

Just put this together on the Dell site. Would this be a good setup for the price for now and the future? XP, lots of HD space, 2 Gig mem, decent vid card. Nicer monitor than I have now...
And what the hell is "RAID"? And why would I need a drive controller? An' stuff.....?

This would be my replacement desktop.

I don't see where they spec the number of USB ports...and experience says you can never have enuff of 'em....

Whaddya' think?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:07 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

I would say - and I'm qualifying this with the knowledge you're not interested in building your own - that these Dells may do the job but having had one, they are not capable of many upgrades since they use some unique parts. Dell makes a good laptop, an excellent one, actually, but I would not go to them as the first choice of a Desktop.

The slower processor in that one is a killer as far as I'm concerned. In the other thread here, for $200 less than this total price, there's a Gateway spec'd out that's a full Gigaherz faster (2.66 Ghz), twice the video ram (512MB), and bigger hard drive (500GB). And that price is a month old or so. Thing is, there's some careful parts-swapping but it's easy.

Oh...on USB ports, don't worry they usually have lots (4 to 6) and you can buy a USB hub for cheapo that plugs into one USB port and gives you 4 more USB ports that sits on your desk.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:15 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

Yo! Just what I was lookin' for...if they'll do with XP, I may just do it...

AND, I may just ask you to spec it out to a budget and post it so I can call 'em and order. No consultant fee, though, unless you work for strawberries.

MAYBE I'll do this before I leave, what could you put together for $2K or just under with ONLY a bigger monitor than I have now (17")? I have a good printer. Not even sure I want a new monitor but they're so cheap now.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:22 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

Uh-oh.......

Well okay I put this together befire coming back here and seeing your request - this is an exmaple based on similar pricing and NEEDS to be tweaked, but take a rough look here:



Note the faster CPU, bigger disk, and better vid card. Oh. sorry the HD don't show, but it's 500GB. My 250GB is gettin' full!!!!

Don't order it tho! I couldn't stand the responsibility!

I DID yank out the service stuff, so it's one year, you swap the parts. And I'm not settled yet on that exact CPU.

You need to know that Intel is on the verge of coming out with their next CPU which will drive current Core 2 Duo processor prices down further......I'd urge ya to wait until ya get back and get the new ;atpop all dialed in. Two new 'puters at a time makes for some busy and harried evenings at home when the new babies are settling down and need to be "burped" for this-thing or that-thing!

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:27 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

And I think it would be GREAT if someone here commented on those NVidia 7950GT cards. Don't know much about 'em, and have become an ATI owner (and satisifed).

I do hear that the ATi's are working better with that New-O/S-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named (or installed on this system). That's about it.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:34 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

Well, think it over....I don't wanna' swap the parts though...I want it delivered ready to rock. I travel too much now and I'm not as patient as I used to be...don't want to fiddle about. It doesn't have to scream, I'll settle for wail. Laughing If it has to be dialed back a notch to do that, I'm OK with that. In some ways, a "too large" monitor is a liabilty too, 22" is max.

Sharpen your pencil, Mr. Stoopy! Laughing

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:09 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

Hmmm. Well, in trying again a time or two, it looks like my pencil wasn't too dull - can't seem to do too much better. A few caveats:

- One thing I like about those options is the sound card. I just finished putting that VERY SAME ONE in my son's PC because there's a very EVIL thing going on nowadays and it's called "Intel VIIV technology". You can't get away from it innewer off-the-shelf systems it seems, it's a build-in sound card on the motherboard and comes with it's own drivers. But, get this - the speakers are USB (ewww!!) and also, Microsoft XP Media Center Edition managed to drop the drivers 4 times in as many weeks, resulting in no sound and annoying pop-ups on bootup about "No Windows Mixer Device Available". The solution? Get a real sound card, that uses real speakers with real cables, and real drivers. Disable the on-board audio, and THEN also rename the folder for the Intel Audio Studio software (that strangely CANNOT be Uninstalled or removed!) so that Windows can't even TRY to load it and then give annoying pop-ups. The LAST STRAW was when I had them all working together but Intel Audio Studio complained when we switched his screen to very hi-res with large (120 dpi) fonts - "Intel Audio Studio requires a font size of 96 dpi"....oh for the love of......SCROO'T!

- The CPU is "Non-HT" or, non-Hyperthreading. I chose it because it was fast and cheap.....clock cycles are the Holy Grail in flight simming! But non-HT means it'll stumble somewhat when tasked with running other thnigs in the background. However the HT-capable 2.40 Ghz CPU is another 600 bones or so, so I'm queasy on this choice right now. Ideally I've got my eye on the 2.66 Core 2 Duo CPU's which are HOT STUFF and coming down slowly but surely.

- You're going with XP Pro, right? Or maybe XP Home (which I have, and is fine). Not XP Media Edition.....please. Did Dell give you any price breaks for NOT going with VISTA? I know it's not likely.

- I chopped the extended warranty stuff out since I was focusing on parts. I don't know how much you're married to it so you'll need to add that in. Might put me over budget.

I think, subject to good feedback about the non-HT-capable CPU, that system should cook....it wont SCREAM like a $3000 system, but it shouldn't be any slouch at'all! 300HP Mustang GT as opposed to the 400HP GTO with higher price tag. Wink

I'll keep trying to tweak the pencil tho....

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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:22 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

- JG300-Stoopy
Hmmm. Well, in trying again a time or two, it looks like my pencil wasn't too dull - can't seem to do too much better. A few caveats:

- One thing I like about those options is the sound card. I just finished putting that VERY SAME ONE in my son's PC because there's a very EVIL thing going on nowadays and it's called "Intel VIIV technology". You can't get away from it innewer off-the-shelf systems it seems, it's a build-in sound card on the motherboard and comes with it's own drivers. But, get this - the speakers are USB (ewww!!) and also, Microsoft XP Media Center Edition managed to drop the drivers 4 times in as many weeks, resulting in no sound and annoying pop-ups on bootup about "No Windows Mixer Device Available". The solution? Get a real sound card, that uses real speakers with real cables, and real drivers. Disable the on-board audio, and THEN also rename the folder for the Intel Audio Studio software (that strangely CANNOT be Uninstalled or removed!) so that Windows can't even TRY to load it and then give annoying pop-ups. The LAST STRAW was when I had them all working together but Intel Audio Studio complained when we switched his screen to very hi-res with large (120 dpi) fonts - "Intel Audio Studio requires a font size of 96 dpi"....oh for the love of......SCROO'T!

- The CPU is "Non-HT" or, non-Hyperthreading. I chose it because it was fast and cheap.....clock cycles are the Holy Grail in flight simming! But non-HT means it'll stumble somewhat when tasked with running other thnigs in the background. However the HT-capable 2.40 Ghz CPU is another 600 bones or so, so I'm queasy on this choice right now. Ideally I've got my eye on the 2.66 Core 2 Duo CPU's which are HOT STUFF and coming down slowly but surely.

- You're going with XP Pro, right? Or maybe XP Home (which I have, and is fine). Not XP Media Edition.....please. Did Dell give you any price breaks for NOT going with VISTA? I know it's not likely.

- I chopped the extended warranty stuff out since I was focusing on parts. I don't know how much you're married to it so you'll need to add that in. Might put me over budget.

I think, subject to good feedback about the non-HT-capable CPU, that system should cook....it wont SCREAM like a $3000 system, but it shouldn't be any slouch at'all! 300HP Mustang GT as opposed to the 400HP GTO with higher price tag. Wink

I'll keep trying to tweak the pencil tho....


Laughing I didn't get one word of all that sound / H-T stuff Rolling Eyes Give me something where I don't have to understand or even deal with it. I have decent sound on my two lil' speakers and one subwoofer thingy now on my old system. Don't need anything mo' betta'.

No, I spec'ed XP Pro....have XP Home on my current system. Pro is the only option at Dell I think.

We got the three year warranty with on-site service for wifey notebook..$100...I think I want that...24hours call time, plus parts delivery time...worth it if the cost is comparable with Gateway.

Oh, my boss bought a silver lefover GTO last week for $25K, one of three left, less than my Mooostang cost. So sharpen than pencil! Mr. Green

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:17 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

EXACTLY my point on the sound-card thingy. You don't wanna know about or deal with it - it's gotten ugly and I'm disappointed that such a simple, inexpensive part of any system has now been screwed up for people. Getchya a proper built-in sound card like that one, with the system and properly integrated, and you'll happily plug in the cables and hear stuff the way it's s'posed to work.

Gateway is like 200 bones on the on-site 3-year warranty stuff, probably becuase it's a desktop and not a laptop...kind of comparing apples & oranges there.

The 22" LCD monitor at $160 is optional, but I'll tell ya this came with my son's rig and it is a SWEET monitor! Very nice. Something to think about is how you're gonna transfer all your old stuff from the old machine to the new. You could either get an external USB hard drive with that money and transfer everythign via it (plus, have it all backed up when you're done) or go with the new monitor and keep the old rig set up with the old monitor while you move stuff over via thumb drive or whatever - that's kinda like moving all the water from one bucket to another with a ladle, though.

Going down to a less-expensive model and building it up to the same specs makes it more expensive and I note the disclaimer about "give us a call about WIndows XP" is missing on those systems. So I have to say I think I got it pretty much right with that first stab - the one change I'm making is specify ONE 500GB hard drive, as opposed to a RAID setup which is two 250MB drives paired together. Helps keep heat and power draw down, against the arguable advantages of a RAID setup.

So......here she blows, WITH 3-year on-site: Yanked the speakers too, since the ones you have now seem to be making perfectly adequate bleeping, blooping and crashing noises. Also, added one more item there at the end, don't know if you've heard of it but it's kinda neat Laughing



Quote is saved under fake email name of "Ascout@CC.net" so you can call it back up - for some reason, an earlier system I'd been playing with is saved there too, just ignore it (it's from the other thread).

Your boss is a smart cookie.....not that I'd ever say anything bad about those weird Aussie cars either, even with that fine LS2 motor and excellent rolling hardware. Hopefully the price isn't gonna be balanced out by family chiropractor visits from trying to get in & out of the back seats...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:28 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

- JG300-Stoopy
EXACTLY my point on the sound-card thingy. You don't wanna know about or deal with it - it's gotten ugly and I'm disappointed that such a simple, inexpensive part of any system has now been screwed up for people. Getchya a proper built-in sound card like that one, with the system and properly integrated, and you'll happily plug in the cables and hear stuff the way it's s'posed to work.

Gateway is like 200 bones on the on-site 3-year warranty stuff, probably becuase it's a desktop and not a laptop...kind of comparing apples & oranges there.

The 22" LCD monitor at $160 is optional, but I'll tell ya this came with my son's rig and it is a SWEET monitor! Very nice. Something to think about is how you're gonna transfer all your old stuff from the old machine to the new. You could either get an external USB hard drive with that money and transfer everythign via it (plus, have it all backed up when you're done) or go with the new monitor and keep the old rig set up with the old monitor while you move stuff over via thumb drive or whatever - that's kinda like moving all the water from one bucket to another with a ladle, though.

Going down to a less-expensive model and building it up to the same specs makes it more expensive and I note the disclaimer about "give us a call about WIndows XP" is missing on those systems. So I have to say I think I got it pretty much right with that first stab - the one change I'm making is specify ONE 500GB hard drive, as opposed to a RAID setup which is two 250MB drives paired together. Helps keep heat and power draw down, against the arguable advantages of a RAID setup.

So......here she blows, WITH 3-year on-site: Yanked the speakers too, since the ones you have now seem to be making perfectly adequate bleeping, blooping and crashing noises. Also, added one more item there at the end, don't know if you've heard of it but it's kinda neat Laughing



Quote is saved under fake email name of "Ascout@CC.net" so you can call it back up - for some reason, an earlier system I'd been playing with is saved there too, just ignore it (it's from the other thread).

Your boss is a smart cookie.....not that I'd ever say anything bad about those weird Aussie cars either, even with that fine LS2 motor and excellent rolling hardware. Hopefully the price isn't gonna be balanced out by family chiropractor visits from trying to get in & out of the back seats...


Interesting....
Now, does this include XP Pro for sure? And, I already have CFS3...can I not install that on my new system? Why is that in there? Would I need another one?

If I call 'em, can they find this quote if I have trouble?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:45 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

Yup - the quote can be retrieved using the link at the top-right of their website and entering the fake email I made for ya, or tell 'em it's quote #26734

One thing tho - that quote has a price of $3,439.95 because it has TWO different computers spec'ed out, it includes that other system I was playing with about a month ago. Just tell 'em it s for the Gateway FX530XM computer which is sub-listed at $1,836.98, and all the details are nested underneath it

Apart from cost, it doesn't includes WIndows XP because it sayz you gotta call 'em to "discuss" (I believe they mean, just ask for it instead, like your Dell dudes handled it). Thats for you to specify but I doubt they'll argue, since Dell can't be alone in getting a LOT of requests for same. However, this price DOES include Vista (which was the only option on the choice list), so XP should not cost you one PENNY more.

So I'd specify they KNOW it and repeat it three times while spinning around in their cubicle chairs before processing that order!!!!!! Actually the quote isn't so much for them, in that respect, it's for you to reference. Let 'em know the quote # only after it's clearly understood it needs to be modified for the Vista/XP thing, or otherwise used as the basis for a new order specifying XP right up front.

I was kiddin' about CFS3. A'course you can install yours.....if the disks haven't petrified by now. J/K!!!!! Laughing Had to have some fun with ya while I was there, everything else is legit.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:19 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

THIS may help you with the graphic card bit.
That 7950 is quite a high spec gaming card.

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:26 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

Thanks Shades! Had heard good thigns about it but no personal input....for about $200 it's got as much RAM as my ATI 1650 PRO card but is even faster....and cost about the same as I paid.

Oh hey Ascout.....be sure that, although you do need MS Office Home and Student 2007, do NOT buy it from either Dell or Gateway with a computer....because you don't usually REALLY get the install media - they pre-install it for ya and that's that.....so installing it PER the license agreement on another system can be, of course, impossible.

Get that when you make your side-trip to Best Buy or CompUSA for that Linksys Wireless router,,,,and FSX Deluxe...

It's one other thing I'm not crazy about how things have transpired these days......used to be, you got software bundled with the system, you got the install media too.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:32 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

- Shades
THIS may help you with the graphic card bit.
That 7950 is quite a high spec gaming card.


Well, that's because this is Stoopy's idea of a tidy little Mustang engine:

Stoopy's "small" V8 idea

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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:37 pm
Post subject: Re: So, while I'm shopping, what sayeth the forum to this?

- JG300-Stoopy
Thanks Shades! Had heard good thigns about it but no personal input....for about $200 it's got as much RAM as my ATI 1650 PRO card but is even faster....and cost about the same as I paid.

Oh hey Ascout.....be sure that, although you do need MS Office Home and Student 2007, do NOT buy it from either Dell or Gateway with a computer....because you don't usually REALLY get the install media - they pre-install it for ya and that's that.....so installing it PER the license agreement on another system can be, of course, impossible.

Get that when you make your side-trip to Best Buy or CompUSA for that Linksys Wireless router,,,,and FSX Deluxe...

It's one other thing I'm not crazy about how things have transpired these days......used to be, you got software bundled with the system, you got the install media too.


No problemo, already planned on that for both the Office software AND the wireless router...in fact, the Dell guy was even pretty much down with that plan without actually sayin' as much...
I'm a "Continuing Medical Education Program Coordinator" so I qualify as a "teacher", among my many hats, and have the certificate to back it up, so I can breeze in to buy on that basis and install on all our systems since the wifey is a biochemist. I'm not sure who's the student here, come to think of it, her credentials are better than mine. Rolling Eyes

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