Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Misc Forums > Computers and Operating Systems

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 31, 2010, 6:49 PM   #61
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

I'm aware of several forum members that have purchased systems from http://www.cyberpowerpc.com and they've been quite pleased with them.

If budget permitted and I wanted to keep a system for a while, I'd go that route before I'd go with Dell, HP, Apple, etc., as you'd be getting much higher quality components for a lower price (with Asus Motherboards, Corsair Memory, etc., with the type of system I'm mentioning), versus what you'd get with new systems from the "big boys" (as they tend to use cheaper components to keep the price down and profit up). You can get a system from cyberpowerpc.com that's assembled with Windows installed and tested to make sure everything works right, for very little more than the parts would cost you to build one yourself.

They're a high volume vendor as custom vendors go (meaning that can buy the parts for less than you can), while giving you the benefit of their experience putting them together and making sure they work correctly (since they warrant them for 3 years and want to keep their service cost down by making sure everything works as expected before shipping one). ;-)

You can always get a lemon from any vendor. But, I'd trust those guys more than most, and they've been around long enough so that I'd be comfortable with them handling any complaints I may have in the unlikely event that something goes wrong, while getting a system for about what it would cost you to build one yourself (with the downside of handling individual component issues yourself if you ran into issues with a given part; versus having a system vendor like cyberpowerpc do that for you if you get a system from them).
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2010, 9:25 PM   #62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Decatur, GA
Posts: 2,053
Default

I had macs from 1988 - 2005. In 2003-2005 I had so many Mac problems that I switched to windows and have never looked back. I only use Windows XP pro because of al the issues our county government has had with Windows XP non pro, Visita and Windows 7 for them is even worse. The newspaper I work at part time has some Mac G4s and iMacs and run where they can boot into windows from within the Mac operating system to handle none Mac files and items.

dave
Photo 5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 3, 2010, 11:26 AM   #63
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

BTW, it looks like there's a new coupon code for 15% off on any desktop or laptop from Dell Outlet Home, expiring June 9, 2010. Just enter this code at checkout:

79RTNK0SZL7FMV

They seem to be having these on a more regular basis lately (as sometimes you'd need to wait months before you'd see them on all desktops versus specific models).

I'd also check this page on a regular basis for deals (like the deals they have on some of the OptiPlex models right now -- which is one of their better made business lines of computers).

http://twitter.com/delloutlet

I'd also subscribe to e-mail alerts here:

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/subscription_landing?c=us&cs=22&l=en&s=dfo&~ck=ana vml

Sometimes the codes they let you know about via e-mail alerts are not on their twitter pages (like the new one above), and vice-versa. I make it a habit never to buy a new Dell PC. Ditto for paying list price for a refurbished machine.

If I buy one, I'll go refurbished and make sure to use a coupon code for more off versus paying full price. :-)

Otherwise, I'd just go with a non Dell solution to get a better box for the money.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 3, 2010, 5:10 PM   #64
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 227
Default

Thanks for the information.

A couple of questions: Is there a benefit to the optiplex line vs. one of the XPS systems? Also, will there be a benefit to a quad core system at the moment for most applications, or is that basically something for future-proofing?
Jazzer251 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 3, 2010, 5:13 PM   #65
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

The Optiplex PCs tend to have a bit better build quality compared to the Dell Home line.

But, they usually lag behind the Home line in the performance area (i.e., you'll spend a *lot* more to get a PC as fast going with an OptiPlex model).

As for a Quad core... you'll need to be more specific as to the specific CPU you're considering (not just the number of cores). Right this minute, any of the Core i7 based CPUs are going to be *significantly* faster for image processing tasks compared to any other type of Quad Core CPU for a given clock speed. Where video editing is concerned, the difference is going to be even greater (stick with a Core i7 CPU if you want more bang for the buck, as they're going to "run circles around" most other CPUs).

Both the Core i7 9xx (Nehalem) based CPUs (Core i7 920, 930, 940, etc.), and the Core i7 8xx (Lynnfield) CPUs (Core i7 860, 870, etc.) are good choices, with pros and cons to both types. I'd probably avoid other types of Quad Core CPUs if buying a new PC, unless I had an *extremely* tight budget and found a *very* good deal on something else.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 5, 2010, 4:26 AM   #66
Senior Member
 
musket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,782
Default

I would suggest that if you're hard pressed for cash then a refurbished PC
is worth considering and not a MAC, as it is way overpriced and when
it comes to consumer software there is always much more written for the
PC than the MAC....
musket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 5, 2010, 10:35 AM   #67
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 227
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
As for a Quad core... you'll need to be more specific as to the specific CPU you're considering (not just the number of cores). Right this minute, any of the Core i7 based CPUs are going to be *significantly* faster for image processing tasks compared to any other type of Quad Core CPU for a given clock speed. Where video editing is concerned, the difference is going to be even greater (stick with a Core i7 CPU if you want more bang for the buck, as they're going to "run circles around" most other CPUs).

Both the Core i7 9xx (Nehalem) based CPUs (Core i7 920, 930, 940, etc.), and the Core i7 8xx (Lynnfield) CPUs (Core i7 860, 870, etc.) are good choices, with pros and cons to both types. I'd probably avoid other types of Quad Core CPUs if buying a new PC, unless I had an *extremely* tight budget and found a *very* good deal on something else.
Any thoughts about the following system (it would be about $850 after the 15% discount and plus tax -- don't know how much shipping would run). I would still need to add a good sound card and a monitor, eventually.

http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineS...en&s=dfh&cs=22
Jazzer251 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 5, 2010, 10:51 AM   #68
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

That looks like a good bet. Note that you only get dual channel addressing with 8GB of memory. So, it's usually best to go either 6GB, 9GB, 12GB, etc. (a system with matched sets of 3 DIMMs) with a Core i7 9xx machine. You've got 6 DIMM slots and can use matched sets of three 1GB, 2GB or 4GB DIMMs with that type of machine and get tri-channel addressing. Other configs only give you dual channel addressing.

But, it would be better to go 8GB with dual channel addressing versus 6GB with tri channel addressing, since there is very little performance difference between dual and tri-channel setups from benchmarks I've seen. So I'd lean towards more memory if comparing 6GB versus 8GB systems.

IOW, I wouldn't worry about that part -- I'm just letting you know you wouldn't be taking full advantage of the Nehalem architecture unless you stick with systems using matched sets of three DIMMs). Basically, you're getting four 2GB sticks with that 8GB config, leaving two slots open. So, that would be better than using three 2GB sticks for 6GB total, or six 1GB sticks for 6GB total (even though the 6GB configs would have tri-channel addressing and the 8GB config would have dual channel addressing, since the extra RAM would be worth it).

Note that the GTS 220 is not a high end video card if you're into gaming or anything like that. But, it should be just fine for most purposes (HD Video playback, use with CS4/5's GPU acceleration, etc.), and would "run circles around" your existing card.

Their listings change pretty often, so if you're patient, you may be able to find a more loaded system at the same price point, too (especially if you don't mind a "scratch and dent" model, as they discount those more).
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 5, 2010, 11:43 AM   #69
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,534
Default

If you're going to shop on Dell's Outlet store, you need to be quick. The stock that nobody wants will sit there for months, but the one you want will probably be of interst to someone else, so if you take the time to post a link to it here, it's probably already gone.

Make a list of what you want (Processor, OS, and Chassis, and, if you're at all uneasy about delving into the innards of your new computer, RAM, HDD(s), optical drive(s) and video and sound cards.)


Then go to the Dell Outlet Store, and do whatever it takes to get to the list of desktops (ANY desktops). Then do this:
  1. Turn on Previously Ordered New, and turn off Certified
    Refurbished and Scratch & Dent
  2. If, after everything else, you can't find anything, then turn on Scratch & Dent
  3. If you still can't find anything, then turn on Certified
    Refurbished, but only after several days of trying with the other choices
Then set the Stockroom to OptiPlex Desktops, set the Min. Memory (MB), Min. Hard Drive Size (GB), and Operating System. Click on Filter Results and when the results appear, click on the column header for Price. The list will be sorted by price, with the least expensive items at the top. Go down the list, looking for systems that have the Chassis you wnat, and at least the Processor, the optical drives, and maybe even the video and sound cards you want.

If you can't find anything you want, you might lower your Min. Memory (MB), and Min. Hard Drive Size (GB) if you're up to taking care of those when you get it. You could also do the same with the video and sound cards.

When you find something you want, BUY IT! If you wait, someone else will get it.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.

Last edited by TCav; Jun 5, 2010 at 11:46 AM.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 5, 2010, 11:53 AM   #70
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

They're not that busy anymore (stock seems to be pretty good on Dell Outlet for popular systems).

Now, I have seen some pretty busy times in the past when they've had multiple sales going on at the same time (stackable coupons on refurbished models for xx% off, additional savings on selected models, free shipping coupons, etc.). But, lately, the stock seems to be relatively consistent on systems that I'd be interested in like the XPS 435 Tower the OP is looking at).

As for Optiplex Desktops... build quality is better. But, you'll pay a lot more to get a desktop with equivalent performance and specs.

So, I wouldn't go that route for a personal system. I'd go with something like the XPS 435 instead (X58 chipset MB using Core i7 9xx Nehalem architecture Processors, 475 Watt PSU, plenty of I/O ports, etc.). These have a good reputation for reliability compared to the less expensive home models.

If I wanted something better, I'd avoid Dell entirely and go with a custom built system instead, as the current Optiplex models are just way too overpriced if you want a faster system with a better price/performance ratio (i.e., under $1K system with a Core i7 based CPU, versus the much slower CPUs you typically see in the current Optiplex inventory).
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:09 PM.