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Old Nov 14, 2004, 12:58 AM   #21
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eric s wrote:
I hope you enjoy your new DELL. If cost were no object, I would probably have commended the 800MHZ front side bus, but the one you got will still work really well.

I think he's now thinking about upgrading his existing Dell computer (one he's had for a while) versus getting another one (the PC he's discussing now is not new, or even still offered in refurbished condition at Dell Outlet from what I can see).

The 8200 he is using was replaced by newer models (like the 8300, which does an 800mhz Front Side Bus). The 8300 was replaced by the even newer 8400.

I just bought a refurbished Dimension 8300 from Dell Outlet at a great price (probably because the even newer 8400 is out). I got an 8300 with 1GB of RAM, 3.0Ghz P4 with 1MB L2 Cache and HT, 800mhz Front Side Bus, integrated SATA, etc., for under $500.00 delivered after all of the discounts (see my first post in this thread for details). :-)

The question is whether or not adding RAM to his 8200 would be a better alternative to a spending the money on a new PC if I understand him correctly. If he's actually running out of RAM and paging to disk, then this is probably where he'll get the most "bang for the buck".

My experience is that you tend to spend a lot more money for very little increase in performance in real world use if you buy the latest and greatest model (especially when you get into the latest CPU). Each tiny increase in CPU speed tends to cost a lot more for what you are getting in return (especially when you factor in the other bottlenecks in a system). Hence, my recent purchase of a refurbished Dimension 8300. ;-)

If I owned his 8200, I'd see no need to upgrade at all (I upgraded to the 8300 from a much slower PC). I'd be more inclined to wait for inexpensive boxes with SATA II and 10,000 RPM drives (WD Raptor type or faster), 64 bit CPU's, operating systems and apps, etc., before upgrading from an 8200. ;-)

Each user will have different requirements for a computer, and I probably don't tax mine quite as much as some of you guys do.
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Old Nov 14, 2004, 8:30 AM   #22
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Thanks Jim, that was very helpful.
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Old Nov 14, 2004, 1:46 PM   #23
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Monitoring your ram usage is easy, it's how I decieded to get more. The trouble with doing it is that you often find that you built habits which stop you from doing the things which would use more memory. I know I do things I avoided before getting 1G of ram.

I agree with you about not upgrading from that dell. I'm at a 2000+ Athlon and while I wish it were faster I certainly won't gain enough speed to justify buying a newer system. So I'm holding out for either a dual processor system or a dual core system (except dual core will be expensive when it comes out.) My general rule is to upgrade when I can roughly double my speed. Although that is getting harder to do now with the slowdown in single processor performance.

The nice thing is that while I wait for that, the rest of the PC is getting faster along with the processor (better FSB, disks, PCI-Express,....

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