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Old Nov 24, 2003, 5:22 PM   #1
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Default Cheap Brand New P4

This post may sound off topic at first but it really is not as it deals with graphic editing program and I really trust the advice I get on this forum.

I just bought a brand new Dell P4 2.20GHZ, 80G HD, 128MB memory brand new for $300CAN ($220US) plus free shipping from Dell. It has no monitor or floppy drive but it comes with a 128mb USB pen which is better because I never use the floppy anyways. I am postive that the deal is good, but I am wondering something that maybe someone could help me out on. There is no AGP slot to add a graphics card and the computer only comes with an Integrated Intel 3D Extreme Graphics Video Card and the audio card is also integrated. Does that suck really bad?

I am not a gamer so I do not need cutting edge graphics, but I do use a lot of graphic editing programs (Photoshop) and video editing programs etc. What limitations will I have with this non expandable graphics card? I am just trying to compare this Intel integrated graphics with the graphics card I have now. My computer is a few years old so I am not sure how the one I have stacks up (as well as my audio card).

Right now my computer uses a Creative Sound Blaster AudioPCI 128 sound card and my video card is a NVIDIA RIVA TNT2/TNT2 Pro. Will these be better, worse or basically the same as a brand new Intel integrated video card and an Intel integrated sound card?

Also, I want to upgrade the RAM and was wondering if 2 X 256mb memory chips are better or worse than 1 512, or are they all the same.

Thanks for your help in advance.

I can provide the link if anyone else is interested in the computer deal. It is through Dell's website.
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 5:39 PM   #2
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Sounds like a very good deal. What is the model number of the unit. My company only purchases Dell and they normally come with two memory slots. It would be better to purchase a single 512 and keep the 128 to give you 640mb of memory.

The unit should come with pci slots to upgrade the video if you so desire. The integrated video proably shares system memory for video output.
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Old Nov 25, 2003, 2:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Cheap Brand New P4

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_snaps-a-lot
I just bought a brand new Dell P4 2.20GHZ, 80G HD, 128MB memory brand new for $300CAN ($220US) plus free shipping from Dell.
Wow. Didn't know they still sell those

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_snaps-a-lot
I am wondering something that maybe someone could help me out on. There is no AGP slot to add a graphics card and the computer only comes with an Integrated Intel 3D Extreme Graphics Video Card and the audio card is also integrated. Does that **** really bad?

I am not a gamer so I do not need cutting edge graphics, but I do use a lot of graphic editing programs (Photoshop) and video editing programs etc. What limitations will I have with this non expandable graphics card? I am just trying to compare this Intel integrated graphics with the graphics card I have now. My computer is a few years old so I am not sure how the one I have stacks up (as well as my audio card).

Right now my computer uses a Creative Sound Blaster AudioPCI 128 sound card and my video card is a NVIDIA RIVA TNT2/TNT2 Pro. Will these be better, worse or basically the same as a brand new Intel integrated video card and an Intel integrated sound card?
You can check out the specs of the used chipset at the intel website. You did not state which chipset is in, but I assume its something like 845GV (it's listed in the Dell spec sheet). The major disadvantage is that you cannot upgrade. Compared to your older specs, it is not a major improvement but it looks ok and if your thing is not gaming but 2D image handling then it must be sufficient (check out the remark about memory below). For this price, who cares about upgrading? You can write-off the costs of this system within a year (of course your plans might be different but nothing comes for nothing) and buy a new system when you feel it slowing down. Heck, for this price you will not even have to defragment your HD even once during its lifetime

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_snaps-a-lot
Also, I want to upgrade the RAM and was wondering if 2 X 256mb memory chips are better or worse than 1 512, or are they all the same.
Definitely should do that and I agree with the earlier advice, go for the 1 512. The interesting thing is with an integrated gfx chipset, it uses your system memory so performance will go up (this is somewhat different from separate gfx cards). Make sure though that the memory has the right speed (the maximum speed supported by the chipset) or else performance might not even go up but go down, depending on what kind of memory is in there now. Hopefully this upgrade operation will not increase your system price to US$330 or up If it does, you might consider upgrading with 1 256 and see whether that works out for you.

I don't work for Dell and the system I prefer they don't even make for an attractive price but this cannot be a loser deal, period.

Hope this helps.
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Old Nov 25, 2003, 7:42 AM   #4
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If you are planning on keeping your 128Mb stick all you need to know about the RAM is the speed of what you already have. The new RAM wonít run any faster than the other stick already in the box. If it is particularly slow and the MB will support PC2700 you might find your computer and especially your graphics run faster by dumping the 128Mb stick and just adding 512Mb of PC2700 if the 128Mb is slow.

Performance wise you canít tell the difference between getting two 256Mb sticks and one 512Mb. The 512Mb has a very slight theoretical advantage but it is hardly measurable. I donít think you have to worry about its being a dual DDR MB at that price. You would probably do better with the 512Mb stick just to save an extra slot for expansion. Some micro ATX boards have only two slots so you might not have a choice.

You likely wonít notice the difference between the integrated video and audio with what you had as long as you arenít a gamer.
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