TechSpot

Is this a well put together pc?

By top_model_guy
Dec 2, 2006
  1. I'm getting a new desktop and I was wondering are these stats from the Dell Dimension E521 that I put together well enough to multitask programs such as Word, Limewire, IE, Itunes, Videora converter. Also is it good for playing the Sims 2 with all the features on. Also I'm going to begin putting together movies from my camcorder. Is the price of $709 good for this package. Could I get a better deal???

    My Components:
    PROCESSOR AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core 3800+
    OPERATING SYSTEM & TV-TUNERS Genuine Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005
    UPGRADE TO WINDOWS VISTA No Express Upgrade to Windows Vista Selected
    MEMORY 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz- 2DIMMs
    HARD DRIVE 160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™ edit
    Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 16x DVD+/-RW
    MONITOR 19 inch E197FP Analog Flat Panel
    VIDEO CARD NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE Integrated Graphics GPU
    SOUND Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
    My Accessories
    SPEAKERS No speakers (Speakers are required to hear audio from your system)
    KEYBOARD & MOUSE Dell USB Keyboard and Dell 2-button Scroll Mouse
    FLOPPY & MEDIA READER No Floppy Drive Included
    MODEM 56K PCI Data Fax Modem
    OPTIONAL PORTS IEEE 1394 Adapter
    My Software
    PRODUCTIVITY No productivity suite- Includes Microsoft Works 8. DOES NOT INCLUDE MS WORD

    PHOTOS, MUSIC & MORE! Trial pack- Basic and trial products from Corel and Yahoo
    My Service
    WARRANTY AND SERVICE 1Yr Ltd Warranty and At-Home Service

    DIAL-UP INTERNET ACCESS 6 Months of America Online Membership Included
    ALSO INCLUDED WITH YOUR SYSTEM
    Mouse Mouse included in Wireless, Laser or Bluetooth Package
    Adobe Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 7.0
    Network Interface Integrated 10/100 Ethernet
    Future Operating Systems Windows Vista™ Capable
    Miscellaneous Award Winning Service and Support
    Labels Vista Capable Sticker


    P.S. I have the discs for word and the other programs.

    Thanks for all your help, this will be my first Dell, I'm a gateway guy, but I've heard good things!
     
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    The main thing that concerns me here is that you are wanting to be able to do some gaming on this computer (you mention sims2 and turning up all the eye candy).

    The system requirements for Sim2 are not extreme, but I don't think you should expect to be able to crank up the settings to full.

    That system does however have an empty PCIex16 slot so you CAN update your graphics in the future if you are not satisfied. However, you would likely also need to upgrade the PSU in that case, as that system only comes with a 305w power supply (not enough for a gaming graphics card).

    Have you considered building your own computer? For the amount of money you are looking at, you could build yourself a much better system.

    Have a look HERE at a $600 system
     
  3. top_model_guy

    top_model_guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 93

    I always pondered on building my own pc, but don't you have to like shop alot online at various places for the parts and then I would need to buy a monitor which cost alot buy themselves (I know I could use the one I have, it's just that it's broke, which was my sign that I needed to stop postponing getting a new desktop, this monitor is my sister's LOL!)

    With the video card problem should I then upgrade to this for $50 256MB NVIDIA Geforce 7300LE TurboCache or this for $100 256MB ATI Radeon X1300Pro??? (Mind you I'm not a big gamer I just do the sims and sims 2 and will probably buy some expansions)
     
  4. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    What most people do these days is buy ALL their parts from www.newegg.com

    They have the best reputation in the industry for customer service and part availability. Have a look at their site for yourself. As to whether or not you should give it a try, it really depends on the type of person you are. Some people just don't have a "tech brain" and those people should definitely not try. Not saying anything bad about those people at all of course, just that their brain works differently ;)

    If you were always the one in your family responsible for hooking up the VCR to the TV, then consider yourself "techsmart". For people like these building a computer is easy. Why? Because of the instruction booklets that come with today's parts, and the well written "how-to" manuals that are available online.

    OK, enough of that. Assuming you are going to stay with dell, yes, you should strongly consider upgrading your graphics if you are going to be doing any gaming on that machine. The 7300LE will give you average-low settings, and the X1300 pro will probably allow you to use the mid-level graphics settings on sims2.

    I don't have the game, so I am just guessing (after looking at the system requirements), but that is my estimate on what kind of performance you could expect from those two graphics cards in that dell machine.
     
  5. top_model_guy

    top_model_guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 93

    I looked up the things under the $600 computer section you posted on newegg and I got a total of $882.97 (I exchanged processors, I looked up AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core 3800+, but they didn't have it so I had to go to the 4000, also this includes the screen, but excludes the DVD drives and case and mouse and keyboard).
    Also wouldn't the Dell be better because of the AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core 3800+ rather than the under $600 one with the AMD Athlon64 3800+ (AM2)???
    However I did see the improvements I could make with the hard drive space and the speed of RAM.

    I just found this link on the Sims 2 performance and it says that the game is different from others when it comes to performance: CPU is more important than Video cards:giddy: . Check it out: http://videogames.yahoo.com/printview_feature?eid=415049

    Then tell me if the Dell is up to par or not!
    Thanks!
     
  6. top_model_guy

    top_model_guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 93

    I just found this GT5235E Desktop with 19" Widescreen HD LCD Display, here's its stats:

    Processor
    AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Processor 3800+ Dual-core 64-bit processor with AMD64 Technology
    (2.0GHz, 2000MHz FSB, 2 x 512KB L2 cache)
    Operating System
    Genuine Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005¹
    Windows Vista™
    Windows Vista Premium Ready9

    Receive an upgrade to Windows Vista in the mail when you buy this system.9
    Display
    19" Widescreen HD LCD
    Chipset
    NVIDIA® GeForce® 6100 (Crush51)
    Memory
    1024MB dual-channel DDR2 (2 x 512MB), 533Mhz
    (PC4200),
    Expandable to 4GB
    Video
    NVIDIA® GeForce® 6100 Integrated Graphics up to 128MB of shared video memory
    PCI-Express (PCI-E x16) slot available
    Audio
    8-channel (7.1) High-Definition Audio
    Amplified stereo speakers (USB powered)
    Hard Drive
    200GB PATA (7200rpm, 2MB cache)7
    Optical Drives
    16x multiformat dual-layer DVD±RW drive
    (up to 8.5GB with dual-layer media)

    Write max: 16x DVD +/-R, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+RW,
    4x DVD+R DL, 40x CD-R, 24x CD-RW
    Read max: 16x DVD-ROM, 40x CD-ROM

    Digital Media Manager™ (Memory Card Reader)
    9-in-1 Digital Media Manager™ (Memory Stick®, Memory Stick Pro®, MultiMediaCard™, Secure Digital™, CompactFlash®, MicroDrive, Smart Media, xD-Picture Card™, USB 2.0)
    Modem
    56K ITU V.92 ready fax/modem (RJ-11 port)
    Network
    10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port)
    Interfaces
    7 USB 2.0 ports (2 in front, 1 in Digital Media Manager™, 4 in back)
    VGA external connector
    2 IEEE 1394 port (2 in front)
    Serial port
    Parallel port
    2 PS/2 ports (keyboard and mouse)
    8 audio ports (2 in front, 6 in back)
    Expansion Slots




    Expansion Bays Total
    1 - PCI-E x16
    1 - PCI-E x1
    2 - PCI

    Total
    4 - 3½"
    2 - 5¼" Available
    1 - PCI-E x16
    1 - PCI-E x1
    1 - PCI

    Available
    2 - 3½"
    1 - 5¼"


    Input Devices
    Elite multimedia keyboard
    USB optical 2-button wheel mouse
    Dimensions
    15.4"H x 7.3"W x 17.9"D
    Weight
    23 lbs.
    Warranty
    1 year parts and labor8


    Isn't this the same as the Dell, or is this better or worse??? I can see it has more has more harddrive space, more ports and a larger screen. Is the extra $40 worth this or should I stick to the Dell???
     
  7. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 1,058

  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Alright, I'll cut to the chase. Dell, gateway, emachines etc are extremely successful companies for a good reason. They pump out hundreds of thousands of computers a year, and they do it at a very low cost.

    This website specializes in helping people who have computer problems. Most of the people with problems own dells, emachines, etc. Now, this could be because of a few reasons. One, it could be simply because of the mass number of these systems that are out there. Two, it could be because these systems are built with very cheap parts.

    Emachines is probably the one with the lowest reputation on this site, but dell doesn't follow too far back. But I also have to keep in mind that this site is mainly a community of computer ENTHUSIASTS. We like the best, high performance, MOST reliable computers.

    When you put together your own system, you choose the parts that go in, each and every one of them. When you go with a dell (for example) you are getting parts that are BARELY good enough for your system. Particularly the power supply and motherboard come to mind.

    And worse, if anything ever goes wrong with your dell you are dependant upon Dell to fix it. You are dependant on Dell proprietary parts for replacement (in most cases).

    Now, as I said before, building is not for everyone. I admit I am bias. It is very hard for me to help you pick out the best Dell computer, but I will bite my tounge and do my best.

    I read that article on Sims2 (thanks for that link by the way). If the Sims2 is the ONLY game you'll be playing, then it looks like the graphics card is not so important compared with other games. If you get a board with integrated 6100 or 6150 graphics, it should run the game at medium-ish settings. The 6100/6150 graphics are top of the line for integrated graphics. However they are NOT designed for gaming in any way. They are designed for watching movies, and other typical home PC usage.

    Even a cheap add-on graphics card would perform better than the best integrated graphics chip. Both of the two systems you are looking at have an empty PCI-e x16 slot which means if you are not satisfied with the integrated graphics, you will be able to upgrade. Just be prepared to also upgrade your PSU.
     
  9. top_model_guy

    top_model_guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 93

    Okay I think I have decided on going with the Dell after considering all of your input. I really appreciate all your help--I've learned so much in less than 24 hours about computers.
    Thank you DonNagual for putting up with my questions, you were really of help and I loved your straightfowardness at the end (I'll consider the upgrades if I need them. Besides I haven't played the sims 2 in a while and I bet I'd rarely have time to, except that is during winter break :)) And thanks Crossfire for listing the parts, I did look them up and calculated the big savings, but I don't know if my mom would want me getting all the various things she seemed concerned when I told her about it.

    And yeah besides with the stats of my anciet pc anything will be better and seem probably out of this world. And I agree with you DonNagual you techspot guys are extreme ENTHUSIASTS (and that's okay) so what you think is average is really really good to regular computer Joes.

    So yeah thanks again.

    P.S. The Dell is better than the Gateway right??? (It's graphic cards are newer)
     
  10. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

  11. GeekieNick101

    GeekieNick101 TS Rookie Posts: 524

    Well All I have to say is I think its worth paying alittle extra and getting a gateway if your going to get an manufactured computer instead of building your own mainly because there build with much more quality. Also the life of them is much longer, I have many friends and family members that own agteways that still work and there like 6 or 7 years old thsats really good my gateway isnt that old yet but hopefuly it will last that long too. Also Gateway has the one of the greatest service and support out there. Since you stated you have owned gateways if you have used it I'm sure you were happy with it. In the other hand we got Dell with there "Award Winning Service and Support" which isnt even true to begin with I got so mad with their support tech I asked what inisuite or comapny gave them the award and they told me they never got one basicly its dell's word. And the other thing is your cant understand there tech's there in India and barely speak english and arent very helpful, as well as your on the phone forever with them because it takes them forever. And I'm not just saying all this I own both gateways and dells and I spent hours and hours on the phone with dell trying to fix my desktop that still doesnt work right so I just give up.
     
     
  12. top_model_guy

    top_model_guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 93

    When I first started my search that's what I was looking at a Gateway because I've owned 2 and both still work it's just that they're really old one is 8 years old (my sister uses it) this one is 4 yrs old. But I've really never had a problem that I had to call about so I can't judge gateways tech support, but I guess I can say their systems are pretty good. However whenever I bring up getting a new pc I'm always requested to get a Dell that they're the best right now (Even the City is equipped with them I interned with them this summer). And I like that the pc's are easily alterned at their site, the Gateway must be the way it is so can't really change much and if you do get their customized ones they are costly to get the Dell stats it starts at $799.99 also I'd have to pay an additional $50 for the same processor speed, $79 for the same amount of RAM $169 for USB and Firewire ports $39 for DVD burner combo and it doesn't include the price of the video software I customized the Dell.

    P.S. I have heard however about their Indian tech support though! And one friend said her's came broke with virus' but I don't know maybe it was her going on myspace when she got it.
     
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