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smink1701
06-23-2010, 03:15 PM
I think it’s time for a new computer and I was thinking about a Dell Studio XPS 9000 which comes with the ATI Radeon HD 5870 card. I would ideally spend no more than $2,000 for the computer and that does not need to include the monitor of speakers, since I already have those components. Any input on this system or suggestions on another rig would be most appreciated.

Thanks!

Ba5tard5word
06-23-2010, 03:44 PM
I would not go with Dell, their computers look cheap especially if they have sales but they are a lot more expensive than they need to be.

If you don't want to build your own computer, get one from a company that will build it for you, like Ibuypower or Cyperpower. I bought my computer from Ibuypower last year and it has been great so far. I compared the price of the computer with the price if I had bought all the parts separately and built it myself, and the price was about $10 more for the Ibuypower one. And it was about $1000 less than a comparable computer from Dell or HP or whatever.

The only caveat is that you really need to know what you want when you specify your build, and have to make sure that all the parts are compatible with one another. You can ask here for advice about what components to get, people here helped me a lot when I was planning out my Ibuypower computer.

There are other companies that do it like ecollegepc, or if you're outside of the US there might be other companies you can find.

Waldo.Pepper
06-23-2010, 04:09 PM
I never like anything that is name brand, I always prefer a generic box. For the simple reason that almost all of the name brands (but especially Dell it seems to me) are so built as to make them hard to work on/upgrade. They always have a dumb bracket in them that is exclusive to their case, or require something special and specific to them that makes upgrading them a royal pain.

Urufu_Shinjiro
06-23-2010, 04:19 PM
Like B5 said, get it from ibuypower or cyberpower if you're not willing to try building one on your own (though it's pretty simple, tab-A, slot-B type stuff). Start a new thread in the community help section listing what your preferences are and budget etc and we'll help pick the parts.

M_Gunz
06-23-2010, 04:54 PM
The thing about Dell as with Compaq and more name-brands than I like (anything HP or Tandy, both have sub-brands) is
that they tend to have little or not so little proprietary twists to lock the customer to the company. If you work
or when you work on computers doing basic fixes or upgrades you will learn what a PITA those twists can be.

One thing that most 'deal' systems have is cheap parts mixed in and all too often in some kind of weird form-factor
or weird plugs that keep you from replacing the junk parts. Another is a box with less room than you'd like come
upgrade time.

Shop around. $2000 is a lot to spend on a desktop system. Between shopping and reading from build-your-own pages on
the net you will learn what the basic parts are and how to check the specs on each one to avoid getting stuck with
junk. One good place to look at comparisons once you know what to look for is pricewatch.com but they're not the
only one. Pricewatch is not a store though, they link to stores. You have caveats with stores and any sales ads you
see, how much they don't say versus how much they do for instance. For stores, internet and otherwise I have found
TigerDirect, Newegg and Geeks just to mention three offering deals to be very reliable but they're not the only ones.

A good route to look into is a bare-bones package to start and add drives, video and parts to suit from places that
specialize in those fill-ins. Sometimes the bare-bone will give you a nice deal on the basic package and at least
be 100% standard/compatible to let you add/switch parts. But you gotta check, if a deal looks too good it probably is.

Make sure you get a solid power supply. It's one thing that all too often is scrimped on, especially in sales deals.
They'll give you the wows about a number of features and one that isn't usually touted is the power supply so it's
just as usually one place they cut a corner on.

That power supply (PS or PSU) is the real heart of your system. You want it to be over-strength. You want it to loaf.
You do not want it to be straining at all. When it strains, the power going through your system is not so clean and
that shortens component lives. If/when the PSU dies it may take some other parts with it, always seems to be the real
expensive stuff too. The more the PSU is straining, the worse that ends ups. So make sure you get more power than you
need! An extra 100 watts is not out of line at all, an extra 50% is desired. When an upgrade cuts that margin it is
time to start shopping for a beefier PSU and that is where having a standard size/form PSU and not something weird
pays off.
Look into getting a power conditioner, an SPS or UPS battery box to feed your computer extra-clean power. That will
help extend the life of the PSU and thus the whole rig.

Box is not critical until you want to jam a lot of parts in. You can migrate parts to a new box later. Avoid flashy
boxes with windows and lights as they might as well have neon signs saying "look how much money I wasted!". Look for
a solid box with removable component holders that's not priced too high. It's great to have convenience when you do
work on the computer but really all you need is something that doesn't make you swear or is flimsy. I run with a
side panel off my box so I won't say about air-flow paths and fans, just that I got them and they work.

Learn what mobos are reliable. Learn what CPUs you want. Learn what brands and chipsets to avoid or at least to not
put in the same box and why. VIA chipsets used in a lot of AMD mobos are or years ago were not friendly with a lot
of Creative Labs sound cards and IIRC ATI cards. Some sound and video cards do not get along in the same box.
Check, ask and learn before you spend. If you can play cards, you can handle the ins and outs.

Plan before you spend. $2000 spent right should buy a LOT of desktop computer. $2000 spent wrong buys what I can
pick up for less than $1000 easily, and I've been putting clones together since the clone-part market opened up
at the start of 1986. Before that... it was much harder and far more expensive but I had help building a Z-80
system that had no HD, only 5 1/4 floppy drives, and those ran me $150 EACH. I could have bought cheaper ones but
those Chinons were still working past the time they were obsoleted by 3 1/2" floppys and affordable HD's and
controllers were available. How good you've got it now in today's market, may you never need to know!

M_Gunz
06-23-2010, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by Urufu_Shinjiro:
Like B5 said, get it from ibuypower or cyberpower if you're not willing to try building one on your own (though it's pretty simple, tab-A, slot-B type stuff). Start a new thread in the community help section listing what your preferences are and budget etc and we'll help pick the parts.

As of January 1986 the only tool you should need is a cross-top screwdriver. Before then, soldering often entered in to it.

I highly recommend getting one of those little screwdriver/socketdriver sets with the ratchet handles that has a magnetized
shaft and set up tips. No, the magnet will not screw up anything in your computer. Anybody tells you that doesn't know what
they're talking about. A magnet that strong doesn't come in a cheap screwdriver set. What it WILL do is lightly hold on to
a screw, keep it on the tip where you might not be able to get a finger and don't need one in the way to block your view.

Forgot to say this; when you build your own, avoid static. Clothes, chair, rug, shoes, sometimes you can build a spark just
sitting down. If you notice that your work area gives you a charge then change things first.
You have your box grounded, power cord plugged in and wall socket is grounded (don't assume). Put a hand on the case then
pick up the part you want to put in. that's just good practice.
Humidity is your friend. It bleeds static. The drier the air, the more static can be built. Geek-joke is that rainy days
are low-potential days, voltage being electric potential, errrr, ha-ha. You might want the air conditioner off if you are
feeling paranoid or at least not running on high-and-dry if you are feeling sensible.

Oh BTW... good luck, have a good experience and learn to lose the fear of what's inside that box.
May the biggest waste you have be the cost of M$ Windoze!

WTE_Galway
06-23-2010, 05:48 PM
Their is no "ideal" way to get a new computer.

As stated Dell are OK if you get one of their "specials" and never intend to upgrade it but otherwise you can do better.

Be careful of buying from a small local shop that assembles a PC for you, those guys tend to shut-up shop and disappear at some point leaving you with no support.

Big retail electrical chains are useless for support as well they tend to hire good sales people not good technical people.

As for building your own - the only place that people sometimes have difficulty or occasionally come to grief these days is mounting the processor and heat-sink. Everything else is like playing with a Lego set fairly easy to throw it all together.

Home built can work out well however their are several downsides of building your own:
- the warranty on your separate parts (generally one year) may be less than what a full system offers (sometimes 3 years).
- if you are buying Win7 it may cost more unless you can get an OEM deal with some of the parts

Try and buy all the parts from one place as otherwise, if for some unusual reason obscure faults occur, all the separate part suppliers will wipe their hands of it blaming some component which is not theirs.

Often the best option, as already mentioned, is one of the larger reputable online suppliers that build systems to order.

Ba5tard5word
06-23-2010, 08:47 PM
From Ibuypower's custom configurator:

Case: Coolermaster HAF 932 full tower
Processor: i7 930 (4 x 2.8Ghz)
cooling: 120mm CPU cooling fan
Memory: 6GB DDR-3-1333 RAM
Video card: 5870 1GB
Mobo: MSI X58 PRO-E
PSU: 750W Corsair
Hard drive: 1TB

Price: $1,524.00

This is basically what I have but with a 500GB hard drive and an Nvidia GTX 260 and an i7 920, mine was about $1450 but I think would be more like $1200-$1300 from this site today. I dunno if that MSI thing is a good motherboard for the other components but you can pick from several.

You could probably get away with a smaller case and save some money, I have this case and it's really massive.

smink1701
06-23-2010, 10:09 PM
i really appreciate everyone's input. REALLY! I know many of you know computers but I do not. Don't even know enough to know what I need...so I don't think I would be able to spec my own computer. I would want to spec a Ferrari and might end up with a Prius with one wheel missing. I do know that I want a computer with lots of power, memory and graphic card/s grunt. Will Ibuypower or Cyperpower provide tech support to help you spec your system?

SAW_343
06-24-2010, 01:02 AM
"Will Ibuypower or Cyperpower provide tech support to help you spec your system?"

Yes they will. I just bought a Cyberpower. Very happy! For configuration questions, look at cyberpowers forum. They will get you going in no time! With that kind of budget, you can pretty much get the best of everything.

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/forum/

Treetop64
06-24-2010, 01:19 AM
$2000 will get you an awful lot of computer, but you have to be very careful and wise about how you spend it...

You admit that you don't know computers, and that's fine. However, if you want our advice, you'll find that most of us here will strongly recommend you start doing your homework about computer specs, whether you're building it yourself or buying a pre-build. It's simply not wise to walk into a retailer and say "Hey, I have this much. What can you get me?". You really, really have to do thorough homework when it comes to computer purchases. It is virtually impossible to overstress this point.

Many forum members here, including myself, are very knowledgeable about computers. We can give you a ton of helpful information.

Most of us will recommend against buying from Dell. Nothing is particularly wrong with Dell, but you surely will not get your money's worth, whatever you spend. Spend a lot, and you've spent high-end dollars for a proprietary mid-range system with little potential for expandability (not good). Go cheap, and you get a low quality, prohibitively proprietary system with marginal capabilities, and virtually no potential expandability.

If you don't build it yourself, the next best thing to do is to buy the case separately with the components already installed (CPU, RAM, Video and Sound cards, etc.). Always, always, always get the best possible power supply for the case that you can afford! MGunz stresses this point too, and it is an extremely valid one. Buy the monitor separately, as well as the speakers, keyboard and mouse, and of course any gaming peripherals.

Ultimately, building the system yourself will yield a quite powerful system for comparatively little cost, and is not difficult to do. But whatever you decide to do, it would be wise to first do some research about what you're planning to buy, before you buy it.

Ba5tard5word
06-24-2010, 01:39 AM
i really appreciate everyone's input. REALLY! I know many of you know computers but I do not. Don't even know enough to know what I need...so I don't think I would be able to spec my own computer. I would want to spec a Ferrari and might end up with a Prius with one wheel missing. I do know that I want a computer with lots of power, memory and graphic card/s grunt. Will Ibuypower or Cyperpower provide tech support to help you spec your system?

I know how you feel. Getting a computer and just tinkering with its various processor and graphical settings will eventually teach you a lot of stuff about the components. I used to know nothing about computer and didn't even have a good computer, in fact as of 2 years ago I was still using an old Gateway laptop from like 2000 that I only used for the internet. Then I bought a Dell for computer gaming. It was ok for games but I quickly realized how limited its power was, it had an 8600GT card which was ok but I had to lower settings on almost all games and I really wanted to get the most out of my games! I did research to see if I could install an 8800 card instead, but as people here have noted Dells are built so they are hard to upgrade, I don't think an 8800 would have fit in the case and in any case it would need a new power supply that wouldn't fit.

So I saved up and got the computer from Ibuypower and have been very happy with it. Like I said I asked here for help and I got a ton of useful advice. People on the community help forum are VERY knowledgeable and helpful if you ask honest questions. On most other tech forums I've seen, a lot of people will respond with inside jokes or plain trolling which is very annoying and intimidating to a newbie, but people here don't do that.

People will tell you to build a computer but if you don't feel up to it then you really don't have to, just having a new computer and tinkering with it and researching about the components is a good way to learn about how computers are put together. Now that I've dealt with a lot of stuff on my current computer I feel like I could open it up and install some new stuff, though it's still such a good computer that I don't really feel the need to.

You could probably go with something like what I posted, just ask "hey do these components look good" and people will take a look and tell you if the motherboard doesn't match, etc etc.

This topic really should be moved to Community Help since General Discussion gets a different crew of people...

megalopsuche
06-24-2010, 09:54 AM
There's 3 qualifications for building your own computer:

1. Ability to use a screw driver
2. Knowing that red is positive and black is negative
3. Successful completion of a childhood lego set

If that sounds like you, then build your own and save a bundle, or put that extra money into some really nice hardware, e.g. CH fighterstick, or Trackir5, etc.

Start by browsing hardware forums and seeing what other people have built, what the prices were, etc.

M_Gunz
06-24-2010, 10:01 AM
MSI makes very good mobos.

horseback
06-24-2010, 10:55 AM
Strategy for doing it yourself:

If you live near a Frys' Electronics, they have weekly specials on mobo/processor combos. Other stores near you may have similar sales, so don't limit yourself. These are often ridiculously good deals, if you can get the mobo quality you want (a couple of Thanksgivings ago, I scored a Micro ATX board and a Q6600 quadcore for considerably less than the quadcore was going for by itself at the time-I ended up putting my old core 2 E6600 into the mobo, and getting a full-sized MSI mobo for the quad core and still came out waaay ahead).

In any case, keep and eye open for good bargains for your basic parts that are needed for any computer: power supply, hard drives, optical drives, sound and video cards and case (I have a couple of Antec 900s-they ROCK with lots of fans for cooling). At any point in this part of your spending spree, you will be able to buy your OS at a lower OEM price, along with one of your prizes.

You can gather these goodies up over time, and then when you already have these and in some cases, tested them by installing them in your current box, when you find the deal you want for your mobo and processor, get them and your new super-duper RAM (I'm still in DDR2, but he next one's going to run DDR3) at the same time and build your computer.

This allows you to return any of these pricey parts that doesn't work without major hassles.

cheers

horseback

Xiolablu3
06-24-2010, 11:26 AM
DONT buy anything from HP. If it goes wrong you are in real trouble.

I repair PC's and they sold many computers with bad graphics chips which result in no video. Even tho its a known issue with faulty cooling, if it happens 2 days after your garuntee is up they will tell you where to go.

I am really disappointed with HP right now.

Xiolablu3
06-24-2010, 11:27 AM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
MSI makes very good mobos.

I like MSI too.

smink1701
06-24-2010, 02:29 PM
For what it's worth, this is the reason I'm looking at a new computer...

Recently I have been having a problem getting my Dell computer to recognize my MS joystick. I’ve had the same computer and stick for almost six years and this just started to happen. Normally when I plug in the joystick or iPod, I will hear a tone. The tone sounds again when I disconnect the device. Now…when I connect the joystick, the tone cycles on/off about every 20 seconds and if I look in my control panel gaming devices it isn’t shown and it doesn’t show up or work in the game. The tech support guy with Dell said my mother board is going bad and I should get a new computer. Anyone else have this happen? Everything else with my computer seems to be fine.

Waldo.Pepper
06-24-2010, 02:33 PM
The tech support guy with Dell said my mother board is going bad and I should get a new computer.

I am compelled to suggest an analogy.

"I was driving along and I noticed that my drivers window didn't go up and down reliably anymore. So I took it to the mechanic and he said buy a new car."

horseback
06-24-2010, 03:04 PM
Before buying a new computer, take a Q-tip and some rubbing alcohol to the contacts of your USB ports and to the USB connector of your joystick.

Most conductive metals tend to tarnish; this can lead to bad electrical connections. Clean off the tarnish and life is good again, 95% of the time.

cheers

horseback

M_Gunz
06-24-2010, 03:50 PM
Or use tuner spray.

mortoma
06-24-2010, 08:15 PM
I am fully capable of building my own PC as I did for years for myself and others. But this last time I got one from Ibuypower and I have not had one bit of trouble with it. They won't let you put together a system on their website that has incompatible components as they not only thoroughly research what goes with what they also test your system and install Windows on it before they send it out. All you have to do is power it up when you get it and it should work marvelously the first time. Mine did, and it's a real firecracker. Works great! be prepared to pay about 10 to 20% more than if you built it yourself though. They don't build stuff for free. You might have to change some BIOS settings to be more suitable too.

I don't recommend CyberPowerPC as I ordered one from them once and wanted a name brand power supply and the name brand was on the bill of material, so I paid for it. However, as soon as I got the rig I disassembled some things and found that they had installed a generic power supply instead of the name brand one. I think I ordered it with a Corsair power supply. I sent it back the next day!! I don't trust them anymore.

smink1701
06-25-2010, 12:46 PM
I’ve tried cleaning plug and ports with alcohol, reinstalling software and plugging in different places. About six weeks ago I purchased TrackIR which up to now has been running great without any issues. But now just as the game is starting…with or without TIR turned on or off, the computer will go thru a cycling process of recognizing and then not recognizing the joy stick. The Dell guy said the MOBO is failing and it’s an electrical issue.

Treetop64
06-25-2010, 01:15 PM
How would the Dell guy know the motherboard is failing just by troubleshooting over the phone (even if he I.P.'ed in and "took over" your computer from a remote location)? A whole number of issues could be causing those problems, software or hardware related.

Did he say anything about buying a new computer during all this? Because if he did, then do it - but not from Dell...

Like others have already said, look at Ibuypower, or Tiger Direct (that and Fry's are my personal favorite places to shop for parts!) is another good option. Others certainly have good suggestions. But stop dealing with Dell; they only care about what's in your wallet.

Xiolablu3
06-25-2010, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by smink1701:
For what it's worth, this is the reason I'm looking at a new computer...

Recently I have been having a problem getting my Dell computer to recognize my MS joystick. I’ve had the same computer and stick for almost six years and this just started to happen. Normally when I plug in the joystick or iPod, I will hear a tone. The tone sounds again when I disconnect the device. Now…when I connect the joystick, the tone cycles on/off about every 20 seconds and if I look in my control panel gaming devices it isn’t shown and it doesn’t show up or work in the game. The tech support guy with Dell said my mother board is going bad and I should get a new computer. Anyone else have this happen? Everything else with my computer seems to be fine.

WHat are the specs of your current PC, mate?

How old it is will determine if its worth repairing or not.

A new mobo on an old PC is sometimes just not worth it and its better to put the cash towards a new one. All depemds on the specs.

smink1701
06-25-2010, 07:28 PM
Here are the current computer specs

Six year old Dell Demension 8400
Pentium 4 cpc
3.40 ghz
2.00 gb ram
nvidia gforce 7950 gt pci-e



Here are the specs for the compuer I'm thinking about buying...

Looking to buy a new computer from ibuypower. Here are the specs. Any input would be appreciated'

Thanks!


iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction
None

iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion
None

Case Lighting
None

Processor
Intel® Core™ i7 930 Processor (4x 2.80GHz/8MB L3 Cache)

iBUYPOWER PowerDrive
None

Processor Cooling
[Free Upgrade] Liquid CPU Cooling System w/ 120mm Radiator [SOCKET-1366]

Memory
6 GB [2 GB X3] DDR3-1600-Corsair or Major Brand

Video Card
ATI Radeon HD 5870 - 1GB-Single Card

Video Card Brand
Major Brand Powered by ATI or NVIDIA

Motherboard
[SLI] ASUS P6X58D-E

Motherboard Add-on
None

Power Supply
1000 Watt -- Corsair CMPSU-1000HX Power Supply-Quad SLI Ready

Primary Hard Drive
160 GB Intel X25-M MLC SSD-Single Drive

Data Hard Drive
1 TB HARD DRIVE -- 64M Cache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s-Single Drive

Optical Drive
24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive-Black

2nd Optical Drive
None

Flash Media Reader/Writer
12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer-Black

Meter Display
None

Sound Card
3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard

Network Card
Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)

Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel)-64-Bit

Keyboard
iBUYPOWER USB Keyboard-Black

Mouse
iBUYPOWER Internet Mouse-Black

Monitor
None

2nd Monitor
None

Speaker System
iBUYPOWER 2.1 Channel Stereo Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System

Wireless Network Adapter
Zonet ZEW2545 802.11n 130Mbps Wireless USB Adapter

Power Protection
None

Headset
None

MP3/MP4 Player
None

Video Camera
None

Warranty
Standard Warranty Service-Standard 3-Year Limited Warranty + Lifetime Technical Support

Rush Service
Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee)-No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days

Advanced Build Options
iBUYPOWER Specialized Advanced Packaging System-Protect your investment during transportation!

Advanced Build Options
Tuniq TX-2 High Performance Thermal Compound-The best interface between your CPU and the heatsinks

Advanced Build Options
Professional wiring for all cables inside the system tower-Achieve exceptional airflow in your chassis

Advanced Build Options
Professional wiring for all cables inside the system tower-Basic Pro Wiring

M_Gunz
06-25-2010, 08:54 PM
And for external drives/archive storage I can highly recommend 1+ of these:

Easy connect and use SATA/IDE external drive adapter. (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=2020&cat=CBL&cpc=CBLbsc)

That is, if you have drives left over and mess about with video, rips, that sort of thing. Very handy and affordable.
They beat those trays for getting drives in and out, just don't step on em... not strong at all but very portable/storable.

Waldo.Pepper
06-25-2010, 09:03 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
And for external drives/archive storage I can highly recommend 1+ of these:


OT but I prefer this.

http://www.a-power.com/product_specs.php?pid=15578

runyan99
06-25-2010, 09:47 PM
I wish I didn't hate the looks of the cases iBuypower uses.

M_Gunz
06-25-2010, 11:35 PM
Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
And for external drives/archive storage I can highly recommend 1+ of these:


OT but I prefer this.

http://www.a-power.com/product_specs.php?pid=15578 </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not bad, but SATA only. My Geek-rig does my older IDE drives too.

However I do have a USB SATA docking station with SD port, USB plug for flash and external drives that is also a
stand alone media player capable to handle MP3, WMV, AVI and MP4; stereo, TV, and HD capable for under $50. The
weak part is the stand-alone TV-screen menu system which connected to a PC is no big deal. Name is MP002. The
instructions sheet sucks and other hitch is it takes using the remote to get the elapsed time counter turned off.
I looked for just such a device since about 2002 and got this last year. By 2012 they should have a better version.
Ain't technology sumtimes wunnerful? Other times... that's why I'm losing hair!

Xiolablu3
06-26-2010, 11:04 AM
I'd agree that its not worth throwing money at that P4 system.

Although if you are confident enough to replace the motherboard yourself, it might be worth a look on Ebay for a 2nd hand motherboard. I'll bet you could get one for around £25

M_Gunz
06-26-2010, 11:24 AM
It's in a Dell box with Dell PSU and connectors... can you replace it with a standard mobo?

Xiolablu3
06-26-2010, 02:13 PM
He should be able to get an exact motherboard from ebay, Max.

I wouldnt bother messing with a different motherboard, they are a bit of a pain to get working with a windows install for a different board. Its not impossible to do, but its just a pain. All the drivers are different in most cases which results in a BSOD when you try and start windows. Means a XP repair install and some more messing about to get a different mobo working wihtout a reformat.

Yes, all the connectors wil fit however. The problem is simply that windows has all the wrong drivers installed. If he doesnt mind reformatting, this would negate most of the problems however.

But much simpler just to buy the exact board off ebay to start with. For example something like this :-

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Dell-CN-...&hash=item2eadecd21c (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Dell-CN-0F4491-soket-478-PC-Computer-Motherboard-ATX-/200486474268?cmd=ViewItem&pt=UK_Motherboards_CPUs&hash=item2eadecd21c)

Obviously that just an example and not the board he needs. He would need to read the exact model off the board he has.

M_Gunz
06-26-2010, 03:53 PM
If it was me.. I'd get a new computer. But then I won't own a Dell, HP, Compaq, etc.

Waldo.Pepper
06-26-2010, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
I'd agree that its not worth throwing money at that P4 system.
£25

FWIW I concur.


Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Yes, all the connectors wil fit however. The problem is simply that windows has all the wrong drivers installed.

I dissagree with this. I would wager that there will be something about the damn Dell case that will make it 'impossible' (exceedingly difficult) to install a non-standard motherboard in the thing without using a friggin' grinder a cutting torch or dynamite or something drastic like that to shoehorn the replacement motherboard in.

By the by Neal this Docking Station MP002 of yours ( http://www.diytrade.com/china/...g_Station_MP002.html (http://www.diytrade.com/china/4/products/5208914/2_5_3_5_RM_RMVB_DIVX_SATA_HDD_Media_Player_VGA_OUT _SATA_Docking_Station_MP002.html) ) (even with the glitches you mentioned) is pretty sweet. Now I gotta find one!

M_Gunz
06-26-2010, 10:45 PM
Had to dig more than before, but here it is at Geeks for $35 + ship. (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?InvtId=MP002&AID=10439518&CJPID=552179&cm_mmc=CJ-_-9223372036854775807-_-552179-_-USB+2.0+SATA+HDD+Dock+w%2FCard+Reader+-+Turn+your+2.5)

Uh-oh, out of stock!

There is an alert me button there, get email when they get more/if they get more.

And there are more and more media players showing up though with fewer features.
This one is not terrible but no dock, no PC interface, no chip slot. (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=HV676&cpc=SCH)


The portable MediaPlay device features a USB 2.0 port for connecting your USB hard drive or flash drive directly into an HDTV display via HDMI. Not only does the HV676 support full DVD menus and subtitles, it also upscales video content up to 1080i! Even if you don't have an HDTV, you can still use this convenient player with a standard TV display, thanks to the component and composite video jacks, as well.

The video upscaling ... I don't remember the MP002 having that.

Fox_4
06-27-2010, 02:25 AM
Originally posted by smink1701:
Here are the specs for the compuer I'm thinking about buying...

A very nice spec. I would say that your power supply choice is overkill. A good quality 750W PSU would be sufficient. So you could save money and/or get a slightly higher efficiency PSU. Not sure what IBuyPower sell, never used them myself, but the Seasonic X-750 (http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-014-SS) is a very good 80 plus Gold rated PSU, and as I understand it Corsair are releasing a rebranded version of it (http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-027-CS) if ibuypower only sell Corsair or something.

Unless, perhaps, you plan on using multiple video cards in future, in which case a 750W PSU would cope but your current choice of PSU would be a bit better suited.

M_Gunz
06-27-2010, 10:32 AM
As long as it doesn't kill the budget, a stronger PSU is great to have. Don't forget to get a power conditioner of
some kind before long, like a UPS to feed clean power to the box/PSU itself. Your system will run cleaner for it,
it's like having the extra big-strong speakers and never turning the volume even half-way as the suckers will not
crack or buzz or distort your sound. I learned about switching power supplies from three very experienced electrical
engineers and you never want to push one the way you would with a linear (heavy transformers, not so efficient, aka
boat-anchors).

750 is a _lot_ too. Now at least. But it depends on how much you want to hang on the box from that PSU. Fans. Lights.
USB devices/ports/gadgets. Internal drives. External SATA run from internal or card plugged cables. That next upgrade
video card or sound device. Somehow possibly even more RAM. Everything that can notch up power required and still
leave you a 20% or better margin. It's easily worth $20-$30 extra bucks or more out of a $2000 budget when you think
that everything downstream power-wise runs off that PSU and wants clean power. I have a 650 saved for my next build
but I'm already wondering if it will be enough extra. For what I will afford it probably is.

Home-build tip: make sure that the mobo has lots of ground-points (those circular pad screw-holes that the stand-offs
to the box go through) actually connected to ground (the box). Not just two or three of those. It's easy to do if you
build your own, that's what those brass stand-offs are for but wire will do and I'm pretty sure that any warrantied
PC from a good dealer will have well distributed grounds. All that power, you want it to flow cleanly hey?

Xiolablu3
06-27-2010, 11:56 AM
I have replaaced many Dell Dimension motherboards.
Dell 'normal size' desktop cases usually have quite a bit of space inside and the connectors are all the same as a standard ATX/mini ATX board. Obviously the smaller desktops dont, such as the optiplex, but that should be obvious just by looking at it.

Personally I'm really not for SLI. Saving your money from the 2nd card and buying the next gen card when it comes out is always a better option.

Just my opinon and will listen to anyone who can explain why SLI is worth it.

Stiletto-
06-27-2010, 04:03 PM
Personally I'm really not for SLI. Saving your money from the 2nd card and buying the next gen card when it comes out is always a better option.

Just my opinon and will listen to anyone who can explain why SLI is worth it.

I am currently running 4 GPU's in my system, I will tell you why the reason is to go that route.

Extremely high resolutions with lots of FSAA or more so, Triple Monitor setups.

If you ever plan to run a resolution of 5760x1200 with full detail, you are going to need a dual GPU card or running in Crossfire/SLI.

Eyefinity is the way of the future if not the present, and there are people having to turn down their graphics on a brand new $400 5870 just to get playable framerates.

Even if you don't want to jump into the tripple screen setup right away, you can always buy a 2nd card down the road when you're ready to go 3 times the resolution, hopefully the 2nd card will be a little bit cheaper then as well.

If you are happy running at lower resolutions like 1920x1200 on a single screen then yeah, it's not worth buying 2 cards.

WTE_Galway
06-27-2010, 04:54 PM
Be careful with a motherboard swap as apparently SOME Dell's from around that period used a non-standard power supply. The connectors to the motherboard looked identical to normal industry standard ones but there were some significant differences and it was possible to blow things up.

http://www.informit.com/articl...rticle.aspx?p=339053 (http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=339053)

I am not sure if Dell were still doing this by the time your machine was made but be careful.

As for the original problem it sounds like the Dell tech thinks the USB on the motherboard is faulty. A few comments on this diagnosis:

1. It might be the Stick not the computer. Have you tried the stick on another PC ?

2. If it is the USB on the PC itself playing up, it could still be a windows driver issue rather than a hardware fault.

3. If it actually IS a hardware USB fault on the motherboard you can just plugin a low profile PCI USB 2.0 controller rather than replace the entire motherboard.

Waldo.Pepper
06-27-2010, 05:41 PM
3. If it actually IS a hardware USB fault on the motherboard you can just plugin a low profile PCI USB 2.0 controller rather than replace the entire motherboard.

Best idea yet.