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  1. #1
    Joined
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    godfrey
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    Just buy a Dell?

    over the past few years, i've built several computers. most of them have/had major issues with HW. when I tell people about the combos, they are described as "quality", "stable", "excellent" choices. yesterday. my parent's new Core2 6400, Intel g965 (from intel), 1G ddr2 800 just failed. won't post.

    the computer that has what others tout as the most stable mobo, with intel approved ram and intel built CPU, has failed after about 40 days of intermittent use.

    with all the HW failures and conflicts, i'm wondering if the only good solution is to buy premade? in the past year i've had a handful of HW conflicts (PCI cards that don't work on some mobos, RAM that doesn't work on some mobos, SATA cards that don't work ...)


    what would the most stable, most failure resistant HW be? clearly going all-intel was a bad choice. Do I need to spend $300 on a server mobo to get something that'll last more than a year?
    I know exactly how the PC works. I understand the OOO, superscalar and superpiplined designs. I just don't understand how the PC doesn't work as shown in so many cases.

  2. #2
    Joined
    Jul 2005
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    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    I would for the most part say "Friends don't let friends buy Dell," but you sir if you have had that much trouble might have a permanent case of the gremlins and just not be tech-handy. Before going and buying a Dell/Alienware built PC I would definitely look into some of the smaller custom shops such as Falcon, VoodooPC, Etc.


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  3. #3
    Joined
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    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    Of course buying a Dell or any pre made system is going to save you headaches if you have HW issues.But building your own will always be cheaper and more customizable,tweakable and better performers then a prebuilt.Also if you buy your parts retail they have warrantys that are just as good as a pre built.
    In the end,if you know what your doing Id say build your own rig,if you really dont know what your doing and have doubts go for a pre built,simple as that

  4. #4
    Joined
    May 2003
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    1,234

    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    Dell is really only worth it if:

    1. You get a super-awesome-mega deal (coupons, end of quarter sales, etc)

    or

    2. You get the next-day, on-site warranty


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  5. #5
    Joined
    Aug 2003
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    457

    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    I would say your first mistake is the motherboard. If you browse through these forums enough, you can kind of pick out what has problems where, what is most stable for people etc.

    I used to have troubles like this all the time. When I learned to only buy trusted, high quality parts that I have read numerous reviews on, seen what works best with the part, what doesnt, etc.

    Some people just get unlucky, but if you do the right, and ENOUGH research, you will be much better off than with a Dell.

  6. #6
    Joined
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    198

    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    I understand it can be discouraging to build a PC from the ground-up and have it fail. I for one would stick with MSI mainboards and AMD CPUs. The most critical part of any PC is the power supply. All the posters above made very valid points. Don't become discouraged after your hardware failure. You will be much better off in the future with a self-built system.
    "I was gratified to be able to answer promptly and I did. I said I didn't know."

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  7. #7
    Joined
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    457

    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    Also, I recommend buying CPU, Motherboard, Memory, Video card all retail. Hard Drives/Optical drives OEM is fine, unless you need screws and mounting brackets (which you shouldnt...between your case and your motherboard you should have enough screws and then some).

    But, you want that 3-year CPU warranty (at least on AMD), a warranty on the memory, and on the mobo/gpu for sure.

    Hard drives OEM still come with a really good warranty.

    Then PSU, Case, and whatever else you throw in, really only come in retail box.

  8. #8
    Joined
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    825

    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    can you list all of the hardware in your system that just died?

    it surely can't all be bad unless your PSU blew up and took some stuff with it.

    As for dell, I recommend them to home users who need a cheap PC with a legit OS. I build my own, but when it comes to some people, it is just cheaper to buy one of the Dell deals that have some sort of a mark down. I bought a $800 PC for $500 for my grandma that included XP and a 17"LCD. I could not have done that by buying all the parts and building myself. i tried all sorts of configurations, but I could not beat that deal when it was all said and done.

    As for you, the hardware you list, sounds like you should build your own. Any kind of a performance PC, IMO, should be hand built.
    Last edited by jp197; 02-16-2007 at 05:33 PM.
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  9. #9
    Joined
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    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    That's a shame you'd had such bad luck. I've been building since '97 and the hardware problems I've had are few and far between. As a matter of fact I've found PC hardware to be so reliable it's kinda scary. I stick to quality RAM and power supplies but I've used some very cheap motherboards along the way. Actually, I've never bought a mainboard that costs more than $90.

    I recently had a friend buy an $1800 gaming rig from Dell and overall, he's been quite happy. He also kept having bad luck with his home-built rigs and finally decided to go pre-built. I have to say that most of his problems were of his own doing. It takes a few years of building, posting at forums and reading hardware reviews and PC articles to really get your game on when building your own PCs. Some people just don't have the time to dedicate to that. For me, it's a hobby, a pasttime...part of my "geek mystique".

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  10. #10
    Joined
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    21,257

    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    Any hardware can die early but in general you can expect to get at least a few years out of most parts. For example, I have an Epox 8K7A motherboard that's around 5 years and still in use regularly. I also had a Soundblaster 16 card that was 10 years old I think and I finally just replaced with something newer just because I wanted to.

    The only case in which I recommend a Dell is for people who aren't that computer savy or plan to use it just for basic stuff like like and word processing. If you catch a deal you can get a basic computer pretty cheap from dDell and for some people that's all they need.
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  11. #11
    Joined
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    658

    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    Yeah I'd like to see a list of that QUALITY hardware you claim you bought. I'd be willing to bet you took some bad advice or maybe have some heat or power problems. Maybe you are buying cheap power supplies. More details please. Dells are for people who know nothing about computers, can't fix there own or don't do gaming or don't have much money. If any of those apply then buy a Dell. BTW http://www.monarchcomputers.com is out-of-business. You can change your Sig.
    Last edited by dirtrat; 02-17-2007 at 12:34 AM.

  12. #12
    Joined
    Jan 2007
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    eastern n.c.
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    3

    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    DELL's are actually pretty reliable for the general user. The problem with DELL is that you must purchase your replacement parts exclusively from DELL if they are going to stand behind their warranty. I had one, and threw the warranty right out the door (so to speak) because I wasn't going to pay 200.00 for a 56.00 Hard Drive.
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  13. #13
    Joined
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    9

    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    I worked with Dell for the past three years, they are a dissent company for low end and average computer users, if you want something stronger then average go with something else and another minus is support is in India good luck getting help if something brakes down.
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  14. #14
    Joined
    Jul 2001
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    535

    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    the best PC i've had so far has been the cheapest. the ASROCK 939SATA-DUAL is without doubt the best mobo I've ever had. Its also the second cheapest for my PCs. (the cheapest also works like a champ).

    the mobo's i've had fail on myself/parents:
    MSI KT133A based mobo. received 90+ on reviews
    ... rev 2. received 90+ on reviews as well.
    (also failing at this time, RAM, CDROM drive explosion)
    Epox KT333 based mobo. highly reviewed. worked well for about 2 years. died suddenly.
    Epox NF3 Ultra (939) mobo. doesn't work with my SATA PCI card. noisy fan.
    ASUS A8V Deluxe. most expensive. very flakey NIC, sound, and would sometime just stop working.

    All in the sub $150 range, but all had excellent reviews on multiple sites and are often reccomended in forums. I've also had a gigabyte and chaintech board go down, both NF2 based.

    and now the stock intel 965g atx motherboard, retail box. This is the mobo made by the maker of the CPU and is usually refered to as the most stable combo out there. broke within 2 months.


    And really, computers nowdays aren't exactly like they were in the past. everything is done with BIOS screens for the config. the HW is color coded.


    The PSU's were antec PSU (back when that was the big thing), and now a few other PSUs in the $50-$80 range on a per PC basis.

    no issues with heat. aftermarket heatsinks on all but this new intel (and now my fileserver).


    actually, for my next PC i may go with an apple. at home i use linux so it won't be bad for me.
    I know exactly how the PC works. I understand the OOO, superscalar and superpiplined designs. I just don't understand how the PC doesn't work as shown in so many cases.

  15. #15
    Joined
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    1,503

    Re: Just buy a Dell?

    The problem with computers like Dell, is that you can't swap motherboard etc. so easily.
    The don't follow ATX standard, etc.

    It is far better to buy standard components, and choose a good PSU.

    And there is something called ESD "Electric Static Discharge", that people tend to forget.
    It kills more componens then known.

    Many times at Swedish sites I have tried to explain ESD, to no use at all.

    Ex DEC employee

    Edit,
    If I reacall the price for ESD damage correctly (back in 1986), Digital Equipment calculated the ESD damage to be around ~16 Billion USD / year.
    Last edited by Ezzo; 02-17-2007 at 04:22 PM.

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