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Old 10-11-2006   #11
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
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Is it really that much cheaper to build your own? Have you priced the difference? I've heard you only save a small amount of money which isn't worth the aggrevation if you have a warranty issue, but I've never tried to price an unbuilt system.

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Old 10-11-2006   #12
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Just build your own, since you already have some of the parts. The "skills" required are quite minimal as in, a CPU and RAM will only plug into a monther board one way, kind of like a 3 prong extension cord will only plug into a outlet one way. It will take you about 30 minutes to an hour for most people.

Since you have a DVD drive and hard drive, if you have about 10 GB of free space, i would just get a "bare bones" system such as a Shuttle, then add your CPU and RAM to your hard drive and DVD drive.

Then order your free Ubuntu CD's (or pay $50 for Suse 10 if you want support) and the installer will automatically make it dual boot on your existing hard drive so you still have windooze, but can use linux as well.

If you want a second Hard drive, I bought a 500 gb external USB 2.0 for about $160 a month ago. If you don't play video games you don't need a very high end graphics card even if you want to use XGL. After using XGL for 6 months, I can't stop using it and just find Vista Aero and the new OS X Aqua "Spaces" a big step down from a productivity standpoint.

If you can use Windooze or OSX, new versions of Linux (SUSE and Ubuntu inc) will be not be a problem, all your applications will open files from MS Office and best of all, they will be free from viruses/worms and free $$$. You should be able to get everything for easily under $500, maybe $700 for a Core Duo with lots of RAM.

A co-worker and I just finished building a 4 Shuttle cluster, each with a Core Duo processor (so that's 8 cores) and 8 GB or ram total for just over 2k. The thing smokes the 7k Mac Pro machines for 1/4 the price.

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Old 10-11-2006   #13
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Thanks for all the info. Since I've always done upgrades and cannibalized ols systems I've considered building my own and have the skills but don't think there's much of a price savings over buying a standard box. Also you get the deals on monitor, software, etc. and don't have to spend time I don't have surfing the net shopping parts and paying shipping. I'm also concerned about hardware compatability issues with a system thrown together by me vs. a system designed by someone that knows what they're doing.

So I'm considering a Dell Dimension E510 w/ PentiumĀ® 805 with Dual Core (2.66GHz, 533FSB), XP Pro, 2 GB RAM (leaves 2 more slots for when the price of RAM drops), and a 160GB Hard Drive, and MS Office Small Business Ed.-Basic plus PowerPoint and Publisher. And a 17" flat panel monitor. Add a couple of other bells & whistles & the total's just under $1200.

I could probably get something comparable a little cheaper but unless its more than a $100 savings I won't sweat it. Seems like any machine becomes obsolete and overpriced as soon as you place the order...

Any other suggestions?

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 10-11-2006   #14
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Summit, Colorado
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Sounds like a sweet setup and a pretty good deal if you get a monitor, warranty, and software for that price. Enjoy.

"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 10-11-2006   #15
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, Colorado
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Check your PM...I can hook you up much better than that.
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Old 10-11-2006   #16
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
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Intel Core Duo Mac all the way.

You 'can' run windows natively but you won't want to.
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Old 10-11-2006   #17
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Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
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My 2cents, the only bad dells I've used have been the dimension line. Not sure why, but I can never tune them the way the precision and optiplex are off the shelf. I know they're ususally about $200 less than the others with comparable speces.

Oh, and definitly PM Ikayaknboard. Besides being a great guy to boat with, he knows computers. good people.
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Old 10-12-2006   #18
gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 390
linux related advice:
if you r serious about running linux and you want the most effecient, problem free linux experience, pay extremely close attention to what sort of chips are on your motherboard. if all the chips are from different manufacturers (like in certain HP/Dell budget systems) you stand a chance of having a billion hardware-driver issues that nobody whos qualified to fix cares to fix.

on the other hand, a dell lattitude laptop i owned had an entirely intel440bxchipset and it ran like freakin butter.. damn that was a nice computer ..

as far as good reasons to use linux .. no ntdll.dll ! its amaxing to em how fast a brand new computer slows down after you plug it into the internet, i dont care what firewall your using. ntdll.dll
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Old 10-12-2006   #19
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Boulder, Colorado
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Dan, what do you mean by "tune them"? I don't understand the problems you've had.
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Old 10-12-2006   #20
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Indian Hills, Colorado
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KSC- I know just enough to be dangerous around a computer. I like a machine that boots quickly, doesn't have driver problems, and isn't preloaded with lots of smile-and-paint crap, like Adobe Paintfuckwit Starter Edition Demo. One of the Dell Dimensions I used was just always slow to start up and shut down, I've reformatted resinstalled windows, ran bootvis, etc, but I just cant get it to run quick. It's a solid 2k+ Ghz machine with a Gig of Ram, etc...I just doesn't operate as well as a simmarly equip Dell Precision. I have no idea why. The other one I used had the following hardware failures, all graciously covered by warranty: Video Card - failed, CD burner - failed, Hard Drive - bad sectors. That's why I'm not keen on the Dimension line. That and the smile and fingerurbutt preinstalled stuff, it drives me wonky

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