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Author Topic: Help needed buying laptop  (Read 19129 times)
Trippy
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Reply #70 on: July 21, 2006, 10:04:50 AM

It's funny, lots of people say they can get a machine as equally as powerful as Dell for the same price - even when there are incredible coupons going around - and they never can.
Only if you get a Dell with the uber discount coupon and only just barely. Krakrok just got a Dell for $788 and a comparable comp through Newegg I calculated out to ~$820 (didn't add keyboard/mouse to the below):

173.00   CPU
64.99   MB
70.00   RAM
56.00   HD
71.00   Video Card X700SE
35.00   DVD
179.10   Monitor
113.00   Media Center
35.00   Case

797.09   

Without the coupon the Dell is more expensive.

Edit: that monitor is actually the Dell monitor with the pricing from Dell's site. I didn't try to find an non-Dell equivalent on Newegg. Also the video card above is better than the X600SE Krakrok got since Newegg doesn't sell any X600SEs.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2006, 10:08:46 AM by Trippy »
Strazos
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Reply #71 on: July 21, 2006, 10:05:39 AM

Yeah, it's nice that Dell can throw in a monitor. If that makes you think the deal is better, great...but it's kind of not relavent when comparing self-built to Dell if you already have a good monitor to use.

If you're building from absolute scratch, MAYBE you might be able to get away with buying a Dell. But if you can reuse parts...

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Engels
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Reply #72 on: July 21, 2006, 10:25:19 AM

Just take a look at Alienware's way of handling video card pricing! Their uberl33t machine comes with a 7900 GT

256MB NVIDIA ® GeForce™ 7900 GT PCI-Express x16 - DVI Dual Link Supported   

Now, you can upgrade to this one for $500:

1024MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 7950 GX2 - DVI Dual Link Supported - NEW! [+$500 or $15/mo.]   
   
The retail cost at new egg for the 7950 is $560. The retail cost for the 7900 GT is ~ $260. The aformentioned upgrade to the 7950 should be around 300 instead of 500. That's just for starters.

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something. -Signe

I LIKE being bounced around by Tonkors. - Lantyssa

Babies shooting themselves in the head is the state bird of West Virginia. - schild
WindiaN
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Reply #73 on: July 21, 2006, 10:30:51 AM

   
The retail cost at new egg for the 7950 is $560. The retail cost for the 7900 GT is ~ $260. The aformentioned upgrade to the 7950 should be around 300 instead of 500. That's just for starters.


But they need to be extra careful to install the $500 video card, so the extra $200 is basically insurance... And you are clearly unaware that alienware only gets the fastest cards from each bunch!
Engels
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Reply #74 on: July 21, 2006, 10:33:27 AM

   
The retail cost at new egg for the 7950 is $560. The retail cost for the 7900 GT is ~ $260. The aformentioned upgrade to the 7950 should be around 300 instead of 500. That's just for starters.


But they need to be extra careful to install the $500 video card, so the extra $200 is basically insurance... And you are clearly unaware that alienware only gets the fastest cards from each bunch!

I'll give you you the benefit of the doubt about Alienware getting the better clocked GPUs off the assembly line, but installing a video card is't exactly rocket science. We're not talking about the market of those who aren't interested in tinkering; we're talkinga bout the market of those who routinely build their own machines.

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something. -Signe

I LIKE being bounced around by Tonkors. - Lantyssa

Babies shooting themselves in the head is the state bird of West Virginia. - schild
Samwise
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Reply #75 on: July 21, 2006, 11:10:41 AM


"I have not actually recommended many games, and I'll go on the record here saying my track record is probably best in the industry." - schild
bhodi
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Reply #76 on: July 21, 2006, 11:14:18 AM

And it claims another victim. Did we not agree on green here?
Engels
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Reply #77 on: July 21, 2006, 11:25:10 AM

And it claims another victim. Did we not agree on green here?

Oops! Well, you can't blame me. We have schild going on about his micro pc fetish, people harboring magical beliefs about Apple..why not someone who's been talked into thinking Alienware is god?

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something. -Signe

I LIKE being bounced around by Tonkors. - Lantyssa

Babies shooting themselves in the head is the state bird of West Virginia. - schild
StGabe
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Reply #78 on: July 21, 2006, 03:43:12 PM

I've bought Dells for years.

However my next computer won't be a Dell.  The reason: they still don't sell AMD processors.  AMD has really impressed me over the past few years and Intel continues to impress me only in terms of its nasty business practices.

Generally whenever I have been buying a computer I have found that I could buy a Dell or make it myself for maybe a little bit more, but with a little bit more control over what all goes into the box.  I've always chosen to just buy the Dell.  However I think that getting an AMD cpu is a compelling enough reason to build it yourself and so that's what I'll do next time I upgrade.

WindiaN
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Reply #79 on: July 21, 2006, 03:55:31 PM

I've bought Dells for years.

However my next computer won't be a Dell.  The reason: they still don't sell AMD processors.  AMD has really impressed me over the past few years and Intel continues to impress me only in terms of its nasty business practices.

Generally whenever I have been buying a computer I have found that I could buy a Dell or make it myself for maybe a little bit more, but with a little bit more control over what all goes into the box.  I've always chosen to just buy the Dell.  However I think that getting an AMD cpu is a compelling enough reason to build it yourself and so that's what I'll do next time I upgrade.

its funny that you say this right when intel deals a crushing blow to AMD in the battle over chip market control... what does intel do that is so bad?
naum
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Reply #80 on: July 21, 2006, 03:58:14 PM

The part where you called it a superior package. It's not. Technically and usefully speaking it's not. It's not so much overprized as hoisted up by the vocal minority. Apple users are like the forum members in an MMORPG.

Edit: I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I'm just saying it's the reality of it. When Word documents, PDFs, and such stop being the standard and Apple can (cost) effectively design their computers, things might change. But not til then. For now it's by art fags for art fags.

Edit 2: Remember, I've owned 2 Powerbooks and multiple desktops. I love Macs, but useful they are not. They're like a self-inflicted punishment for my daily work (and for most peoples). If I bought a Mac now it would be so I'm not distracted by the rest of the computer while trying to get something done. It's hip to use a Mac. Always has been. But even while I was a diehard Mac user (read: All during the windows 3.1 til Windows 98 SE days), it was never very effective to be a Mac user.

You're stuck in a time warp... ...OS X is light years apart from "Classic" Mac OS... ...you don't need special programs to read/write PDFs (it's built into the system) unless your tasks revolve around desktop publishing and then the Adobe suite comes in a Mac OS X flavor too.

And for web development work, Macs are most prevalent -- the startup company that I worked for until recently we all were on Macs with the exception of a lone developer (who preferred a dual boot deal) and some of the sales staff. I reckon it wouldn't be so for a MS/.NET shop, but then I don't take those kind of gigs anyway. And just go to any F/OSS conference - be it Ruby/Perl/Python/Java, and you'll quickly note that Macs equal or outnumber PCs.

As stated, games are the big deficiency with Mac OS X, but even there, the big games (i.e., Civ IV, WoW) are cross-platform or ported over... ...and personally I've filled the void with console fare and soon Dominions 3 will be out which will slurp up my gaming time...

"Should the batman kill Joker because it would save more lives?" is a fundamentally different question from "should the batman have a bunch of machineguns that go BATBATBATBATBAT because its totally cool?". ~Goumindong
stray
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Reply #81 on: July 21, 2006, 04:04:08 PM

I'm gonna stick up for Classic Mac OS even. It was much more pleasant and trouble free than Windows except at the very end. The memory management problem really started becoming apparent to average users then.

Besides that, the whole "file format" thing is a bunch of bullshit. I don't know how it started or where it came from, but that wasn't even a problem on old Macs. Not for Word, and definitely not for PDF.
Trippy
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Reply #82 on: July 22, 2006, 01:05:55 AM

You're stuck in a time warp... ...OS X is light years apart from "Classic" Mac OS...
It's not that far apart.

As background I used to be a hardcore Mac fanatic starting from the original 128K Mac on up through about 1998 or so but it got too expensive to support a two hardware platform habit so I stopped getting Macs and haven't owned an OS X Mac but I have played with it a bit in stores and such.

So this morning I was working on an OS X Mac at Kinkos using Illustrator (their PCs were supposed to have Illustrator installed but didn't) and tried to use the Knife/Cut tool to split a path and the application crashed out, losing like 10 minutes of work, and the first thing I thought to myself was "well some things haven't changed".
raydeen
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Reply #83 on: July 22, 2006, 08:05:57 AM

I just got my Macbook from work and it's not a bad little comp. My only two gripes right now are the battery life seems a bit shorter than the iBook I was using and this little thing gets HOT! If you do choose to get one, make sure there's plenty of elevation between laptop and desk or you get a USB cooler. There are no vents on the bottom and the 'feet' are almost non-existent. On the plus side, it feels very solid and is a nice size, not so small that I can't read the screen text and not so big that I feel like I'm carrying a monitor. My main comp is an Inspiron e1505 and it's great and all, but it's bordering on being uncomfortable to lug around.

And yes, the Macbook even with the gimped Intel graphics chip does a good job of playing WoW. I haven't tried to hit anything like Iron Forge yet, but if my old HP with the ATI 340m could handle it, this should too.

I was drinking when I wrote this, so sue me if it goes astray.
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Reply #84 on: July 22, 2006, 08:13:09 AM

A computer playing WoW is not even remotely impressive. I've seen conversions of Nintendo games that are more graphics heavy. Well, maybe not Nintendo, but definately Minesweeper.

Good luck with the heat problem.

Edit: I'm not trying to knock WoW btw. It's stylized. I get it. It's like Loco Roco for the PSP - which probably uses 1/100th of the PSPs total power. The style they chose happened to require nothing more than graphics cards from 1995. Install Civ 4 and see what happens, if you don't melt a hole through your desk.
StGabe
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Reply #85 on: July 22, 2006, 06:40:10 PM

Quote
its funny that you say this right when intel deals a crushing blow to AMD in the battle over chip market control... what does intel do that is so bad?

Business-wise: http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/DownloadableAssets/AMD-Intel_Full_Complaint.pdf

AMD was intended to be Intel's source of competition.  Intel was never intended to have a monopoly on the PC market.  Basically Intel is alleged to have done a lot of bad stuff to make sure that this wasn't really the case and to have since then leveraged its monopoly status to prevent AMD from gaining a foothold in the market.  One of the biggest instances of this being that Dell has never sold AMD chips (actually, now it does -- it sells overpriced AMD chips, by themselves, but won't build machines with them -- which is essentially the same as not selling them) and it's largely believed that this was because Intel has incentivized them not to do any such thing.  While we're a long way from a court decision, AMD won a similar case in Japan a year ago and I think there is pretty good evidence that a lot of their claims are true.

Currently Intel has gotten a bit ahead of the game technologically although AMD is likely to catch up next year.  But on the flipside, AMD is still offering some great chips at great prices.  These days it is your graphics card and memory subsystem that are bottlenecked and thus most of your performance is coming from these anyway.  What I've seen of the Core 2 Duo hasn't changed my mind on any of this.

If Dell starts selling AMD systems at prices as reasonable as their Intel systems then I'll gladly buy from them again.  And I think it would make sense that they do as try to compete with cheaper AMD systems.

Engels
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Reply #86 on: July 22, 2006, 07:07:34 PM

There's rumors that AMD is going to buy ATI, which should really do intersting things to the way those two chips function in unison. If despite that you end up with some form of software-hardware collusion between software makers and Nvidia/Intel, then hey, its time to go to court!

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something. -Signe

I LIKE being bounced around by Tonkors. - Lantyssa

Babies shooting themselves in the head is the state bird of West Virginia. - schild
schild
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Reply #87 on: July 22, 2006, 11:10:33 PM

AMD can afford ATI? After this console generation? Shouldn't ATI be buying AMD?

Also, I never got the 'DELL DOESN'T SELL AMD CHIPS' complaint. That strikes me as pussified bullshit. Dell doesn't HAVE TO SELL ANYTHING. Whether or not Intel paid them to only carry Intel is moot to me. I consider it good business. There's a billion places to buy computers these days. Want AMD? Don't shop at Dell. That's like complaining that you Want Bang & Olufsen product at a Bose Store since Bose DOES CARRY products that aren't made by Bose. Meh.
Lt.Dan
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Reply #88 on: July 23, 2006, 04:20:55 AM

Less than 15% of Dell's business is PCs for individuals.   Enterprise and servers are where it's at.  AMD servers were gaining share last year since Intel dropped the ball.  Bad news for Dell since they didn't have an AMD server product.

Dell must view their business to individuals as key though.  They're pricing way more aggressively than anyone else and it's their lowest margin business already.

Edit: So, Ab what did you decide on?
Trippy
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Reply #89 on: July 23, 2006, 04:32:50 AM

Dell must view their business to individuals as key though.  They're pricing way more aggressively than anyone else and it's their lowest margin business already.
Yes and it's hurting their margins big time.
Engels
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Reply #90 on: July 23, 2006, 11:48:55 AM

For me, Dells are a great idea for business. Standardized builds, the fact that they use intel, which is thoroughly tested by MS, their relatively easy away of finding all necessary software for their hardware through their 'service tag' number. All very good and professional. Add to that that at least their earlier machines are built like a rock, you just can't go wrong with a Dell within a business environment. Minimal risk, long term investment.

Unless AMD gets a business distributor like Dell to push their server products, the market share for business servers and business PC desktops is going to remain marginal. Even then it will take years for this fictional distributor to earn the reputation Dell has. AMD has a crazy uphill battle because in general, the people holding the purse strings in business environments do not experiment. They want what's 100% reliable and Dell stands for that. There is no other place for businesses to go, sadly. I'd even venture to speculate that the only way AMD is going to break into the business environment is if Dell starts to screw up and damage its own reputation. Then the money counters won't immediately default to Dell.

But home PCs are an entirely different animal in terms of customer expectation. There's much more room for risk in terms of investment, and AMD has been riding that wave to its personal pc success stories.  Sure, there's a sea of customizable options in terms of motherboards and chips out there for the home consumer, but by and large, they all 'more or less' work, and AMD's prices ensure that they can cling to the market share here. Moderate risk, and low short term investment is how home-PCs are bought.  You aren't going to be too fussy, and sure, you could get the Intel cpu, and have a cpu for decades, but Fry's has a sale on AMD cpus and besides, chances are, you know you're going to have to upgrade within 3-4 years anyway.

Anyways, this is obviouis stuff. Guess I felt like typing it all out.

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something. -Signe

I LIKE being bounced around by Tonkors. - Lantyssa

Babies shooting themselves in the head is the state bird of West Virginia. - schild
StGabe
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Reply #91 on: July 23, 2006, 03:58:56 PM

Quote
Dell doesn't HAVE TO SELL ANYTHING.

And I don't have to BUY anything (edit: and legally speaking, accepting money to not to sell a product is illegal, so your statement isn't strictly true).

Collusion is bad for markets though.  Period.  I like healthy markets.  So I'm supporting the underdog here (who in recent years has been doing a good job of catching up and has some great products to offer).

Quote
Want AMD? Don't shop at Dell.

As I said, I don't.  What's the problem?  You gave all your reasons why you support Dell.  I gave mine for not doing so.  Who's doing the whining now?
« Last Edit: July 23, 2006, 04:54:55 PM by StGabe »

Samwise
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Reply #92 on: July 23, 2006, 06:35:51 PM

So this morning I was working on an OS X Mac at Kinkos using Illustrator (their PCs were supposed to have Illustrator installed but didn't) and tried to use the Knife/Cut tool to split a path and the application crashed out, losing like 10 minutes of work, and the first thing I thought to myself was "well some things haven't changed".

Amen.  I think that's why the "Switch" ads bug me so much... I've had plenty of experiences with computers going "beepbeepbeepbeepbeep" and eating my documents and them being, like, gone, but they've all been with Macs.

"I have not actually recommended many games, and I'll go on the record here saying my track record is probably best in the industry." - schild
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