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Dell Dimension 4700


Ninepatch
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Well, I'm finally going to take the plunge and pull the money out of my pocket for a new system. Thanks to TCH-Bruce's referral to techbargains, I've been able to find much more machine for the money than I would have on my own.

 

I have a few questions I'm hoping for some opinions. I use a PC purely for personal purposes. I don't game, I don't crunch tons of data, I don't download music (yet), I don't run a business. Except for the fact that my HP is slow and outdated, it does pretty much everything I want. The only thing I really can't do, and want to, is get live streamed video of speeches and news conferences. I'm also looking forward to using the latest versions of graphic and photo software that I currently use, and will be adding Paint Shop Pro 9.0 w/ Flash.

 

PROCESSOR; I'm looking at the Dell Dimension 4700 (Pentium 4 520 w/HT 800 FSB) - it comes standard with a 2.8 GHz processor but I can upgrade to a 3.0 GHz for $20. Other than "hey, it's only $20" - is there any reason to go with the faster processor? Am I really going to see the differnce? Are there heat issues?

 

RAM: The system comes with 256 mg dual channel DDR SDRAM @ 400 MHz. I can add another 256 mg for $40 (2 X 256) , but I can also go for 1 GB (2 X 512) for $150. Big difference in price. I've always thought there's no such thing as too much RAM, but given my useage, do I really need more than 512 mg?

 

MODEM: they only offer 56K PCI but one is data-fax ($20) and the other is telephony ($40.) I'll be switching to a cable connection soon. In the meantime, what will tephony do for me that a plain data-fax modem won't?

 

DVD Drive: You would never catch me sitting at my computer watching a movie or reading an e-Book! Ever ... period!! I have a nice big TV and a very comfy chair for doing that. :) I will order the CD-RW burner, but is there any real functional reason I want a DVD drive on my PC?

 

MONITOR: The system comes with a 17" E173FP flat panel as part of the package. For $30 more I can have a 17" Dell 1704FP Ultrasharp Digital Flat Panel. Anyone think the extra $30 and possible delay in shipping worth it? They don't say how long it will delay the shipping, just that it "might."

 

DRIVES: Does anyone even use 3.5 floppies anymore, or has it all gone the way of the memory key? I have only 1 use for a floppie and I can get that driver online. There's a combo for a 3.5 drive and 128 mgb memory key for $70, or just a 3.5 drive for $30. I can also get only memory keys of varying size for less money. Any opinons?

 

I really appreciate any input you'd care to make. If I can shave a few more dollars off an already great price, I'm all for that. Thanks in advance for your help!

 

:) ;) :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

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Well, I'm finally going to take the plunge and pull the money out of my pocket for a new system.  Thanks to TCH-Bruce's referral to techbargains, I've been able to find much more machine for the money than I would have on my own.

Glad that following the TechBargains site found you a system you liked. I get their XML feed in my Thunderbird so I never miss a good deal.

 

PROCESSOR;  I'm looking at the Dell Dimension 4700 (Pentium 4 520 w/HT 800 FSB) - it comes standard with a 2.8 GHz processor but I can upgrade to a 3.0 GHz for $20.  Other than "hey, it's only $20" - is there any reason to go with the faster processor?  Am I really going to see the differnce? Are there heat issues?

I don't think you would notice a difference so if you don't want to spend the $20 don't. :)

 

RAM:  The system comes with 256 mg dual channel DDR SDRAM @ 400 MHz.  I can add another 256 mg for $40 (2 X 256) , but I can also go for 1 GB (2 X 512) for $150.  Big difference in price.  I've always thought there's no such thing as too much RAM, but given my useage, do I really need more than 512 mg? 

I would get 1GB of memory. The more the better. :notworthy:

 

MODEM:  they only offer 56K PCI but one is data-fax ($20) and the other is telephony ($40.)  I'll be switching to a cable connection soon.  In the meantime, what will tephony do for me that a plain data-fax modem won't? 

If you are going broadband skip upgrading the modem.

 

DVD Drive:  You would never catch me sitting at my computer watching a movie or reading an e-Book! Ever ... period!!  I have a nice big TV and a very comfy chair for doing that. ;) I will order the CD-RW burner, but is there any real functional reason I want a DVD drive on my PC? 

I would opt for a DVD burner, but that's just me. :notworthy:

 

MONITOR:  The system comes with a 17" E173FP flat panel as part of the package.  For $30 more  I can have a 17" Dell 1704FP Ultrasharp Digital Flat Panel.  Anyone think the extra $30 and possible delay in shipping worth it?  They don't say how long it will delay the shipping, just that it "might."

I'm assuming these are LCD monitors. The upgrade would be worth it.

 

DRIVES:  Does anyone even use 3.5 floppies anymore, or has it all gone the way of the memory key?  I have only 1 use for a floppie and I can get that driver online.  There's a combo for a 3.5 drive and 128 mgb memory key for $70, or just a 3.5 drive for $30.  I can also get only memory keys of  varying size for less money.  Any opinons?

You can pick up a USB floppy for about $30. A 128mb flash drive for even less on sale. I would skip both and buy them elsewhere.

 

HTH and good luck! :notworthy:

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I recently upgraded to a new computer,

not sure if the if thats the term you use when your computer goes up in smoke :(

 

I added a DVD drive because more and more graphic programs offer so much clip art and images that they include several Cd's.

I am now ordering the same program on DVD :clapping:

 

If you do any graphics the 512 meg of memory will help.

 

The usb memory sticks or drives are nice to keep passwords on.

And I have room for apache and a php web site on it too.

 

I do not miss the floppy however.

 

I do wish I had a DVD burner for backups though.

I did get a USB hard drive for backups that works nice for weekly backups.

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I'd agree with most of the above but...

 

The major difference between the 3000 and 4000 series in the addition of agp/pci-e graphics port. If you do not see youself gaming, 3000 series may workout fine. Though remember that memory is shared and can cause some cpu contention. This is often visible with large memory hogging application like application server that's doing a heavy deployment.

 

There is another option though.

You can consider looking at PowerEdge 420sc. I have PE 400 as my main desktop(and 600 as well but another topic). The PE 420 is vritually identical to the 8000 series. If you don't care about the OS. (I have MAPS - MS Action Pack), and MVLS licenses from work and I usually hate Dell OS installs as they put tons of dell junk. (That's just me though). If you don't need a monitor, and just a plain vanilla box, consider that.

 

Price of 420 SC base is like $270. With few upgrades, it'll end up around $400. You will need to buy memory from outside vendor and go with non-ECC to save money.

 

Memory:

1 stick or 2? The newer intel chipsets support dual memory access if same size memory sticks are added in pairs. Thus, try to buy memory sticks in 2. If you only have 2 slots though, remember that you will need to throw/ebay those old ones. For most cases, 512megs should be more then ample. That said, I too have 1 gigs or more on my standing pc's, and main work laptop as well. For what you describe, 512meg seems enough to me.

 

As for Floppy, the only benefit is flash recovery.

I tend to flash the BIOS as soon as they come out. If you screw it up, you can restore it using a boot disk ONLY from FD controller. (Not USB). BIOS uses reserves core downloader which can recover out of major accidents. (Power spikes, etc). It's happened to me 2x in past 10 years. My floppy was $20, so I said why not?

 

Good Luck.

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Well, I took the plunge and bought the Dimension 4700, Intel Pentium 4 520 w/HT, 2.80 GHz, 800 FSB. Went with the 1 GB Ram, 80 GB harddrive, and the 17" digital flat panel upgrade. Added a few other small bells and whistles but nothing major. Decided I didn't really want a DVD - don't need it, won't use it. Took the freebie CD-RW drive instead. Did purchase the 2 year extended warranty/service agreement. Without the taxes, and after the rebates, I'm looking at just under $900. I'm happy, actually, I'm really happy. :naughty:

 

Thanks for the referral to techbargains, TCH-Bruce It definitely made a difference in finding the right starting point for a good package with a price I couldn't begin to touch anywhere else. Now it's just a matter of waiting for the man in brown to bring me my new toys - looks like about 2 weeks. :goof:

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