Help with buying a new PC

  pt1968 13:48 21 Jan 2007

I am looking at buying a new PC. My prefered supplier is DEll (have used for many years at work).

I am considering the E521 (I wish to use the PC to edit home video and digital pictures - no requirement for gaming).

I also wish to run Windows Vista.

I am wondering whether to stick to the basic offer or whether to upgrade a couple of components, any advice you can provide will be welcome.

The PC comes with:

Athlon 64 3500 (I am being offered an upgarde to a Athlon 64 3500 x2 Dual core processor for £30).

Integrated NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE GPU (I am being offered an upgrade to a 256 ATI Radeon x1300 Pro for £70.50 or a 256 NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE Turbocache for £47.

Memory supplied is 2 x 512mb 533Mhz DDR2 (I am thinking that I can purchase addition memory separately if needed).

I appreciate your help and guidance.

  St.George55 14:46 21 Jan 2007


Thanks for this post i am in the same postion i am thinking of buying the Dimension 9200 it has all the upgrades you mention above for the best price £794 with a up grade 19" screen

Searched loads of web sites including a visit to PC World however best all round value seems to be Dell just not sure about the after sales sides

Sorry my psot didn't answer your question however will keep an eye on this post


  Scottiedogg 10:33 22 Jan 2007

For what you will be using this for, the basic package will be more than adequate. You should take the dual core upgrade though, because if you want to do this in the future, you would need to purchase a CPU, which would cost far more than the £30 you mentioned. As for the graphics, you would probably be better (financially) adding that yourself later, because you will have a wider choice and in all fairness, you may find the on-board graphics more than adequate for your needs just now. As for memory, you are right to hold back as you can buy 512MB of good quality RAM for around £30.00.
Do Dell offer the free Vista upgrade for this PC? Worth checking.

  pt1968 13:30 22 Jan 2007

Thanks for the advice Scottiedogg,

I must admit I am a little confused by Dells "free upgrade offer". The web site states that it is free (apart from the delivery fee of £11). The Dell operator suggested that at present they do not know how much it would cost to upgrade, however it wouldn't cost nothing, and that all they were doing was making the upgrade process easy by providing a free link to a website where I could purchase the upgrade!!!

I am inclined to wait until 30th Jan to order, this way Vista should come pre-installed.

Any suggestions on where to buy the RAM you mention. My old machine has DDR, I guessing that this will not work with the machine I have detailed above (DDR2 ram).

Thanks again.

  Scottiedogg 20:51 22 Jan 2007

Hi pt1968.
I was a little 'out' with the price as I forgot it was DDR2, not just DDR. However, click here have the 533Mhz DDR2 at under £40.00 for 512MB. Others to try are click here, click here and of course Crucial and Kingston must be checked purely for quality. The latter two may be a little more pricey, but their products are renowned for reliability. I have bought from misco, budget and pless (priceless computing) and all are genuine shops. DDR will not work as the new motherboard has the architecture for DDR2.
As for the advice from the "help"desk staff, don't always take what they say as gospel. From my own experience, these people often 'guess' if they are unsure... When my broadband connection was down recently, the technical'support' operator confirmed it was a problem with the local telephone exchange. She then suggested I should change the microfilter if I wanted to get online before the exchange was fixed! That's like changing a lightbulb in a power-cut to enable you to see!

  signal_de_plane 03:23 23 Jan 2007

Hi ya,
Just signed up to pca, was wondering if anyone could give me a clue on power consumption.
I have been asked to build this Computer for my nephew and its my first time building one so i need a lil advice from you experts plz.

17" Pennon 8ms TFT monitor black/ silver +speakers (FU1708) (2 year manufacturer's warranty) £91.59 Inc VAT

Colors IT 8001-C34 Black/Silver Midi tower Neon Case 400W ATX £21.09 Inc VAT

500W Quiet ATX PSU 20 - 24 Pin Connector £16.09 Inc VAT

Asus M2V AM2 Skt940 VIA K8T890 PCI-E x16 SATA RAID Giga LAN ATX Motherboard £44.00 Inc VAT

AMD CPU AM2 Athlon 64 3200 Retail Boxed inc Fan, Socket AM2, 940 PIN (3yr Manufacturers Warranty) £54.78 Inc VAT

Geil® Value DDR2 1.0GB PC6400 Dual Channel Kit (2 x 512mb) 800MHz (5-5-5-15) with Aluminium heat spreader, ATI Crossfire Ceritified £76.36 Inc VAT

XpertVision GeForce 7600GT 256MB DDR3, PCI-E, DVI, SLI, Retail £75.67 Inc VAT

160 GB Samsung HD160JJ SATA2 7200rpm 8mb cache Hard drive oem £37.84 Inc VAT

Samsung SH-S182M Black DVD+/-R/RW RAM DL 18x Lightscribe £19.96 Inc VAT

MD Black Keyboard PS/2 £3.53 Inc VAT

Logitech RX1000 Laser Mouse USB 3 Button (Oem) £14.81 Inc VAT

SoundBlaster Audigy SE 7.1 surround sound Internal oem £17.27 Inc VAT

Sony Silver 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive 1.44MB £5.88 Inc VAT

£15-£20 on some good headphones

TOTAL: £498.87

As u can see i added the prices because my cuzin only has a budget of £500, and i'm worried that the PSU included with the Case is not enuff or good enuff for later upgrades, so i was contemplating replacing it with the 500w PSU, isit worth the £16?

  Scottiedogg 11:53 23 Jan 2007

looking at the components you have listed, you really need a 450W minimum. Although the 400w would likely run, any 'power usage' would cause problems, particularly with any additional passive peripherals atttached (powered from the mobo via USB etc.). Installing the 500w is a sensible decision.

  signal_de_plane 15:18 23 Jan 2007

Thanks m8y, yeah i totally forgot about the usb connections using some of the onboard power(doh). I'll definetly go with the 500w, cheers again for the eye opener.

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