Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

A good trade? My Dell i9300 for a koolance tower/24 LCD

Last response: in Systems
Share
November 14, 2005 10:07:54 PM

I currently own a Dell Inspiron 9300 notebook with a 2.13GHz centrino CPU, 6800 256MB graphics, 1GB ram, 1440x900 17" screen, 9cell bat, CD/DVD combo drive and a 60GB 5400rpm HDD.

Had it for about 8months and truthfully, I have totally been using it like a desktop. Neways, one of my good friends is in the market for a gaming laptop (he is finally moving out and staying in the dorms!) and he approached me about doing a swap of my laptop plus $200 for his whole system.

He has a really nice system, though a bit old. The specs are:

Koolance PC2-650 Watercooled case
Watercooling blocks for CPU, video card, MoBo chipset, and 2 hard drives.
Ultra X-connect modular 500W PSU
AMD Athlon XP 3200+
Asus A7N8X Deluxe NF2 MoBo
Mushkin Lvl2 2-2-2-7 2X512MB RAM
BFG Nvidia 6800ultra graphics card
Audigy 2 ZS sound card
2x WD 74GB Raptors in RAID 0 (WC'ed)
WD 200GB Caviar
8X DVD-RW & DVD-rom
OS: Windows XP Media Center 2005

and here's the kicker... a Dell 2405FPW 24" LCD.

I am a bit leary of the watercooling setup since I don't have any experience in that field but he said it has been running troublefree for over a year now and plus he only lives a couple miles away (either at school or at his parent's house) so I can always have him help troubleshoot. The nice thing is that his tower is relatively quiet... its amazing how sensitive I am to noisy fans now after having my 9300 undervolted and fan controlled. Runs quite cool too, with ambient of 75degrees, idle: CPU is at 39 celcius and GPU 50, load: 46/55.

The main thing about the water cooling is that it does cut down on noise substantially and it gives some extra head room. I beleive he said he is running it OC'ed right now at 2.4GHz (210x11.5) with 2.2GHz stock and the GPU at 465/1280 (400/1100 stock), not exactly the best but its suppose to be stable and still pretty cool.

One thing I was wondering is if the xp3200 is roughly equivilent to the AMD 64 3200 but just without the 64 bits. The 2405 definitely rocks... Dell makes some awesome LCDs. Previously I had a 2001FP and I also used the 2405FPW when it first came out with my old desktop before I moved to my 9300.

I have analyzed my need for a mobile computer and truthfully, I don't use it much. The 9300 is a bit bulky to carry around, and even with the 9cell, battery life is only like 3-3:15. Plus, I really can't bring my laptop into lectures... way too easy to get sidetracked. I use my 9300 like a desktop anyways, except for occasionally carrying it to bed for watching a movie before I fall asleep. That 24" screen is whats got me salivating.

Pretty much, good gaming laptops don't make the best mobile laptops and so if in the future, a need for laptop arises, I would likely buy a cheap Dell 700M or the 610M, and since I got the desktop with the 6800U and 24" display for gaming, integrated graphics will work fine and my new laptop will be 1/2-3/5 the size/weight.

Its better to specialize computers into workhorse/gaming and mobile. That is if you got the space and money of course. I still gotta say, that 9300 did make a awfully good compromise, its just that I thought the 17" was too small at times when fulfilling desktop duties but too bulky to just carry around (can't stuff it in a backpack). Still worlds better than a P4 12lb desktop replacement with a 16cell bat and 1hour running time though (like the Dell 9100s).

And all the components seem top notch, basically top of the line gear back in their hey-day a year ago.

I figure I can probaly sell my laptop for about $1400, the Dell LCD is worth about $750, so essientially I will be paying 850 for his computer. Considering how ridiculously expensive Koolance stuff is, (He said just the case and waterblocks were like $450), it seems like a really good deal. Could I build a computer for $1600 new that would top his setup? I would appreciate any feedback you fellows could give me. I kinda want to build my own system but this seems almost too good to pass up. Thanks all!
November 15, 2005 12:13:22 AM

You're getting the better end of that deal. Is your friend crazy?
November 15, 2005 12:51:13 AM

hmm... He was mortified when he toured his dorm room. Its like half the size of his bedroom and he has to share it with another peep! No way his little desk can fit his big tower and the 24 LCD.

He did try selling the computer tower locally for about a month. Originally for 900 and even when he lowered it to 800 he didn't get any offers. So maybe the provo, Utah area just aren't into those types of comps or something.
Related resources
November 15, 2005 4:36:41 AM

the A XP 3200+ would perform less then a A64 3200+ in gaming because of the onboard memory controllers and other issues like that. but it would still run well




if you want to build your own computer that good for 1600bucks that would be tough....but only because of the monitor. I could build a tower to beat that tower in gaming for about 800-1000 depending on how many deals i can find. For 1600 you could have a top of the line tower that few computers could beat.....if you dont mind OC'ing.

The 2405 is what throws it off...you have to wait for special deals like GOD DAMN DH got....and even then its $750....brand new they are 1200, but they always have specials to put them around a grand.

SO you are buying his computer for 600bucks....Thats the cost of the waterblocks/case, and the Raptors....so you get everything else for free.....

personally i would jump on it, and then try to find someone trying to find a budget gaming system and have them get a case, HDD, and sell the cpu, ram, mobo, gpu to them for like 600-800bucks....which is a great deal for them and take that money and buy a San Diego cpu, a 7800GT, DFI board, OCZ RAM and OC the hell out of it. With the waterblocks you could get 2.8Ghz easily which is as fast as the $1100 cpu that AMD has the FX57, and the 7800GT will OC to beyond GTX levels with water cooling.

I vote to take it.
November 15, 2005 4:38:57 AM

Fuckk you would probably OWE HIM 200bucks with this trade....holy shitt.
November 15, 2005 5:21:28 AM

Hmm... just to clarify... the trade would be my $200 plus the laptop for his tower/monitor.

Also, whats the san diego core? I am thinking along the same lines you are pickxx... get a new mobo with a 3800 AMD dual core CPU and OC that to 4800 levels. Too bad the 6800ultra is AGP, its just the CPU that seems to be the bottle neck.

Do you know if I can reuse the Muskin Lvl2 DDR RAM? The muskin is pretty nice, I believe it uses the famous winbond bh-5 chips and it runs tight... holds 2-2-2 latency at 210FSB.

Overall, on a gaming basis, this system even as is should blow away my laptop. My 3dmark05 scores OC'ed was ~3500 with my notebook and this tower gets 6000 OC'ed. Should enough to play at 1920x1200 with low filtering. I do alot of video conversion which is very CPU intensive and it looks like the 3200 is quite a bit slower than the 2.13GHz centrino. However, the twin raptors should shred my laptop 2.5" 5400rpm HDD, and the audigy 2 ZS definitely is tons nice than the staticy onboard audio as well. Man, decisions, decisions. The LCD is whats dragging me in, 24" of desktop LCD goodness beats a 17" dimmer laptop LCD anyday!

Oh yes, and I just found out, the HDDs are actually 80GB WD raptors. Supposedly he bought them off some dude that had it in a Dell XPS desktop. I looked at them and sure enough, the label says WD raptor though its WD80GD rather than the regular WD74GD. I just googled it and apparently WD does sell 80GB raptors but only to large OEMs. So that means it has 160GBs of RAID 0 10,000rpm goodness.
November 15, 2005 5:50:58 AM

Quote:
Hmm... just to clarify... the trade would be my $200 plus the laptop for his tower/monitor.


My bad, that is a steal...your laptop and 200bucks for that is very doable


Quote:
Also, whats the san diego core? I am thinking along the same lines you are pickxx... get a new mobo with a 3800 AMD dual core CPU and OC that to 4800 levels. Too bad the 6800ultra is AGP, its just the CPU that seems to be the bottle neck.


San Deigo core is the same thing they make the FX series out of....the FX57 is about $1100 bucks and its 2.8Ghz, you should be able to get that and maybe 3.0 for about $700 less8) :lol: 


The 3800+ dual core for video editing will be great depedning on the program you use.some editing programs use the DC properly some dont. but you should be able to OC the 3800+ to around 3.0Ghz with that setup....which is beyond anything on the market by 600Mhz.

Quote:
Do you know if I can reuse the Muskin Lvl2 DDR RAM? The muskin is pretty nice, I believe it uses the famous winbond bh-5 chips and it runs tight... holds 2-2-2 latency at 210FSB.


Actually you could....and buy a 1GB kit for 80bucks for the budget system for the other person. You should be able to get to around 250-260 with 2-2-2-6 timings with extra voltage....with 260FSB you would have a 2.6Ghz prossor which would be still 200Mhz faster then the fast X2 available. and because of the tight timings it would perform like something clocked higher...it would be faster the something that was 2.8 with 3-4-4-10 timings.



Quote:
Overall, on a gaming basis, this system even as is should blow away my laptop. My 3dmark05 scores OC'ed was ~3500 with my notebook and this tower gets 6000 OC'ed. Should enough to play at 1920x1200 with low filtering. I do alot of video conversion which is very CPU intensive and it looks like the 3200 is quite a bit slower than the 2.13GHz centrino. However, the twin raptors should shred my laptop 2.5" 5400rpm HDD, and the audigy 2 ZS definitely is tons nice than the staticy onboard audio as well. Man, decisions, decisions. The LCD is whats dragging me in, 24" of desktop LCD goodness beats a 17" dimmer laptop LCD anyday!


Yes, 3dmark05 should go up for you...but if you get a X2@2.6Ghz and a 7800GT OC'd you should get around 8-9k....everything else is just icing on the cake....and with a 2405...thats a focking awesome cake.


Quote:
Oh yes, and I just found out, the HDDs are actually 80GB WD raptors. Supposedly he bought them off some dude that had it in a Dell XPS desktop. I looked at them and sure enough, the label says WD raptor though its WD80GD rather than the regular WD74GD. I just googled it and apparently WD does sell 80GB raptors but only to large OEMs. So that means it has 160GBs of RAID 0 10,000rpm goodness.


I dont know that you should put those in RAID, i wonder if you will ever really have a need for it. having one of them for your boot drive will be nice for startups and putting your games on, to have quicker level load times....and use the 2nd one for movies you edit....but having them both in RAID-0 seems a waste of speed to me.



If you want to sell the extra parts and upgrade the watercooled system your cost would be nearly nothing to maybe at most $300, after you sell a budget system to someone.....and btw that is one hell of a budget system. The extra parts would be worth quite a bit......depending on how much of it you sell and how much you keep for yourself. (btw sell the Xconnect with the budget system and get a good PSU...like a 500W enermax or 500W fortron source.) buy a low cost case to put it all in, and 80bucks in RAM, small harddrive, and you're set. You could sell that to someone for around $600 maybe more depending if you keep the sound card and stuff....and they are still getting a great deal.

The 3800+ X2 is about $290, the motherboard i reccomend is this DFI board for $125 and the 7800GT can be had for about $370

So thats a total of $800 for new parts, selling the old stuff for 600 maybe 650-700....so your cost is this

+40 (new cheap case)
+80 (1GB of value ram)
+800 for new parts
-650 for selling old computer
=200 cash for original deal
+laptop

=$480 plus your laptop for a system nearly twice as fast in gaming, and nearly 3 times as fast for video editing then your buddies odl system...and compared to your laptop it would be 3times better for gaming.

So i think thats a no brainer.
November 15, 2005 7:05:18 PM

Wow... thanks for the extra long post. Musta taken ya a while to write :) . That looks good, its a go then. I am prob gonna get the system, play around with it and then once I get my midterms out of the way, this winter break, embark on the upgrade project. Hopefully by then prices will have gone down some too, esp on the dual cores.

How can you OC the 2GHz 3800 to 3GHz! I am assuming the multiplier is locked and with a 1:1 ratio, I doubt my ram can go up to 300FSB no matter how much I overvolt it. Also, from doing some research, the opteron 165 might be the way to go. Same cache as the 4400/4800, only 1.8GHz clock but supposedly easily OC'able to 2.6GHz on just air! Whereas the 3800 is 2GHz but only 1/2 the cache and it looks like $10-20 more expensive.

CPUs are pretty expensive, miss the days of the mobile 2600+ barton for $85 you can OC to 2.6GHz. $300-350 for just the CPU? Ouch. Sucks being a compuer enthusaist still mucking around semi-broke in college.

Plus this is all dependent on if any hot deals on the new dell 700/710M or M140/610Ms show up. IF I can get one for ~700-800 I'll jump on that first. After all, the tower is still quite acceptable and if I have to chose between another small/light laptop or making my speedy desktop into a speed demon, I'd go with the other laptop first.

I am setting up the desktop right now since I just did the swap this morning and man, you gotta love the raptors. Even with the somewhat slow CPU, I can definitely feel the improvement overall.
November 16, 2005 4:58:20 AM

Well, I did the swap and now my new desktop with the awesome monitor is chugging away great. Man, gotta love that feeling when you jump from 17 to 24 inches. Its like you are looking into a panorama. Too bad after several days I will get used to it and it will just make other monitors I use seem even smaller than they are. Am doing my research and it looks like eventually I am going to spring for a DFI Lanpart NF4 Ultra-D MoBo, a 3800+, and either a 7800GT or maybe a dirt cheap 6800GS or x800GTO. A lot can happen in a month.

Ordered some new 80mm panaflo fans to swap out the top radiator ones to quite the case down and it should be good to go.

Before my 9300 laptop, I had a pretty nice setup. It was a XP2600+ mobile OC'ed to 2.4GHz, a DFI NF2 lanparty MoBo, 1GB RAM, Nvidia 5900utra, Audigy2 plat soundcard, Aspire 520watt PSU in a sweet aluminum CoolerMaster Practorian case. Even had the matching green UV them going. Ended up selling the system for like $480 on ebay back in April and apparently, while shipping it, FedEx really roughed it up and killed the CPU, Graphics card, and MoBo. No physical damage and ended up refunding like $150. Felt really bad selling my desktop for $330.

I also had the Logitech 5500 soundsystem. Originally had the Z-560s and then got the 5500s. Sold then localled same time I sold my desktop. I would say a audigy2/audigy4 soundcard is probaly your best compromise. You can take advantage of EAX4 in games and the sound quality isn't bad either. Also while gaming, offloads the CPU somewhat. I installed a 1600watt rms system in my F150 truck with a killer JL Audio W7 subwoofer and so now thats where I go whenever I feel like really 'feeling' my tunes. Now using my Senheiser HD600s... good stuff and doesn't get my roomies too pissed off at me.
November 16, 2005 6:43:27 PM

Quote:
Wow... thanks for the extra long post. Musta taken ya a while to write :) . That looks good, its a go then. I am prob gonna get the system, play around with it and then once I get my midterms out of the way, this winter break, embark on the upgrade project. Hopefully by then prices will have gone down some too, esp on the dual cores.

How can you OC the 2GHz 3800 to 3GHz! I am assuming the multiplier is locked and with a 1:1 ratio, I doubt my ram can go up to 300FSB no matter how much I overvolt it. Also, from doing some research, the opteron 165 might be the way to go. Same cache as the 4400/4800, only 1.8GHz clock but supposedly easily OC'able to 2.6GHz on just air! Whereas the 3800 is 2GHz but only 1/2 the cache and it looks like $10-20 more expensive.

CPUs are pretty expensive, miss the days of the mobile 2600+ barton for $85 you can OC to 2.6GHz. $300-350 for just the CPU? Ouch. Sucks being a compuer enthusaist still mucking around semi-broke in college.

Plus this is all dependent on if any hot deals on the new dell 700/710M or M140/610Ms show up. IF I can get one for ~700-800 I'll jump on that first. After all, the tower is still quite acceptable and if I have to chose between another small/light laptop or making my speedy desktop into a speed demon, I'd go with the other laptop first.

I am setting up the desktop right now since I just did the swap this morning and man, you gotta love the raptors. Even with the somewhat slow CPU, I can definitely feel the improvement overall.



It took me about 15min...lol...i dont know, it didn't take that long i'm sure...i am not patient so if it takes more then 5-10min i just leave it alone.


The 3800+ will get up to around 3Ghz with yoru water cooling setup....yeah your RAM might be a problem, its designed to get to around 260 max with great timings. so an OC of 2.6Gh would be easy.....but to get that extra you would have to get something like OC platinum Rev2....a couple review sites got it above 300FSB so that would put you at 3Ghz...its your call on what you want to do.

you culd get a 4200 X2 and with the higher multiplier have 2.86Gh with a 260FSB with cas2 timings.


Cpu's are expsensive, but when you look at spending $400 and you will be OCing it FAR AND BAYOND anything thats actually on the market. If you get 2.86Ghz that would be faster then any stock CPU AMD has on the market....dual core or not....including the fx57 which is $1000+.

You could always go single core and get a 3700+ and OC it like mad...its $233 on newegg...and it should get to 3Ghz as well with nice watercooling...and for games quite often single core is better then dual core right now.


there are a lot of options, you just have to pick which direction you want to go. pick a budegt, pick some performance mark, pick something and then go with it.

Have fun
November 17, 2005 4:07:22 AM

Smart move. FYI, I have your monitor and got it for $900 to my door. The cheapest I've seen it drop since then is about $800+tax. So you really got a killer deal.
November 17, 2005 5:47:20 AM

I have seen it for $760+ tax fee shipping....and i know 2 lucky fukkers hat got them for $615 shipped.....because one had a 50% off coupon and the other one called in and said that his friedn got the deal for 50% off and they matched it....Lucky SOB's
November 17, 2005 6:31:40 AM

Yea, I checked. There was a coupon a ways back (about a month) where you could stack a 35% off, a $35 off, and 2% off by paying with DPA, and 3% rebate on the 2405fpw. So the total woulda been like $707. The coupon started 8am that day but I had class and by the time I got back from class around 1pm, the coupon with its 3500 uses had all been redeemed and didn't work anymore (coupon was good for the 19, ws 20, and UXGA 20 LCDs as well). Man did I kick myself, so sad I didn't play hooky that do. And to add insult to injury, next week I got a 56% on the midterm for the inclass review that I attended the day of the lcd coupon. :oops:  .

Also, supposedly, a while back you could order a Dell dualcore 9100 desktop with a 2.8GHz cpu, 160GB memory, a ati x300 graphics, dual cdburner/dvd-rom and a gb of ram with the 2405fpw for like $1050. It was gotten by stacking a dell employee purchase program 33% off coupon with the current dell promotion of 50% off all LCD upgrades. Was too late to get in that too, but afterwards, like 95%+ of al the peeps who ordered it got their orders canceled since they used a coupon that was 'illegally' leaked and was meant only for gov't workers out in Atlanta, Georgia somewhere.

One of my friend's friend got in on the deal all the way and then somehow got dell to pricematch the systems... ended up buying like 20 systems for $1050 and selling them on ebay for $1400-1600 each. Got a cool $5000 and a free 24 incher out of it along with some mad reward pts on his discover card.

Haha, I guess some peeps are just born to find there jems right?

BTW, I think I found a pretty good deal on a BFG 7800 GT OC. Its gonna be $379 and comes with a $50 rebate, a free $50 game of your choice which I plan on reselling on ebay for $40, a 10% off coupon, and I will use a $200 giftcard I bought off my roommate for $175. So final price after all my wheeling and dealing will be like $250ish.

Also buying another better Koolance case and cpu waterblock for $225. Its the PC3-720, aluminum case (16lbs compared to the like 30 of my current PC2-650), has 3/8inch tubing instead of 1/4inch, 2 120mm radiator fans instead of 3 80mm.

I am then gonna order a DFI Lanparty NF4 Ultra-D which I will mod to SLI capable (though I will only stick with the single 7800gt since I am sure it will be plenty) from newegg for $125, and a new WD 320gb HDD from newegg for $110.

Now all that leaves out is the CPU and I figure I will wait a week or two to see if there is any good deals on that. If not, then prob a Opteron 165 or a 3800 X2 for $300ish.

So, it will come out to like $1000 for my new build, with my reusing my ram, PSU, twin raptors, soundcard, and dvd burner.

I will then buy some value ram for $80 for 1GB. Then, I will try to sell my old system with the koolance PC2-650, XP 3200+, 6800 ultra, 1GB ram, and 200GB HDD locally for $600-700. So say a $400 cost to upgrade to a better, cooler, lighter, quieter case, 7800gt, 120gb extra storage, and dual core. Man, I gotta stop doing this, spending so much money that is.
November 17, 2005 6:41:22 AM

Wow, it sounds like you have everything well under control....

Glad everything worked out for you and you are going to have one hell of a kickass system.
November 17, 2005 10:12:26 PM

Haha, thanks. Now if only I could concentrate this much on my schoolwork, I would start getting straight As and can get my scholarship reinstated!

There was this online deal earlier today on dell for a Dell 9150 with dual core 2.8GHz cpu, 160gb HDD, 1GB ram, 7800gtx, and two 2405fpws for $2150 shipped. It was dirt cheap... however, not quite cheap enough to be worth ordering and then trying to sell on ebay with all the fees and I don't need the monitors and I think the dell tower cases are fugly. Peh!

I am going back home for thanksgiving and hopefully when I come back in about 2weeks, cpu prices will have dropped. Almost placed my order with newegg today but that $330 3800 was just too much to swallow and I can't justify spending $1000 just to upgrade to a 3200 or 3500 from my xp3200. If I jump, I gotta go all the way :) .

btw, did you pick a soundcard for your 5500? You are gonna be rocking the joint and if you like in a apartment complex, will become the most hated person there :) .
November 18, 2005 12:12:51 AM

No....no sound card yet, i have forgotten about getting it for the most part....

I had some money saved and i was going to buy some new spekaers or a 2405 or something....but then i ended up needing to spend money on other things like ym car. and i am back tobeing broke...I will proabbly get a Turtle beach one becuase i have heard good things. Maybe a Audigy 2Z because i dont know why i need X-fi
November 18, 2005 2:59:39 AM

Ouch, I hear ya. Girls, cars, and tech gadgets. They are the 3 things that eat up money like no other, in descending order. Reminds me of the in april when I got in a car accident and I was at fault... since i am only 20, only had liability coverage. So, ended up with higher insurance, a $150 fine, not having a car for 2 weeks, screwing up my finals since it happened right before finals, and $1500 to fix my car.

The audigy2zs would prob be the best bet, you can buy a new oem one for like $55-60. Catalina I heard is slighter better music quality wise and slightly cheaper. However, the audigy beats it hands down for 3d audio gaming support along with eax 3 or 4.
November 18, 2005 3:10:35 AM

Well i didn't have anything happen like that....the back left window just stopped working...it broke the track its on and it just sits at the bottom....I went to a dealership and they quoted me $99 to look at it, 399$ to fix it and $250 for parts......$750? to replace something so small and stupid? that pisses me off.

Right now i have duct tape holding it up...which pisses me off even more because i look like a bum....well its one smaller piece not the whole thing but still.....i refuse to pay that much money to fix a GD window. I just met a guy and i helped him saved $350 at BestBuy, and he gave me his card....i think he will help me out with a beter price.

but for now i need to save my money because i have no idea whats down the road with that.



I play video games, btu 3d sound isn't something i am all that excited about. I watch movies, tv shows, and video files all the time on my computer...and music is playing nearly 24/7....i just need something that can produce great sounding music with my Z5500's and great video sound....not DVD's....Avi's mostly, some divx, some Mpeg
!