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Dell or build

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June 16, 2006 11:19:56 PM

Hello, I have a question about a Dell E310. Everything that I have built on it suits me fine (I don't have it yet). Here are the specs if these will help.

Intel P4 640 w/ HT (3.2 Ghz 800FSB)
XP Pro
2GB DDR2 533Mhz
160 GB
19 in. Dell Flat Panel
Integrated Sound Blaster Audigy
Office Basic

(A few other stuff like McAfee etc)

The Price is $1,080. But I can't use the Graphics Accelerator for what I need to do with it. My question is these dell's ship with PCIe 16x Slots right? If anyone knows their help would be much appreciated.

Also, do you guys think this is a good deal? The graphics card I am looking at right now is this (linked) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Anyone know if these are good cards?

(Need at least a 256 bit interface card)

I thank you a lot for your help


Also should I erase the OS and reinstall it? I heard that was good to get rid of junk software?

Thanks again

More about : dell build

June 16, 2006 11:46:45 PM

A couple things:

1) That Dell doesn't have a PCIe or AGP slot on the motherboard. The best graphics card that you can get is a PCI card, and those all suck

2) As long as you order a Dell with the Windows reinstallation disc, you'll be able to reinstall Windows and get rid of all the junk software. Otherwise, you need to buy a new copy of Windows.

3) That graphics card that you linked sucks, as well. It is basically a crippled 6800. You'll be much better off with a 7600GT.

4) Even if the Dell had a PCIe slot, the power supply probably isn't good enough for a good graphics card.

Just build your own PC.
June 16, 2006 11:54:29 PM

Quote:
A couple things:

1) That Dell doesn't have a PCIe or AGP slot on the motherboard. The best graphics card that you can get is a PCI card, and those all suck

2) As long as you order a Dell with the Windows reinstallation disc, you'll be able to reinstall Windows and get rid of all the junk software. Otherwise, you need to buy a new copy of Windows.

3) That graphics card that you linked sucks, as well. It is basically a crippled 6800. You'll be much better off with a 7600GT.

4) Even if the Dell had a PCIe slot, the power supply probably isn't good enough for a good graphics card.

Just build your own PC.


Most new dells ship with a pci-e slot. Newer dell PSUs are at least 350w for the older series. Newer should be at least 400.
Related resources
June 16, 2006 11:59:14 PM

Only you can make that decision. With Dell, you're paying for all that software you are planning on deleting as well as the video card that you can't use. I build all of my PCs and wouldn't want it any other way. I get only what I want, nothing I don't want and I'm the one who chooses future upgrade potential when I do build.

I don't necessarily save money but neither am I locked in to something with limited upgrade potential either.

Here's a good example of what you can do for a grand. Remember also that these prices are gonna change, for the better, toward the end of July when Conroe ships, for both AMD and Intel.
June 17, 2006 12:01:33 AM

Quote:
A couple things:

1) That Dell doesn't have a PCIe or AGP slot on the motherboard. The best graphics card that you can get is a PCI card, and those all suck

2) As long as you order a Dell with the Windows reinstallation disc, you'll be able to reinstall Windows and get rid of all the junk software. Otherwise, you need to buy a new copy of Windows.

3) That graphics card that you linked sucks, as well. It is basically a crippled 6800. You'll be much better off with a 7600GT.

4) Even if the Dell had a PCIe slot, the power supply probably isn't good enough for a good graphics card.

Just build your own PC.


Most new dells ship with a pci-e slot. Newer dell PSUs are at least 350w for the older series. Newer should be at least 400.

E310 Specs As you can see, it has two PCI slots, and one PCIe x1 slot. To my knowledge, there are no graphics cards with a PCIe x1 connector, but if you can give me a link, I'll retract my statement. Just to put things in perspective, you can build a PC with a 7900GT and an Athlon 64 for the price that he's paying for this Dell.
June 17, 2006 1:04:28 AM

Call Dell and ask them if it has a PCI-E 16x slot in it. I agree with the duck the 6800 card is a bad idea.

Bottom line, call Dell on a phone and ask them what the board specs are, keep in mind you can return this PC for up to 30 days after you buy it, I did once and was painless minus the shipping I paid for to ship it back to Texas.

edit: why not move up to an E510? they are cheap as well and have more upgrade paths.
June 17, 2006 1:52:46 AM

Quote:
A couple things:

1) That Dell doesn't have a PCIe or AGP slot on the motherboard. The best graphics card that you can get is a PCI card, and those all suck

2) As long as you order a Dell with the Windows reinstallation disc, you'll be able to reinstall Windows and get rid of all the junk software. Otherwise, you need to buy a new copy of Windows.

3) That graphics card that you linked sucks, as well. It is basically a crippled 6800. You'll be much better off with a 7600GT.

4) Even if the Dell had a PCIe slot, the power supply probably isn't good enough for a good graphics card.

Just build your own PC.


Most new dells ship with a pci-e slot. Newer dell PSUs are at least 350w for the older series. Newer should be at least 400.

E310 Specs As you can see, it has two PCI slots, and one PCIe x1 slot. To my knowledge, there are no graphics cards with a PCIe x1 connector, but if you can give me a link, I'll retract my statement. Just to put things in perspective, you can build a PC with a 7900GT and an Athlon 64 for the price that he's paying for this Dell. There are 1x graphics cards. I thought I rmembered reading that the new VIA graphics cards are 1x compatible. I'll look it up.
June 17, 2006 1:58:27 AM

Well, the S27 seires chipset has NATIVE support for all PCIx speeds (1,4,8,16), but apparently there must not be an S27-based card using the PCI 1x design.
June 17, 2006 2:13:59 AM

While I would build, the E310 at that price is a rip-off. Dell thrives on those who are not well-tuned on how to use their website. I used to work for Dell, so let me help you a bit.

Get the E510 instead with a D920 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and basically the rest of the specs you had. You don't need a virus scanner from Dell. Avast works great and its free forever. Consider getting a 19" digital instead of an analog, but with the 19" LCD Analog the E510 is $1077 after discounts.

Use coupon: NTS77PR6N$?4BF to change the discount from 20% to 35%.

OR just build it (better, but requires more effort :)  )
June 17, 2006 2:47:56 AM

E means entry leve, not kiding. I had to fix one the other day, it felt like a celeron 1.4Ghz! It even had 512ram, they are crippled pos's, the 5 series is a little better, got a few for a company that was stuck on them, not bad but still 300-400 more than a comprably built one.
June 17, 2006 3:19:28 AM

Dell makes pretty quality stuff, just sometimes they don't have the best price-perf

I would recommend that you configure the Dell XPS 400

the xps 400 is a good size case with pci-e16
it is decent value computer

i recommend you opt for the 1907fp (+$50) if you want to get a display

get a video card of yourself
the 6800 XT is good only if you find it at a price of around $90 and has great game perfomance, at stock speeds may get 3DMark 05 marks, but there are better around that price, like the x800 GTO
June 17, 2006 3:43:40 AM

Quote:
Dell makes pretty quality stuff



you are kidding right? you have to treat a dell really well and i mean like freaking REALLY WELL or it will give you so much back sass / just go to hell in a hand basket, they put in....basicly wallmart parts and charge an extra 100 bucks for each part, you can only put in dell parts and you can almost never upgrade them yourself with out modding out the case (Ie new videocard, u have to 1st put in a PSU is higher wattage and 2nd - 30bucks says u have to make your own screw holes..)

and dont even get me started on their labtops...pos..my friend had the videocard (9700..yea it was a "high end dell") go out in less then a year and my friends sister has been having problems with hers since day 1
June 17, 2006 4:20:16 AM

Quote:
Dell makes pretty quality stuff



you are kidding right? you have to treat a dell really well and i mean like freaking REALLY WELL or it will give you so much back sass / just go to hell in a hand basket, they put in....basicly wallmart parts and charge an extra 100 bucks for each part, you can only put in dell parts and you can almost never upgrade them yourself with out modding out the case (Ie new videocard, u have to 1st put in a PSU is higher wattage and 2nd - 30bucks says u have to make your own screw holes..)

and dont even get me started on their labtops...pos..my friend had the videocard (9700..yea it was a "high end dell") go out in less then a year and my friends sister has been having problems with hers since day 1

Personally, I like Dell. They build reliable computers and price them low. I don't like the bloatware, but all PC manufacturers do that. If it bothers you so much (as it does me), spend another $10 for the Windows reinstallation CD, and once you receive the PC, do a fresh install of Windows.

Quote:
E means entry leve, not kiding. I had to fix one the other day, it felt like a celeron 1.4Ghz! It even had 512ram, they are crippled pos's, the 5 series is a little better, got a few for a company that was stuck on them, not bad but still 300-400 more than a comprably built one.


That would be the bloatware that you felt, sucking up all the system RAM and fragmenting the HDD. With a Windows reinstall, it wouldn't be nearly as sluggish.

Quote:
There are 1x graphics cards. I thought I rmembered reading that the new VIA graphics cards are 1x compatible. I'll look it up.


Linky?
June 17, 2006 5:10:38 AM

Also remember this. DELL PSU's are propriatary. If you need more power than the stock computer, you'll need another Dell made supply. That is unless you're willing to re-order the leads in the motherboard plug of some other brand PSU and keep your fingers crossed. Google for mod instructions if curious
June 17, 2006 5:20:49 AM

If you go Dell then go with the E510. I have one and it is a decent pc, running a 630 P4, 1.25 gigs of ram, ATI Theatre 550 Pro, with more to come. I would reccomend perhaps getting a Dell then doing some of the other upgrades else where, for example, I bought mine with 256 mb of ram, which a pot of crap, but for what they wanted to upgrade at the time I didnt want to. You have to watch them because you can do some of the upgrades for less money yourself.

Some upgrades are worthwhile though, like right now they list the 820 as base cpu, but for only 40 dollars you can upgrade to the 930 which is a much better processor.

With the E510 you can swap the power supply with an OCZ modstream BTX power supply, keeping in mind it is the BTX model. It has been noted in the dell forums by many that it is a bolt in quality power supply.

The only thing bad about a dell is the case, power supply, and motherboard are all dell designs, so you cant really just swap one or the other of those particualar things, well except for the power supply in the case of the E510 which can be swaped for the OCZ. But you could be stuck as far as processor upgrades go with your MB, like me, I think Im stuck with single cores, no duals for me, my 510 is too old to upgrade. Other then that the rest of a dell is off the shelf parts I believe, mine has an NEC drive, Western D HD, Micron ram-same as Corsair.

Also there is no PCIx16 in the E310, I have looked in my parents and there is none.

Building is a better alternative I believe, but it is a little more expensive, especially if you dont already have a monitor.
June 17, 2006 5:24:49 AM

Quote:
Also remember this. DELL PSU's are propriatary. If you need more power than the stock computer, you'll need another Dell made supply. That is unless you're willing to re-order the leads in the motherboard plug of some other brand PSU and keep your fingers crossed. Google for mod instructions if curious


I didn't think they were propriatory any longer?
June 17, 2006 5:27:21 AM

Quote:
Also remember this. DELL PSU's are propriatary. If you need more power than the stock computer, you'll need another Dell made supply. That is unless you're willing to re-order the leads in the motherboard plug of some other brand PSU and keep your fingers crossed. Google for mod instructions if curious


I didn't think they were propriatory any longer?

The only way to find out is try it.
June 17, 2006 5:37:10 AM

Quote:
That would be the bloatware that you felt, sucking up all the system RAM and fragmenting the HDD. With a Windows reinstall, it wouldn't be nearly as sluggish.


That was my fix. Every Dell I've ever had the displeasure of fixing is absolutely slow compared to a comprably equipment home-built. They cost more than they should, they are slow, and they do have high failure rates. Over the last 7 years of repairing thousands of computer I have repaired more dell's than anything except emachines :D  (compaq and hp are close behind) This is still taking into account the fact that more Dells are sold than others so there will of course be more to fix, but the ratio's are still WAY out of proportion.

Newer Dell's, at least some models I've seen, don't have proprietary ps's anymore, but they still suck for upgradability, 3 hard drives on the XPS's, like, wow :roll:

edit: $10 for an OS you already purchased, yeah right, those cd's, I'll tell ya man they really cost that much :roll: Sounds like they decided to follow compaq and hp in that area. Down right dumb. $30 for a floppy???? I can't say anything good about them right now. I'll stop :D 
June 17, 2006 5:38:54 AM

ah yess, learnin somethin new everyday.. a quick forum search reveals it's no longer true as is used to be.. my bad. Perhaps another psu could work. *bow* :oops: 
June 17, 2006 6:00:30 AM

I think you'd be better off building your own system. With the Pentium D series going down it would be a great build and bang for the buck compare to Dell.

Okay, you should grab the Pentium D 950 3.2Ghz, along with 1x2Gb of DDR2 533 ramage and 7900GT or X1800XT, you have a powerful pc. I'm assuming you can do the rest.

:) 
June 17, 2006 7:49:24 AM

while i do think dell is the way to go ,I think that price is a bit high woule tell you for the 500 series, if you research around you can find good deals on dell. I got in on a couple of the E510 deal with 20" Lcd for less then $700. or you can just look for coupons. i have also built my own pc and while some people enjoy it , i could not stand all the little problems, The only downside to a dell (i think) is the fact you cant overclock)

As far as walmart parts :roll: it has a lite-on cd drive a philips dvd r/w drive
A seagate 80gig hd, samsung 512ddr2 with the p4 630. Granted no records are going to be falling but it does its job with these walmart parts


As far as far as the Power supply its rated at 305w and was still able to use a 7900gtx no problems. Currently using a x800gto2. All of the e510 ive seen dont have a pci-e power connector unless you order it with a video card then you get a 375w PSU.so you are going to have to t-off of a drive.
By the way it can be replaced it uses a 24 pin mobo connector the only issue i see is you might have to fold some metal tabs back in order to fit a bigger supply in it.

As far as the xfx 6800xt i had one it was $90 after rebate and i think that was to much stay away.

by the way if you use the recover disc it will reinstall all the dell crap
June 17, 2006 8:16:53 AM

No offense but just because you don't know how to build a reliable computer (little problems?) doesn't mean the OP won't be able to, my 3 year old can put together a computer if I give him the parts and it works great, even the cpu (I do the AS though.) Dell only has good deals when you can get their crap for free! I have been building $500 computers for the last 2 years that will beat any dell that costs $800 (excluding monitor).
June 17, 2006 11:19:51 AM

Yes, the last few Dell computers I saw used regular PSU's
My friend upgraded his Dell Dimension 8400 with a Dynex 500w and it worked fine
June 21, 2006 7:41:51 PM

build build build if you can not build then have someone build it for you..
June 21, 2006 8:17:57 PM

Man, Don't say the D word here. :?
Of cource you are better off bulding your own.
You can also get some one to do it for you, like Fry's computers, they will buld a system for you for about $130 fee, that is if you have Fry's in your area.
Or you can use website like cyberpower.com I think they have the best prices on the web. :) 
But Dell, I don't know any power user who is happy with one. :?
June 21, 2006 8:20:48 PM

Quote:
The only downside to a dell (i think) is the fact you cant overclock)


They don't let you overclock because they'd have to replace the CPU when you fry it.

Quote:
As far as far as the Power supply its rated at 305w and was still able to use a 7900gtx no problems.


BS

Quote:
by the way if you use the recover disc it will reinstall all the dell crap


But if you order it with the Windows CD, and do a reinstall, then you get a clean copy of Windows with no crapware.
June 21, 2006 8:45:44 PM

i honestly can't believe we are having this thread...

go dell if you plan on using your computer for the basics (internet, word processing etc) cause them s#!ts are cheap and a pretty good deal when you throw in a monitor and speakers and everything.

go with a fresh build if you plan on actually doing anything with your computer other than menial, old man nonsense.

final thought: there is no way on god's green earth a 350w PS could power a 7900gtx in a system...where do you people make this s#!t up?

and another thing to ponder...who makes UPS trucks and why can't you buy a used one? i actually know the answer but it freaked me till i figured it out...
June 22, 2006 4:48:30 AM

First off, I believe it is possible to run a 7900 GTX computer on 350w. It depends on the proc he's got. For ex, I have a friend who ran a Dell Dimension 4600, which i believe has 250w psu, 3.06 GHz w/X800 XT agp and it ran fine. Also have a friend who ran a Dimension 8400 with 3.2 GHz Prescott and X800 SE just fine on 350w psu. Who says Dells can't do anything but basics? In my experience Dell cases prove to be easier to work with than some aftermarket cases.

Newer Dells have a restore hard drive feature (press f11 at startup or someting, finishes operation in a mere 2 min or so) that works like a format but doesn't actually format the hard drive, deletes everything and restores data to how it was originally or something like that. The optional Windows disk should allow you to perform a Windows format though.

I used to think that Dells were "walmart trash" until I got to use their actual products. They really are quality items. One thing bad about them is the total contiunuous power of their psus, a good thing is the performance of their CPU coolers and ease of use.
June 22, 2006 5:24:36 AM

Quote:
Just build your own PC.
Not everyone can build their own PC like you and I. Perhaps that is why he is getting a Dell? Don't say "Well it is so easy all you have to do is-" no. You must understand that for most people the very concept of even touching the components of a PC frightens them.
June 22, 2006 5:27:36 AM

Quote:
Just build your own PC.
Not everyone can build their own PC like you and I. Perhaps that is why he is getting a Dell? Don't say "Well it is so easy all you have to do is-" no. You must understand that for most people the very concept of even touching the components of a PC frightens them.
Yeah, I remember when could not even open the case, and just seeing the BIOS screen scared the hell out of me :lol: 
June 22, 2006 3:39:33 PM

i can understand your logic in thinking it could power it but keep in mind, the x800 agp is just that, AGP. the connections and power requirements for an AGP card and a top-o-the line PCI-e card are completely different...that is why nvidia requires more power to run the 7900gtx...hell, i doubt the PSU is going to even have the 6 pin connector needed for a pci-e card...go buy a converter from a molex i guess if you are really hell-bent on it.

maybe im wrong...just thought i would raise some points i was thinking about when i made my last post :) 
June 22, 2006 4:15:19 PM

If you have the time to build your own do it...

If you don't, Dell is a good choice or HP my prebuilt favorite


i had a dell 8400 with a 7800gt in it
June 22, 2006 4:23:39 PM

I see, i see. . .a 7900 GTX and 350w should not be used together, don't no one get that wrong. . .but im just saying its possible for that to happen, not that it can safely be done. if the proc does in 120w continuous and gpu does 70w and optics do you in 20w, hd 15w etc. . .the system should run fine, but bad things will happen when components hit their maximum power draw.
June 22, 2006 5:58:37 PM

i agree...keep in mind though, its not the watts that matter, its the amperage and most 350w only have 15amps on the 12+volt line...that's not enough to power 2HDD, a CD-ROM and my brothers 5700ultra...like you said, you can do it but any sort of load and its good night gracie...and keep in mind most 350w psu's are generic and as such there are voltage spikes and the amount of juice getting out there is not really 12v...more like 11.75 and lower voltage will damage the parts in the long run.

so our collectiveness is in agreeance...you could theoretically do it but its not realistic
June 22, 2006 6:49:37 PM

*WARNING* - Dell no longer ships a separate resore CD - in response to the question about reformatting. They have a hidden partition on the HDD and preinstalled restore software that accesses the partition in case of re-loading. I have seen this myself with my Dell laptop and have to presume that desktops are no different - if they are still shipping restore CDs with desktops, someone please correct me. You can see the partition with something like partition magic, but it is inaccessable except for the custom dell software and you DO NOT get ANY permanent media form of restore disc.

Otherwise - all dell components are designed speicifically for Dell by various hardware manufacturers and are *slightly* different in many ways from their commercial counterparts, which makes them more difficult to upgrade.

Bottom line - if you are not planning to upgrade the PC, but intend to buy another completely new one in 1-2 years, then go dell, if you want to be able to upgrade gradually as you go, then build yourself, or find someone knowledgeable who can build it for you - you might find you will be much happier building, so that you get all of the OEM CD's and a *REAL* winXP CD of your very own with which a clean OS install can be successfully performed from scratch.

my$.02
J. Keller
June 22, 2006 10:49:12 PM

I had a dell 8400 and it was a real computer(not sure if MOBO was a industry standard but every thing else was).

it had a custum HSF for the CPU but its pretty normal stuff everywhere else. Things change could be differnt now

cheap rickety old hunk of junk... it ripped 7000+ in 3dmark05 but I upgraded the video card

The dvd rom quit and a tech came and fixed it, that was cool. Now I build and fix my own stuff

If you go to the dell forums you can read all about Dells and people
upgrading parts
June 23, 2006 2:00:11 AM

Quote:
*WARNING* - Dell no longer ships a separate resore CD - in response to the question about reformatting. They have a hidden partition on the HDD and preinstalled restore software that accesses the partition in case of re-loading. I have seen this myself with my Dell laptop and have to presume that desktops are no different - if they are still shipping restore CDs with desktops, someone please correct me. You can see the partition with something like partition magic, but it is inaccessable except for the custom dell software and you DO NOT get ANY permanent media form of restore disc.

J. Keller



Dell will sell you the restore disk at the time of purchase (its an option listed) for $10.
June 23, 2006 11:24:31 AM

Why does it have to be only Dell or build? If you don't want to build, why can't you look at some other computer manufacturers? Why not at least give a look at a local builder. When someone comes into our shop with Dell ad in hand, we try to work with them and come up with something they really want for the best price we can. It's tough for the cheap ones and lots of times we just tell them to buy Dell if they just want low price. But up around $1000 we start to get very good pricewise versus Dell. Check local, you may be surprised.
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