Discounted Vostro for the rents

I need to get my parents a new computer and building one is not an option for them as they want something that is warranted for at least a little while (my parents are picky like that). Having lost interest in the PC Enthusiast territory for quite some time, I don't really know what's good and what isn't anymore. So I'd like your opinion on this system.

First off, my parents are as far from power users as it gets. Aside from browsing the internet, using word applications, maybe watching some movies and viewing some pictures, they won't be using a computer's full potential. While it probably makes sense to get them the most basic bare bones system available, I can't just let them get the cheapest pc available. It's not in my nature.

That being said, Dell has a 30% off coupon that is valid on all Dell small business PCs worth $699 and more, including the Vostro 200. The one I spec'd out has these options:

Base Price: $500
E2140 1.6GHz, 1MB cache
XP Home
20 inch 2QQFP Ultrasharp Digital Flat Panel Display - Additional $150
1GB Ram
160Gig SATA HD
16x DVD
built in Video
built in 7.1 audio
Dell A525 30w 2.1 Speakers - Additional $40
USB KB & Mouse

Total cost: $699
With 30% rebate: $489.30
S&H = ?

Additionally, I found a PNY GeForce 7300 GT Video Card that will support the monitor for $30 on tiger direct.

What do you think? Good deal or Bad deal?

Should I spring for the faster processor E6550, 2.33GHz,4MB for the extra $84 (after rebate) or the E4500 for $49 extra?

Thanks a bunch!
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  1. C'mon guys. Someone has to have an opinion or some suggestions for me. The Coupon expires tonight, so I have to make up my mind!

  2. 2 changes: 1) RAM, I would jump it up to 2gbs if you can. 2) CPU, jump it to the E4500 to give the system a little more life.

    Integrated video should be able to do what your parents want the system to do. Since the 7300 isn't part of the Dell deal, I would on that and wait to see if the system is adequate without spending more.
  3. Hey, Thanks for the response. I never ended up getting the system. That coupon was only good on the original price. And the comp was originally 900. So it would have been 650. I think it would have been a great deal if I got it for the price I thought I was going to get it for.

    I'm now looking at a budget HP computer. It just doesn't seem all that great.
  4. The average $500 stock box is more than adaquate for Mommy & Daddy's needs.

    Post your desired computer, and we can advised.

    Personally I buy stock boxes, add my own RAM and GPU and have a decent off computer (similar to what you need).
  5. Yes, I know. I just wanted to get them the most bang for the buck. It might serve its purpose for a couple extra months before it's soo antiquated that it's nothing more than a paperweight.

    Anyways, I've been looking at this ACER computer available at Costco. Here are the specs:
    AMD 64 X2 4400+ (2.2 ghz 1MB cache) - I wonder how this stacks up to Intel processors...
    2 GB ram 533 MHz (I know intel boxes run at 600 - 800 fsb, right?)
    ATI Radeon X1650SE (I looked it up, this supports DVI)
    320 GB HD
    9 in 1 card reader.
    And no joke, but last weekend when I found it, it came with XP pro but is now listed as coming with Vista home... bummer...

    My parents would need to spend an extra $40 for a membership...
  6. That'd be fine for what they will use the system for.

    The X2 4400+ would be about the same as the E4500 from the Dell. As for the RAM speed, it won't make much difference with what the system will be used for. You just need to decide if the membership is worth the money.

    Walmart has a similar system with a faster CPU for about $600 from HP. The only problem is it comes with an integrated graphics card. That and Vista.
  7. That's a pretty good deal too. The lack of a video card that supports DVI might be a deal breaker for me. That and it's Walmart (I think walmart's really trashy...). I forgot to mention the Acer one has the Costco warranty which is 2 years plus if they hate it, after 90 days, they can return it for the $ back... That's pretty solid if you ask me. Like, if the DVD or HD fail, that warranty would easily cover that.

    Thanks for the info though... I was thinking the AMD, since it only has 1 MB of cache, and a slower fsb, would be more comparable with a E2180.
  8. Yup, If you want another system to look at, has almost the exact same system as the costco Acer, but it has a Core2 E6300 (about the same as the 4400+) for about $50 more. The only downside is that it only has 1gb of RAM so you might have to upgrade that yourself. It also comes with an X1650 for graphics and it supports DVI as well. I'm not trying to force you into the Core2 camp, just giving you another option to look at.

    Here's the system from
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