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How proprietary or upgradable/universal are HPs & Dells

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July 6, 2008 6:11:13 PM

Hello All.

I’m thinking about buying either an HP Pavilion such as the HP Pavilion Elite M9150F: Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.40GHz) 3GB DDR2 720GB NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT Windows Vista Home Premium or a similarly loaded Dell XPS 420 model.

I built my last computer and I was also considering building my new one instead. But given the great deals on some of the recertified prebuilts as well as some of the outlet models, I have to consider buying prebuilt this time.

My question is, how proprietary or upgradable/universal are the prebuilt HPs and Dells these days? Can the components and maybe even the software be transferred to a more universal case and new motherboard down the line if desired? What about things like the TV Tuner and the 15 in 1 card reader? Are they useable in other systems? Some of the more affordable prebuilts have many of the features I would put in a homebuilt system, but not all. For example, with the HP Pavilion Elite M9150F mentioned above, ideally I would prefer 4GBs of ram, a bigger power supply, a better video card, and a Q9450 processor (2.66Ghz, 12MB L2 cache). I can live without the faster processor and faster FSB, but say next year I decide to transfer the components into a bigger case and use a better, more expandable motherboard. How doable is that? Or will I find that HP and Dell components are limited to the original case, motherboard, and proprietary software drivers?

Thanks to any and all who take their time answering this. I appreciate it.
July 7, 2008 4:58:35 PM

Not sure about HP, but I know the better Dells (basically, any one of them marked as a gaming desktop, such as the XPS 630 or 730) use almost entirely standard, interchangeable components.
July 7, 2008 7:31:26 PM

Thanks cjl.
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July 9, 2008 9:00:53 AM

If u r going to change it all, build your own.

Proprietory - not as bad as used to be - but they use a lot of compromise hdwe - read old ish.

I would never buy HP or Dell - never - and a refurb - bad idea.

They are liars.
July 9, 2008 5:05:38 PM

Thanks ZootyGray.

I hear good and bad about recertified. I built my last computer four years ago and it's still faster than anything at my job. So, I'm definitely considering building again.
July 9, 2008 5:46:25 PM

Well then do your research and build it. It's the only way to achieve any control over what's in the box - and it makes upgrading easier too. Maybe your oldie can upgraded - maybe there's something that can be used in new build. Kb, mse, mon? :)  Extra power cords :)  :) 

I would encourage you to get out of this section of forums - I don't usually read much about people's problems with (XbrandX) because I have to read all this junk to find out what they have/don't have in the first place. This is for prople who don't know, and believe tv ads, and read newspapers and believe the news.
If u built b4, it's all the same; just new tekspeks.
I am waiting for the next set of AMD chipsets/mobos. My new vid will be ati HD4850. Pow supply approx 600watts. ANy HDD, ram, etc. Use old mse, kb, mon :)  My current system is really bad junk - a gift cos my old pc died - haha it was a P3 w big vidcard - I think Doom3 killed it. Or FarCry. Capacitor leakage :) 
But I know enough to get by with garbage - only, I am a lil tired of that and want a semi-performance box - nothing like $$$$ "bleeding edge of technology" stuff. Just a neat lil rocket - zoom :) 
And it's a thing about "I did this" and I will own what I put together and I will make it work and enjoy the experience. Or, I could just buy something, and then start improving it - same process at that point - so take control and gitter done.
!