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Aussie newbie needs system approval

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May 12, 2002 5:40:33 AM

I recently started an animation course at uni and need a pc in the $3,000 range ($1,634USD). As said in mateo's post on 05/11/02 "i want it to be as powerful and as stable as possible while being able to provide me with decent future upgrade options" The same goes for me too.
I've decided not to build my own pc because I don't know enough about them. Two computers I have been considering are HP's Pavillion 721 which retails at $3000AU:
(http://www.hp.com/hp-at home/au/hppavilionproducts/721a_hardware.html)

and Dell's Dimension 8200 which retails at $2550AU: (http://www.ap.dell.com/ap/au/en/dhs/products/model_dime...)

These are some of the things I'll be needing the computer for: to use with 3D rendering software, using capture card, web-cam and adobe premiere for stopmotion, using multiple programs at once, saving large video files and using for internet and playing games on the side.
Here are some questions concerning the above:
1. Do you think the chipset in these two computers are a good combination? I can't find much info on motherboards etc on their sites.
2. HP has DDRRAM, and the Dell has RDRAM which of these would be of better use to me.
3. Would you consider these computers to be reliable?
4. Would it be advisable to look into building my own computer?
5. Would it be wiser to wait a couple of months for a computer with the new intel chip?
6. Are there any other computer packages you could suggest like Compaq's new presario range for example?
7. I heard that Compaq is hard to upgrade. Is this true?

Thanks very much for your time and I eagerly await your reply, as I've been getting no where talking to bias computer retail salespersons.
May 12, 2002 6:04:07 AM

y dont' u build a computer yourself? oem ones such as dell and hp are rip offs.
i live in sydney myself and $3000 bucks as u said in AUD can get u a REALLY good computer. Dont bother getting it from dell or HP or any premade ones from dick smith or havey norman , they may have some fancy black case and monitor and some futuristic design, but their performance are NOT good considering u r paying 3 grand for it.
i can recommand u a friend of a mine who has a computer shop in sydney and is really competitive on prices.
intrested?
May 12, 2002 6:19:24 AM

if you dont want to build yourself (or dont trust yourself) it sounds like 10GHZ has a good thing there, his friend with the shop...
i would look into that...
and if it turns out to be some POS, then we can all pummel 10GHZ :wink: hehe...j/k 10GHZ...
and what are these competitive prices? like how much for what?

-DAvid

-Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
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May 12, 2002 9:23:51 AM

i got this week's price list here.... it's all in austrlian dollar thou.. u still want 2 know?
May 12, 2002 9:58:23 AM

yeah, i can get a conversion...have a site for that bookmarked.
always good to know what things are being sold for, and a range of it..like most expensive, to least expensive.

-DAvid

-Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
May 13, 2002 12:49:31 AM

I live in Brisbane but that Sydney store sounds interesting. Do you know if they can ship items? I'm going down to Sydney in July so maybe I can check it out then but for now it'd be great if you could give me an idea of their prices. I know absolutly zip about putting computers together. Do I just go to a private owned computer store and tell them what to put in it? Maybe I can find one in Brisbane. It kinda worries me that they mightn't be properly put together at some places... Does that happen often?
May 13, 2002 1:01:31 AM

melbourne old hand here...

i too really advise against getting a dell or compac or any other OEM system. even for their "performance" systems they cut corners, often downgrading the graphics card/chipset or some other component to save $$$

and yes, OEM systems are notoriously hard to upgrade.

also bear in mind that an intel system will have a significant price premium over a equal performing AMD one in Oz.

get back to me if you need more info.

Today on Toms: Trisexual hamsters, anal applications of peanut butter and Marrige councilling!
May 13, 2002 9:09:06 AM

ok i just list a bit of eveything.
this is the price list for this week.
Pentium4 2.2ghz retail box $890
AMD xp2100+ $530
Pc133 SDram 256mb $100
Pc2100 DDR 256mb $115
PC2700 DDR 256mb $145
Gigabyte GA 7VRXP mobo for AMD $245
Gigabyte GA 8IRXP mobo for Pentium4 $312
Floppy disk drive $20
Maxtor 40G 7200 RPM ATA-133 HD $165
Leadtek Geforce 4 MX440 $222
Asus V8460 Geforce 4 Ti4600 $852
1000w UPS PSU $255
Genius Cordless Internet Kboard+wireless wheel mouse (radio wave) $85
Soundblaster Audigy DE $195
Soundblaster Audigy Platium Audigy S/C $380
52x Sony cdrom $60
LiteOn 24x12x40 CDRW retail box $150
Monitor 17" LG 700s $275

and no, he dosn't ship goods, maybe in the future.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by 10GHZ on 05/13/02 07:25 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 13, 2002 1:53:09 PM

1. Probably
2. RDRAM
3. No
4. Imagine the word "Yes" a mile high in flashing red neon. There's your answer.
5. New Intel chip in the next couple months? Not gonna happen, unless you're thinking of McKinley :tongue:
6. Compaq's servers are great, desktops are about the worst on the market.
7. Compaq is horrible to try and upgrade, same with HP and Dell.

<font color=blue>Hi mom!</font color=blue>
May 14, 2002 1:04:23 PM

Hey, thanks for the price list 10GHZ. Even if I don't make it to the Sydney store I can use it to compare prices with similar stores here in Brisbane. I guess I've decided to build my own computer, now that all you guys have persuaded me. Although there seems to be a dislike for Pentium among some people at this site, I think I'm still gonna have to go with the P4 1.8ghz processor, since I heard that the amd athalon generates a lot of heat which will require a bunch or noisy fans.
May 14, 2002 4:51:57 PM

The Athlon (one 'a') actually runs cooler than a same size P4.

<font color=blue>Hi mom!</font color=blue>
May 14, 2002 7:53:47 PM

yeah, but the P4's deal with heat issues better...lol...
too bad too...maybe AMD will get it right with the clawhammer...lol...

-DAvid

-Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
May 15, 2002 10:20:58 AM

the pricelist is only for this week, as i have already received a new price list for next week, some part went down couple of dollars and some went up. but no big changes, as u've said, do compare my price with the other dealer, but keep in mind that after about a month, this list will be out of date.
good luck building your new system , it'll be a positive experience, and if u can't get the thing 2 work, u can always come back 2 THG for help.
May 16, 2002 1:16:51 PM

Thanks for your help 10Ghz and the rest of you ^_^
I'm putting together a list of the things to buy for the cpu with the help of some guides and reviews on the net. My bf says he'll build if for me for free and I can watch what he does. I just hope he doesn't stuff it!

Tom's Hardware is a cool community to be part of but eternalknights.net will always be my real home!
May 20, 2002 10:36:44 AM

Hi again!
Well I've done some research and came across a computer company called Xenon which makes computers for animation and other visual stuff and is based in Melborne. I asked if they have any computers in my price range but the best they could do was $4117.91. The shippings included but it dosn't come with a monitor.

These are the specifications:
Nitro AX1i Visual Workstation
Single AMD ATHLON MP 1900+ processor
NITRO AX1i AMD 760MP Chipset Dual AMD MP Athlon Processor Capable
Integrated 1 x AGP 4X, 4 x 64-bit/2 x 32-bit PCI, 4 x DIMM, 2 x Serial & 1 x Parallel
Integrated 2 X Ultra ATA/100 IDE, 1 x LAN port 10/100MBS
512MB (2 x256MB) PC2100 ECC Registered DDR RAM (Maximum 4Gb DDR RAM)
40Gb ATA/100 7200 RPM Hard Disk Drive
FireGL 8700 64MB Graphic Card
** Add Monitor **
52x Speed Internal IDE CDROM
1.44MB 3.5" Internal FDD
XENON 820 Workstation Tower Case with 300W PSU and 3 x cooling fans
Microsoft Internet Keyboard PS/2
Microsoft Intelli Mouse 2-button PS/2
Soundblaster Live 5.1 SoundCard
Altec Lasing 2-Piece Amplified Speakers
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional OEM CDROM & Installation
2 Years Onsite Hardware Parts & Labour Next-Business-Day Warranty
Freight to Capital Cities of Australia

What do you people think? Could I put together a similar computer myself for much less or is their price pretty resonable for what your getting?

Tom's Hardware is a cool community to be part of but eternalknights.net will always be my real home!
May 20, 2002 1:24:20 PM

Umm.... I'm thinking that you might be getting ripped off a bit. With video editind and stuff I don't know if you really need ECC RAM or a FireGL card. Also unless you're going to use dual procs, I don't see the need for a dual proc mobo.
(All prices in $USD)
1. AMD Athlon MP 1900+ - $198
2. Asus A7V333 Socket A VIA KT333 DDR333 Audio ATX MB - $123
3. 512MB Samsung DDR333 PC2700 Non-ECC - $150
4. 40GB Maxtor HDD 7200RPM - $70
5. VGA LEADTEK|GF4 TI4600 128M DVI/TV RETAIL BOX - $329
6. Viewsonic G90F 19" Monitor - $265
7. ANTEC Performance PLUS Model PLUS860- with Antec Original TRUE P4 Power Supply 330Watt - $107
8. Lite On 52x Cd Rom - Model LTN-526 -RETAIL - $24
9. 1.44MB 3.5" Drve - $9
10. Logitech Cordless Freedom Optical Keyboard and Mouse Bundle - $79
11. Creative Labs SB Live! 5.1 - $32
12. Windows XP Professional - OEM $139

Total $1525USD = ~ $2765AUD

Don't know what kind of speakers you'd want so I left that out. So as you can see, even with a 19" monitor it still comes out to be more than $1000AUD less. Although you don't get the warranty and support or the dual proc mobo, those two things shouldn't cost you ~$1500AUD.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
!