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Would like input on configuring Dimension 8400

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  • Dell
  • Media Center
  • Dimension
  • Computers
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Anonymous
June 26, 2005 4:08:51 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Right now, I have a Dimension 4100, 733Mhz, running Windows 98. I've been
getting too many blue screens when I try to multi-task - time to upgrade!!
My computer is used for the typical web surfing/e-mail as well as some
gaming, word processing and photo editing.

I'm looking at the Dimension 8400 with Windows Media Center (w/TV tuner),
1GB RAM, 250GB Hard Drive. I'm undecided on the video card and the monitor.
I'd like opinions on whether the ATI X300 128MB is sufficient for viewing TV
through Media Center or is it better to upgrade to the GeForce 6800 256MB
card? Also, the 8400 currently has the free flat panel offer, either the
19" analog or 17" ultrasharp digital. Opinions on the monitor?? (At this
point, I'm leaning towards the 17" ultrasharp.) Thanks in advance for any
opinions provided.

More about : input configuring dimension 8400

Anonymous
June 26, 2005 12:58:26 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

"DG" <beri19@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:l_OcnWHT0fhUtCPfUSdV9g@ptd.net...
> Right now, I have a Dimension 4100, 733Mhz, running Windows 98. I've been
> getting too many blue screens when I try to multi-task - time to upgrade!!
> My computer is used for the typical web surfing/e-mail as well as some
> gaming, word processing and photo editing.
>
> I'm looking at the Dimension 8400 with Windows Media Center (w/TV tuner),
> 1GB RAM, 250GB Hard Drive. I'm undecided on the video card and the
> monitor.
> I'd like opinions on whether the ATI X300 128MB is sufficient for viewing
> TV
> through Media Center or is it better to upgrade to the GeForce 6800 256MB
> card? Also, the 8400 currently has the free flat panel offer, either the
> 19" analog or 17" ultrasharp digital. Opinions on the monitor?? (At this
> point, I'm leaning towards the 17" ultrasharp.) Thanks in advance for any
> opinions provided.
>
>

TV viewing will not stretch the X300 at all, in fact it is overkill itself.
128MB is of value really only for gaming.

As for the monitor, it's a tough call. I have the E193FP 'value' 19" LCD
and am very happy with it. I have not, however, watched TV on it and I
don't know if it smears. Compare the specs, as if they timings are not that
far apart, I do like the 19"

Tom
Anonymous
June 26, 2005 1:05:22 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

> "DG" <beri19@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:l_OcnWHT0fhUtCPfUSdV9g@ptd.net...
> > Right now, I have a Dimension 4100, 733Mhz, running Windows 98. I've
been
> > getting too many blue screens when I try to multi-task - time to
upgrade!!
> > My computer is used for the typical web surfing/e-mail as well as some
> > gaming, word processing and photo editing.
> >
> > I'm looking at the Dimension 8400 with Windows Media Center (w/TV
tuner),
> > 1GB RAM, 250GB Hard Drive. I'm undecided on the video card and the
> > monitor.
> > I'd like opinions on whether the ATI X300 128MB is sufficient for
viewing
> > TV
> > through Media Center or is it better to upgrade to the GeForce 6800
256MB
> > card? Also, the 8400 currently has the free flat panel offer, either
the
> > 19" analog or 17" ultrasharp digital. Opinions on the monitor?? (At this
> > point, I'm leaning towards the 17" ultrasharp.) Thanks in advance for
any
> > opinions provided.
> >
> >
"Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote in message
news:S6uve.164647$IO.33315@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
>
> TV viewing will not stretch the X300 at all, in fact it is overkill
itself.
> 128MB is of value really only for gaming.
>
> As for the monitor, it's a tough call. I have the E193FP 'value' 19" LCD
> and am very happy with it. I have not, however, watched TV on it and I
> don't know if it smears. Compare the specs, as if they timings are not
that
> far apart, I do like the 19"
>
> Tom
>
The 17" has 13ms response time, the 19" has a 16ms. I think I'm leaning
toward the 17" because of the DVI connection - assuming I'll get a crisper
picture. I've read that the flat panels tend to blur letters to some degree
and I was hoping that the ultrasharp would be a little closer to a CRT
quality. What do you think of your monitor in terms of looking at a word
processing document, or an e-mail? Do you feel the letters are crisp and
clear or is there room for improvement?? Did I read that there are controls
for this within Windows?? If yes, do you have yours set for a better text
quality and are you satisfied with it??
Related resources
Anonymous
June 26, 2005 2:13:49 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

"DG" <beri19@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:l_OcnWHT0fhUtCPfUSdV9g@ptd.net...
| Right now, I have a Dimension 4100, 733Mhz, running Windows 98. I've been
| getting too many blue screens when I try to multi-task - time to upgrade!!
| My computer is used for the typical web surfing/e-mail as well as some
| gaming, word processing and photo editing.
|
| I'm looking at the Dimension 8400 with Windows Media Center (w/TV tuner),
| 1GB RAM, 250GB Hard Drive. I'm undecided on the video card and the
monitor.
| I'd like opinions on whether the ATI X300 128MB is sufficient for viewing
TV
| through Media Center or is it better to upgrade to the GeForce 6800 256MB
| card? Also, the 8400 currently has the free flat panel offer, either the
| 19" analog or 17" ultrasharp digital. Opinions on the monitor?? (At this
| point, I'm leaning towards the 17" ultrasharp.) Thanks in advance for any
| opinions provided.


I have the 8400 with Media Center. Excellent machine. (specs below)

The X300SE is wonderful for TV DVD video etc. I have it hooked to a 1900FP
Ultrasharp that I got with my previous Dimension 8200. It's very clear.

Dimension 8400 MCE
Pentium® 4 Processor 540 with HT Technology (3.20GHz, 800 FSB),
Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center 2005 Edition
Memory 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 400MHz (2x512M)
Video Card 128MB PCI ExpressT x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) ATI RadeonT X300 SE
Hard Drive 160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/ Native Command Queuing
Operating System Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center 2005 Edition
Network Interface Integrated Gigabit Ethernet
Modem 56K PCI Data/Fax Modem
CD ROM/DVD ROM Dual Drives: 16x DVD, 16x DVD+/-RW w/dbl layer write
Sound Blaster® Live! 24-bit ADVANCED HDT Audio
Speakers Dell 5650 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System with Subwoofer
Media Center Enhancements Dual TV Tuner with Remote Control



--
Doug

I'm not an MVP a VIP nor do I have ESP.
I was just trying to help.
Please use your own best judgment before implementing any suggestions or
advice herein.
No warranty is expressed or implied.
Your mileage may vary.
See store for details. :) 

Remove shoes to E-mail.
Anonymous
June 26, 2005 2:13:50 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

> "DG" <beri19@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:l_OcnWHT0fhUtCPfUSdV9g@ptd.net...
> | Right now, I have a Dimension 4100, 733Mhz, running Windows 98. I've
been
> | getting too many blue screens when I try to multi-task - time to
upgrade!!
> | My computer is used for the typical web surfing/e-mail as well as some
> | gaming, word processing and photo editing.
> |
> | I'm looking at the Dimension 8400 with Windows Media Center (w/TV
tuner),
> | 1GB RAM, 250GB Hard Drive. I'm undecided on the video card and the
> monitor.
> | I'd like opinions on whether the ATI X300 128MB is sufficient for
viewing
> TV
> | through Media Center or is it better to upgrade to the GeForce 6800
256MB
> | card? Also, the 8400 currently has the free flat panel offer, either
the
> | 19" analog or 17" ultrasharp digital. Opinions on the monitor?? (At this
> | point, I'm leaning towards the 17" ultrasharp.) Thanks in advance for
any
> | opinions provided.
>
"HillBillyBuddhist" <hillbillybuddhistshoes@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:xdvve.15705$7X1.11411@tornado.ohiordc.rr.com...
> I have the 8400 with Media Center. Excellent machine. (specs below)
>
> The X300SE is wonderful for TV DVD video etc. I have it hooked to a 1900FP
> Ultrasharp that I got with my previous Dimension 8200. It's very clear.
>
> Dimension 8400 MCE
> Pentium® 4 Processor 540 with HT Technology (3.20GHz, 800 FSB),
> Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center 2005 Edition
> Memory 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 400MHz (2x512M)
> Video Card 128MB PCI ExpressT x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) ATI RadeonT X300 SE
> Hard Drive 160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/ Native Command Queuing
> Operating System Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center 2005 Edition
> Network Interface Integrated Gigabit Ethernet
> Modem 56K PCI Data/Fax Modem
> CD ROM/DVD ROM Dual Drives: 16x DVD, 16x DVD+/-RW w/dbl layer write
> Sound Blaster® Live! 24-bit ADVANCED HDT Audio
> Speakers Dell 5650 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System with Subwoofer
> Media Center Enhancements Dual TV Tuner with Remote Control
> --
> Doug

What is your TV signal source? (cable, satellite, etc.) And I'm new at
this so forgive what is probably a dumb question - if you have a dual tuner
do you have to connect a TV signal source to each tuner?
Anonymous
June 26, 2005 4:33:49 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

I just got Dimension 8400 with Dell 1704FPT (Digital) monitor and NVIDIA
GeForce 6800 video card. Viewing movies and TV on it is wery plesant.

Arvid

"DG" <beri19@yahoo.com> skrev i melding
news:l_OcnWHT0fhUtCPfUSdV9g@ptd.net...
> Right now, I have a Dimension 4100, 733Mhz, running Windows 98. I've been
> getting too many blue screens when I try to multi-task - time to upgrade!!
> My computer is used for the typical web surfing/e-mail as well as some
> gaming, word processing and photo editing.
>
> I'm looking at the Dimension 8400 with Windows Media Center (w/TV tuner),
> 1GB RAM, 250GB Hard Drive. I'm undecided on the video card and the
> monitor.
> I'd like opinions on whether the ATI X300 128MB is sufficient for viewing
> TV
> through Media Center or is it better to upgrade to the GeForce 6800 256MB
> card? Also, the 8400 currently has the free flat panel offer, either the
> 19" analog or 17" ultrasharp digital. Opinions on the monitor?? (At this
> point, I'm leaning towards the 17" ultrasharp.) Thanks in advance for any
> opinions provided.
>
>
Anonymous
June 26, 2005 4:33:50 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Does anyone ever burn your recorded TV shows? If yes, does the 8400 come
with enough standard software already loaded that allows DVD's to be burned
of recorded programs in a format that a stand alone DVD player would
recognize, or did you have to get other software? I've been investigating
this a little bit and I saw that the format that Media Center records in
could not be played on a stand alone DVD without converting it. I believe
someone said Sonic Encoder would work and I see that Sonic software is
included with the 8400 but it doesn't actually say if "Encoder" is included.

"Arvid Båtstad" <arvidkb@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:y5ednSV7NYwoGSPfRVnzvA@telenor.com...
> I just got Dimension 8400 with Dell 1704FPT (Digital) monitor and NVIDIA
> GeForce 6800 video card. Viewing movies and TV on it is wery plesant.
>
> Arvid
>
> "DG" <beri19@yahoo.com> skrev i melding
> news:l_OcnWHT0fhUtCPfUSdV9g@ptd.net...
> > Right now, I have a Dimension 4100, 733Mhz, running Windows 98. I've
been
> > getting too many blue screens when I try to multi-task - time to
upgrade!!
> > My computer is used for the typical web surfing/e-mail as well as some
> > gaming, word processing and photo editing.
> >
> > I'm looking at the Dimension 8400 with Windows Media Center (w/TV
tuner),
> > 1GB RAM, 250GB Hard Drive. I'm undecided on the video card and the
> > monitor.
> > I'd like opinions on whether the ATI X300 128MB is sufficient for
viewing
> > TV
> > through Media Center or is it better to upgrade to the GeForce 6800
256MB
> > card? Also, the 8400 currently has the free flat panel offer, either
the
> > 19" analog or 17" ultrasharp digital. Opinions on the monitor?? (At this
> > point, I'm leaning towards the 17" ultrasharp.) Thanks in advance for
any
> > opinions provided.
> >
Anonymous
June 26, 2005 5:48:38 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

"DG" <beri19@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:c6Odnc8jX7oaOiPfUSdV9g@ptd.net...
>
>> "DG" <beri19@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>> news:l_OcnWHT0fhUtCPfUSdV9g@ptd.net...
>> > Right now, I have a Dimension 4100, 733Mhz, running Windows 98. I've
> been
>> > getting too many blue screens when I try to multi-task - time to
> upgrade!!
>> > My computer is used for the typical web surfing/e-mail as well as some
>> > gaming, word processing and photo editing.
>> >
>> > I'm looking at the Dimension 8400 with Windows Media Center (w/TV
> tuner),
>> > 1GB RAM, 250GB Hard Drive. I'm undecided on the video card and the
>> > monitor.
>> > I'd like opinions on whether the ATI X300 128MB is sufficient for
> viewing
>> > TV
>> > through Media Center or is it better to upgrade to the GeForce 6800
> 256MB
>> > card? Also, the 8400 currently has the free flat panel offer, either
> the
>> > 19" analog or 17" ultrasharp digital. Opinions on the monitor?? (At
>> > this
>> > point, I'm leaning towards the 17" ultrasharp.) Thanks in advance for
> any
>> > opinions provided.
>> >
>> >
> "Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote in message
> news:S6uve.164647$IO.33315@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
>>
>> TV viewing will not stretch the X300 at all, in fact it is overkill
> itself.
>> 128MB is of value really only for gaming.
>>
>> As for the monitor, it's a tough call. I have the E193FP 'value' 19" LCD
>> and am very happy with it. I have not, however, watched TV on it and I
>> don't know if it smears. Compare the specs, as if they timings are not
> that
>> far apart, I do like the 19"
>>
>> Tom
>>
> The 17" has 13ms response time, the 19" has a 16ms. I think I'm leaning
> toward the 17" because of the DVI connection - assuming I'll get a crisper
> picture. I've read that the flat panels tend to blur letters to some
> degree
> and I was hoping that the ultrasharp would be a little closer to a CRT
> quality. What do you think of your monitor in terms of looking at a word
> processing document, or an e-mail? Do you feel the letters are crisp and
> clear or is there room for improvement?? Did I read that there are
> controls
> for this within Windows?? If yes, do you have yours set for a better text
> quality and are you satisfied with it??
>
>

I use mine for my work computer 8 hours a day. Watch video (not tv) on it
some. Excellent. I also have the Samsung 213T and the difference between
analog and digital is not truly visible, but Samsungs do a great job with
analog.

By the way, one option I STRONGLY recommend is buying it without a monitor
and buying the Samsung 213T separately. 21" - 1600x1200.

$588 after rebate. You CANNOT beat this monitor:

http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=10354201&loc=...

Tom
Anonymous
June 26, 2005 6:15:51 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

| What is your TV signal source? (cable, satellite, etc.) And I'm new at
| this so forgive what is probably a dumb question - if you have a dual
tuner
| do you have to connect a TV signal source to each tuner?


I'm using cable without a settop decoder so the cable just screws directly
into the tuner card. This allows for recording one channel while watching
another or recording two shows at once.

If you intend to use a settop box with a dual tuner then you will need one
box for each. (tuner)

To answer your question in another post the 8400 does come with the required
encoders (Sonic) to burn shows to DVD directly from Media Center for play in
a "stand alone" DVD player.

I had some trouble getting it to work (it would hang at 3% with the DVD +R
discs I had when I got the 8400, I subsequently tried some TDK DVD -R blanks
and it worked fine with those, I've no idea why the difference, the +R
blanks worked fine for other applications) so I also got Nero 6 Ultra. It's
Nero Vision 3 component handles the recorded files (dvr-ms) and has more
sophisticated editing and menu creation capabilities then are available from
the Media Center interface.

Some good Media Center resources are The Green Button Web site @
http://www.thegreenbutton.com/default.aspx

and the Microsoft Public newsgroup;
microsoft.public.windows.mediacenter

If you are unfamiliar with the Microsoft groups see;
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;[ln];newswhelp
--
Doug

I'm not an MVP a VIP nor do I have ESP.
I was just trying to help.
Please use your own best judgment before implementing any suggestions or
advice herein.
No warranty is expressed or implied.
Your mileage may vary.
See store for details. :) 

Remove shoes to E-mail.
June 27, 2005 1:34:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

DG wrote:
> Right now, I have a Dimension 4100, 733Mhz, running Windows 98. I've been
> getting too many blue screens when I try to multi-task - time to upgrade!!
> My computer is used for the typical web surfing/e-mail as well as some
> gaming, word processing and photo editing.
>
> I'm looking at the Dimension 8400 with Windows Media Center (w/TV tuner),
> 1GB RAM, 250GB Hard Drive. I'm undecided on the video card and the monitor.
> I'd like opinions on whether the ATI X300 128MB is sufficient for viewing TV
> through Media Center or is it better to upgrade to the GeForce 6800 256MB
> card? Also, the 8400 currently has the free flat panel offer, either the
> 19" analog or 17" ultrasharp digital. Opinions on the monitor?? (At this
> point, I'm leaning towards the 17" ultrasharp.) Thanks in advance for any
> opinions provided.
>
>
My advice is to buy the best system that you can afford, I have learned
the hard way of trying to save a few dollars here a few dollars there.
In the end with all the upgrading I had to do to get my system to run as
I wanted cost me more than if I had just spent that bit extra in the
beginning.
!