View Full Version : on the market for a PC soon...

02-18-2003, 10:33 AM
well I might be on the market for a PC soon and so far Dell seem to be the most affordable PC. Now, I narrowed down 2 machines, one is a Precision 350 and a Dimension 8250 (most affordable)

What do you guys think of the Dimensions? It has everything I want but only had 2 options for a graphics card. the best one was an ATI 128 MB 9700 TX. is this card any good?
the total cost of this system with this ATI is a little over 2K 2,016 to be exact. with a 19 inch monitor.

My other option is a precision 350 and cost around 2,900 mainly due to a Quadro 900XGL card. This goes over my budget but does the card justify the cost?

Any help or suggestions is appreciated. BTW I don't want to build it my self I rather avoid the hassle.


02-18-2003, 06:27 PM
Well the Quadro is definately a more powerful card but I can't say if the cost is justified. Do you really think you'll need all the extra poly-pushing power? If I had the money I'd go for the Quadro system. ATI has improved their drivers but they still have problems with some games and some people have complained about their LW performance in the past. I don't know if the LW issues have been resolved yet. You may want to consider getting the Dimension with a GeForce 4 Ti 4600. You should be able to call them have them stick one in there instead of the ATI card. I would also consider giving Boxx a call to see what their prices are, they make pretty solid machines. Dell has been slipping in quality (mostly in the low-end) as they try to win the PC price wars. The Dimension you're looking at is probably high-end enough that they're using higher quality components, but you may get stuck with a cheap keyboard and/or mouse.

02-18-2003, 09:34 PM

Hey, I just bought a Dell machine last night off line. Let me give you some advice:

I went for the Dimension 4550. It was cheaper then the 8250. It's cheaper because it has a couple less expansion slots and has only two slots for memory versus 4 for the 8250. Personally, by the time I'm ready to expand, I'll want a new system anyway. And as far as the memory goes, you can put two 512 memory sticks in the 4550 and still have a gig of RAM. That's enough I think for my needs.

Secondly the 8250 uses the RDRAM where as the 4550 uses the DDRRAM. To me, that was the easy part. RDRAM is expensive and a lot of people have complained about it. DDRRAM is cheap and the performance difference is negligable.

A word about memory. Take as little memory from Dell as possible in your system. Probably the 256MB of RAM. It's much cheaper to buy it and put it in yourself. It's easy to install.

Same for the video card. Don't waste your money. Take whatever the cheapest card they offer. See how that performs in Lightwave before you decide to buy a nice one. It'll be cheaper to buy yourself. Matt Clary seems to think that buying a $300 GeForce4 Ti 4600 128 MB will be almost as good as that expensive Quadro you're looking at.

Most important. Don't spend $3,000 on a computer if it's not in your budget to do so. in one year, you'll regret it. Almost 3 years ago, I paid $3500 for my system. It's a PIII 850MHZ. Look what that money will buy you now. Moores law is one ruthless ***** when it comes to buying a computer. Moore's law says computers will double in speed every 18 months. Or in our terms, we'll regret spending so much money every 18 months. Don't try to get the fastest thing, you're just getting ripped off. Buy a system that's much better then your current system for cheap. Save that that extra 2 grand and buy yourself another one next year.

Total cost of my system with tax and shipping. $1250. It'll be here Monday.

02-18-2003, 10:35 PM
Thanks for the advice. Appreciate it.
I have a Ti in one of my Macs... wondering if it would actually work in the PC with the Nvidia PC Drivers. Have anybody tried that?

BTW, enjoy your new machine:cool: