Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New computer dilemma, urgent!

Since I am together with America in financial crisis I can't let myself buy so much wanted Mac. However I can buy a PC.

Here a problem raises: Dell has two very sweet offers for one of their slim desktops (I'm going only for slims)

First one for $660:

  • Quad core Q8200 (4MB L2, 2.33GHz, 1333FSB)
  • 6GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz- 4 DIMMs
  • 640GB HDD
  • ATI Radeon HD 3450 256MB supporting HDMI

Second one for $699:

  • Quad core Q8200 (4MB L2, 2.33GHz, 1333FSB)
  • 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz- 2DIMMs
  • 500GB HDD
  • ATI Radeon HD 3450 256MB supporting HDMI
  • Dell S1909WX 19 inch widescreen Flat Panel Monitor

Note, that for second offer I can manually add 2 more GB of RAM for just $30-40 and connect second 19 inch that I own and have a full working environment.

FYI, we have 4 computers for 3 people at home - 3 laptops and one 3y/o desktop. Now, I don't use our home desktop much recently since I own my personal laptop. However sometimes I find it not only occupied, but also moved to my mom's room since it's a more convenient way for her to work with her stuff (she is Mary Kay independent beauty consultant BTW).

So I have a dilemma here - should I buy a laptop which will not be as powerful as desktop, but has it's own advantages such as portability - my mom can always grab it to her room, and black out safeness - it has an at least 2hr battery, something that desktops suck at very much.

For pretty much same money I can get a 13/14/15 inch laptop with will be connected to a 19 inch monitor and keyboard with mouse by default, but it takes just a moment to disconnect it and return it to portable condition. So here we go, one of possible configurations:

  • Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T8100 (2.1GHz/800Mhz FSB/3MB cache)
  • Glossy, widescreen 13.3" LCD (1280x800) w/ 2.0M pixel Camera
  • 128MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8400M GS
  • 3GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 (2 Dimms)
  • 250GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
  • Dell Wireless 1395 802.11g Mini-Card

So now I really don't know what to purchase. Do you have an idea?

PS. I don't care much about HDD since they're getting cheaper everyday and you can buy external ones for cheap prices.


  1. I'd go with the laptop. We do all of our internet browsing, movie watching, etc. on a laptop since my son's sleeping next to my desktops.

    Both of those desktops are crappy. Probably not brand name ram and hd. Very weak vcard. 6GB split 4 ways is BAAAAAD. Are the drives SATA?

    About the external drives, I doubt either of those desktops have ESATA and USB sucks balls.

    Get the laptop, those desktops don't look very upgradable. And don't forget to get a good cooler for the laptop. I'm using Bytecc and the laptop is room temperature.

  2. Well, all of these are Dell branded so should be alive for long time looking at my brother's 3y/o laptop which is still alive after tons of drops and screen is almost aside from body. Also I changed his keyboard last year but he killed it.

    Why is ATI weak? Are you sure? I have a previous generation 512MB and I think it's pretty good (though I never managed to install one game to try...).
    Why is 4ways split that bad? It's dual channel...
    Drives are obviously SATA 7200RPS with some burst-something.

    No ESATA you right - does it really that much faster?? Most of my external drives will be networked so that'll be through USB anyway...

    You sound like you could upgrade much in laptop. Also what would I need to upgrade quad-core for or 4/6 gigs of RAM within next two-three years? My old desktop is still ok on 1GB and WinXP so I assume 4GB for Vista should be fine for years. Only HDD half died, but it was WD so it's predictable. Should've bought Seagate.

    None of our three laptops are heated that much for need in cooler, so I wouldn't buy another dust collector - I'm trying to get rid of it.

    Don't think like I'm defending desktops and go against laptops - I just try to find right reasons for particular decision since even if I won't use it much I'll still have to manage and administrate new machine and take all tech care of it...

  3. what if you just bought a used mac possibly? im not so fimilar with them, but like with a pc you could wipe clean the hard drive, and then reinstall the os and wouldnt it be like new. plus an 6 month to 1 year old mac probably runs like new. btw in your profile u say jeans during the week, and black hat and shabbos. i thinks its cool, i do it (i am a lubavitcher) and dont worry about your luvishim. its more about thought, speech and action. which are your spirtual garments. and in the gemura r'yochan referres to his clothes as those that honor him.

  4. @Jesse
    Thanks a lot, but a trick here is in having a Dell Preferred Account which works like a credit card for Dell but doesn't work outside of it. So no luck for any kind of Mac unless I find someone giving me cash for a brand new Dell...

    Regarding jeans and black hat - I agree with your point of view and that's why I do wear it like that, but I still see in acting like that some kind of bias. Anyway I believe that when I started wearing hat again past spring it did help me get back on levels I've dropped from. Not as far as I was 4 years ago, but still there are some improvements.
    Btw, I have couple lubavitcher friends :)

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