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Old January 3rd, 2003, 11:28 AM   #1
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Opinions on Computer (Dell Vs. Gateway)

OK, so I posted about a month ago about which specifications I needed in a new computer so now I'm going with a p4 2.4 gigahertz, 120 gig hd plus my old 30 gig hd, 1 gig RD ram but now I'm not sure to go Dell or Gateway. In the past I've always had a great experience with my Dells but I haven't even given Gateways a chance. So the Gateway is 100 bucks less for the same package AND the Gateway comes with a firewire card already installed. The dell, I would have to buy the firewire card seperately (only 50 bucks). I could build my own but I'm a big fan of having a 3 yr warranty incase anything goes wrong (it has in the past) so Dell or Gateway is the path for me. So does anyone have any definite opinions either way with Dell or Gateway? Should I stick with the tried and true Dell or save about 150 bucks and try out the new gateways? Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks guys!
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 12:20 PM   #2
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Having been a computer technician in the past (I still always build my own PCs), at my last check (about a year ago), Dells were the way to go.

You say you could build your own, which suggests to me that you know how the parts inside is what make the computer, not the brand. Generally both of these manufacturers are open about the parts they put in there (which hard drive, what type of memory, what brand of video card, what type of motherboard). Find out what parts you're dealing with, then go to http://www.tomshardware.com and figure out which parts are better.

My first guess is that Dell will use the better parts; that's been the case in the past. And since you value the 3-year warranty so much, from all I've heard, Dell has the better post-sale-service.
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 12:42 PM   #3
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I would have to agree with Imran. The Dell's customer service is excellent. Having owned both a Dell and a Gateway, my preference is the Dell. Of course my workhorse is now my Mac G4. :) - But that is another story.

Everytime that I need service on my Dell, they were prompt. You might want to check with Dell regarding the Firewire card. They might be able to add this into the machine, so that it is covered by the warranty.

Good luck in your decision!
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 12:48 PM   #4
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* * TECH * *

Imran,

I make my dollars doing technical consulting/purchasing and maintaining the PCs of a small business operation. We standardized on Dell because of the support issues that creep up in day to day operations.

I own a Dell also to some the the specs you mentioned above. I have also owned two Gateways in the past. Gateway support was sub-standard while Dell solved most of the problems and/or replaced goods.

My recommendation is: DELL. (Support and familiarity)

However, if you are technically proficient, and aren't bowled over. Buy any machine... Just don't get anything like a Intel/ Equiv Celeron Chip, they are cheap garbage. Watch the RD RAM also, if you decide to upgrade this memory, it can be pricey.

Hope this helps...

Cheers!

Derrick
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 02:12 PM   #5
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Dell for PCs, but there may be some problems with Dell laptops.

If you are technically savvy enough, go ahead and build your own. The best advantage is that the chassis will accept standard components, which not manufacturer build PCs will (done top force you to buy new machines).

I also recommend look at http://www.tomshardware.com

Happy Mardi Gras,
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 02:44 PM   #6
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If your only two choices are Dell & Gateway, I would pick Dell. However, you may want to look at some of the specialty PC vendors such as PCNirvana or DVLine if you want a system really designed for video.
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 03:12 PM   #7
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A lot of times, specialty DV editing machines come bundled with all types of software that you may or may not need, plus the nature of bundling allows the manufacturers to hide markups and such. Realistically, if you're smart about the specs you get in your computer, there's really nothing lost by going with a company like Dell, and you may just save a buck. Just be smart about the configuration you choose!

Spend as much as you can afford on these items, probably in this order:

1. RAM - minimum of 512M, but go for a Gig

2. Processor - whether you use single or dual depends on if your software will truly recognize the difference (not all software does)

3. Hard Drive - The faster the better! Even 120Gig drives are pretty affordable these days (check Toms Hardware Guides for best performers). And if you want external drives, instead of getting a packaged one, buy a fast 7200RPM Internal drive and an external firewire case, slap 'em together, and you save like a $100 and get a faster drive!

4. Video Card - Think multi-display. You'll probably want to display two monitors and a tv monitor. The Matrox Parhelia is expensive, but Matrox's speed and stability with this type of work (DV) is unparalleled. It's just one option of many though.

There's a wide, wide, wide world of options out there. The first thing you should do is figure out a budget. Then spend every cent of it getting the fastest hardware you can acquire for that much money.

And then after you're done, send it to me. I'll even pay for shipping ;)
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 09:01 PM   #8
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Actually, I've seen the opposite problem - Dell and Gateway come bundled with all kinds of extra unwanted software where the specialty computers come only with what is needed to edit video. It would be wise to check what is coming on the computer, software wise, no matter where it comes from to make sure you know what you are getting.
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 10:29 PM   #9
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Not sure about Gateway, but on Dells you can opt to not include pretty much all bundled software except, of course, the OS.
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Old January 4th, 2003, 02:50 AM   #10
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Re: * * TECH * *

Just don't get anything like a Intel/ Equiv Celeron Chip, they are cheap garbage.

Hope this helps...

Cheers!

Derrick -->>>

Ouch......
Actually a Celeron is a stripped down P4/P3/P2. And I agree with your point.

The only reason Intel even went this route was because AMD has magical funding per sey (that I still can't figure out where it comes from), and wanted to gain market share. It's very apparent that their stock holders are not demanding that they make money.

The old saying "it takes 3 points to make a graph".......well let's look at AMD's posted positive cash quarters (or years for that matter), and I think you can follow along.

My point is nothing but this:
The Celeron was developed by Intel to compete in the "sub $1000 PC" segment and to quickly cut cost in a behemoth company for a market segment that they never saw slapping them in the face a year or 2 later. It wasn't produced for medium to high end editing machines or "workstations". It was meeting a new "AOL web surfers & spam forwarder's" need. (no offense to anyone....just in case =)

It's a joke in my eyes today also, but I never thought when it was produced on that 1st wafer at the old process R&D fab in Santa Clara, that the Celeron and sub 1K PC would drive the need to keep me working today (since my Intel stock and 401K started the slide to rock bottom ~4 years ago). Sure busted up my plan for retirement on or before my 40th b-day.......damit...hehe

After regressing above, I would whole heartedly agree with Dell's high state of customer service. I would not agree with their *cough cough*pricing on high end machines and servers.

I'll give you a example from our server farm we have at my current employer;
-Dell Poweredge 6300 Dual P2 Xeon server, 2gig RAM, etc. etc.
Original cost 5 or 6 years ago: $15K with NT 4.0 and a single CAL (bought just prior to my employment)
-2 months ago, I built 2 separate dual 1.8 P4 Xeon servers to move SQL and our system of record over, and to help take some load off the Metaframe for <$10K (with software for each including 50 CAL's for each on 2000 advanced server, and 10 SQL CAL's) Again, 2 servers not just 1. The software was the big cost, not the hardware.

My advise, shop around and build your own if you are comfortable with it, or find a friend who is a hard core PC gamer or tinkerer and have him/her build you a rocket.

If that's not an option, choose a Dell that meets your needs.

OK, I feel better now <;~)
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Old January 4th, 2003, 03:07 PM   #11
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i have DELLS ... when you price out your system .. price it in BOTH consumer and small business ...my 8200 was 200 less plus free shipping buying it under small business ...
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Old January 4th, 2003, 09:02 PM   #12
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Wow, thanks so much for everyone's input! As everyone can see, I've only been a member of this site for about a month now but I'm a forum regular at some other unrelated sites. This site has a real wealth of knowledgeable and friendly people; I'm a huge fan!

Anyways, I guess I'll go with the Dell. I've owned one in the past and some of my family members have some and I must say, I've been pleased with them in every aspect, so I guess it wouldn't make sense to convert to a different brand when my loyalty lies in the right place ;)

As for building my own: I feel comfortable enough with the build but I don't feel confident enough in my troubleshooting abilities to figure out a problem in a reasonable time frame if a problem were to arise.

Donatello: do you know what qualifications would I have to meet in order to buy a Dell under the small business classification? It seems as though it couldn't be as simple as just clicking on the small business link from the home page and ordering from there could it? Thanks!
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Old January 4th, 2003, 11:00 PM   #13
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As much as I hate to say this go Dell, but if you can build your own I would build your own, this way you know exactly what quality and type of parts you are getting. I have not bouoght a pre-built system in over 6 years. I build my own, even if they cost a little more I know what I am getting. I buy good quality parts, I use ASUS motherboards. I have P4 and I opted for RDRAM with ECC becasue I am paranoid! I put in 1GB, but honetsly 512MB would have been fine. You say you are going P4 2.4, is it 533 or 400 bus? 533Bus tends to do better with Rendering and encoding, problme is if you are doing RDRAM that puts you in PC1066 which is a bit prociey. Might want to look at the Nforce based boards that have dual channel DDR, SIS will also have one real soon. Dual channel DDR can keep up with RDRAM and the ram is cheaper. I'm waiting for the 3.3GHz P4 so I can get a 3.06 HT P4 cheaper and when the GraniteBay E7505 chipset boards ship I will switch to dual channel DDR and they support ECC DDR so my paranoid fears will be satisfied.
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Old January 4th, 2003, 11:04 PM   #14
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One option you might want to consider is to spec out the system you want and let motherboardexpress.com build it for you. For something like $200 they will assemble and test a system and provide a warrantee.

On my editing deck I priced out Dell and system resellers and found that I could do a lot better spec'ing out a custom system, letting motherboardexpress build it for me, then dropping in the editing cards myself once the system was fully checked out. I was very nervous about building a system from scratch but this was a good middle ground.

http://www.motherboardexpress.com/

Rick
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Old January 5th, 2003, 01:59 AM   #15
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A very good reason to avoid Gateway is that they are in fairly serious trouble if you read the Hi-tech business news. They have fallen way behind in market share and are now going after home tv with a Plasma display, etc.
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