I plan to purchase this computer set up, would you agree?? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 17th, 2005, 03:25 AM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: San Mateo, California
Posts: 15
I plan to purchase this computer set up, would you agree??

Hello,

I might be ordering a desktop at Dell.com... Please tell me what you think about this deal:

Dell Dimension 3000 Desktop
Intel Pentium 4 Processor (2.80 GHZ, 533 FSB)
Windows XP Home Edition
Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics Video Card
Integrated Audio soundcard
1 GB Dual Channel DDR SDRAM at 400 MHZ
160 GB Ultra ATA/100 7200 RPM Hard Drive
Single Drive 16X DVD-Rom Drive ( I already have a external CD and DVD burner)
IEEE 1394 Adapter
No Warranty
No Monitor

The cost is $606 without sales tax, but $656.44 with sales tax.

Are these utilities good enough for editing performance and Do you think this is too expensive or average for the price of a desktop made for editing... I already have the editing software, camcorder, dvd burner and two monitors.. I will need to get a Nvidia dual monitor adapter.

Is there anything else needed? Also, should I upgrade my soundcard from Integrated audio to a Soundblaster Live 24 bit advanced HD for $25?

any advice or pros and cons about this deal are welcome.....

thanks for the help!!

Al
Al Daqing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 17th, 2005, 03:59 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Enterprise, AL
Posts: 857
If you could afford to step up to one of their systems that has at least a 800MHz fsb, I think you would find it well spent money if you plan on editing video. You're going to be pushing VERY large files around in your computer and the front side bus is reported as the current bottleneck for many operations and not the processor.

You'll also want a second hard drive ASAP, whether you buy/install it or have them include it. Put your editing application on the C: drive and place your video files on the other drive for significant speed improvements.

Then turn it on and have fun!
__________________
Fear No Weevil!
Patrick King is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 17th, 2005, 09:25 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Deep South, U.S.
Posts: 1,385
I think Patrick has given some good advice. Also, I just checked http://slickdeals.net/ and Dell has a $100 mail in rebate plus free shipping going on with the 8400 system which has the 800 fsb. This system configured pretty close to your 3000 suggestion came out to $717 after rebate with 3ghz processor. I think this would suit you better.

The link is

http://www1.us.dell.com/content/prod...=04&l=en&s=bsd

Regards,

Mark
Mark Williams is online now   Reply With Quote
Old April 17th, 2005, 04:59 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
Hi Al,
Check that the Dimension 3000 has an AGP or PCI-E slot for a dual monitor video card. I don't think it does. :/

Check that you have free shipping, which you should.

2- Here's how Dell works:
Their base systems are a good deal. They are priced around the break-even point for profit.

However, upgrades are 1-4X what you should pay for them. This is how Dell makes a profit.

If you check hot deals sites, you can learn about promotions that make the base systems even cheaper. Also, you may also be able to get deals through calling Dell and finding a sales rep who is aggressive.

If you buy through the home site, you will get India-based tech support. I admit I have a bias against Dell, but you may be dealing with incompetent techs who may not understand thick North American accents. Customers with large contracts with Dell get better North American-based support, and on-site repairs are outsourced to other companies. See resellerratings.com Dell and other manufacturers have a low rating there, generally because of their support.

If you want free support, check out protonic.com
I used to volunteer there, it's a great resource for general computer problems and questions. You just have to be good at communicating your problem and any relevant information the tech may need.

3- If you are price-conscious, your cheapest options are:
Get a "white box" computer by a local computer shop or an online retailer like monarchcomputers.com

Build your own (kind of). Get a base system from Dell, and throw in all your own upgrades and parts (more storage, more RAM [DDR2?], etc.). You need something like a Dell 8400. If you can read a manual this isn't hard... and you'll need to do it anyways.

A base system from Dell is cheaper than assembling your own base system most of the time.

4- Front side bus speed only makes a few percent difference. (I've tried.)
Just check that the processor has hyperthreading... the Intel/Pentium processors with hyperthreading are the best bet for video editing.( Hyperthreading correlates with the best value processors... they all do not have watered-down cache, have hyperthreading of course, have 800mhz FSB or higher instead of 533 (makes a few percent difference), and have higher clock speeds (clock speed makes a huge difference among the same processor line).
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 17th, 2005, 11:30 PM   #5
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: San Mateo, California
Posts: 15
Thanks everybody on your responses! I will look into the Dell 8400 series as a base model and work on upgrading from there on out.. I'm very price conscious and would like to have this computer set up asap... i don't think www.monarchcomputers.com is up. Would you guys recommend getting better sound and video cards? Also the 8400 has an option for a dual monitors adapter but its for two analog monitors. if i get digital monitors, i wouldn't need the adapter i guess...

anyhow, thanks again for the help!

al
Al Daqing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2005, 01:39 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
My bad, it's monarchcomputer.com (not plural)
http://www.monarchcomputer.com/
If you buy a base Dell system with zero upgrades, it will be cheaper than Monarch by a good margin. Some upgrades like the audio and video cards are reasonably priced... you can check prices against newegg.com.

Sound card: Unless you plan on doing serious audio work you could hold off until you know what you need.

I would probably spend the $30 and buy Jay Rose's book Great Sound for Digital Video (see dplay.com for ordering info).

Video card: Some editing/compositing programs can take advantage of openGL acceleration. If you do upgrade your video card, look at Nvidia and ATI's workstation lines (ATI/fire and nvidia/quadro). Until you realize you can use one of these cards, hold off the purchase as cards get faster/cheaper the longer you hold off.

Dual digital monitors: You should check if Dell's bottom-end video card has dual DVI outputs. It's likely DVI-I + VGA, where the DVI can be adapted with the adapter to drive an analog monitor. Some of the latest generation 6xxx Nvidia and ATI xXXX cards have dual DVI ($200+).
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2005, 06:27 PM   #7
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: San Mateo, California
Posts: 15
Thanks Glenn,

There are PCI-E slots available but no AGP.

Also, I'd like to get an adapter for using dual monitors, not sure if computer already comes with dual digital monitor outputs.. this is the only available option:

128MB PCI Express™ x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) ATI Radeon™ X300 SE [add $60 or $2/month1]

Would you recommend???

Thanks again,

Al
Al Daqing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2005, 07:46 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
Nvidia cards are preferable over ATI cards in my opinion.
Better dual monitor drivers. If you want Premiere Pro on both monitors, it cannot be done with an ATI card unless you buy Ultramon (shareware). Ultramon is a good dual monitor software regardless, so if you plan on getting it anyways then this may not be a big deal. (I don't know if this applies to the newest generation cards.)

Avid only works with Nvidia cards??? (check Avid website for requirements if you may consider Avid.)

Nvidia cards have much better openGL performance as far as I know. Some editing programs and compositing applications take advantage of openGL acceleration.

Nvidia cards have more controls for tweaking the monitor image (saturation and gamma curve adjustments), but again not a big deal.

There are other minor differences between ATI and Nvidia cards that don't make too much of a difference to video editing.

If you don't mind installing your own video card, try newegg.com:
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...170-067&depa=1
A card like that would be suitable. It has a DVI-VGA adapter included (from looking at the picture), so you can do 2XVGA and DVI-VGA.

Quote:
128MB PCI Express™ x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) ATI Radeon™ X300 SE [add $60 or $2/month1]
The description says DVI/VGA/TV-out, so it should have both a DVI and VGA output. If both your monitors only accept VGA, then you'll need a DVI-VGA adapter (about $9 with shipping at newegg). Dell is reasonably priced with the video card and adapter here (although they charge tax). If you might want to use Premiere Pro and don't want to spend the money on Ultramon, then maybe look at Nvidia. Otherwise, that video card may not be a bad idea as you wouldn't need to both with the installation and support is a little easier.
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2005, 10:43 PM   #9
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: San Mateo, California
Posts: 15
Hi Glenn,

I understand what you're saying.. It might be a better bet to pass on that card and to get the Nvidia dual DVI card that you suggested... I guess I may end up with two digital monitors in the future and also Premier Pro program.. Are digital monitors suppose to be more efficient than analog ones? Right now I have Adobe Premiere 6.5 and will use one monitor for the mean time.

thanks for all the support Glenn,

al
Al Daqing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2005, 11:28 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
Hi Al,
As far as I know, digital inputs make a difference as you go up in resolution. The monitor doesn't need calibration to a DVI signal, unlike analog (where mis-calibration can lead to text with over-sharpening horizontally). At high resolutions, analog signals may deteriorate slightly and give a little fuzziness (I have not actually seen this, so it may not be true).

At low resolutions (i.e. 1024X768) you should be fine with VGA/analog. Some LCDs only come with an analog input. Higher up, you see LCDs with DVI and VGA input.

I don't have a high end LCD monitor (or even a LCD) so I really can't give you real experience. However, I don't think you can go wrong with a $60 card for now because video cards will get better in the future and dual DVI should trickle down (so it makes sense to hold off). As well, you can test the difference between DVI and analog to see the difference for yourself.

On LCDs with only analog input, they generally look good although a few Samsungs at my school are mis-calibrated and annoying (auto-calibration on it doesn't work that well). Other Samsung LCDs there using analog inputs look good.

2- The card I suggested has 1 DVI and 1 VGA output. The DVI output can be adapted to VGA (the card comes with an adapter as the picture shows).
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2005, 02:12 PM   #11
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: San Mateo, California
Posts: 15
Hello,

I haven't been able to find any information regarding this issue on the Dell website. I would like to purchase a Dell Dimension 4700 online today (4/20/05). On the website, it says there is a $90 instant discount and $100 mail in rebate that EXPIRES today (4/20/05). My question is, if I purchase the desktop today, will I still qualify for the instant discount and rebate? On the website, the price is already marked with the deduction of the instant discount and mail in rebate.. I am concerned that if I purchase it today, they will not accept my rebate.. Any thoughts?

Thanks!

Alex
Al Daqing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2005, 03:08 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
The rebate offer expires today, so if you purchase it now your are eligible for the rebate. Dell usually takes some time to assemble and ship the computer, and they have to give you ample time to complete the rebate forms and send it in (remember to do that, and to make photocopies of everything and to read the rebate form carefully).

I would read the rebate forms carefully...
Quote:
1. Purchase a qualifying Dell Small Business System or Printer during valid mail-in rebate offer period. Rebate offer and amount will be listed on the packing slip for qualifying Dell Small Business System purchases. Your packing slip is in the clear, plastic envelope affixed to the outside of the box of your new system.
http://www1.us.dell.com/content/topi...=04&l=en&s=bsd
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2005, 03:46 PM   #13
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: San Mateo, California
Posts: 15
Cool Thanks Glenn,

Dell had also replied to my email and said promotions run from Thursdays and end on Wednesdays at 11:59pm. So I guess people will have opportunities for promotions every week.

Btw, I'm planning on getting the Dimension 4700. The processor will be 800 FSB with HT Technology, but will have only
2.80GHZ.
Would you recommend upgrading to 3GHZ or higher? Or is 2.8 enough?

Also, the 1 GIG RAM I plan to upgrade to only has 400MHZ. Is this good enough or do I need 533MHZ?

I hope these won't make any difference, but if so, then I might have to look into the Dimension 8400.

Thank you!

Al
Al Daqing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2005, 08:31 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
The 3mhz upgrade is overpriced and won't make a noticeable difference. If you divide the two numbers, the 3ghz processor is 7.1% higher clocked. Performance will increase a little less than that. My rule of thumb is than any difference <10% is hard to notice and never worth worrying about.

RAM: You want to get 400mhz RAM. Faster RAM will also work but be a waste of money. Ideal RAM configuration is pairs of the same memory (exact model and capacity). Ideal RAM configuration only makes a few % difference in performance, so it's no biggie. But it's usually fairly cheap to go for pairs of the same memory.
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:11 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network