Please Help Me Buy a New PC

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jeffrey3, Jun 16, 2003.

  1. jeffrey3

    jeffrey3

    Hi,

    I would like to buy a new pc with the following requirements and there is one advertised witch seems to satisfy most of my needs but I am not a computer wiz and could use some help from pros as to if I am getting the correct specs.

    I want to buy a pc to use with stock market applications which is computing intensive (I do not do any gaming), so I am opting for

    (1) P4 2.6 or higher processor with Hyper-Threading technology to open up a possibility of up-grading.
    (2) A compatible mother board with appropriate FSB and upgradeable to a higher processor speed in future.
    (3) Appropriate DDR (Speed wise) and compatible with both CPU and Motherboard. I need 512 MB.

    Right now Dell is offering the following configuration within "my Price range"

    (1) P4 2.6 GHz with Hyper-Threading technology.

    (2) Intel 875P chipset (They have not mentioned the name or specs of motherboard) but Intel site mentions that 875P chipset has 800 MHz FSB

    (3)256 MB PC3200 DDR-SDRAM at 400 MHz

    (4) 512 KB L2 Cache

    (5) 64 M nVidia GeForce4 MX 420 w/TVOut

    I have the following questions and concerns.

    (1) Is it worth paying quite a bit more for P4 3.0 GHz instead of 2.6 GHz and what FSB would I get with 2.6 and 3.0 and would that make that much difference in computing power. My main concern is, I do want Hyper-Threading Technology because that would help me Upgrade with newer processors. They have mentioned Hyper-Threading in the ad. but I wonder if P4 2.6 comes with Hyper-Threading and give as good a performance as they advertise.

    (2) Is Intel 875P chipset good enough for future Upgrading?

    (3) Since they have not mentioned the Mother Board name, would P4 3.0 be compatible with their chipset and mother board if I decide to upgrade in future?

    (4) Would P4 3.0 be a totally new technology than P4 2.6 GHz? They have mentioned the Hyper-Threading in the ad.

    (5) Is their RAM speed good enough and would I be able to upgrade to P4 3.0 or Higher in future with same RAM speed or would I need a totally new kind of RAM?

    (6) Their memory price for extra 256 MB is twice that of other places. Could I add extra RAM bought at other place and what should I watch for? Does it have to be PC3200 and 400 MHz or higher speed would be OK?

    (7) They are offering only 3 months on site warranty, period. This is what really alarmed me because usually most of the reputable companies offer at least 12 months warranty.

    I am including their ad as follows.

    Dell™ Dimension™ 8300

    Processor

    Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor at 2.6GHz- with Hyper-Threading Technology

    Chipset

    Intel® 875P Chipset

    Chassis

    Mini Tower Chassis

    Memory

    256MB PC3200 DDR-SDRAM at 400MHz

    Cache

    512KB L2 Cache

    Hard Drive

    30GB1 HDD


    Video Card

    64M nVidia® GeForce4 MX 420 w/TVOut

    Sound Card

    Sound Blaster® Live!™ 5.1 Sound Card

    Monitor

    17" Colour Monitor (15.9"v.i.s.)

    DVD/CD-ROM

    8X DVD

    Keyboard

    Keyboard

    Mouse

    Mouse

    Network Card

    Integrated Intel® PRO 10/100 Ethernet

    Operating System

    Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition

    Software

    Norton Anti-Virus 2003 - OEM Version

    Warranty

    90 days Limited Warranty (Next Business Day On-Site2 Service), varied from Dell's normal terms and conditions

    Support

    90 days Telephone-based Hardware Support




    Would appreciate any feedback.

    Thank You,
    Jeffrey
     
  2. white17

    white17

    Jeffery; I'm no expert ( there are several on these boards) but I would say that the system is adequate for what you want. Don't pay more for a faster processor. Put the money into more ram. Crucial.com can send you compatible ram for less in my experience. The other thing I would change is the operating system. If you're stuck with XP, get the Professional version rather than Home. There's nothing wrong with XP, I'm just a 2000 snob. You're right about the warranty. That does seem strange. Have you looked in the refurbished machines? They all come with at least a 12 month warranty.
     
  3. 1. Are you sure you need "computing power"? Most trading apps require little.
    2. Wouldn't bother about considering "upgrades". By the time you're ready, it will likely be more cost effective to just replace.
    3. Many of Dell's motherboards are privately built, "to Intel's specs".
    4. Your motherboard will likely run on only 1 type of RAM and at only one speed.
    5. You can probably buy someone else's RAM. I've used several brands, and all have been OK. (I'm a little picky about my primary trader... I currently have Crucial and PNY Optima in it now.)
    6. Don't know about the warranty business. That's a new one to me. Maybe just another way of cost cutting?

    You haven't mentioned how many monitors you plan to run. Many trading setups run 2-4, some up to 8.

    Personally, I'd go for the slower processor and spend the money saved on RAM, better monitor, etc.

    I choose Win2000 for OS. XP is a pain if you ever need to change HD or want to clone HD for a backup.
     
  4. Ok, be careful that you are not out there on the bleeding edge of technology for no reason. Hyperthreading will probably not do you much good in your trading practices as you probably are not an intense multi-application power user. I'd say you are probably looking at a good machine, but I'd be hard pressed to understand its value for you with the info you've supplied.

    Rather than hunt a higher MHz processor, max out the RAM. You might also look into getting a great video card, maybe even a multi-monitor supporting model.

    Most models sold today leave some expansion room. But I have to be honest here, by the time you'll need to upgrade you'll do better crapping most of what you'd have. As a computer guy, most of my clients are ready for a full upgrade when that time comes around. I'd bank that you'd probably be ready for the same when you start looking into upgrades.

    For now, if you're looking at anything over 1.6 MHz you'll be fine for a long while. What is it in particular that you will be doing primarily/specifically? That might help with any recommendations. :)
     
  5. jeffrey,

    It does not make much difference, but I would go for the 2.8GHz cpu, it has the best performance/cost ratio.

    As memory is cheap right now, put in gigaabyte, it will probably pay itself back very soon as you will be able to handle (future?)loads with less swapping.

    If you would go for assembling your own PC, which is really very simple, get an Intel D875PBZ motherboard, except for sound it has about everything you need + 3yrs warranty. The Antec Sonate is a great case for it - not much noise.

    Get a Western Digital WD1200JB disc (or bigger) - 120 Gb with 8Mb cache, IDE
     
  6. Salmon

    Salmon

    In the seccond quater of next year will come Intel with new socket on cpu, todays motherboards with socket 478 are at life end. And will come with new graphic interface pci express instead AGP, so do not count with big uprade, maybe better wait till next year.
     
  7. Salmon

    Salmon

    In the seccond quater of next year will come Intel with new socket on cpu, todays motherboards with socket 478 are at life end. And will come with new graphic interface pci express instead AGP, so do not count with big uprade, maybe better wait till next year.
     
  8. Agree with item #3, when I bought my Dell about 18 months ago I did not realize the limatations of the MB. I wanted to add more memory. I went to the local Fry's with a detailed spec sheet. The salesman looked at the specs, scratched his head, and said the available memory choices were very limited. I wanted to go to 1gig but was limited by Dell's MB to 512 M which is still less than I need for one of my applications. Next computer will be homemade or bought from a local store.

    DS
     
  9. CalTrader

    CalTrader Guest

    ... AS I have said many times on this board - and elsewhere - ....

    Buy last years model with a single processor and extra memory (256 or 512 MB) and a good dual graphics card. 80 gig hard disks seem to be the best value today.

    Dont overbuy/overspend. When your business is profitable you can buy whatever you like and if you like immediately expense/depreciate it all - up to the IRS annual limit.

    Trading profitabiliy is not dependent on the number of monitors you have or the number of whiz-bang features you can brag about to your buddies. You just need a functional setup. Real time data feeds and charting apps just dont take up that much computing power - relative to the workstation machines out there for 2K or under.
     
  10. shyhh

    shyhh

    Jeffery,

    You can check the comparison for the different processor here:-

    http://www.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/cpu/article.php/2218651

    IMHO, you will get the best value if you go for the lower 2.6. The performance gain for each step up is only about 5% on the average but the price difference is as much as 50%. Unless you really need that extra bit of performance it's not worth getting the 3.0. You could instead upgrade your memory to 512MB.
     
    #10     Jun 17, 2003