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General discussion

Vostro 430, Opti 780, maybe Precision 1500?

by Rob10 / January 10, 2010 12:11 AM PST

I initially I was going to purchase a Studio XPS. The 8000 felt a bit cheap and light when I looked at one in BB, and suspiciously has already been replaced by the 8100. I've also read enough QC problems and dissatisfaction with Dell's non-business support to look at their business models, such as the Vostro, Optiplex, and maybe Precision models. I tried asking advice on Dell's boards but got zero response.

What I'm looking for is a fairly fast computer for basic stuff, but also non-pro photo work, video encoding/editing, 2D graphics work, music/movies/HDTV, maybe some light gaming. When I bought my last computer 9 years ago, I bought a something fast that would be obsolete as late as possible, and so far it's hung in there. I also want something that's built to last as long as I can stand it.

I understand that the more stable, reliable pick would be the Optiplex 780. But they don't offer the i7 processor. The fastest is the Quad Core series. Is the i7 that much faster/more advanced?
On paper, the Vostro looks like a better bet as far as hardware choices and future flexibility. But how is the reliability?

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BB the store
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 10, 2010 12:34 AM PST

What you find there and other chains is a sign of their bargaining with the makers for EXCLUSIVES. It's not a real sign of this or that but they are a commercial venture with the goal of getting the public to part with money for the boxes they have on the shelves.

If they can get an exclusive then this will make it hard for the public to shop around and compare directly.

For example if you were BB and got the exclusive on the model W2XR machine then you could advertise without fear "we have the lowest price on the W2XR."

So there you go. Keep shopping and comparing.

PS. If your budget can stand the i7, get that.

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Not exactly what I was looking for
by Rob10 / January 10, 2010 1:53 AM PST
In reply to: BB the store

You comment isn't really an answer to my question. The Dell model I was referring to is not an exclusive to anyone (but I understand where you were going). I'm looking for advice on specific models of Dell's business PCs.

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I re-read your 2 posts.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 10, 2010 7:25 AM PST

And found no specific model. Yes that 8000 model but when I went to I could change drives, ram and more. Which means that here, in this discussion we haven't nailed down what model we are discussing.

Try this. Give a link to the model for discussion's sake.

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In the title
by Rob10 / January 10, 2010 12:01 PM PST

Sorry, I didn't put in the body of the post, only the title. The models I was looking for advice about were the Vostro 430, Optiplex 780, and possibly the Precision T1500.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 11, 2010 2:02 AM PST
In reply to: In the title

These appear to be customizable with no one model to discuss.

Ok I see TODAY it offers 2 or more models there so I know this sounds terrible but until you nail down which exact configuration there can't be a comparison. If you did go to best buy . com and find links then we might have a model to discuss.

But let's see what model has gaming potential.

Vostro 430 has a lightweight video card. 512MB ATI Radeon? HD 4350

But let's look at Dell's tech specs at

I see the 1GB NVIDIA

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Just general build q question
by Rob10 / January 12, 2010 9:04 AM PST
In reply to: Again.

I didn't have specs in my listing because I was just looking for input about build quality of Dell's Vostro and Optiplex compared to the Home lines (Inspiron, Studio XPS) from folks that have experience with them. For example, in photos on Dell's website, the Vostro looks on the surface like the Inspiron, but is it better put together? Does it have real loud fan noise to keep heat down in the smallish case? I am thinking about this...

Vostro 430
Intel i7-860 (2.8GHz)
Windows 7 Professional 64bit
4 GB dual channel DDR3 1333MHz SDRAM

The Optiplex are not as cutting edge in available hardware, Quad processor (Q9550 2.8 GHz) instead of the i7, 1066MHz memory vs 1333MHz, lower end 256MB GPU (except the 512 NVIDIA Quadro). Thinking they are a more solid machine, but not sure how much "slower". I keep computers a while, and want it to last, and be fast "enough" as long as possible.

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Both are 5 year designs.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 12, 2010 10:24 PM PST

As to the sound level, that is strangely absent from the specs so get out there and listen for that.

Here we have flipped to laptops for many reasons such as energy, security, sound and office space. The desktops are slowly going away so the office is getting quieter each month.

Sorry but I see that you did nail down the Vostro and if I were to choose I'd get the Vostro since my lesson about small form desktops is to not use them for high end gaming. (ever!)

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by Rob10 / January 12, 2010 10:33 PM PST

I currently use a laptop at work and dislike the small everything, so looking foward to moving my old desktop there when I get my new one for home.

The Vostro is the smaller form factor of the two (between Optiplex), and why I wondered about using higher spec parts in a smaller box.
Now Dell has dumped the problematic Studio XPS 8000 for the 8100. I suppose I should at least take a look.

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Form factors.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 12, 2010 10:50 PM PST
In reply to: re
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by Rob10 / January 12, 2010 11:23 PM PST
In reply to: Form factors.

Thanks Bob,
I was looking at the larger of both. I don't trust fan airflow as much when everything is packed too tightly together. One thing in the Studio XPS 8100 (and more so in the case of the 9000) I did like.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 12, 2010 11:27 PM PST
In reply to: "small"...
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Looks like a beast!
by Rob10 / January 13, 2010 12:28 AM PST
In reply to: large

And from what I read, the Studio XPS 9000 is a beast in size too. I don't know if smarter ways of cooling/less heat gerating CPUs allow for a performance PC in a smaller tower over larger ones, but is just seems like a bigger case would be better and why I haven't gone through pulling the trrigger on the Vostro yet (that and my general OCD issues, LOL!).

If I had the time to dig into understanding computers more, I would defintiely build one myself. I think it would be fun, save money, and I'd end up with a nicer PC in the long run. I just don't have the time to play tech support, especially when jumping from XP to Win 7. Another reason I liked Dell Business, as their Business support is still in the U.S.

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Big enough case?
by Rob10 / January 13, 2010 10:03 PM PST
In reply to: large

Do you think the Vostro case (14.5" high X 6.5" wide X 17" deep) is enough air space to run an i7 with NVIDIA GTS240 and a TV tuner without lots of fan noise? My old Dimension is a good 3 inches taller with much lower specs and fairly quiet.

Looks like no Vostro owners out there?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 14, 2010 2:14 AM PST
In reply to: large

Sorry but some are put off by a laptop fan. They call the excessive. Others have higher tolerances.

This is why the 2 solutions I know of are:

1. The SPEC or db level from Dell.
2. Comparing it first hand.

To make this even harder to nail down, this model looks to have demand based fan speeds. That is, when cold it will slow the fans and when you game it runs them up.

Only the first hand inspection will do for this area.

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