All systems operational...
I have used and supported a variety of systems from HP, Dell, Apple, Toshiba, and Compaq at various jobs these last few years and must say that on the PC side of things after an 18 month stint doing Windows and IE support that there seemed to be the fewest problems with Dell computers. (Mac was never really a serious choice…see Jeremy’s excellent post on Mac vs. PC.) Mind you I’m not necessarily saying Dell’s are better than the others, just that I took almost zero support calls on Dell’s but had boat loads on HP’s, Compaq’s, Sony’s, and the dreaded Packard-Bell’s and E-Machines. Maybe Dell had better support…I just know what the numbers turned out to be. Also, after using Dell at work the last 3 years I’ve had zero hardware problems (can't say that about the OS but that's another post). I have NOT been a fan of the inability to tweak the BIOS and other system settings. But, that’s the sacrifice of going pre-built. Besides, when I get home from an 8-10 hour day working on a computer I’m not thrilled about the idea of working on one at home…I just want to turn it on and have fun. There’s too much else to do with my time. So, Dell it was.
The 710 was a too much for my needs and felt I would be paying $500 extra for a fancy case.
Here's what we got:
-2 GB of DDR2 SDRAM
-250 GB hard drive
-GeFource 7900 GS w/256 MB
-XFi PCI Sound Card
-13 in 1 Media reader
-16x DVD R/RW CD-RW combo drive (only one...I'll add another later)
-20 inch digital wide screen monitor
-Entertainment Edition of XP with a dual TV tuner
-IEEE1394 adapter—just for fun.
-For better or worse - a free upgrade to Vista
Ordered and received back before Christmas. So far: I hate Norton Security...I feel like my mother is standing over me and I'm in Jr. High again..."You can't go there" "Don't do that" "I don't want you hanging out with them"...sheesh. I've never had any kind of security package at home (if you're careful what you do and know what you're doing and watch where you go you probably don't need it). I've never had a virus attack at home...only spy ware. I've only used anti-virus at work. I can't get the stupid firewall and internet security part set to where it doesn't annoy the daylights out of me every 5 minutes. I'm beginning to think Norton is a virus.
Everything else is great. The speed is unbelievable and the graphics card, while not the highest out there, sure will run anything I'm ever likely to throw at it (Desktop Earth is more fabulous than ever). All the 'stuff' from my old system fits with tons of room to spare. So, even though a pre-built system isn't the best this one's not bad. It's better than any I've ever had and my Beautiful Wife loves it...and THAT's the most important thing of all!