Looking into purchasing a Dell XPS 410...

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by gracie123, Nov 10, 2006.

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  1. gracie123

    gracie123 Registered Member

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    I am looking into buying a Dell XPS 410 customized to fit my needs but before purchasing I would like to find out if anybody can give me their thoughts on this system. Is the performance good? And does it support the Microsoft Vista Aero interface?

    Thanks,

    Gracie
     
  2. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    i cant say much since i build my own computers, but the XPS is Dell's attempt at gaming computers and theyre generally good (or so ive read). Heres a review if u wanna read.

    as for Vista compatibility, heres what the Dell sites says:
    i dont specifically know what hardware is needed to run teh aero interface though.
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I would spec out a system at VelocityMicro.com. They specialize in gaming type computers, and you don't have to take all the "stuff" Dell puts on a computer. Plus you get Recovery and Windows Disks.
     
  4. gracie123

    gracie123 Registered Member

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    WSFuser, thanks for the info. I will call Dell and figure it all out if I end up deciding to purchase a new computer.

    Peter2150, I will look on that website to see what it's all about :), thanks.

    Gracie
     
  5. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    Hi Gracie,

    dell didnt do to well with dell XPS gaming systems so brought alienware.
    so I Sergest you configure a alienware pc and see what one is the better deal
    also i would like to point out that withmost dell system they come loaded with bloated crap software and Alienware pc's dont. I guess that maybe the xps ones might not since they are ment for gamers but no idea.
    at the end of the day eiether way dell will get your money=P
    lodore
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2006
  6. gracie123

    gracie123 Registered Member

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    Hi lodore,

    I am actually considering the Dell XPS 410 customized to fit my needs which is basically not gaming at all but general web surfing, talking to friends and family, Microsoft Office, a few games (not that many to really need something "good" for gaming). Would the Dell XPS 410 be suitable for these things if I am not really a gamer for say?

    Also, would you recommend 2 GB for RAM or 4GB? I think 2 GB is required for the "ultimate Vista experience" but I am thinking 4 GB might be best for RAM.

    Thanks,

    Gracie
     
  7. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    the Dell XPS 410 is low-end for gaming anyways; it would suit your needs fine.

    2gb should be enough. but if u decide on 4gb, remember that 32-bit Windows won't recognize the full 4gb; itll just see about 3-3.5gb. however, a 64-bit version of Windows would recognize all 4gb
     
  8. Rilla927

    Rilla927 Registered Member

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    Hi Gracie,

    I ordered a $4300.00 system from dell two years ago and they came out and set it up and the third day I had it one of the Array HD'S had failed. I called them and spent 31/2 hours on the phone following instructions of what to do inside the box and by the time this guy got done the computer was totally in-operable. There Tech support was horrible to try and understand let alone get any where with.

    I thought to myself...if this is what their tech support is like I don't even want to deal with it. So I called them and told them I was packing up the system to come and get it, I don't want it. They came and got it alright, and to this day they are trying to sue me for the full amount.

    From a credit stand point, I sent a letter of explanation to all three credit bureaus explaining what happened with the proof of receipt that they picked the system up, so if anything ever arises in the future (for loan & credit card approvals) about this it's already covered.

    You may want to re-think this decision.

    Peter made a good recommendation to you.

    Or go to a private builder you can trust.

    I don't know about others, but Tech Support is a very important factor when you buy a computer, especially if your not an advanced user.

    Here is a site that builds computers with excellent support http://www.tastycomputers.com/

    There is a lot of info here about dells, do a search (you may have to register for an account) for dells and see what you come up with (you will be surprised) or better yet post your questions.
    http://www.techspot.com/vb/

    Check out all the complaints that have been filed
    http://www.ripoffreport.com/results.asp?q1=ALL&q5=Dell+Computers&submit2=Search%21&q4=&q6=&q3=&q2=&q7=&searchtype=0

    Do a search at the BBB
    http://lookup.bbb.org/

    Good luck!
     
  9. gracie123

    gracie123 Registered Member

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    Hi Rilla927,

    Thanks for the links. I will look into the website Peter offered me to look at too.

    Gracie
     
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Gracie

    By comparison, the fan broke free on my new system from Velocity Micro(courtesy of the fine UPS handling) I called VM, and the looked up my system, shipped the part overnight, and a technician was there the following day. He did a great job of replacing the mounting clip. Oh the phone call took 5 minutes.

    Pete
     
  11. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    On the other hand, I've purchased 7 Dells over the past 4 years for personal/family use. This only issues from the 6 desktops have been two HDD failures at years 3 and 4 which I dealt with in a couple of hours start to finish. The laptop had wireless subsystem and lcd failures at years 1 & 2, but these were warranty repairs at our home with no hassle. These have been a combination of new (4) and Dell Outlet (3) purchases.

    If you're not planning on major hardware upgrades beyond video/sound/HDD, Dells are fine. The XPS systems have more expansion potential and a beefier power supply.

    Bad outcomes can occur from any source and it's not that much different than AV's from the big sellers - more installed units does mean more problems.

    Blue
     
  12. Rilla927

    Rilla927 Registered Member

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    You welcome.

    The most important thing you can do is research and take your time to make a decision and you will be better off all the way around.
     
  13. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    i have an almost identical computer, you don't need to upgrade anything. i got the 256MB nVidia GeForce 7900 GS card with mine, which i prefer to ATI cards (maybe ask someone which is better for vista because i'm not using a MS OS and don't know which is better for vista). all the specs are well above those needed for Vista. is vista out now? if not you'll end up with xp, you can ask for a vista upgrade voucher, i think.

    mine didn't come with a windows disc so you should make sure you get one, try and get a recovery disc too!!

    THIS, BELOW, IS ONLY A PROBLEM IF YOU ARE GOING TO USE LINUX
    the only problem i have with that computer is the fakeraid (software RAID) what it means is there are two hard drives in the computer, but when you use the computer it will look like one big drive. the controller used isn't supported with on linux, or something to do with the hard drives makes some versions of linux not work. i haven't spent much time looking into it because i just use a version which does work. it's not a problem for MS stuff though, i'd be shocked if it was anyway.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2006
  14. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    If you buy a Dell, you better learn an applicable foreign language in case you ever need tech support.
     
  15. Rilla927

    Rilla927 Registered Member

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  16. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    I'd say to seriously consider buying a custom built system from a local shop. You'd be supporting the little guys and local economy, you'd have full control of what goes into it, you'd probably get a better deal if you look around, the quality would undoubtedly be better, and the support would also likely be better (not to mention local). If you know the specs you want you should be able to call the shops and get a price, then ask about what kind of support they offer. You'd also be getting a regular Windows license that belongs to you and is not tied to the actual system.
     
  17. Rilla927

    Rilla927 Registered Member

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    I agree 110%!

    This is what I'm trying to point out. Maybe I'm not so good at that, but you summed it up.
     
  18. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Makes me glad I've done business with good ole Velocity Micro. Bellgamin raised an interesting point about upgrades. One thing VM is doing now is for a $100 and shipping back to them, they will clean out the machine, upgrade any drivers and install any new hardware you want that they currently use. They only charge their cost for the new hardware. Not a bad deal.

    Talk about getting everything. Not only a recovery CD, and WIndows XP Disks, but you also get a bag full of all the left over pieces. Like if you were to buy a retail optical drive, it would have extra brackets, cables and face plates. They actually give you all this stuff.

    The other neat thing I've seen with them is if there is a major update to windows that is released say on the day they were going to ship, they will delay, install the update, test it and then ship.

    Finally and this amazed me. I knew only one person builds all the machines from start to finish, but when I called recently they were able to actually tell me who built the first machine back in 2003. It was cool, cause I got to talk to him.
     
  19. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    So far so good, but I realize that could change, regardless of who you buy from.
    The majority of what people wish to upgrade are no problem. Video cards, audio cards, RAM, HDD's, and CPU's are standard pieces. Anyone can upgrade these as desired. The caveats, which apply to any vendor are:
    • Be aware of the total number and type of RAM slots available and the specific sticks of RAM the unit is coming with. What you don't want to do is to be in a position of needed to discard RAM during a RAM upgrade.
    • The specific power supply installed may limit choices on recommended video cards. Make sure to leave a bit of leeway here. While Dell does use proprietary power supply connectors, replacements/upgrades are available from PC Power & Cooling. There is a bit of an upcharge for the Dell compatible units.
    Thanks, and your quite right on the price point. The only point I was making is that a larger installed base means more problems. The key statistic is failure rate, and I have no idea how Dell stacks up against the competition. Prior to the Dell's, I did have a locally built Win95 box. Fairly early on in it's life the CPU fan died and that actually took a bit of time to debug since it was only an issue on hot summer days. The point is any unit can have problems, although as alluded above, having a local supplier you can reach in person is typically preferred as a way to minimize problems.
    I've reinstalled WinXP on my machines numerous times with no issues and no crap. The standard Dell discs (at least the ones I have - which span Win XP, Win XP SP1, Win XP SP2, and Win XP Media Center SP2) really have just Windows..., most of the other junk is on additional CD's. The CD is tied to a Dell unit, which is a typical big box OEM limitation.
    True, but that is a while in the future. If it becomes an issue for me, I really don't view is as a problem since I'll simply convert to Linux/Unix as appropriate.
    On my last Dell purchase, an E510 from the outlet, it didn't come with XP install discs and that wasn't an option at purchase time since it was the outlet. I called support, explained my position - which was that while they provided a recovery partition but that's irrelevant in the event of a HDD hardware failure - and was sent copies of all the install discs. As for my other machines, I've acquired updated Dell original CD's from ebay as SP's have appeared.
    Unfortunately, buying local does not automatically solve this. If one does buy local or from a customer configurator, do check out the word of mouth feedback. Sounds like at least one good option has already been mentioned above.
    Without knowing the specifics of your case, there's little I can say except that I wouldn't be shipping the same unit back and forth 12 times. The hardware would have been replaced prior to that or I would have taken another approach. If it were seemingly software related, I would have pulled the installed HDD's, set them aside, replaced them with new ones, and performed my own bare metal installation/configuration to assess whether they really knew how to prep the system I desired. You're obviously purchasing high end systems, I don't. I paid $285 for that last E510 (system less monitor - add a 17" LCD and it was still under $500). You have leverage if purchased locally due to system cost, I don't since I am going bare bones. By the way, the last Dell system the family purchased was for my son heading off to college this Fall, and it was an XPS400 from the outlet with a midrange video card (NVidia GEForce 7800 GTX) and it's been fine thus far. In my opinion, the mid-range XPS systems are fairly nice.

    We could obviously go back and forth forever. At the end of the day, I think it comes does to how price sensitve one is. Local suppliers can basically match the standard Dell prices. If one is willing to watch, wait, and consider an outlet based purchase, local suppliers will have a hard time matching the price. The path one decides to follow is a personal one based on personal constraints and desires.

    Blue
     
  20. divedog

    divedog Registered Member

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    looks like a fairly good deal for the money but I would go with the local build, that way if you have any trouble you can take it in and pick it up the next day. If you plan on playing modern games the 7300le that comes with the Dell is not much of a GPU. With vista coming out soon the direct x10 cards will be the bomb, Nvidia just released the first one the other day and it is a monster. If you only plan on playing older games it should be fine.
     
  21. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    I would recommend a local system builder ince that way you dont get the crap dell installs on it.
    just make sure you trust the local system builder and make sure they use legal versions of windows.
    lodore
     
  22. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    My experience was rather mixed between BlueZannetti's and Rilla's. We got an outlet dimension for around $285 as well. It was pretty much OK, but right out of the box the video would cause blue screens. You could not add your own AGP card because the AGP slot was removed (the holes for the pins were there). Tech support was of little help and a somewhat frustrating experience, I ended up getting a PCI video card (if you're not aware of the difference, don't worry about it, just know that PCI video cards are slower and generally less desirable), but the onboard video eventually worked just fine after formatting and installing from an XP Home OEM CD (not the recovery CDs). That suggests to me that there was something about one of the software packages they installed that was conflicting with the video driver. There was a lot of stuff I spent a fair amount of time removing, almost none of it kept.

    The reliability of the parts are going to vary from batch to batch that they get from the original manufacturer. Generally speaking the experience was OK after the initial period of getting it the way I wanted, but that ultimately involved more work on my end (counting after the system is all put together, I mean). The parts that OEMs like Dell put in the machines are often parts that I would not choose myself, stuff like generic motherboards, RAM, and power supplies, and lower end hard drives. I build my own and have always had the best luck that way, mainly because I know what's going into it and I know it pays for me to not cut corners. When buying from a local shop you're getting the same thing, you're just paying someone else to put it together for you.

    Ultimately a Dell system is fine, but people do often have certain complaints. I do believe that you will ultimately get better quality from a local shop, and if something goes wrong you can always take the box into the shop and tell them to fix it without going through as many hoops. As BZ mentioned you will want to get some word of mouth experiences about local shops, but you can ask the shops what they offer for warranties and support, and you could always put a posting on something like Craigslist for your area. Would I buy again from Dell? Maybe, but probably not for my primary desktop. On the other hand my mom has Dell computers without much trouble, but then at least part of that is because I go in and format it with a clean XP Home OEM install (using the license key that Dell gives). Hers were also not outlet systems.
     
  23. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    We have over 5000 Dell PCs and about 50 servers in the organisation I work for.
    The trend I've seen and personally experienced is that the budget ranges suffer hardware failure rate similar to high street brands like Compaq, packard bell etc, and my opinion is they fail more often then the should, ive personally had 3 gx's desktops in 4 years !

    The more exspensive machines like the latitudes and precisions (I have a 5 year old latitude laptop) seem to be much more reliable, failures are very rare and little worry (we have one pc thats been dropped with a cracked case and still works :D).

    The Servers have all been faultless so far (but they should be due to spec/warrenty).

    Dell supports us very well as we have a big contract, but when I had to use Dell personally, their customer support sucked and after spending hours of listening to someone reading generic instructions off the screen they told me that it was a microsoft problem with my OEM XP key (and microsoft were telling me its a Dell issue)...

    I suppose you pay what you get for hardware wise with Dell and their customer service suffers from generic call center syndrome (that is untrained staff that can only follow on screen instructions), unless you are waving lots of $$$ or £££ at them.
     
  24. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    My advice is to build a machine from custom selected parts in a local shop that you might trust or be inclined to like. I dislike the rigid solutions offered by big companies, often more expensive than the alternative.
    You don't have to physically build the machine, just write down the recipe for parts. Custom build followed by custom installation, I think it's the best way to get the fullest from your investment.
    Dell brand does not make the parts any better, Intel or AMD is still Intel or AMD, ASUS is ASUS and Nvidia is Nvidia. Paying extra 500$ for a brand on the box is a bit too much.
    Mrk
     
  25. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Gracie, I honestly advise you to reconsider your purchase.
    Two weeks ago I bought the following:

    AMD Athlon 3800 64-bit dual core
    Asus K8T890 VIA mobo
    Gygabyte Nvidia 7600GT 256MB graphic card (got free Civ IV game along)
    2 x 512MB Kingstone DDRII 667MHz RAM
    2 x 250GB WD SATA 2 (16MB cache) HDD
    1 x 18x NEC DVD burner
    1 x 16x BTC DVD-ROM
    Optical mouse, keyboard, extra network card
    400W Speakers
    Tower with 500W power
    19" flat monitor (8ms)

    I paid 1230 USD.

    I have 2 years warranty on hardware, 3 years on the monitor.

    To make no mistake, all prices are coupled to USD.

    I made the purchase at a well known local store, with whom I've made several more successful deals.

    Edit: I just ran a price quotation on my local store site.
    The machine that you want assembled - compared to Dell's mid-model, which costs about USD1350, including XP and Norton, can be obtained for USD1040, with 2 years warranty on everything except monitor - which is 3 years.

    Mrk
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2006
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