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New desktop for $200

November 26th, 2006 at 06:24 am

(One of) my desktop PCs bit the dust a couple of weeks ago. It was a little over four years old.

My father jumped at the chance to replace it for me.

The thing about our family is that we do not walk into a store and point to a box--oh no. My father's hard-core. Here's how we shop.

- Pentium D 830 3.0g GHz processor: $133.86 ($50 rebate)
- motherboard to match processor: $49.13
- 1 gig RAM: $149.99 ($100 rebate)
- cooling fan: $18.99 ($10 rebate)

End result?

A spanking new computer with quite decent specs for $201.20 (includes $9.23 shipping and handling).

The only caveat? Assembly required. Wink

He would've gotten me a double-layer DVD-burner to compliment my pre-existing CD-burner, but I turned it down. I also turned down a new monitor.

I did, however, accept a 1 gig Flash memory stick for $7.98 (after rebate).

I'm all tech'ed out for the season. Big Grin

10 Responses to “New desktop for $200”

  1. baselle Says:

    So do you assemble it or does your dad?

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    My question exactly. But wow...good deals.

  3. amberfocus Says:

    So after all the individual parts get shipped to my father, and after removing the old parts from my PC tower, he builds the new components in. He's been doing this for years, but I've never done it myself. I know it's relatively trivial to build PCs (although not so with laptops), so I think I'll learn it this time around. Useful skill, and totally worth it.

    Say, if anyone wants links, I can post them. Last I checked, these deals are still available.

    ~mimi

  4. Broken Arrow Says:

    Oh heck yeah, my kind of guy!

    If I ever decide to get a new computer (although I'm not planning to), I would totally build it from scratch. It's lots of fun (to me) and you get the system exactly the way you want it.

    The downside is that if screw up anything, you're liable for it, not the vendor.

    Just slightly curious, but what kind motherboard, ram, and cooling fan is it?

  5. Broken Arrow Says:

    Duplicate. Please delete. Smile

  6. carter Says:

    Good job on your finds! Those are some awesome rebates. Thankfully you could repair your system instead of scrapping it. But if you ever need a new desktop computer...

    buy a Dell.

    I'm not kidding. Due to their incredible buying power, they can crank out desktops for $150-$300 cheaper than an equivalent system that you build yourself. They're also well constructed and come with a half-decent warranty. Never customize your system on their website though (i.e. adding extra ram, another drive) because that's where they get you. Stick with the base package and you can't go wrong!

  7. amberfocus Says:

    Broken Arrow, here are the exact specs:

    - Intel Pentium D 830 3.0gGhz DT 800FSB Socket 775
    - ABIT SG80DC Socket 775 Motherboard
    - Ultra 1024MB PC3200 DDR 400MHz
    - Masscool 8W0141B Socket 775 CPU Cooling Fan 3.6GHz

    The cooling fan was required, or else it voids the warranty on the processor.

    carter: We never scrap anything unless it's truly busted. All of our old computers are stripped for parts, and we always build new computers from scratch.

    For whatever reason, Dell has a bad rep among IT folks. I'm not the most well-versed in hardware (I used to be a web developer and tech support for software), so I can't say exactly why, but the sense that I get is that IT folks dislike Dell for the same reason they dislike Windows--it's good for the average user, but bad for the tech professional.

    Dell is certainly one of the cheapest systems, but price doesn't drive all decisions. I still think that building your own system is the best compromise between price and quality--if you have the know-how and the motivation.

    ~mimi

  8. Broken Arrow Says:

    Thanks amber.

    Socket 775 eh? Sounds about right for the price you paid. Nothing wrong with that of course. Smile And yeah, I'd assume if you didn't add a CPU fan on there, you'd have more to worry about than just voiding the warranty. Big Grin

    The trouble with Dell is that it isn't the most reliable vendor around. As you have stated perfectly, it's good if you want one for yourself at a good price. However, when you have to service hundreds of these computers, the Total Cost of Ownership (plus time and money to keep them in service) just isn't worth the aggravation.

    That's one of the main reasons why IBM's Thinkpads (now Lenovo) are so popular for the corporate world and power-users. They may not be the cheapest around, but they are very rugged and reliable. I have to say that, except for the XPS, I would never buy a Dell laptop. I've got friends who has them too, and they've found it to be too fragile. Desktops are OK though. In fact, my desktop work computer is a Dell.

  9. carter Says:

    It's a good point that Dell has a bad reputation, but it's not entirely deserved. The truth is that there's no "special unreliable Dell hard drive" or "special unreliable Dell processor". It's all the same brand-name parts that you would get retail from the store.

    The exception being the motherboard. Dell uses re-branded Intel or Abit motherboards that it orders in huge quantities. To save a penny for themselves, the manufacturers send Dell re-branded versions of an existing board, but with a couple components removed. They make up a cut for themselves by removing a capacitor here or a transistor there. This is what makes them slightly less stable than an off-the-shelf part.

    Even if you end up replacing the motherboard during the lifetime of your computer, you're still ahead a few hundred dollars. Remember, retail computer parts fail too. Usually a couple days after the warranty expires! Big Grin

  10. baselle Says:

    Well, it must be my ability "to make any electronics work" luck, but I've been doing my stuff on a 2 yr old Dell laptop. Go figure!

    DH once built his computer from a kit and parts, but nearly every part he bought was bad. Good learning experience, but it made it very hard to troubleshoot.

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