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Do I have your blessings?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by pandamonkey, Dec 6, 2003.

  1. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Can anyone comment on these specs? (price in Cad. included) I will be buying this in the next week unless someone can tell me why I shouldn't..!

    Pentium®M Processor,1.7 GHz,15.4 WXGA, Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition
    Unit Price: $3,796.00
    Memory 1GB,DDR,333MHz 2 Dimms
    Video Card 32MB NVIDIA® GeForceTM FX Go5200 Go
    Hard Drive 60GB - 7200rpm Ultra ATA Hard Drive
    Power Adapter AC adapter - 65w, 19.5v
    Network Card Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem
    4x CD/DVD burner (DVD+RW/+R)
    Wireless Networking Cards Dell TrueMobile™ 1400 DualBand WLAN (802.11a/b/g, 54Mbps) miniPCI Card
    Microsoft Office Basic Edition 2003
    Primary Battery 72 WHr Primary Battery
    Wireless Personal Networking Card Dell™ TrueMobile™ 300 Bluetooth Internal Card

    Please tell me what you would change if you were me!
    Best regards,
  2. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing it's a Dell (?).

    You need to give us more specific, technical info about it in order to really help you. I assume this is for a DAW (?).

    With what you gave us, I can tell you this much, assuming it's intended to be a DAW tower...

    * $3700 is a hell of a lot of scratch for what you've described!

    * Not much of a processor for this price range.

    * What brand & model motherboard does it have?

    * What brand & model memory?

    * Terrible video card - you want a Matrox G550.

    * What brand & model hard drive? You do realize that you need two hard drives? You need one for your system, and one for your audio files.

    * A 4x burner??? Are you aware of "modern" speeds? I'm hoping that was a typo. Anyway, you don't need a DVD drive, and you especially don't want a combo drive. Your best choice is a Plextor CD burner.

    * XP Home ... you really want XP Pro.

    * Wireless networking ... nope.

    * Microsoft Office ... this is a DAW, right?

    * Bluetooth ... don't need that either.

    It sounds to me like you're looking at a pre-configured, over-priced home/SOHO computer.Buying a pre-configured system from a store is not a good idea if you want a good DAW computer. It will come with a lot of stuff on it that you don't want or need, and you will have to replace components that are not conducive to a good DAW. It will usually end up actually costing you more in the long run, because you pay for all the unnecessary stuff when you buy it, and then pay for all the stuff that you really need.

    I strongly suggest that you you look through previous threads here on RO, and see the DAW computers and systems that have been built by other professional recording musicians. You can build an AWESOME DAW computer for at least $1000 less than the one which you've mentioned. If you read through a bunch of it and you're still confused, ask for further help and it will be gladly given. I'm suggesting that you do the search, rather than just listing the components, so that you will get a good idea of what the general guidelines are for typical DAWs, and then you will have a little more knowledge before you jump into this and waste a lot of time and money.

  3. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Maybe I should have been more specific but I figured that anyone who read my post would see that I am talking about a laptop, based on the hardware capabilities mentioned etc.
    It is a laptop, not a tower.. Oh my god, I am aware that it would be seriously lacking if a tower!! Here's what I can tell you... It is a Dell 8600 laptop. I has a front side bus speed on this unit is 400Mhz, which is good for a laptop. (disagree??!) It is also a Pentium M processor (I know it's got it's limitations.) I would rather buy an external DVD burner to be honest but it is a free offer. 4x burner is slow as crap but I cannot upgrade it. (so the rep. says...) :( (are there probs. with combo drives that I should be aware of?) I skimped on the video card/resolution so that I can potentially increase the proc. speed a tiny bit, (as well as decrease the cost) Do think that I will need something that is 64MB or greater? If so, why? (I already have the Matrox 550 in my tower, and love it!) I have read conflicting info. that says both XP Pro and Home are better for the audio nerd, I chose home for 2 reasons, cheaper and a little less taxing on the processor for audio related functions. Is there a reason why you would argue that XP Pro is a better application for audio? This of course is a "pre configured" system, I would not be comfortable configuring my own laptop. Based on my response, please let me know now what you think....
    Best regards,
    mIchAEl :D
  4. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    My bad. I didn't read carefully enough, and missed the laptop specs in there.

    Anyway, I'm definately not the man to talk to about laptops. Although so many people rarely are seen without their laptop by their side, I personally don't have a need for them at this point, although I've given it a little thought occasionally. I get the occasional laptop repair or upgrade, but to be honest I hate working on them.

    Although they are generally more expensive, if I were going to buy a new laptop, I would definately consider getting an Apple. Their whole history has been that of building proprietary systems, so it makes sense to me that they would have the upper hand in building a better laptop. I guess it would depend what I would use it for/with. Just my $.02 ...
  5. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Hey S.O.S.,
    I have been killing myself over the whole Apple vs. PC topic lately. I inteded to buy a PowerBook G4, but I am just not convinced that I am getting more for my money with one. I would agree that getting a "proprietary" system is the way to go with a laptop but isn't a Dell one as well? Trust me, Dell is not the cheapest computer maker in the land either but based on the fact that they are also propietarily built systems (correct me if I'm wrong), I just feel like I get a whole lot more for my money. I mean compare my Dell 8600 specs above to that of a G4 Powerbook with super drive. Add the extra ram etc. and you still pay more for a computer that's less equiped on paper. Why is it that Apple will tell you that it's G4 1000Mhz processor is "equivilent" to "about" a P4 2.2Ghz but they will not adopt the same standards of measurement? Is this an Imperial/Metric issue??! ;) Can anyone explain the mystery behind the two diffent systems?
    Best regards,
  6. eskimo

    eskimo Guest

    I'm thinking of getting a laptop and ditch my anus for the benefits of being mobile.
    I have been looking at dells as well and I can't see why you would go for that very expensive model?
    I have my eyes on the Inspiron 5100.
    533mhz fsb
    2,6ghz P4
    512mb(don't buy the extra ram from dell whatever you do!!)
    15" screen
    30 gig internal
    120 gig external fw-drive(not from dell)

    cost: about 2k$ here(I live in sweden)

    The thing I don't like is the size and design but who beats apple there?
  7. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Interesting.. That sounds like a nice laptop as well. Questions: How fast is the ram? Why would you suggest not loading up the laptop with ram right from the Dell factory? Can anyone explain how one would add/remove ram from a laptop? (Sorry if that's a really simple question.. :roll: ) How fast is that H.D.? Can it be upgraded to 7200? What kind of video card are you getting with that deal? Will the Inspiron 5100 include a DVD and/or CD burner?
  8. eskimo

    eskimo Guest

    Put together your own build here:


    And the good news is I miscalculated the prices.
    You should end up around 1500 $ WITH the FWdrive, dvd/cdrw, 15" screen and about 512meg of ram.
  9. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Hey Eskimo,
    Based on Inspiron 5100 specs and my additions, I came up with the following breakdown:

    Inspiron 5100: Intel® Pentium® 4 processor,2.8GHz,15.0 XGA AB28LHN
    Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Home
    Hard Drive: 30GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive (4200)
    Ram: 1024MB,266MHz,2DIMMs
    24X CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive
    Video Card: 32MB ATi Mobility™ Radeon™ 7500
    Primary Battery: 96 WHr Lithium Ion 12-Cell
    Productivity Software: Microsoft® Office Basic

    All for a cost of 1712.00USD or 2246.00Cad.

    Other then the obvious cost advantage here, there are a few details that are lacking in comparison. I already have a USB2/7200 HD, so I would manage fine with your external HD suggestion... Got me thinking!! Anyone else have any comments?? :confused:
  10. eskimo

    eskimo Guest

    I'm not certain a usb-drive will be enough.
    But you really should consult someone who really know these things. And i believe I could use some laptop-advices aswell. :roll:

  11. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    USB2 has a potential data transfer rate of 480Mb/s. Which is potentially 80Mb/s faster then firewire. USB1 (if that's what you thought I meant) would be futile!
    Best regards,
  12. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    I picked up the laptop and stayed with Dell. I got the Inspiron 5150, P4 3.02Ghz, 1Gig 333Mhz DDR ram, 533Mhz FSB, 60Gig/7200 HD, CD/DVD RW. I am happy :) To avoid appearing insane, I will refrain from posting the final price I got it for! :p
    Glad the search is over...
  13. jonahsarc

    jonahsarc Active Member

    Hey SOS,

    Back to the combo CD/DVD burner please.
    What's the problem with this? Plextor makes one that is no speed demon but one review I came across said it was very quiet. (I'm not sure I understand the need for all the speed anyway.) I was planning to get this, so if it's a huge mistake, please let me know.

  14. eskimo

    eskimo Guest

    Hey Michael, I hope you'll be satisfied!
    Please give us a review and some testresults, that would be great.
  15. bgavin

    bgavin Guest


    I see the purchase is already made, so I'm deleting my comments.
  16. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    The Inspiron 5150 arrived and I am very impressed. I have only briefly edited a short film in PTLE with it but everything went like clockwork. I did not realized that I would have to use up a USB2 or firewire port if I wanted to plug in an external mouse but so far that would be my only complaint.
    Best regards,

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