"In terms of dollar value, I could not get a better computer for the money today."4.5 starson by jdparkin
Pros: Fast, easily expandable, and no sound comes from it at all
Cons: Not many upgrade options
Summary: Let me start out my saying that I searched google and found a 30% off coupon. This is how I made this computer a bargain. For $1200 bucks it consists of a 17 inch TFT monitor, which is an active matrix that activates each individual pixel, as opposed to a passive matrix that scans. I also got some 2.1 speakers I am happy with. Thats all in terms of extras, everything else was just the computer.
I have the pentium 4 650 in my system, which is 3.4 ghz and 2mb L2 cache. My system has 2 gigabytes of RAM, however it is only rated at 400 mhz, Dell didnt give me the option of upgrading to 533 or even 667 mhz. Its no big deal, although its part of, even if just slightly, the reason I didnt give it a 10 rating. The hard drive is 250 gigabytes. This works for me, I dont need to spend an extra 270 bucks to upgrade to 500 gigabytes. When I need more space, I will just buy another 500 gigabyte hard drive, install it myself, and have 750 gigabytes of total space. The benefit here is 500 gigabyte hard drive will be a lot cheaper when I need more room in the futre. Hard drives will also be larger, so who knows how big I could actually go. So these are main components, Pentium 4 650, clocked at 3.4 ghz, 2 gigabytes of 400 mhz RAM, and 250 gigabyte SATA hard drive.
Now for I what I consider the extra's in the system. The rating for this system took a beating due to the video card options. ATI Radeon X600 SE Hypermemory is the best you can go with, which is similar to Nvidia's TurboCache technology. Basically, I have 128mb of onboard memory on my video card, and 128 mb taken from my RAM (which is why I upgraded to 2 gb). Where this system gets some bonus points is in the sound card. Although Dell no longer offers the X-Fi with their new configurations of the E510, when I bought my system, this option was available. For $120 bucks I was able to upgrade from no sound card to the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music. So for $84 (30% off of $120), I got a $130 sound card in my system, which is pretty impressive. Also, I have plenty of USB ports, and 1 firewire port. I know the review says there arent any firewire ports, but my computer has firewire, so maybe Dell updated that. Also, I have a CD/DVD player and double layer CD/DVD burner.
In review, I think I covered all the basics. Everything, including shipping, came to $1211, that includes the monitor that Dell sells for $300 alone. As for shipping, I got my computer the day it was actually supposed to ship, so I was happy with that. My suggestion to you is to go to google, type in Coupon Codes: Company name, and see what comes up. I wouldnt have been able to afford this system without doing so. Even if you are buying something completely different, check it out. Anyway, how does my system run? It runs well, I am very happy with it. I tell you, with the Creative X-Fi sound card, and my Grado headphones, music sounds great. I did have to un-install some programs though, including Yahoo! MusicMatch which is a drain on the system. If you are wanting dual-core, however, wait for the Intel 9xx series, or go with AMD, they make very good processors as well. Either way, I think my system is a little better than a 6.7, and with a little work, you can have a good system that rates better than what the editors think as well. Good luck, I hope I have helped you with your computer shopping decision, and if you need any help, just ask me and I will try my best to help out.