"READ THIS IS YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT BUYING THIS PC. Great value, esp. if you upgrade yourself."4.5 starson by delarge655321
Pros: Great bang-for-buck, many multimedia options
Cons: Fan on mine is loud, limited for gamers
Summary: The key that I figured out after I bought my first computer from Dell 5 1/2 years ago is that they charge you more for doing stuff than doing it yourself. Adding memory yourself is simple and MUCH cheaper than getting it from them. BTY, the OS only recognizes 3.25 GB of RAM, so you don't really need 4 gigs. Just buy 1 gig and buy some fast stuff at newegg.com (2X1GB sticks of Corsair dual channel 6400 DDR2 for $34 after rebate - they charge $100 just to go from 1 gig to 2 gigs!)
Same with hard drive, optical drives, and graphics cards (got a XFX 8600GT XXX /w Comp of Heroes for $85 - they charge $150!). Don't skimp on the CPU though. I have a Core 2 Quad 6600 and the fan is really loud. It's so much louder than my old computer. Got the Bluetooth keyboard/mouse and headphones, which were a pain to get used to, but I'm good now.
Maybe it's because of the CPU, but this thing runs kinda warm. They do give you a 350 watt PSU with the Quad chips (otherwise, you get 300), so you might be able to overclock some parts. As is, you will have to get a new PSU if you want any serious gaming with a 8800 GT and above. PSU's are pretty cheap and easy to install though.
It's pretty smallish in height, which is what I like. This also limits the exansion slots (2 PCI, 1 PCI-E X1, 1 PCI-E X16). The door buttons do get covered up when open, but gently pushing the tray shouldn't ruin the drives. You can press them though, if you really want to. The screws to open the panel are a bit annoying. Most of the exterior is painted metal, but the front panel is plastic - doesn't feel cheap though. The lights are pretty bright if you want a totally dark area. Even the green PSU light is pretty bright when the machine is off.
Vista is a pain in the butt, but it's the future, so I went with it. It takes some getting used to, and ask permission for everything, but does have some cool features like the Media Center (only in Home Premium and above). It is a resource hog, but if you want to look to the future (like DirectX10 gaming) bite the bullet and prepare for the headaches. If you just want pure performance and current gaming, go with XP. I'd check out a Vist PC before to see if you like it.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO BUY THIS, LOOK ONLINE FOR DELL COUPONS. I FOUND A $300 DOLLAR COUPON, WHICH WAS $200 MORE THAN THE SITE'S DISCOUNT. ALSO, ONLY GET WHAT YOU NEED. LASTLY, SEARCH AROUND TO GET THE BEST DEAL ON DO IT YOURSELF COMPONENTS LIKE RAM, HARD DRIVES AND GRAPHICS CARDS (get the best CPU you can afford though). LASTLY, THINK ABOUT BUYING THE MONITOR SEPARATELY. IF YOU ADD THE MONITOR DURING CONFIG, IT WAS $310. EARLIER, THE SAME MONITOR WAS $239 (I MISSED OUT, DAMN!) AND IT'S $300 NOW. HEY, $10 SAVED IS $10 EARNED!