Info & chat about quiet prebuilt, small form factor and barebones systems, people's experiences with vendors thereof, etc.

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Post by perplex » Mon Jun 13, 2005 4:45 pm

Does anyone have any idea how the Dell computers sound? after seeing their incredible prices i think i might just give up my plans on building a DIY "silent" computer and buy a Dell. i'm still trying to understand their non-existant prices :? no wonder they have all that market share with those prices, jesus!

so i was wondering are they quiet?

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Post by Lawrence Lee » Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:17 pm

Not since they started using Prescott CPUs.

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Post by geforce1 » Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:54 pm

So far here's some of my thoughts on the Dells I've seen/worked on:

Two really old Dimensions with Pentium MMX CPUs
EDIT: They weren't too bad with a tall lightweight heatsink cooled by a 92mm exhaust fan.

Older Dimensions with >850MHz P3 Celeron in small white tower case - loud (plus the PSU and CPU fan (60mm 5,000rpm) seem to fight for air)

P3-S 1.4GHz Tualatin w/ CPU duct (black case, current design) - almost unbearable (the motor noise on low is nearly as loud as my 6,000 rpm 60x25 NMB at max)
EDIT: It was a 1.2GHz Tualatin-S.

Dimension 2350 (edit) w/ P4-1.8A - CPU air duct rattles, otherwise decent.

The best one, noise-wise, I've used was a Dimension 4550 (edit) with a P4-2.4C, and it was extremely quiet.
Last edited by geforce1 on Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by perplex » Tue Jun 14, 2005 12:30 am

mixed thoughts :?

ok thanks then

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Post by silencetowrite » Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:57 pm

edit for spelling errojavascript:emoticon(':oops:')r

My parents have a recent dell. I think it's a 2.8 Prescott Core P4. It's pretty quiet until the weather heats up...then the fan noise is unbearable. That said, my old 4500s 1.7 Celeron (which I've since sold) was pretty quite.

and my first rant?

Also, as you look at those great prices remember to examine those specs carefully. The last time i was on the dell website it was not possible to get a video card with some of the cheaper models. They do eveything they can to get the sticker price down, including starting users out with 90 day warenties. The basic Dimension 3000 costs $430. The price jumps to $530 when you upgrade to 512 ram, a one year warenty, and a combo drive. If you need Window XP Pro--I need it to connect to the Network at my college--you'll pay another $100. And that's all without a video card.

A Dimension 4700 with 512 ram, a one year warenty, an ATI 300x, and either a combo drive or a DVD and CDRW dual drive setup you'll pay $830. I should also add that none of the quoted prices include a flat pannel monitor.

Note that the deals that dell offers change watching and waiting can sometimes get you better deals.

My first computer (that I didn't share with my family) was a Dell. It was the best deal for me at the time; I was going to be a freshman in college and I needed a PC. But I found I didn't like all the junk software the included. More importantly, as my computing needs increased, I found it very hard to make the upgrades I needed to make.

Ultimately, if you shop smart I think you can build a good computer for prices as good or better than Dell. I'm in the process of building my first PC, and I'm still a bit squeemish about all the stablity testing and such, but overall...DIY is better than dell if you're willing to spend the time....

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Post by ivan » Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:08 am

I have a Dell Dimension 4600. It's loud as hell even with just 3 fans and a Samsung Spinpoint hard drive. I had to wire it into the closet to get it to an acceptable noise level.

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Post by perplex » Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:25 am

ok so its best to DIY then :lol:

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Post by badbadtz560 » Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:31 am

My friend got in on one of those $400 deals.. his computer is loud as mess.. if it's not the cpu fan, then it's the psu; if not the psu, then it's the case fan; then again, maybe it's all of them. I think if you got in on the deal, you'd end up atleast buying a new power source, which ups it to DIY price anyway =\.

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Post by thegrommit » Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:28 pm

perplex wrote:ok so its best to DIY then :lol:

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Post by Freelancer77 » Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:27 pm

I have worked in two corporate situations in the past 22 months, and both used exclusively Dell computers.

One was military related, and if you want to know why Dell prices are so agreeable, it's the gigantic contract they got with the Navy and Marine Corps. I'm talking Billions over the next 3 years, and steady income for many years to come after that, including scheduled hardware updates, software updates, etc.

On the subject of noise, my current work environment sees folks using Precision 370s for the technical workers, 670s for graphic artists and a few 470s for special purpose users.

The 670s are fairly powerful graphics workstations, with two 3.2GHz Xeons, 2.5GB ram, FireGL 3400 graphics cards and 150GB HDD. They aren't particularly noisy in the least.

The 370s are 2.8GHz Prescotts, 1GB ram, twin 80GB SATA in RAID0 and nVidia Quadro NVS graphics cards. They can be heard when POSTing, and during a big compile, but are otherwise not uncomfortable at all.

Then again, these machines are aimed at corporate use, and are built with better cases that have sturdier frames and hardware. The "college-user" sales boxes may look identical on the outside, but they are not.

Dell can afford to grab at market share with "leader" prices due to the government and major corporate contracts, which they have honestly earned with vastly improved service response and better equipment. Still, don't be fooled. A price that seems to good to be true most likely is.

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