Gateway & Sony PC's?

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

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killerfish
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Gateway & Sony PC's?

Post by killerfish » Wed May 21, 2003 10:19 am

Hello all,

I'm a newbie to the board, but not PC's. I've built all of my previous PCs, but don't have the time/interest to do right now (kids). Therefore, I'm interested in basically configuring off the shelf.

I'm pretty familiar with Dell pcs, but not Gateway and Sony. I really like the looks/features of the Gateway 500xl, but the PSU is only rated for 160watts!!! This is VERY low for a i865 w/ 3.0GHZ P4. Does anyone know it's size? Is it replaceble with a standard ATX? Gateway sales rep says it is, but somehow I just don't trust them! :) Also, any other feedback on Gateways would be greatly appreciated. I don't really care about support since I'm technically inclided.

Basically same question with the Sony's any good?

I intend to use the system for home video editing and basically all EA Sports games! :) The system I choose needs to be quiet, fast, and good looking (wife).

Thanks
John

aphonos
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Post by aphonos » Wed May 21, 2003 11:10 am

I understand not having time to DIY. My guess is that you will be hard-pressed to find someone in these forums who will be quick to recommend an off-the-shelf system--even if you aren't concerned about noise levels. If you are concerned about noise levels (even if not to the degree that us whackos here, at SPCR, are...and I'm guessing you are concerned about noise or you wouldn't be posting your inquiry in these forums) you will have a hard time finding an off-the-shelf unit that will run quietly from Gateway or Sony, though there are some vendors who sell quiet(er) systems. You'd find some with a quick poke through the Dealers forum.

Since you're technically inclined, you may be able to spec out your own system and get all your parts from one vendor (ie. newegg) or maybe two at the most using parts from the recommend sectionat SPCR and throw the whole thing together in under 2 hours. (Looks like you were headed that way at one time.) I'd think you'd spend the same amount of time researching off-the-shelf systems as you would reading the recommend section here. This may give you more options to upgrade in the future(if/when you have more time) than with an off-the-shelf system.

All the older (1GHz to 1.7GHz) Gateways that we have at the bank run with some pretty noisy fans, lots of proprietary PSU's and funky airflow setup in the case. :evil: Sorry I can't speak to the newer Gateways or Sonys.

Maybe others here will be more help. My $.02.

Edited to add a link

killerfish
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Post by killerfish » Wed May 21, 2003 11:39 am

aphonos,

Yep, I was definitely leaning toward self building at one point. Maybe I still will. Another reason I'm looking to go with a big vendor is the extras such as software & support. Also, w/ Dell, I get a 10% discout through work. This does put the price more in line with a self built system. Still not sure which way I'll go, but thanks for the response.

John

pingu666
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Post by pingu666 » Wed May 21, 2003 12:25 pm

get someone to make the system? if u in the uk i could do it ;)
[size=75]hardware [color=red]Killer[/color] and teddy giver. P.I.N.G.U.: Positronic Intelligent Nocturnal Gratification Unit
main rig:q6600, 4 gig ddr2, 3870, x fi, modded akasa psu, 4+hd's
leechbox, p3 something, 80gig hd, soundproofed case[/size]

aphonos
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Post by aphonos » Wed May 21, 2003 1:10 pm

killerfish wrote:Another reason I'm looking to go with a big vendor is the extras such as software & support.
Hey, no fair. :) In your first post you said....
killerfish wrote:I don't really care about support since I'm technically inclided.

JimK
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Post by JimK » Thu May 22, 2003 7:22 am

The case has to be goodlooking?

Ask your wife what she thinks of the classy, understated Antec Sonata. Unless she already prefers the gray and blue of the Sony or black and gray with the silver DELL name sitting there. :?

DanOnKeys
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Post by DanOnKeys » Thu May 22, 2003 7:26 am

Without going into gory details, at work we've been very happy with the Dell machines/support until maybe the last 6 months. Maybe we're just more picky, but we've since discovered IBM and they let us be more specific and we like their choices overall better, anyhow. Their systems look pretty good too.

We are still buying Dell servers (and I used to visit lots of other shops, and Dell always recieved high praise).

My .02: build yourself (or have a friend do it) -- otherwise I'd go with IBM, or maybe Dell. Stay away from HP/Compaq.

...just my opinion.

killerfish
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Post by killerfish » Thu May 22, 2003 7:41 am

aphonos wrote:
killerfish wrote:Another reason I'm looking to go with a big vendor is the extras such as software & support.
Hey, no fair. :) In your first post you said....
killerfish wrote:I don't really care about support since I'm technically inclided.
OK, fair enough! :) By support, I'm more referring to relatively no hassle warranty repair/replacement on things like a failed hard drive etc.

killerfish
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Post by killerfish » Thu May 22, 2003 7:43 am

JimK wrote:The case has to be goodlooking?

Ask your wife what she thinks of the classy, understated Antec Sonata. Unless she already prefers the gray and blue of the Sony or black and gray with the silver DELL name sitting there. :?

I like the Sonata's, I (read she) just prefer a smaller form factor - Mini-tower/etc.

...ahhh Marriage. It's all about negotiation.

Liquidated
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ug

Post by Liquidated » Thu May 22, 2003 1:07 pm

sony's leave a bad taste in my mouth. Someone was happy sony STARTED including agp slots in some of their newer higher end desktops. yeah great. They love also to load up their systems with lots of garbage that just slows a system down. if you go to reinstall windows, well their recovery disks load the same garbage laden setup.


The kneejerk pc maker I suggest is micron as over the years any time someone's asked me the same question you have they've done the people right.

never had a problem with them and their tech support is good.

They will build intel or amd and it's easy to pick what you want. So there's alot of flexibility in creating your own pc.

Stay away from sony mk? =)

Cheers!
-Liq

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Thu May 22, 2003 2:16 pm

Liquidated -- I've heard such stories about Sony PCs. They're rarely more than mid pack for performance in any mainstream mag review, usually nearer the bottom.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

Liquidated
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well

Post by Liquidated » Thu May 22, 2003 3:35 pm

honestly, if they are rated mid pack I have zero respect for the other pc's those sources were reviewing in the same range.

I mean my 500 athlon ironbridge ->700 runs things better than the average $1500 sony system box (no monitor).

It makes me just cringe.

Cheers!
-Liq

killerfish
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Post by killerfish » Fri May 23, 2003 6:06 am

Thanks everyone. Got it: NO SONY. :) I just noticed the new Coolermaster TAC-101. I think it' VERY nice looking. It's a little big, but that's OK. I can just put it under my desk. Perhaps I will just go ahead and NEWEGG a new system.

Ginta
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Post by Ginta » Tue May 27, 2003 2:16 am

I used to work as a Gateway technician when the 500 series came out last year. Looking at the current line they haven't changed the case configuration so I can say the PSU's are the normal ATX shape and connectors are compatable but the case has *no* PSU screws in the back and uses a tool less lever lock system:
ImageImage
I think the 700 series use 200W+ PSU's that will fit in the 500 case or you can mod a 3rd party one in with alittle ingenuity. (beware GW charges a arm+leg for parts) Now the case itself has a plastic shell over metal frame, and a thick flip down door for the cdrom bays so it is pretty quiet. This should be the case being used for the current 500 series or something very close to it. And this should be the same or simular to the PSU that goes with it.From my experience the use a 160W PSU's worked perfectly fine with the stock configuration and any addon configurations that GW offer to upgrade it too. The 60mm cpu fan was defintely the loudest item in the system and I would not hesitate to swap that out if you do buy one. The PSU is okay as far as I could tell listening to it in the noisy shop environment I worked in (note: it uses a 80mm screw mounted under the PSU blowing up config which does dull the noise some)

As a counterpoint, several of my friends have picked up Dell Dimensions recently and the one thing I like about their design that make them quiet for a off-the-shelf system is the use of a quiet rear mounted NMB brand 92mm fan and a *duct* to suck air off the cpu. You can sort see what I mean here but you can't see the fan inside the rear housing. The fan is spaced away some from the rear grills (which are quite aerodynamic).Team that with a plastic shelled case and Seagate drives (my friends came built with them, YMMV) and they are nice quiet systems. The PSU's used 80mm NMB fans blowing directly out the back, but they seem to be wired quiet since they don't have to vent CPU heat.

killerfish
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Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 8:50 am

Post by killerfish » Tue May 27, 2003 4:25 am

Ginta,

Thank you for the EXCELLENT/Informed reply. This helps me quite a bit. I was in the Gateway store yesterday and got a first hand look. I did not notice, however, that there are no PSU screws. That stinks.

My brother in law also has a Dell. And it is VERY quiet/reliable. I guess for me, it'll end up boiling down to either another self-build or a Dell.

Thanks everyone! I have all the data I need. Now I just need to make up my d*mn mind!

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