Please help, buying a new computer

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

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lunar_battousai
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Please help, buying a new computer

Post by lunar_battousai » Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:05 am

At first I was planning on buying a new Dell XPS but then my friend did and I went over his house and it was unbelievably noisey. I have never heard a noiser computer. So now I dont know which company to go with. I just want to buy a premade computer but i want to make sure it's quiet. I heard Alienware with the ice cooling is quiet but wanted to check with you guys. I just would like to know which systems you guys recommend that are pretty quiet. I plan to spend anywhere from $2000 - 2300. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a bunch

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:36 am

You could try one of our supporters, Arm Systems, a long time provider of quiet systems. There's a review of one of their PCs under systems.

GamingGod
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Post by GamingGod » Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:48 am

Maybe I should go into business making quiet systems. Its not that hard to pick out the quietest components and then put them together. Of course there would be a assembly fee :D

Mr_Smartepants
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Post by Mr_Smartepants » Thu Jul 03, 2003 10:01 am

That's how I do it. For basic assembly and OS setup (Drivers, etc.) it's Parts plus 10%. For modding or "the silent treatment", it's parts plus 20%. That includes a RestoreDVD/CD for emergencies and 6-mo warranty (I eat the cost). 12-hr burn-in (a must for overclocking) and shake-down.

The labor works out to be $100 for $1000 in parts and 2-3 hours work. Not bad. I haven't had a warranty call yet. :lol:

miker
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Post by miker » Thu Jul 03, 2003 10:03 am

Smartepants, that's almost exactly the way I do it. Only thing is most of my "customers" are family, so I waive the markup. I do usually add something in for myself to the order, like a new fan or something for my troubles. ;)

lunar_battousai
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I want to buy from a company though

Post by lunar_battousai » Thu Jul 03, 2003 10:44 am

Thats great guys and I do appreciate the advice but I would feel more comfortable buying from a company such as Gateway or Alienware. I was just wondering who you would recommend from a company such as that and if you had heard any noise complaints about the XPS

miker
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Post by miker » Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:45 am

I would never buy a Gateway or Dell. They withold the ability to reinstall the OS yourself (they don't give you the discs) They typically only give you a restore CD that reinstalls all the stuff that was on the PC when you got it. Not sure on Alienware's policy on that stuff. Just an FYI if that kind of thing is important to you.

DavidG
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Re: I want to buy from a company though

Post by DavidG » Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:49 am

lunar_battousai wrote: ... I would feel more comfortable buying from a company such as Gateway or Alienware ...
Gateway, Dell .... yech, spat, ugh, ptoey
Alienware ... hey at least they cater to gamers ...

I know I'm not giving you the kind of advice you asked for, but, I would encourage you to consider putting together your own system. It is hardly rocket science and doesn't require a tool more complicated than a screwdriver. The only tricky thing is installing the heat sink and that isn't hard if you just take it slow and easy. I'm not the most handy person, I'd never consider opening a power supply to swap fans and there is no way I'd take a Dremel to a case, but even I can use a screw driver. There is all kinds of advice on this site about good components.

If you still are reluctant to do it yourself, if there are independent computer stores in your area, call one and ask if you brought all of the components in, what would the charge to assemble them.

lunar_battousai
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OK thanks for the advice

Post by lunar_battousai » Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:53 am

But no one has heard anything about the Dell Dimension XPS sound level. Even if I dont buy, it would help my freind to know if he got a bad one or if there just that noisy. When i say noisey I mean I put headphones on had the volume way up and the fans still sounded very loud.

miker
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Post by miker » Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:56 am

As I said before in the other thread, there's no way any Dell (even this ugly thing) should be that loud. I've heard it is quite "easy on the ears". If I were your friend, I would be on the phone right now telling them to fix it, now.

lunar_battousai
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Yeah thanks Miker

Post by lunar_battousai » Thu Jul 03, 2003 12:23 pm

When I see my friend tonight I will have him call and I will let you guys know what happens. Thanks again I appreciate everyone replying.

lunar_battousai
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I talked to my friend

Post by lunar_battousai » Thu Jul 03, 2003 3:58 pm

My friend called Dell and they told him that all computers produce noise at it was completely normal. He tried to explain how loud the noise was but they didn't care oh well I still hope that it was a bad setup because all the reviews I see by Dell customers have been very positive for the XPS and none of them have even mentioned the sound.

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Post by ez2remember » Thu Jul 03, 2003 4:07 pm

Dell business Optiplex GX260 and newer revision numbers are very quiet.

Not as quiet as some of us have got our comps, but SPCR is a unique crowd! :wink:

If you want to read how quiet it is check www.pcpro.co.uk and search for GX260. Use my name as a logon if need be. :wink:

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Post by aphonos » Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:09 pm

miker wrote:I would never buy a Gateway or Dell. They withold the ability to reinstall the OS yourself (they don't give you the discs) They typically only give you a restore CD that reinstalls all the stuff that was on the PC when you got it. Not sure on Alienware's policy on that stuff. Just an FYI if that kind of thing is important to you.
We have a boat load of GX260 SDs at work and Dell has sent along Win2K+SPx plus a separate driver's disk for each machine. IIRC, the last reinstall I had to do it took both disks to get all the drivers. To confirm, I just popped one of the Windows CD's in my drive and yup, it is a full version of Win2K just like at home.

We've had the same experience with the Gateways we used to buy. Not sure about Gateway's current practices.

Though, I'm with you miker, I would not buy one of these at home. Too much fun playing with my DIY.

lunar_battousai
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I could care less about upgrades

Post by lunar_battousai » Fri Jul 04, 2003 7:06 am

I do appreciate the comments but I could care less about building my own or having to upgrade the OS. Really I just wanted to buy a Dell XPS Gateway or Alienware. I could crae less about a company catering to game I just want to know if anyone has heard about noise issues with one of these companies mainly the Dell Xps. Thanks again

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Post by miker » Fri Jul 04, 2003 7:31 am

Unfortunately, this is the wrong board to look for first hand information on either of those. Most of the people here are DIY folks. Good luck with your purchase.

lunar_battousai
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OK thanks

Post by lunar_battousai » Fri Jul 04, 2003 8:24 am

Thanks for your help I will post a reply when I get a new computer and let people know it's noise level. Also I will start a new thread about computer desks in General forum mayve some of you can help with that. Please check it out. Thanks

lunar_battousai
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HA HA

Post by lunar_battousai » Tue Jul 08, 2003 6:46 pm

Guees what my mom surprised me and bought me a new computer and it was the DEll XPS. I just got it, it is pretty damn loud not as loud as my friends but loud. When I play a game it is very loud. Overall though I am happy with the XPS (in the short time I've had it). Yeah the sound sucks but everything else is good. Now I heard everyone say that the Dell's are hard to mod so I wanted to ask about this new computer desk I was planning to buy. It is nice and big cherry wood with a big cpu storage. I want to put my XPS in there I figure it will significanly reduce noise if I use this and line the storage with marlamine foam. I want to get your opinion on how much room the cpu would need to prevent overheating. I figure the back vents need at least 3 inches but not sure. It has small opening near bottom of storage for wires and air flow. Any advice would be helpful

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Post by MikeC » Wed Jul 09, 2003 9:42 pm

Treat the space for the PC in the desk exactly like you would a PC case -- you need both in and outflow vents to be substantial & equal in size, preferably facing away from listener/user ears. This usually means a front bottom vent and a back vent with sound damping material on the wall behind. You might even need something like a quiet 120mm exhaust fan on a voltage controller. Beyond that, it's details only you can know...

lunar_battousai
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Important

Post by lunar_battousai » Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:43 am

Thanks for the input I'm glad I didnt just rush out and buy that desk. I just wanted to let everyone know that I think a loose graphic card was causing the excessive noise in my new XPS. I opened the case and tried to tighten things and noticed the graphics card was loose. I figure since it was loose mabe it was overheating causing my fans to rev up. Now when I'm doing basic tasks such as internet or word it is real quite (very happy). It only gets loud when I play games but even thats not a problem now cause I play games with headphones so I can barely hear the fan. I just want to thank everyone for helping me and giving me suggestions. I think this is an amazing and friendly site and will tell all my friends about it. Thanks, BTW any one play RVS maybe we could play sometime.

miker
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Post by miker » Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:56 am

That would likely be the GeforceFX card in the machine (a guess)

The GeforceFX has a big fat fan that cranks up when the 3d features of the card are activated.

lunar_battousai
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Post by lunar_battousai » Thu Jul 10, 2003 8:24 am

No my card is the Ati Radeon 9800. :wink:

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