Don't Buy A Dell
by peleg - 12/22/04 5:56 PM
In Reply to: About Dell Computers by TechWiz?
If you want a mediocre machine, then certainly buy a Dell. That is the best you are going to get from Dell. It is no mystery why they can sell so cheap. You get a cheap, crummy, machine for your money.
You really didn't think that $450 or even $800 or so was going to buy you anything that could be called 'good' by any stretch, did ja? Really? You did? We gotta talk, see, I got this great piece of land in Florida...
Pop the lid on one. First thing I don't like is that I see proprietary parts, even the power supply.
Now, check the size of that power supply. Is it at least 350W? Nope, it is probably less than 300W. Check some other hardward sites, and you will not see anyone who would run with less that 350W because that is about the minimum you need in order to have enough headroom and to run cool. My box has a 430W supply. Can you get them to build it with a bigger supply? Nope.
Ask them which hard drive you are going to get. They will say, something like, "An 80GB hard drive." When I got that answer, I said, "I know, but which manufacturer and which model. It does make a difference." Their answer pretty much amounted to, "Whatever we happen to have on-hand the day we build your machine." Wrong answer. This would be strike three. I did not recommend a Dell.
Finally, a horror story. A client of mine lost their MS Office install CD, so I called Dell and asked for a replacement, thinking I'd have to pay only for shipping and handling (which I figured would be fair). First problem was that none of their geniuses knew if sales or software tech support was the right place and I got dizzy being bounced around for about an hour. Finally, I got someone to take responsibility for it and they wanted $350 for the disk. "No, no", I said, "See, I already have a valid license, I just want a replacement CD." They said, "We don't provide them." "Aren't you the OEM? Isn't that what your responsibility as an OEM is?" The idiot didn't think so. So, I just spent about 2 hours on a wild goose chase. I called Microsoft, explained the situation, and asked what exactly is Dell's responsibility here. Their response was, "You are right. As an OEM, they are supposed to supply replacement disks. And we get complaints from Dell customers about this all the time." Well, knowing I was not alone didn't make me feel that much better, but at least I knew I was right. So, I called Dell back, insisted on having the called immediately escalated, and then, when that person wanted $350, I told them that MS says they gotta send me the disk for no more than S&H. In a huff, they said, "Well, you know you are getting a $350 disk for free." IDIOTS!!!! LIARS!!! It cost them more to argue with me about this than to just send me out the disk in the first place.
Yeah, I'd buy a Dell, but only if you shove a gun up my nose.
Want a good machine? Either build your own, which is not all that hard to do, (First, get screw driver... Now, if I haven't lost you yet, then the rest of the steps are within your capabilities.) or go to a local shop, do a bit of checking and find a reputable one, and ask them to build you a machine. Now if you need service, and you've built your own, you can fix it. If you bought it locally, they'll fix it, and you don't have to pack it up (PITA) and ship it off to who-knows-where. Your software will be most likely be retail versions, so MS will support you.
You may pay a bit more out-of-pocket, but you also get a better machine, way better, and way better support. So, why buy Dell? I can't think of any reason that makes any sense.