Most of our site visitors are like us; we want to have the latest greatest PC technology without either:
1) Buying a $3000 system and breaking the bank, or
2) Buying seperate components and building our own system, or
3) Overclocking less powerful components
We like to buy a PC for well under $1000 and then spend a couple of hundred bucks every few months to increase its power.
We are going to show you how to do this so you can have the latest greatest PC technology.
In the past it has been relatively easy to upgrade an older pc to keep it up to date, however over the past year a number of major enhancements have been made to computer technology that don’t offer an easy upgrade path:
1) Serial ATA is more common and slightly faster for hard drives but older motherboards do not offer serial ATA connectivity.
2) PCI-Express is replacing AGP as the way to connect high performance graphics cards, getting PCI-Express means getting a new motherboard.
3) DDR2 memory is replacing DDR memory, and this also means a new motherboard.
Adding all these technologies to an existing PC would be very expensive and a lot of work (new motherboard, hard drive, memory, graphics card, and probably a new power supply all at once), don’t despair though as we have an alternative:
Dell Small Business have a great deal at the moment on their top end 8400 desktop that has mostly lower end components but offers all the latest technologies, opening up many future do-it-yourself upgrade paths.
The 8400 is $649 (after $100 rebate) and includes the following:
Pentium 4 Hyper-Threading Processor 540 at 3.2GHz (800MHz front side bus)
512MB Dual Channel DDR2 RAM at 400MHz (we recommend upgrading this to 533MHz RAM for $30 more)
128MB PCI Express X300 SE Graphics Card
40GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (we recommend upgrading this to 160GB with native command queuing for $60 more)
Windows XP Home
40x CD-ROM (we assume you have a DVD drive in your current PC you can reuse)
17″ LCD Monitor (free upgrade)
Dell 720 Color Printer (free upgrade)
We have ordered one of these PCs and will review it and show you how it works. We will then show you some simple $200 or less upgrades you can do to make this a real cutting edge PC including adding more DDR2 memory to give you 1 or 1.5GB memory, upgrading to a more powerful X700 or 6600GT PCI-Express Graphics Card, and adding a fast 10000RPM hard drive for fast bootup and program loading (making your 160GB drive a data and/or backup drive).
If you want to follow along with us in creating a great PC you can get your own 8400 by following this link: Dell Small Business and then clicking on Dimension Outrageous Deals. The current deal ends 12/6 but they replace it weekly with a new deal some of which are great (like this one) and some not so great.