04 October 2007

New Desktop, Windows Vista Need Not Apply

Problem: A client had a four and a half year old Dell Dimension with oozing capacitors and slow performance. Further, the client was strongly adverse to being a Vista "guinea pig". Client was a modest computer user in her mid-60s, that also played some older PC games with her 8 year-old grandson. Eventually the new computer might be loaded with Windows Vista after it becomes more mature and the legacy software the client had was no longer a "must have".

Dell OptiPlex 320 Mini Tower

CPU: P4 Intel Pentium Dual Core processor E2140 (1.60GHz, 1M, 800MHz FS)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, SP2
File System: NTFS
Memory: 1.0GB DDR2 non-ECC SDRAM, 667MHz, (1DIMM)
Keyboard: Dell USB Keyboard, no hot keys, English, Black
Monitors: no monitor
Video Card: ATI Radeon X1300 128MB, DVI and TV-out
Boot Hard Drives: 160GB SATA 3.0Gb/s, 8MB cache
Floppy Drive Options: no floppy drive
Mouse: Dell USB 2-Button Entry Mouse with Scroll, Black
Removable Media Storage Devices: no optical device
Speakers: no internal speaker
Resource CD: Resources CD contains Diagnostics and Driver for OptiPlex
Warranty & Service: 3 year Limited Hardware Warranty with next business day on-site service

Total Price
Sub-total: $567.00
Shipping & Handling: $29.99
Shipping & Handling Discount: -$29.99
Tax: $31.76
Total Price: $598.76

(1) The "Pentium" CPU (E2140) is a Core 2 Duo, except with reduced internal cache. It is fully 64-bit capable. It's named "Pentium" for marketing reasons.
(2) No DVD/CDROM drive was needed in this case because the client was transferring a recently purchased Samsung DVD±RW with Nero DVD software from the previous computer. This OptiPlex — and few other new Dells — has an IDE (PATA) connector for optical drives.
(3) The client had also recently purchased a wide-panel Samsung LCD, so this computer really needed a DVI connector, but I would have preferred a video card with 256MB RAM. The on-board video controller only exited the computer via a VGA connector.

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