Calling all Hardware Tweak GURUS!

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Thread Starter
Jun 11, 2003
Are there any alpha geek hardware mechanics out there that can make Old Dell PC's run as faster?

I have an old Dell Optiplex 755 Desktop.

I was wondering about the cost-to-performance ratio possibilities for this unit.

1) PC - Dell 755 Optiplex Desktop
-running Windows Pro Xp - Service Pack 3
- Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8200 @ 2.66GHz
Max CPU Speed 5200 MHz
Maximum Capacity 8192 MBytes
Memory Slots 4
- video processor - Radeon AT 2400 PRo - 256mb

THanks in advance,



Dec 26, 2002
How much RAM do you have?

A fresh clean reload of Windows will also do marvels for an old system if it hasn't been done in a long time.

If gaming is a use of this machine then getting a more modern and more powerful graphics card would help immensely but only if you have a decent power supply capable of supporting a better graphics card.

Where is the computer slow, what is it used for?


Thread Starter
Jun 11, 2003
Hi Triple6<

Thanks for the reply.

The obtained the PC about in 2007.

I tweaked the OS but have never re-installed it.

The PC came loaded from my company with Adobe CS3 so I am relectant to wipe out OS and re-install for fear of losing the CS3 install. If you know a way of caputring the license key and re-installing then by all means let me know.

Anyhow, I could run a program that gathers up all the info about the software and hardware on my PC. Would that help determine where I could go with this specific unit?

I do not game on this machine. I was using this machine for biz (microsoft Office, Adobe CS3, Gmail, Chrome, etc....and for music production , i.e SONAR (DAW)

I was thinking of abandoning this PC for DAW use and just using it for biz purposes only . Then, i would purchase a new PC or laptop for music DAW use. At least that's a plan. What do you think?



Dec 26, 2002
Well a new PC would be faster for any and all that work.

If the computer came preloaded with CS3 from your company then they should be able to provide you a new installation as well, but only if their licensing allows such use.

You can the Tech Support Utility to update your computer specs or any other utility such as Speccy, Belearc, etc


Thread Starter
Jun 11, 2003
thanks Triple6,

Let me know if you have any suggestions.

My Belarc report is below:

Computer Profile Summary
Computer Name: bs-tower (in WORKGROUP) — Dell OptiPlex 755
Profile Date: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 9:36:27 AM
Advisor Version: 8.3
Windows Logon: bsacco

Plan for your next computer refresh...
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Operating System System Model
Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 (build 2600)
Install Language: English (United States)
System Locale: English (United States)
Installed: 5/20/2008 10:20:07 AM Dell Inc. OptiPlex 755
System Service Tag: (support for this PC)
Chassis Serial Number:
Enclosure Type: Mini-Tower
Processor a Main Circuit Board b
2.67 gigahertz Intel Core2 Duo
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
6144 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (2 total)
Not hyper-threaded Board: Dell Inc. 0GM819
Serial Number: ..
Bus Clock: 1333 megahertz
BIOS: Dell Inc. A20 10/06/2011
Drives Memory Modules c,d
249.92 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
133.45 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

MagicISO Virtual DVD-ROM0000 [Optical drive]
TSSTcorp DVD+-RW TS-H653B [Optical drive]

Canon MX870 series USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 1
ST3250310AS [Hard drive] (250.00 GB) -- drive 0, s/n 6RY77DMN, rev 3.ADA, SMART Status: Healthy 3326 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Slot 'DIMM_1' has 1024 MB (serial number 00003010)
Slot 'DIMM_3' has 1024 MB (serial number 52CCD712)
Slot 'DIMM_2' has 1024 MB (serial number 0000300E)
Slot 'DIMM_4' has 1024 MB (serial number 52CCD612)
Local Drive Volumes

c: (NTFS on drive 0) 249.92 GB 133.45 GB free
Network Drives
None discovered
Users (mouse over user name for details) Printers
local user accounts last logon
bsacco 12/24/2012 6:42:45 PM (admin)
TEST 5/5/2012 10:45:52 AM (admin)
local system accounts
ASPNET never
Guest 11/25/2012 1:02:03 PM
HelpAssistant never
SUPPORT_388945a0 never

Marks a disabled account; Marks a locked account

Adobe PDF Converter on My Documents\*.pdf
Canon MX870 series FAX on USB003
Canon MX870 series Printer on USB001
Microsoft XPS Document Writer on XPSPort:
Microsoft XPS Document Writer on \\DELLXPS400TOWER\Printer
Microsoft XPS Document Writer on \\INSPIRON600M\Printer2
Controllers Display
Intel(R) ICH9 SATA AHCI Controller
Primary IDE Channel [Controller]
Secondary IDE Channel [Controller]
Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro [Display adapter]
DELL 2009W [Monitor] (20.0"vis, s/n XX-0KM509-XXXXX-855-170U, May 2008)
Bus Adapters Multimedia
MagicISO SCSI Host Controller
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2934
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2935
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2936
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2937
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2938
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 293A
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 293C Line 6 TonePort UX2
SB Audigy
SoundMAX Integrated Digital HD Audio
Virus Protection [Back to Top] Group Policies
Microsoft Security Essentials Version 4.1.0522.0
Scan Engine Version 1.1.9002.0
Virus Definitions Version 12/26/2012 Rev 1.141.2586.0
Last Disk Scan on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 2:40:37 AM
Realtime File Scanning On
None discovered
Communications Other Devices
&#8593; Intel(R) 82566DM-2 Gigabit Network Connection
primary Auto IP Address: / 24
Dhcp Server:
Physical Address: 00:1E:4F:C8:A5:FE

Networking Dns Server:
HID Non-User Input Data Filter (KB 911895)
USB Human Interface Device
Canon MX870 ser
HID Keyboard Device
Microsoft USB Wireless Mouse (IntelliPoint)
Generic USB Hub
USB Composite Device
USB Mass Storage Device
USB Printing Support (2x)
USB Root Hub (7x)
USB Storage Use in past 30 Days (mouse over last used for details) Hosted Virtual Machines (mouse over name for details)
Last Used
Canon MX870 series -- drive 1, rev 0103 12/24/2012 6:41:55 PM
Generic Storage Device, s/n 152D203380B6 12/23/2012 1:20:49 PM*
HitachiG ST, s/n 31001206060000000450, rev 0000 12/22/2012 2:05:08 PM*
* Possibly used again before the reboot following this time.
None discovered

See your entire network map...
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Network Map (mouse over IP address for physical address) [Back to Top]
IP Device Type Device Details Device Roles Network Device Motorola Windows 95/98/Me Workstation 962390000000 (in WORKGROUP),
unknown001e8f962390, Canon Web Server Samsung Network Device unknown0023eee35349, Motorola System Apple Windows XP Workstation Bs-tower (in WORKGROUP),, Dell Print Server, Browse Master wii, Nintendo Gaming Network Device Belkin np-13a18n049530 Router homeportal DHCP Server, Gateway, Domain Name Server, Web Server

Find your security vulnerabilities...
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Missing Security Updates new – for Adobe, Apple, Java, Microsoft and more [Back to Top]

Hotfixes from Microsoft Update (agent version 7.6.7600.256) install automatically.
Last install: 12/25/2012 3:00:56 AM, download: 12/24/2012 9:18:28 AM, check: 12/26/2012 2:50:27 AM.

These security updates apply to this computer but are not currently installed (using Advisor definitions version 2012.12.21.1), according to the 12/20/2012 Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary and bulletins from other vendors. Note: Security benchmarks require that Critical and Important severity security updates must be installed.

Hotfix Id Severity Description (click to see security bulletin)
EOL-Adobe End of Life Adobe Acrobat is vulnerable and no security updates are provided by the vendor
JavaCpuOct2012-1515924 Critical Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Update for Java 6.0.310.5 32-bit
HT5485 Critical Apple iTunes security update for iTunes
HT5581 Critical Apple QuickTime security update for QuickTime 7.7.2 (1680.56)

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Software Licenses [Back to Top]

Find unused software and reduce licensing costs...
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Software Versions & Usage (mouse over i for details, click i for location) [Back to Top]
&#305; i 2007 Microsoft Office system Version 12.0.6668.5000
i 3ivx Technologies Pty. Ltd. - 3ivx MPEG-4 5.0.3 Version 5, 0, 3, 184
i ACD Systems International Inc. - Device Detector Version 5,1,237,0
&#305;&#305; i ACDSee Photo Manager 12 Version 12,0,342,0
i Acelogix Software - Ace Optimizer Utilities Version 5, 1, 0, 465
i Acresso Software Inc. - FLEXnet Publisher (32 bit) Version
i Adobe Acrobat Version
i Adobe Acrobat Version
i Adobe Device Central CS3 Version 1.1.0
i Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 Version
i Adobe Extension Manager Version 1.8.169
i Adobe Flash CS3 Version 9, 0, 0, 494
i Adobe Illustrator CS3 CS3
i Adobe InDesign CS3 Version 5.0.4
i Adobe LiveCycle Designer Version 8, 05, 2073, 1, 374024
i Adobe Photoshop CS3 CS3
i Adobe Systems Incorporated - Flash Video Encoder Version
i Adobe Systems Incorporated. - Acrobat Distiller for Windows Version
i Adobe Systems, Inc. - Bridge Version 2.0
i Adobe Systems, Inc. - Bridge Version 2.1.1
i Adobe Systems, Inc. - Shockwave Flash Version 11,5,502,135
i Adobe Systems, Inc. - Shockwave Flash Version 9,0,115,0
i Adobe Systems, Incorporated - ExtendScript Toolkit 2 Version, Build 49..317988 (Tue Dec 18 2007 15:37:42)
i Adobe Version Cue CS3 Version 3, 0, 0, 0
i Adobe(R) Creative Suite Stock Photos CS3 Version
&#305; i Adobe® Flash® Player Update Service Version 11,5,502,135
i Agent Version 6.40.2600
i Alcatel-Lucent - mcci+McciCMService Version 6,7,0,25
i Alexander Roshal - WinRAR Version
i Amazon MP3 Downloader Version 1.0.17
&#305; i Analog Devices, Inc. - SMax4PNP Application Version 6,0,32,122
i Any Video Converter Application Version 3, 2, 0, 1
&#305; i Apple Inc. - Bonjour Version 3,0,0,10
i Apple Inc. - iPCU Version
&#305; i Apple Inc. - iTunes Version
&#305; i Apple Inc. - MobileDeviceService Version
&#305; i Apple Inc. - MobileMe Version 1, 6, 7, 0
i Apple Inc. - QuickTime QuickTime 7.7.2 (1680.56)
&#305; i Apple Push
i Apple Software Update Version 2.1.3
i ATI External Event Utility for Windows Version
i ATI Smart Version 5.13.0027
&#305; i ATI Technologies Inc. - Catalyst Control Centre Version
&#305; i ATICCC
i B.H.A Corporation - B's Recorder GOLD9 Version 9, 0, 0, 0
&#305; i Belarc, Inc. - Advisor Version 8.3
&#305; i BitTorrent, Inc. - µTorrent Version
&#305; i Cakewalk, Inc. - SONAR 8 Version 8.3.1
i Canneverbe Limited - CDBurnerXP Version
i Canon Easy-PhotoPrint EX Version 3, 0, 7, 0
i Canon IJ Driver Uninstaller Version 1.7
i Canon IJ Network Scan Utility for Microsoft Windows Version
i Canon IJ Network Tool for Microsoft Windows Version
i Canon IJ Network Tool Uninstaller for Microsoft Windows Version
i Canon IJ Utility Uninstaller Version 1, 4, 0, 1
i CANON INC. - CNSLMAIN.EXE Version 1, 4, 3, 0
i CANON INC. - Easy Guide Viewer Version
&#305;&#305;&#305; i CANON INC. - MP Navigator EX Version 3, 1, 0, 0
i CANON INC. - Speed Dial Utility Version
&#305; i Canon My Printer Version 2, 3, 0, 0
i Canon User Registration Version
i Cinematronics - 3D Pinball Version 5.1.2600.5512
i Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems, Inc. - GoToAssist Corporate Version 9.1 Build 615
i Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems, Inc. - GoToMeeting Version 5.2 Build 952
&#305;&#305;&#305; i Costco Photo Organizer Version
i Creative Product Registration Version
i Creative Restore Defaults Version
i Creative Smart Recorder Version
i Creative Speaker Settings Version
i Creative Surround Mixer Version
i Creative Technology Ltd - Graphic Equalizer Version
i Creative Technology Ltd. - EAX Settings Version
i Creative Techology, Ltd. - SFBM Application Version
&#305; i Creative Volume Control Version
i Diagnostics Application Version
&#305; i Dropbox Version 1.6.6
i DvdVideoSoft Ltd. - Free Studio Version
i DVDVideoSoft Ltd. - Free Studio Version
i E.M. Total Video Player Version 1, 3, 1, 0
i filezilla Version 3, 2, 4, 1
i Fix components
i FlipShare Version
i Florian Heidenreich - Mp3tag v2.53
&#305; i Foxit Reader Version 5, 4, 3, 0920
i FreeScreenSharing Application Version 0, 56, 15, 0
&#305; i Google Chrome Version 23.0.1271.97
&#305; i Google Update Version
i Hewlett-Packard Company - HP Control Center Version
&#305; i Hewlett-Packard Company - MCClient Version
&#305; i HP - MSSConnectorService Version
i - The KMPlayer Setup Wizard Version
i InspectorX Version
&#305; i Intel Corporation - atchk Version &#305; i Intel Corporation - atchksrv Version 3, 0, 0, 6
&#305; i Intel(R) Active Management Technology Local Manageability Service Version
&#305; i Intel(R) Active Management Technology User Notification Service Version
i iTinySoft - Media Burner Version
i LC IBros Solutions - Duplicate Music Files Finder Version
i Line 6 License Manager Version 1.06
&#305; i Line 6 Monkey Version 1.62
i Line 6 Uninstaller
&#305; i Line 6, Inc. - GearBox Version 3.72
i Line 6, Inc. - POD Farm Version 1.12
i Line 6, Inc. - POD Farm Version 2.55
i Live Email Verifier Professional Version 3.5.3054.27085
i LogMeIn, Inc. - Version
i Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder Version
i MagicISO, Inc. - MagicDisc Version
&#305; i Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Version 1.62.0140
&#305; i Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Version
&#305; i MGShareware - FreeRIP Version 3 Version
i Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version
i Microsoft - HPHomeClient Version
i Microsoft Clip Organizer Version 12.0.6606.1000
&#305; i Microsoft Corporation - Internet Explorer Version 8.00.6001.18702
i Microsoft Corporation - Office Diagnostics Service Version 12.0.6606.1000
i Microsoft Corporation - Office Diagnostics Version 12.0.6606.1000
i Microsoft Corporation - Office Source Engine Version 12.0.4518.1014
i Microsoft Corporation - Silverlight Plug-In Version 5.1.10411.0
&#305; i Microsoft Corporation - Windows Installer - Unicode Version 3.1.4001.5512
i Microsoft Corporation - Windows Installer Clean Up Version 2.05.0001
i Microsoft Corporation - Windows Movie Maker Version 2.1.4028.0
i Microsoft Corporation - Windows® NetMeeting® Version 3.01
i Microsoft Data Access Components Version 3.525.1132.0
i Microsoft Expression Version 2008.1200.6329.5000
&#305; i Microsoft IntelliPoint Version 8.2
i Microsoft IntelliType Pro / IntelliPoint Version 8.2
&#305; i Microsoft Malware Protection Version 4.1.0522.0
i Microsoft Office InfoPath Version 12.0.4518.1014
&#305;&#305;&#305; i Microsoft Office Outlook Version 12.0.6665.5003
&#305;&#305; i Microsoft Office Picture Manager Version 12.0.6606.1000
&#305; i Microsoft Security Client Version 4.1.0522.0
i Microsoft® .NET Framework Version 2.0.50727.3053
i Microsoft® .NET Framework Version 3.0.6920.4021
i Microsoft® .NET Framework Version 4.0.40305.0
i Microsoft® Silverlight Version 5.1.10411.0
i Microsoft® Windows(TM) Shell PowerToys Version 96.02.06
&#305;&#305;&#305;&#305; i Microsoft® Windows® Operating System Version 11.0.5721.5145
i MIDI-OX Version
&#305; i MIDIOX Computing - MIDI-OX Version
i MindGems, Inc. - Fast Duplicate File Finder Version
i MindVision Software - Installer VISE Version 3.6.1
i MiniTool Solution Ltd. - Power Data Recovery Version 6, 5, 0, 1
&#305;&#305;&#305; i Mozilla Corporation - Firefox Version 16.0
i Mozilla Foundation - Firefox Version 16.0
i Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3 Version 3.2.1
i Native Instruments Service Center Version 2.0.6
&#305; i NMSAccess
i Online Media Technologies Ltd. - AVS Repair 4.1 Version 4.1
i Ontrack EasyRecovery10 Version
i Oracle Corporation - Java(TM) Platform SE 7 U9 Version
i Panasonic Corporation - PHOTOfunSTUDIO Version 1.0.1106.0716
i Panasonic Corporation - PHOTOfunSTUDIO version 1.40 Version 1.40L004.0000
i Panasonic Corporation - PHOTOfunSTUDIO version 2.00 Version 2.00L008.0004
&#305;&#305; i Piriform Ltd - CCleaner Version 3, 25, 0, 1872
&#305; i Rogue Amoeba - Airfoil for Windows Version 3.3.2
i Rogue Amoeba - Airfoil Speakers for Windows Version 3.3.2
&#305; i Seagate Technology - SeaTools for Windows Version
i Sherrod Computers - File Renamer Version 6.03
&#305;&#305; i Skype Version 6.0
&#305; i Spotify Version
&#305; i Spotify Web Helper
i Sun Microsystems, Inc. - Java(TM) Platform SE 6 U31 Version 6.0.310.5
&#305; i Sun Microsystems, Inc. - Java(TM) Platform SE Auto Updater 2 0 Version
i - BootSafe Application Version 2, 0, 0, 1000
i and - SUPERAntiSpyware Alternate Start Tool Version 1, 0, 0, 1124
&#305; i SUPERAntiSpyware Version 5, 6, 0, 1014
&#305; i - Core Service Version 1, 0, 0, 1068
i TechSmith Corporation - Jing Version 2.6.12032.1
&#305; i TechSmith Corporation - SnagIt Version
&#305;&#305; i The Audacity Team - Audacity® Version 2,0,0,0
i The KMPlayer Version
&#305; i Topala Software Solutions - System Information for Windows Version 2011,10,29, 0
i Trend Micro Inc. - HijackThis Version 2.00.0004
i tvcshell Application Version 1, 0, 0, 1
i Twelve Tone Systems, Inc. - Cakewalk Publisher Version 2.03
i Twelve Tone Systems, Inc. - Cakewalk(TM) Audio Finder Tool Version
i Ventis Media Inc. - MediaMonkey Version 3.0
&#305;&#305; i VideoLAN - VLC media player Version 2,0,4,0
&#305; i WDC - WD Drive Manager Version 2, 0, 62, 0
i Western Digital - DLGDIAG for Windows Version 1.24
&#305;&#305; i WinZip Version 11.0 (7313)
i Wizards to adjust .NET Framework security, assign trust to assemblies, and fix broken .NET applications. Version 1.0.5000.0
i X10 - x10 Module Version 1, 0, 0, 1
&#305; i XobniService Version
i Yves Alter - iTunes Library Updater Version

i Mouse over to see details, click to see where software is installed.
&#305; Marks software last used within the past 7 days.
&#305;&#305; Marks software last used within the past 90 days, but over 7 days ago.
&#305;&#305;&#305; Marks software last used within the past year, but over 90 days ago.
&#305;&#305;&#305;&#305; Marks software last used over 1 year ago.
Unmarked software lacks the data to determine last use.

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Installed Microsoft Hotfixes [Back to Top]
Click here to see all installed hotfixes.

a. Processor clock speed is measured at computer start-up, and on laptops may be impacted by power option settings.
b. Data may be transferred on the bus at one, two, or four times the Bus Clock rate.
c. Memory slot contents may not add up to Installed Memory if some memory is not recognized by Windows.
d. Memory slot contents is reported by the motherboard BIOS. Contact system vendor if slot contents are wrong.
e. This is the manufacturer's factory installed product key rather than yours. You can change it to your product key here for Windows, or here for Office.
Copyright 2000-12, Belarc, Inc. All rights reserved.
Legal notice. U.S. Patents 5665951, 6085229 and Patents pending.


Dec 26, 2002
I've edited out all your license keys from the Belarc report, you don't want someone pirating your software.

So you already have 4GB of RAM and with Windows XP 32-bit that's already more then it can use.

You could possibly look for a Quad Core processor but you'd have to make sure it's supported by the Dell system and upgrade to Windows 7 64-bit and then add more memory OR you could do as you suggested and buy a new machine.

If the machine is sluggish it may just need a software cleanup, but if you want to drastically improve audio/video/graphics editing time that may not help much.


Thread Starter
Jun 11, 2003

I assume upgrading this unit would cost more in the end-run than just purchasing a new computer. THe question is what one and where do i get the biggest bang for the buck.

Do you have any recommendations?



Dec 26, 2002
Build it yourself, then you get what you want and generally have more upgrade paths.


Thread Starter
Jun 11, 2003

Yeah, I'm all for that.

I just have to get my Microsoft MVP certification.

Do you think I could pass that test in the next 20 minutes?...I'm kinda pressed for time.



Dec 26, 2002
What test? You don't need any test to build/assembly a computer. You can also have a local shop assemble you a computer with quality components of your choosing too.


Thread Starter
Jun 11, 2003

I was kidding about's my sense of humor...;)

Here's the real problem...You paint such an easy picture...but the reality is far different. Building a PC is not for the casual power User. The truth is that YES picking the components are not too hard but the real problems occur when you start having DRIVER problems. You know all those nasty driver incompatibility problems....And , did i mention...there is no 24/7 customer support to call or no web site to go to to download those update based upon your configuration.

What you asking me to do is WAY above my level of expertise and comfort level.

Even if you have a local shop build it the cost of engaging a local shop eats away at whatever savings you would have in the first place by doing a DYI project. So, you are back a square one.


Dec 26, 2002
What driver problems? Driver installation in Windows XP and newer is as easy as inserting the disc that comes with the hardware and clicking Next. But its true and understandable that most people prefer not to go that route for numerous reasons.

The advantage of having a custom built computer are that you get quality components and easy upgrading options. If you buy an Acer, eMachine, Gateway, or any consumer HP, Dell or Lenovo you are buying cheap junk with very limited upgrades options - that's why they are so cheap. That and they are loaded with trials and tons of software junk. If you buy a business class HP, Dell, or Lenovo then you are getting better quality, less software junk, and maybe slightly more upgrade options but still not at the same level quality custom parts can offer. But you can also buy even worse junk parts too so you do have to be careful of that. It just depends on what quality, upgradablility, performance, and price you want.


Thread Starter
Jun 11, 2003
Yes, I hear this argument from tech-savvy IT guys like you all the time...But here's the rub, they don't share exactly how to do it. They keep the secrets to themselves and lord over it when they brag about how superior their DYI built PC's are to consumer brand Dells, HPs, etc...... I've seen it way too many times.

I guess I'm just not sold yet on this prospect. IF you could quantify the argument by showing my your DYI PC vs a DELL consumer product and i could go over component vs. component then perhaps i could actually see the difference and understand your argument.


Dec 26, 2002
There's really not much to tell for assembly, you simply buy compatible parts, which we can help you pick out as we commonly do, read the manual's that come with and stick the pieces together, the actual assembly is no harder then putting together Ikea furniture. Installing Windows and drivers is a matter of inserting the discs. There's a guide at the top of this forum, thousands of them online, and thousands of videos on YouTube on computer assembly.

If we look at a cheap new Dell such as the Inspiron 660s, so yes that it the bottom of their new offerings right now and it does get better if you move up to a more expensive unit, but it's just a baseline,.'s Guide_en-us.pdf
This one has a slim case, so that means no power supply upgrades, poor cooling, and limited add-on cards - as it no video card upgrade ever. They don't even list the power supply wattage. This is the classic version of you buy it, use it, then when you outgrow it you sell it or throw it out because its worth nothing used. The information also doesn't list what processors are compatible with it, so 2 years down the road you can't upgrade it or have to rely on collected information on the internet on what processors may work that others have found by trial and error. If you move toward the business class you may get a generic list of upgrades but not an exact or complete list and there are sometimes two or three revisions of a model of processor and only one of those may actually work with that system. You also get bettrer support in the business section as in people you actually work on computers instead of people who can barely read the manual(or read/speak English for that matter) that they have in front of them.

Now if you move toward the Acer/eMachine/Gateway models, which are all the same company now, it gets even worse. Not only is there rarely any upgrade information provided but the systems use the absolute cheapest parts they can get their hands on. As a result they break often and get replaced often. The power supplies are generally just enough to power the configuration and adding more hardware tends to cause them to fail, eMachines had(have?) the added bonus of taking out out motherboard when they fail.

Software licensing for these machines also means you cannot replace the motherboard with another model without having to buy a new copy of Windows and any Office product purchased with that computer such as a Dell can't be used another computer. You also have the massive pile of trial software, adware, and just pure junk they load onto them that needs to be removed if you don't want constant nags and pop-ups and proper performance.

Noe here's the specs for an Asus motherboard:
Notice the complete listings of processors including the stepping information, what board revision is required and what BIOS version is required. And that gets updated as new models are released. You also get detailed specs and a massive amount of BIOS options unlike the heavily restricted OEM system.

OEM systems lock down the BIOS, remove or disable any tweaks, remove or restrict almost as much as they can so they do not have to deal with user; their policy is to sell new and do as little support as possible.

You also get longer warranties, a typical consumer OEM system has a 1 year warranty. A quality motherboard has a 3 year warranty, a hard drive has 3 or 5 year warranty, a power supply is about the same with 3, 5 or even 7 years.

A typical mid range video card recommends a 500 watt power supply these days, yet most power supplies in OEM systems are in the 200 to 350 watt range.

Many OEM cases don't fully comply with ATX standards or are smaller in size making it harder to replace anything or add anything to them. Cooling and power are always areas people run into problems with.

There's also stuff you'd never see listed in specs that make a difference, lets say capacitors on the motherboard or the power supply. There's tons of history of faulty capacitors in the PC industry yet the problems continue and Dell had it's share in the past. The cheapest hardware uses cheap Chinese electrolytic capacitor everywhere they can but on high end products you'll find Japanese Solid style capacitors and you'll also find higher grade electronics on a more expensive unit versus that $300 eMachine in Best Buy.

Now if you go and buy a Business class Dell like a Optiplex or Precision you do get better hardware and support, but the price can easily soar on those from the base model you still have some of those upgrade limitations.
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