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sid_galtsid_galt Registered User Posts: 152 Junior Member
edited August 2007 in Brown University
So I'm leaning towards getting a desktop for Brown. However I'm confused between buying a branded Dell desktop or assembling my own. Now assembling will be definitely cheaper but the problem is that I have never assembled a desktop on my own. Plus, if I buy from Dell, I'll get service if there's any problem with the comp. What do you guys suggest?

BTW, if I do end up deciding on a desktop, is there any risk of any desktop parts (monitor/mouse/keyboard, etc) being stolen. After all, you can't lock the desktop in an almirah or take it with you unlike a laptop!

Also will there be enough space to keep the desktop?

I'll be majoring in Computer Science and maybe Applied Math.

Thanks
Post edited by sid_galt on
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Replies to: Desktop?

  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    Assembling your own is easy, very easy, and will work about a million times better. There will be enough space for your desktop (I have one with dual monitors) and no one will steal anything as long as you're not dumb (lock your door when you leave-- almost 100% of all items reported stolen were simply left unattended in public/with the door wide open. It's pretty hard for people to not notice someone weird walking around with an extra monitor.

    I built my own and wouldn't do it any other way, although coming from India that will be a pain in the ass each summer/over winter, etc.
  • sid_galtsid_galt Registered User Posts: 152 Junior Member
    Summers and winters are not a problem since I can drop the comp at my mom's friends place in the US.

    I'm just worried that my roommate might leave the room open sometime.

    BTW, when will we get to know about our housing and our assigned roommate?
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    You'll be assigned in August... first week I think.
  • mgcsincmgcsinc Registered User Posts: 1,169 Senior Member
    The majority of thefts occurred with laptops, at least so far I can tell from the police blotter in the BDH and daily jolt complaining. I wouldn't worry too much about that issue.

    If your options are Dell vs. Home-built and you think you have at least the baseline skills required to build a desktop, then build it yourself. The warranties you get from the individual part manufacturers (for your homebuilt system) are likely to be better than what you'd get from Dell, so if you're capable of diagnosing your own computer problems then it's a great option.

    Let me take a moment to rant. I am a 'computer guy', and I often find myself fixing my friends' broken computers. After three years of repairing people's broken Dell laptops and desktops, I have nothing but contempt for that disgusting company. If you want a computer that works consistently with unbelievably good, no-questions-asked service, get a Lenovo Thinkpad laptop - I'm not sure there's a single desktop manufacturer I trust, although Alienware might be one.
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    MG-- more reason's we're alike. Built my own desktop and use a Thinkpad laptop.

    Oh yeah-- Alienware has been bought by Dell so I'm not sure how much of their original people/policies are still around.
  • forgettableforgettable Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    I have a question, but I don't think there's any point in making a new thread for it so, although I may be hijacking this a bit I'll just ask here...

    mgcsinc - I've been considering getting a Thinkpad, but how do I make sure it's compatible with Brown's network? Also, this is just a general question, because I know little to nothing about computers, how do I know which model is right for me? I'll probably major in biology, if that helps. Thanks!
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    There is no problem at all with anything being "compatible" with a network. Networks are standardized separate from operating system, manufacturer, etc. All networks everywhere works with all devices.

    Thinkpads are by far the best laptops, in my experience.
  • kARTHIKSMARTkARTHIKSMART Registered User Posts: 322 Member
    i have a sony Viao. which is about a few months old. should that be ok?
  • TienIsCoolXTienIsCoolX Registered User Posts: 822 Member
    If your going to build, you should also factor in how powerful the computer is going to be. When you hear of people building, it's mostly for gaming and when you build for gaming, you usually save money and get quality parts, but if you are building a lower end desktop, then there's really no point and you might as well buy a desktop. Check out some of the computer deals here at Slickdeals.net, they might be just what you are looking for.
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    TienIsCool-- while that's correct, you can also factor the lack of ****ty starting software, the experience of building yourself, the ability to customize each component so that you have a better machine, even if it is budget, greater extensibility/upgradability, and better cooling design, which can matter in a dorm with no AC, not to mention you can make the system much more quiet, if these things matter to you.

    Again, kARTHIKSMART-- all computers work on all networks. TCP/IP is a standardized protocol from the 70s (or maybe even 60s) that was designed specifically so that all devices could communicate with each other. All and any computers can connect to any network, period.
  • TienIsCoolXTienIsCoolX Registered User Posts: 822 Member
    Well, just trying to save him/her from some potential headaches :)
  • mgcsincmgcsinc Registered User Posts: 1,169 Senior Member
    True, TienIsCool, headaches can come from buying hardware from several manufacturers and trying to get it to work together. There's no doubt about that. The big problem with pre-configured desktop and laptop producers like Dell is that they make (or contract out) a lot of their own OEM devices that are of lower quality than other devices on the market. With a company like IBM, I don't mind that, because the support is fabulous - I just call them up, tell them which part of my computer is broken, send it to them (without an hour of useless troubleshooting) and I get it back within two days (they use one- or two-day shipping both ways).
  • sid_galtsid_galt Registered User Posts: 152 Junior Member
    Are the Brown computers easily available for students to use? I mean if I wanted to fiddle around with a few algorithms for collaborative filtering and needed 5-6 machines to do the algorithm in parallel, would it be hard to get access to the machines?
  • sid_galtsid_galt Registered User Posts: 152 Junior Member
    @Tien - well I am quite a bit into collaborative filtering so I'll need a good computer to experiment with it. If I had needed a low end computer, I would have gone for a laptop.
  • TienIsCoolXTienIsCoolX Registered User Posts: 822 Member
    In that case sid, may I help you select parts?
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