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This is a discussion on DELL and the diversion in the Hosting Talk & Chit-chat forum
Since Vin enjoys diversions and because of his special request, I'll courteously thread anew: Never even hinted that I could build a better server than ...

  1. #1
    || $name ne 'R.Stiltskin'
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    DELL and the diversion

    Since Vin enjoys diversions and because of his special request, I'll courteously thread anew:

    Never even hinted that I could build a better server than DELL's $524 system unless "the price for hardware, even when acquired piecemeal, is rather trivial in the grand scheme of things for TCO" can be construed as a hint.

    But since you asked... maybe, I can, though DELL doesn't provide enough of a spec sheet to know for sure. Quick pricing using DELL's stated and generalized specs yields the following ballparked figures with off-the-shelf prices:
    MB 200
    CPU 200
    SDRAM 50
    HD 125
    DVDROM 25
    CASE/PS 50
    + shipping

    So even with pricing variability it approximates DELL's price. The base config at DELL excludes numerous add-ons that can inflate the total package considerably.

    And DELL will neither guarantee for me the particular pieces of hardware that I prefer (they are still a bulk assembler) nor the OS configuration I want.

    No, I'll stick with a brownbox that will smoke a generic DELL.

    Spath forgot MB - can't go without that
    Spath forgot some more - For background if interested
    Last edited by Spathiphyllum; 06-20-2004 at 07:12 PM.

  2. #2
    A geezer, with 1 foot in. Oldfrog's Avatar
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    Yeah, that was a very vague spec sheet but I still started playing Vin's game, then suddenly said, "Wait a minute!". I have now lost total interest in the game.

    I started asking myself some questions:

    a) Why would I want a single processor server?

    b) How effective will a server be with only 256mb DDR (and yes, I do have a quantity of that laying around)

    c) Do I want to implement or recommend a server with a single disk drive on a single controller? No, so this is going to add significantly to the cost, either way.

    d) What brand and rating of power supply is included? How much of what is still needed can that supply accomodate, and what will it cost me to upgrade to a decent one?

    e) Since this is, after all, a server, I'm hoping that it has a network interface, but none is specified. How many interfaces are provided? Depending on the use to which this server will be put will determine the number needed, although I still consider two to be the minimum.

    f) Ah, one thing only that I really like! They provide this without OS so at least I can choose the one that I want. I just thought that I would throw that in to be completely fair.

    Okay, except for processor speed the advertised server doesn't even meet the specs of my home machine. As an admin I can't imagine that I would be buying very many of those 'out of the box'.
    Last edited by Oldfrog; 06-20-2004 at 07:22 PM.
    Gravity, more than a good idea, it's the law!

  3. #3
    || $name ne 'R.Stiltskin'
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    Originally posted by Oldfrog
    I have now lost total interest in the game.
    That's what I was thinking the entire time I was posting. One can play the PC part pricing permutations game all day and it has no bearing on the main point that hardware costs for computers are trivial when computing TCO. Just do your best to get decent parts from reliable manufacturers and over-engineer the box as much as possible.

    DELL was probably trying to dispose of their more outdated inventory to produce a sort of loss leader or "minimally profitable leader" with hopes of getting shoppers to upgrade. Kind of like DeBeers creating the diamond tennis bracelet to dispose of the diamond dust. Do I sense a diversion?

  4. #4
    Ron
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    It does have a 36G ultra 320 SCSI drive... how much are those worth? (apparently the mobo has a scsi controller?)

    I haven't priced compononets fior a system in years. Just an odd HDD here and a firewire card there... mnaybe a wirelessG card... that's about it. I have better things to do with my time than diagnose/fix/struggle with problems like the one I caused myself by flashing up the mobo.

    I'd rather buy it out of the box.

    Some people enjoy putting together cars, too.

  5. #5
    Ron
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    Spath -- did you get my PM? I gotta get this thing taken care of someday soon.

  6. #6
    || $name ne 'R.Stiltskin'
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    Ron - I tried to PM reply but it didn't take. Check your email.

  7. #7
    A geezer, with 1 foot in. Oldfrog's Avatar
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    I'd rather buy it out of the box.
    So would I, Ron, at least most of the time. For anything enterprise related I would spec what I thought I might need a year from now, shop around, and then buy it out of the box and make sure that it is upgradeable. Considering the number of systems needed in that sort of environment it is not going to be cost effective to build them from scratch.

    When my ex-wife asked me if I would build her a computer I told her no, but that I would be happy to help her buy one and get it set up. Hey, the only thing that she does is write lesson plans in Works, do email, and do research on the internet. I can't build her a system that will do that any better than what she can get at the local outlet and beat the price.

    I do build all my own systems (the only 'out of the box' systems that I have ever owned in 20 years of this are laptops) but I don't figure my time and effort into the cost of those. I do that partly from the enjoyment of doing it and partly because I then know the source of all the components and don't have to do any guessing. I still believe that if a guy is into serious gaming (which I am not) or really serious graphics that he can beat the price by building his own.
    Gravity, more than a good idea, it's the law!

  8. #8
    || $name ne 'R.Stiltskin'
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    Originally posted by Oldfrog
    When my ex-wife asked me if I would build her a computer I told her no, but that I would be happy to help her buy one and get it set up.
    Yes, help your ex acquire a brand-spanking new, top-o-the-line, 286SX and a 14.4 modem. I can see it now - "But dear, this is the new, classic line of PCs. You'll love it!"

    If I could find an assembler that could customize it just so, I'd go vendor too. But I value reliability with the concomitant OS and redundancy tweaks over bleeding-edge speed and price any day. And a money-back warranty is pretty useless for a failed HD and some of the other components. Who needs the fun of data retrieval or the downtime until a waranteed part gets returned?

  9. #9
    Ron
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    lol I stood in line for a few hours day after Thanksgiving and got him an eMachines (now gateway... does that make 7 Gateways then?) for $200.

    He surfs the net, reads the news online, does email and prints pages.

    Heck his PII-400 was just fine, except running AV software and trying tio download/watch a video overloaded the poor thing, with stuttering sound and jerky video.

    Least I could do for a guy pushing 80.

    The PII I bought him was $3,000 at the time.

    LOL

  10. #10
    Yeah, I know a LOT! Vin DSL's Avatar
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    On fish stories...

    You know, I've seen you guys spout a LOT of silly crap on here lately, but I thought you were kidding... or gay (steers and queers, you know?)... or something... but this takes the cake!

    Do you REALLY think you can build a server that will run circles around a Dell, at ANY price - dollar for dollar? You couldn't even build one for the same price. If you think so, you're delusional...

    "If I was making a purchase of 100 units for a company, that would be different... " Sh!t, I wouldn't send you to the store for 100 popsicles!

    "Serious game machine..." What's that mean? You buy your components at Fry's instead of Radio Shack?

    Hahahahaha! You're probably all the same guy. There can't be this many fools on one web board. No way, baby!
    DISCLAIMER Any resemblance between the views expressed above and those of the owners and operators of this system is purely coincidental. Any resemblance between these views and my own are non-deterministic. The existence of Vin DSL is questionable. The existence of views in the absence of anyone to hold them is problematic. The existence of the reader is left as an exercise in the second-order coefficient.

    No Guts, No Story! VinDSL 2010

  11. #11
    || $name ne 'R.Stiltskin'
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    Originally posted by Ron
    The PII I bought him was $3,000 at the time.
    The PII was a fine processor. Actually, it still is despite its reduced multimedia instruction set. I guess you were pushing its limits. But, as many people assume, the CPU isn't always the most important component of the system. Balance is key. Have you ever used a system with an AMD CPU, or non-Intel for that matter?

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    Can be done cheaper and better although not for the soon to be discontinued item you have linked Spath. And as for my gaming pc...not cheaper, but better for the same price, the savings in retail packaging and markup are directed towards better components.

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    Question

    Originally posted by Df_Gamer
    Can be done cheaper and better although not for the soon to be discontinued item you have linked Spath.
    Just passing the link for historical continuity since it was Vin's discovery - I will claim no credit for it.

    So I take it that you are in the "self-styled brown-box" group rather than the "vendor-packaged out-of-the-box" one? And that splitting hairs on pricing your optimized parts vs the vendor's bulked generic parts is not the biggest concern of your overall purchase?

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Spathiphyllum

    So I take it that you are in the "self-styled brown-box" group rather than the "vendor-packaged out-of-the-box" one?
    Yeah, bought my first one (hp) and started putting them together after I discovered how hard the salesman worked me over.

  15. #15
    || $name ne 'R.Stiltskin'
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    Originally posted by Df_Gamer
    ...the salesman worked me over.
    LOL. I can imagine. I'd be curious to know, looking back, if you can recall his most grievous assertion. I can just hear the BS flying.

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