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Windows XP Professional vs. Windows XP Media Center?


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#16
Dog Training

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HI, i found this thread cos i have a BRAND NEW INSPIRON 9400 Dell which has just cost me £2500 sterling which is around $4000!!!! 17inch shiny screen, tv card (avermedia) 2.2gig dual core and 2 mb ram. HIgh speed HDD, DL DVD RWRiter, the dogs, OK?! NOT OK!
Crash after crash after crash. Parity errors, phys mem dumps, blue screens of death DAILY> i can not use it as i am scrared of losing stuff so i am about to call Dell but just wondered about other people's experiences of these Dells. i have to say i have always had Dell machines and i think they are superb. HOwever, i am starting to wonder with this one. I have one of those feelings that this is due to a conflict between media player and Avermedia TV Card. I just asumed MCE was the next thing so i better make sure i am up to date, but i never wanted it, i prefer PRO. i have to say that MCE is cool when it does work.
One other thing i wonder if someone experienced might be able to comment on.....this machine is NO quicker than my 6 year old Dell 8300 Dimension desktop with only 1ghz processor! I need the most powerful machine i can get my hands on with this laptop, and i feel like i have got a dog, a rip off in fact. Now there is clearly something wrong with teh blue screens, but it should not be this slow surely? i was expecting the fastest machine i had ever used when i got it out the box, especially before putting Office on there. It is no better than my old desktop which i was replacing cos i need something faster now. i do not play games ever, i just want HIGH speed applications. I take it you guys in here would say i should ditch Media Centre and go for PRO? i actually know someone with a copy of Vista which he has for Beta testing. no news from him yet so maybe i should just slap good old fashioned XPPro on which i have in the drawer next to me.
Any tips about all this you clever people?!
Cool forum, can see me spending most evenings here from now on!!
:whistling:


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Edited by Dog Training, 11 July 2006 - 05:09 PM.

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#17
gerryf

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is that price with or without the tv tuner?
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#18
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That is with tuner, i think that was around $100 (£65) for tv tuner. It came with remote control, CD, cable, digibox (4 inches x 3 inches) and magnetic roof aerial for vehicle i think. it works lovely, i think it is just Media Centre which is junk, that or the machine anyway.
see why nobody in Britain has any money!! These darn prices, and it STILL isn't the best money can buy, as i wanted.!!
:whistling:


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#19
gerryf

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my comment was to the other person--he did not list the tv tuner with the price he quoted earlier....I did not even see your post.

If you are looking for help on resolving the lockups/blue screens, please start your own thread.

I would have to research your issue, but you just bought a 9400? I didn't think they were still making those...
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#20
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OH no, you mean i bought an outdated relic?!! Typically me that would be!! Haven't got time to read the mags and keep up to speed on these things. Well the way things are going i will be getting my money back or a replacement, so if you have a model to recommend please do.

Regarding the blue screen, no i am not looking for a solution to that thanks, that is Dells job. i actually was interested in the comparison between MCE and XP Pro which is the title of this thread and seeing as i think my tv tuner is causing these problems on my Dell laptop, i thought this just might be useful to the student asking about a tv tuner with MCE on a Dell laptop!
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#21
gerryf

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ok,

I think they have a different naming scheme between US and UK

I see they still have them listed on Dell UK

One thing you should know (well, everyone should know) is that Dell does not make thier own laptops....in fact, no one you know really makes thier own laptops

There are about 5-7 companies that make all the laptops in the world, and companies like Dell buy them, and rebadge them with their name. To use Dell as an example, many are made by Compal, the latitudes are made by Quanta--the xps line is made by Clevo.....

So, buying a Dell does not mean you are getting a Dell

You can often buy the same thing from elsewhere and get the same machine

Time was, buying Dell meant buying Dell support, but I am not sure how much that is worth nowadays
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#22
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I'm wondering if you suggest a particular brand or model of laptop that would compare to the E1505 I described earlier. Thanks again for your help!
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#23
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Wow, thanks you certainly know your stuff. i knew nothing these days is made by the company on the badge but i dont know who makes them and that one company might use several different makers machines!
Fascinating. Would you have a personal favourite if you had to choose a Dell laptop? i must admit i wish i had got a Sony Vaio now, although with the problems i am having i should get a refund and start again. This machine just does not 'feel' like a business machine, it feels like a gaming or multimedia machine, although it obviously can't handle that either at present!!
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#24
gerryf

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Dogs

the 9400 is not a business machine--it is a desktop replacement machine, so it has a heavier emphasis on newer technology, which is needed for gaming and entertainments.
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#25
gerryf

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Bugs, Dogs

Among laptops, I am partial to Asus and Clevo laptops, which are rebadged under various names

I don't care for the current clevo in the 15.4 inch display at the moment, so I would be leaning towards the asus based s96j or z96j


I don't think the price you quoted me earlier included the tv tuner?

If you were to spend the same amount on the s96j ($1700), you would get a significant upgrade in performance due to faster memory 667 mghtz ram instead of 533 mghtz, a better videocard ati 1600 instead of 1400, and a faster harddrive 7200 rpm instead of 5400 rpm (if you intend to upgrade to windows vista, I would definitely consider the faster drive--there is a noticeable difference between the faster and slower drives with Vista--at least in the beta.)

The one drawback is that I think Dell may have a slightly better audio chipset, though i doubt you would notice.

If I were a college student, I would consider NOT buying an OS and Microsoft office ont the machine, saving about $350 (Dell requires that you buy an OS), bringing the price down to $1315--and then buying both office and xp Pro at your school.

Most universities sell Student versions of XP Pro and Office for dirt cheap--some programs (computer science) even give them to students free.

Looking online, and it may be cheaper in the store, Xp Pro upgrade is $79 and Office standard is $69. To install xp pro upgrade, you do not need to install a different OS first. You start the XP install, it will ask you for a windows 98 disk, you drop the disk in the cd-rom, it checks it, and then continues to install xp pro.
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#26
gerryf

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Oh, places to shop for that laptop

http://www.powernotebooks.com/
http://www.discountlaptops.com/

are two very well regarded resellers and
http://www.xoticpc.com/
, which is newer, but well regard so far.

You cannot go wrong with the first two

If I were buying a laptop, right now, I would buy this

http://www.clevo.com...ducts/M570U.asp

One of the more well know OEMs for this product is SAGER MIDTERN, which rebadges it as the n5760
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#27
gerryf

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Here's another one, where you can buy just the notebook base, then add your own stuff to it (cpu, drive, memory)

http://www.rjtech.com/
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#28
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Sir,

Thanks so much for your advice thus far. I did look up the computers you suggested, but the prices hovered around the same 1700 if not more before I upgraded it. I think the longer warranty is really jacking the price up. Am I doing something wrong? i would love to only spend 1300 give or take because I already have XP pro. Also, are those Laptops you suggested comparable in weight and deminsions to the Dell?
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#29
gerryf

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maybe I am missing something...at xoticpc I get the s96j for $1504 without OS or software

at discount, I get the same thing for $1415
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#30
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Hi and thanks for your interesting posts. well now i wish i hadn't got this dell. i have only had a couple of months and it is not running right so if i can get a refund (which i doubt) then i will and instead i will get thatM570u that you mentioned. it still has 17" screen which i need for multi tasking, i need a built in camera quite badly too which my dell doesn't have, for conference calling, mine also doesn't have bulit in mike. I wonder if you could tell me if this is a business machine or gamer machine in your opinion? i reall need to run heavy programs as fast as possible, such as Photoshop and stuff like that. This machine looks superb, although god knows how much it will cost me to get one here in the UK.
Lovely machine though.
Thanks again, great forum
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