Not to start a flame war, but I will quote my comment to Kermix (because it was not so much to Kermix as to the rest of you) the first hardware discussion here:
Yes, but I have no hardware buff, unless raptorck wants to schlep all around Jersey with me getting components and building a box.
And then if anything goes wrong, he's going to come all the way here from Brooklyn to fix it? I personally don't feel comfortable with even installing new hardware in a pre-fab computer, let alone building from the ground up. I don't know jack shit about hardware, like: "What the hell is an IRQ? Why do I need it? Why can't I just plug the damn thing into the motherboard and run it?"
And I agree with your throughput concerns; I also intend to rip a lot of stuff, and all the drive/processor speed in the world won't help if my throughput is crap. (Right?)
Blah blah blah, whine whine. I love how I said I didn't wanna build and everyone told me to build. I don't think you all understand; I really am clueless. If my computer doesn't start up, I can fix it any of two ways: reboot, or reboot in safe mode. If that doesn't work, I'm fucked. How am I supposed to *build* a box, then?
If I had a hardware guy, it would be different. I would watch and learn and do it myself the next time. I'm quick like that. But I have no hardware guy.
That's just a heads up to you guys. I appreciate all the feedback; I really do; but all the talk about building my own is not going to convince me until I can see some hard price and compatability data. Right now, I'm looking at this Dell.
It's quiet— I like that.
For $1400, not including (OMG $$$) shipping I can get:
Save $40! Dimension® 8200 Series, Pentium® 4 Processor at 1.9 GHz (savings included)
128MB PC800 RDRAM (buy the rest cheaper, seperately—to get it with 512MB, I'm told I need to add $300; I think I can get 512 MB itself somewhere else for less, and then add it to the 128MB base)
80GB Ultra ATA/100 Hard Drive (giving me a total storage of almost 100GB, if you include the 20GB drive I currently have)
3.5 floppy (standard)
No Zip drive (250MB Iomega Zip Built-In Drive with One Disk [add $99]; fuck that; that's what the CDRW is for)
New Dell® Enhanced QuietKey Keyboard (also standard; I don't need wireless, as much fun as that would be if it worked right)
MS IntelliMouse® (standard, but I can get the plain 2-button mouse for $10 less. Feh, it's only $10)
1Yr Ltd. Warranty- 1Yr At-Home Service + 1Yr Phone Support (standard; I'm not paying for tech support when I have more competent friends)
Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition (standard; Professional is $100 more, but I might go for it if I hit the lottery)
Microsoft® Works Suite 2001 with Money 2001 Standard
Video Ready w/out monitor (I might get a 19" for a hundred ($86 + OMG $hipping again) unless it's cheaper to just buy their damn monitor. "Free Upgrade! 19 in (18.0 in viewable,.26DP) M991 Monitor [add $140]" or "$80 OFF! 19 in (17.9 in viewable,.24-25AG) P992 FD Trinitron® Monitor [add $290]")
64MB NVIDIA GeForce2 MX Graphics Card with TV-Out (I'm still lost on the video cards. Available they have:
64MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti 200 Graphics Card with DVI [add $120]
64MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce3 4X AGP Graphics Card with DVI [add $280]
64MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti 500 Graphics Card with DVI and TV-Out [add $330]
and a crappy 32MB one for $20 off)
FREE Upgrade! 16X Max Variable DVD-Rom Drive
24x/10x/40x CD-RW Drive with Roxio's Easy CD Creator® (though if I can get a better one for cheaper than $139 (shipping incl. because this comes with the machine, unlike the monitor), I'll just get that one.)
harman/kardon Speakers (standard; I plug the output into my stereo anyway)
Integrated Audio with Soundblaster Pro/16 Compatibility
56K Telephony Modem for Windows® XP (standard, though I really don't want to need a modem card, I'm sure I do)
Intel® Pro 100+ PCI Ethernet Network Card
Now let's talk about ways to get that price down. >=D