The PC arrived on Thursday, although not without a wee mix-up. I got a Glasgow Uni machine and they got mine. But Dell and TNT got the mix-up sorted by mid-afternoon – bravo. I unpacked it and faced another little problem – it wouldn’t start. Boo. All was not lost – the Dell has four lights on the back – the first two were amber. Checked the manual – memory problem. Probably unseated slightly during transit so I opened the case. Wow. The case swings open on a hinge which is really smart – what got me was the size of the heatsink and chimney that the Intel uses. Massive. I removed and replaced the memory – pressed the power button and all was well – I took some photo’s while the case was open which can be found here. While the case was opened I fitted the firewire card from the old machine as the Dell comes with 8 USB2 ports but no firewire which the iPod needs. Clicked the case shut (no screws here thank you very much) and I was away. Got the Windows formalities out the way. Impressions – very fast.
Got the XP security downloads started and I thought I would need to dig out the Nortons disk before I did anything else but the Dell comes with a 90 day trial of McAfee which is a really good idea. No need for a firewall as I’ve got a hardware one on the router. Next was Firefox – don’t trust IE. Loading times were superb. The last test was gaming. Battlefield Vietnam looked amazing and didn’t stutter once. Joy!
Since then I’ve been installing all the hardware I’ve got and also some software – not too much. Trying to avoid the clutter that I had on the old machine but thats really delaying the inevitable. I’m also glad that I stayed away from a Creative Audigy card. The onboard sound is pucker 5.1 and all I need. There’s also a strong chance that it’s less buggy than the Creative drivers.
Overall, I’m very impressed with the Dell. Easy to maintain, fast and a tad less noisy than my old machine – it fair churns out some heat though. Last positive note – no blue screens….yet.