Acer:real scrap, problems. What about Dell?

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I've recently had a very bad experience with Acer (see below) and I wonder
if there's any chance I'd be more satisfied with Dell. (I'm used to clones.
The last one I assembled myself and is now in its 8th year.)

Since I intend to use Linux, like in the past 7 years, I first checked their
Linux offering. It's awfully expensive. For $1000, he Precision offers:

An insignificant E4600 cpu, 1 GB RAM and 80 GB HD.

For half this price, you get an Inspiron 530 with a Q8200, 3
GB RAM and 500 GB HD. A 230 page take apart manual is online.

I suppose the Inspiron doesn't have a reset button, which is silly.
Otherwise, what's the difference?



I bought an Acer 2 weeks ago, and it was a problem after another. There's no
reset button, the on/off switch is supposed to serve this purpose when you
press it FOR $ SECONDS. The problem is it works only when the computer is
fully functional. :)

it worked perfectly with a Fedora LiveCD except that, after the CD had
ejected, there was no way to shut down the computer except pull the plug.
The support person at Staples suggested I do a Windows upgrade. Of course,
it didn't help. The computer didn't boot thereafter.

With Linux, it didn't boot at first. The BIOS is devised by Acer and there's
an option for the "Install OS". If it is set to Windows... or Auto, as was
the case, Linux won't boot. OTOH, Windows will get to the install screen,
even if Others (e.g. Linux, says the BIOS) is selected. In other words,
it's only a Linux bugger.

Unfortunately, before I found this solution, I tried "Single Channel
Memory" mode, thinking the problem might be with memory configuration.
It then took about an hour for a memory check, it was the same on next
reboots... and there was no way to get back to the BIOS. This option
locks you out of the BIOS, something I had never encountered on any
computer. In other words, the BIOS is completely fucked up.

So, I had to remove the battery to get back to the defaults. Removing a
battery is usually no big problem, but here, the HD and a bunch of wires
were in the way. There was a latch on the side to unlock the disk, but,
unfortunately, it didn't move.  

So, I called Acer's support, where I was told that they don't provide
support!! Nowhere was there any take apart manual like Dell provides.
I had soon enough and brought the computer back.

I suppose experience may vary from one model to another. My impression is
Acers are jobbers' computers: one works, the other doesn't. If the customer
finds out he got a crappy one before the bring-back period, the store deals
with the problem.  

Otherwise the customer is stuck. There's absolutely no support. Most
probably dozed out mumbling minkeys are hired on purpose.

I've had my lesson: I'll never buy another Acer product.

Re: Acer:real scrap, problems. What about Dell?

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For the $1000 you can build a 64-bit system as shown in the last 1/3
of this article:,2817,2337414,00.asp

For a Linux box, I imagine it would be a lot cheaper

Re: Acer:real scrap, problems. What about Dell?

seth1066 wrote:

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Yes, for around $1000, you can build a clone with a Q8200 that will run
anything thrown at it. But what about the Dell Inspiron at half the price?
How does it differ? Will the mobo or PSU flake out after 2 years?

Re: Acer:real scrap, problems. What about Dell?

Priam wrote:
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Dells tend to be reasonable, based on using them at work for many years,  
and having one of their laptops at home. However, the one big advantage  
of the build-it-yourself is the ease of upgrade. Video getting old and  
slow? Buy a new video card. PSU or mobo failure? Buy a new one, easy to  
fit. possibly even get an upgraded mobo. Similarly with other bits. A  
lot of big-name machines have custom bits inside that make it impossible  
to upgrade them easily.

The downside of a custom machine is that just occasionally you end up  
with a set of bits that don't play nice together. I have a mobo that was  
really unhappy and the result was an unreliable machine. As it was my  
first foray into Core 2 processors I couldn't swap bits around to find  
the real problem, so I eventually bought a different brand of  
motherboard and the machine has been reliable since then.

da (without the space)
So many gadgets, so little time...

Re: Acer:real scrap, problems. What about Dell?

Dave {Reply Address in.Sig} wrote:

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Hum... The Inspiron 530 has an Intel video chip in the mobo. Since there's
an option for an ati radeon hd 3450 pci-e, I suppose there's a PCI-E 16x
slot for any other eventual video card.

I also suppose that I can install a TV-Tuner.  

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Here, yes, this could be a problem. Even if I could fit a new PSU, the plugs
might not fit in the mobo, and vice-versa.

Anybody has experience with this?

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If I buy a clone, I'll need all new parts. The store will have to see that
they fit together. My only worry about a clone is the higher price. I could
get a clone with a Q8200, 4 GB RAM instead of 3 and an Asus MyCinema TV
tuner for $1025 (CAN). Take off $75 for tuner and RAM, you're still $450
above Dell's price.

Of course, I'd have an Antec Sonata III case with a good, made for Antec,
PSU, an Asus P5Q SE P45 Mobo, an Asus PCIE EN9500GT video card and Kingston
memory. It's a better computer but, if the Dell lasts 6-7 years and causes
no worries, it would do.  

What I dread about the Dell, is if I find out it's a piece of crap like the
Acer. (Inspiron seems like their lower quality line, vs Precision, like
Compaq for HP.) I'd then have to pay for shipment + 15% reshelving. In such
a case, one migth as well keep the CPU and scrap the rest. :)

Did you have Inspiron compuers at work?

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