Good deals

Barb Pelton

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There seems to be some good deals on the Dell website lately. There's some good free upgrades being offered this holiday weekend, so I went ahead and picked up a second computer for pos.

This one will be doing light duty, so I didn't feel I had to have another work horse like I already have. I've been watching the "good deals" on www.tweak3d.net and followed their links.

Thought I'd share, although I know many, uh, most of you, are probably much more savvy in this arena that I.

[ 08-31-2003, 10:08 PM: Message edited by: Barb Pelton ]
 

MerpsMom

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Barb, when you post things like this, can you figure out a way to prevent me from reading it? I have four computers: the original Mac, my 7-year-old Gateway desktop, a 3-1/2 year old Dell desktop (the one I'm on now), and the new Dell notebook used in the shop. All these computers work, so why would I be leering at new ones?

If I brought up purchase of a new one, I'd be reamed, thwacked, and disowned.

What was that website, again?
 

Framerguy

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Cathie,

I can understand your feelings about that website!

(I many have to replace my keyboard from drooling on it!)

But, ............. would your husband really thwack&nbspyou??? :eek:

How brutal!!


Framerguy

P.S. Did you see that 52X24X52X CDRW for a bit over 50 bucks??? Gotta get THAT puppy!
 
D

Dermot

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Check out the Dell Outlet site http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfh/default.htm they in general describe the offer as ”refurbished” the reality is that they are for the most part new computers that were ordered and before they shipped the order was cancelled for one reason or an other….Dell reman these systems, more often than not it is just a software switch out…..Dell for legal reasons because of the way they sell their main products via a direct model cannot or would not sell the systems from their outlet site as new, for all intent and purpose they are new systems, systems which have being returned by customers are more often than not brokered off to computer dealers and are very rarely offered for sale via their outlet site.

Check out the AXIM PDA its kooooooool.

One thing if you are interested in an outlet product keep a check on outlet site, the offers change most day’s

Happy shopping from a BIG time DELL fan.


 

Barb Pelton

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Dermot-
I'm with you! I already have 2 Dell's, loaded! the first one was a new one customized on the website; it's 2 yrs old. I ordered a refurb model last year, (basically the same computer) for about $1000. No problems with either.

The one I just ordered has a Celeron 2.2 ghz processor. 256 shared ddr@335 mhz, 80 gig hd, cd rom, and other goodies (I didn't think I needed a second cdR in the store), some nice software--for $399. I picked up a 15" flat screen monitor at Tigerdirect for $200. after rebate. Now all I need is another barcode scanner and I'm good to go. I hope I'll be ok with the Celeron. I've never had one, and have been a little leary of them, but I'm not going to be running lots of programs or storing huge files on this one, so I'm hoping I made the right choice. The price sure seemed good.

Cathie-you would have to say the "L" word, wouldn't you? (Oooohhh, Laptop!) Did you see the deals they are running on laptops until midnight tonight?! I'm not looking again! No, I'm not. Really.

(The one I'm on right now is my first one, A Pentium 1 purchased in '96. Hooked up to cable, it's surprisingly fast.) You'd think I'd know a little more about the darn things since I have a couple of 'em.
 

MerpsMom

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I had to actually talk myself into the laptop. I was just not seeing the need. Dumb. Didn't have to need it. It's the best thing since....name your favorite. My SS loves for me to sit and watch TV with him in the evenings, and I hate it because I'm too antsy. Now, I get to cruise, surf around, write letters, clean up the POS, do research. Who can live without one? (How conspicuous a consumerism statement is that?)

Barb, from what I read, the Celeron processor isn't that bad: it's the memory you need. My laptop is 512, thank you Dell for the upgrade. Actually, even that isn't much of an issue with surfing if you're on dial-up as it's the latter which slows you down, not the PC itself. Maybe someday I'll do broadband. Leaves something to look forward to.
 

Larry Peterson

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There is much to be said for many of the deals that companies like Dell offer. Excluding Laptops, I would like to suggest that you might get your best deals from your local Mom and Pop computer store. I would compare Dell and the others to your local BigBox store and the Mom and Pop's to us.

With the Dell's you can get what you want within reason. With the Mom and Pops you can get exactly what you want. Over the years I have probably owned about 30 computers. Again, excluding laptops, all but about 4-5 I built myself. During the middle 90s I owned a couple of Gateways. Nothing spectacular; at the time I tried them to see they were better than what I could build myself. They weren't. Parts of them were used later in other PCs. My experiments with the Dell's ended when I wanted a PC with both a CD-RW and a DVD drive. This was when both were fairly new. Neither Dell or Gateway would build me a PC with both. No excuses. They just wouldn't do it. It wan't part of their offerings. I built one myself.

Many don't realize that the parts in a PC are just commidity items. Pick a case, a motherboard, memory, your video card, your drives, an operating system and whatever else you want and throw it together and you have yourselves a PC. Do the research, read the research on line or buy your local geek a few drinks and find out what your what and build it yourself or go to your Mom and Pop and tell them what you want and let them build it. Many of the deals you see are using second rate or crippled (run as fast as you can from any deal that has the word Celeron in it) technology.

Although I said in the last paragraph that the parts in a PC are just commodity items, there are exceptions to this. The exceptions are the changes to their own systems that the big computer companies make to their own systems so they aren't compatible with others. Compaq is the worst. Everyone else in the world uses a standard physical form factor for their PCs except Compaq. I remember having to pay $30.00 for an office PC for a set of special drive rails to mount a new hard drive that would cost $.50 for any other PC. Compaq goes out of their way to make things difficult. Others like Dell "tweek"' things like their Bios ond other things to make them unique. Back in the 80s, in my former life as a contract programmer, I was on a project that had some extreme special hardware requirements (2 video cards (one special), network cards and some proprietary hardware). We couldn't get these hardware requirements to work together on PCs from Compaq, IBM, Dell and Zenith. The large corp that the project was for had hardware standards and vendors that we were required to use. Those went out the window when we were able to make it all work with plain old generic PCs. Build a generic PC and you can reconfigure it as your requirements grow/change. Buy a BigBox and you may not be able to.

If you have a locally owned PC store, give them a try. Just like us they are committed to local service and their prices can give the BixBoxes a run for their money.

[ 09-06-2003, 07:21 PM: Message edited by: Larry Peterson ]
 

CharlesL

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Barb, Gah! You mean, like, you're actually LOOKING at computers??? Like, that's stuff burnets usually do cause, like, they don't CARE about, like, getting their nails done, and really cool, ah, clothes and stuff and going to the mall to meet really cute boys and stuff like that.
You must not be a real blond, I mean, cause, gah! WHY would a real blond look at COMPUTERS??? A real blond would get a burnet to, like do all her computer stuff and stuff for her, while she, the, like Blond, you know, would just walk around and, like LOOK GOOD!
The Blond Sosyeety of like America is about to investigate you. Be, like afraid. Be, like, ah, really, really, you know aFRAID!
 

jframe

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Duh, Charles, like, don't you know, like Barb's, you know, even like bought computers before. :D
 

CharlesL

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Remember this picture of Barb and her burnet friend Gale, from Atlanta?

<center>
f-973.jpg
</center>

See, like, GALE, ya know? is, like Barb's best friend, even though she IS, like a, uh burNET and all.
So, like, Barb, you know? helps Gale learn to be like, cute at the mall, and all? and Gale, like, helps Barb with her , um, computers and stuff.
 
D

Dermot

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Larry also knowen as "White Box".....Dell have a production line for these type computers that supply the Mom's and Pop's.....a little knowen area of Dell's activities, Dell can build and supply the Mom's andPop's for less than they can buy the component part's, "White Box" is a very relevant area of the computer business.

Mom's and Pop's have a big share of the desktop market.....see below.

Rgs

Dermot

BTW.....Larry from scratch how much time would one have to invest in getting up to speed to build a "White Box" and what is the differeance on pricing for OEM and box product softwear...to run a legal desktop, purchased from Dell HP or such and to build a "White Box" might save about $100.....would a $100 cover the time needed to build a "White Box"........and then what about warranty!!! who covers a “White Box” also what is wrong with Celeron.

_________________________________________________

Big PC Makers Are Gluttons For Punishment

Lisa DiCarlo, 09.04.03, 12:00 PM ET

NEW YORK - Revised data made public today underscores the reason that most PC makers seem to be locked in an endless struggle for profits.

Gartner Dataquest revised its worldwide 2002 PC numbers to reflect strong sales of so-called "white box" or no-name brands and self-built systems. The firm upped its unit shipments to 152 million from 131 million, which results in total worldwide revenue of $192 billion, not $164 billion. The data includes sales of desktop, notebook and server computers.

As a result, Merrill Lynch has increased its 2003 PC growth forecast to 7% from 5%, and to 11% from 10% in 2004. Since the growth is being partly driven by no-name companies, Merrill has not raised its estimate for PC leaders Dell (nasdaq: DELL - news - people ) and Hewlett-Packard (nyse: HPQ - news - people ).

The continued strength in sales of no-name computers is further proof that PCs, largely, are indistinguishable from one another. Computer companies that have spent extra dollars on doing something technologically unique with PCs wind up regretting it. It adds extra costs to a system that won't be recouped, because customers in large part don't want to pay for it. Case in point: many of Dell's patents have nothing to do with technology per se, but with the process of efficient fulfillment. It is this that makes Dell such a fearsome competitor.

After the boom years of the eighties and nineties, the PC industry has gone through wrenching contraction like almost no other sector of information technology. Consider that ten years ago, there were dozens of name-brand companies selling computers based on Intel (nasdaq: INTC - news - people ) chips and Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) software. Remember AST? Leading Edge? Northgate? CompuCom? Zeos International? They and many others were driven out of business by commoditization and subsequent inability to turn profits.

The past three years has seen more consolidation. Even Compaq, the company that invented the IBM (nyse: IBM - news - people ) PC clone in the early eighties, fell victim to economics (and other factors) and was acquired by HP last year. IBM retreated in defeat from the consumer PC business to focus sales efforts on businesses. That company no longer builds its own PCs, preferring to salvage whatever margins remain by farming out manufacturing to Asian companies.

The future looks cloudy for Gateway (nyse: GTW - news - people ), one of the direct-sales pioneers of the PC industry. The company has gone through several reinventions over the last few years, including a sprawling retail strategy that added burdensome costs on top of a company already struggling to contain costs. The company has shuttered many stores, laid off thousands of workers, pulled out of international markets and closed manufacturing facilities.

The company, which has lost money for more than two years, is trying to turn its focus toward consumer electronics but PCs still represent 72% of its revenue.

No wonder margins are being squeezed. According to the Merrill Lynch/Gartner data, the average selling price of a PC in the U.S. has fallen to $1,274 from $2,270 in five years. The good news is that higher-margin notebook computers have been growing faster than desktops since 1999. Still, notebooks, which represent 21% of the market today, will eventually become commodities. There is a smattering of portable systems hitting the market below $1,000.

With all the pain, one might wonder why companies remain in the PC business at all. IBM and HP might be better off without the albatross, and certainly have bigger fish to fry in terms of being a services-oriented solutions kind of company. While the PC is no longer the center of the tech universe--it's been eclipsed by corporate networks and the Internet--it is still a consumer's main conduit to the network. For businesses, no other device gives us the power to create and communicate like the PC.

As long as that's the case, a small handful of big-name companies will pursue the PC opportunity, and countless no-names will gain a bigger piece of the pie. They'll do this even though PCs are, for most, a bad business.

[ 09-07-2003, 06:16 AM: Message edited by: Dermot ]
 

Mike Labbe

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I try to support the local computer shops when possible, but they can't compete on the price.

Most of them just buy the clone parts and assemble them for you. (My own personal pc's have ALWAYS been this way because I like flexibility and upgradeable systems). A good clone from the local guys is about $650. A comparable Dell (on sale) is about $350, with shipping. I consider the dells "disposable computers". You practically get the whole thing, including o/s and some software, for what it would cost for the software. They're perfect for a POS, teenager, etc.

The local guy has a 3 year parts/5 year labor ON SITE warrantee, while Dell usually has a 1 year on site. He stands behind everything and is there to help if there's a question or problem. It's interesting how you compared them to the bigbox/small framers. It makes sense, and they feel the same way


The local shop is family owned and run, and they're genuinely NICE people who i try to support when possible. (I gave them an order for 37 clones last month for a lawfirm client) They have been there for me the past 12-14 years, and I know they'll be around if something breaks 3 years from now.

Dell does sell a wholesale line to computer dealers, but I don't know of any (in this state) that buy from Dell. All the local shops are asian owned, and import the parts directly from the orient. Most would probably feel dirty buying them from Dell, as we would buying from Michaels.


Laptops are a different story because they're so specialized and have (more expensive) proprietary parts.

Mike

[ 09-07-2003, 07:17 AM: Message edited by: Mike-L@GTP ]
 

jframe

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GALE ? :confused: like, you must be like, you know, like PAMELA ! Like Pamela who like won the like red jag in like Atlanta.
 

Tedscanvas

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This is not good folks!
My first visit and I encounter a bunch of people talking about computers!
Not PICTURE FRAMING
I should say grumbling is an understatement for the few that I did read.
High school stuff!
I joined this forum to hopefully get some professional mature advise on framing. But instead my first impression is, well........
Kind of like seeing a great piece of art or fantastic photograph in a really ****** frame.

That's all I can type without starting to feel like I'm just wasting time "posting garbage" instead of being creative, productive and gaining new found knowledge from the real pros.
Carry on "Kids"
Please don't take this too seriously, cause I don't have time to read any replies other than those related to "Picture Framing"
Have a great day!
 

Ron Eggers

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Ah, Ted?

This is a sub-forum within The Picture Framers Grumble. It is devoted, as the forum name would imply, to "Computers, Software, CMC's and Techie Stuff."

Take a few minutes from your busy schedule and read the sub-forum's descriptions. You'll find there are sections devoted to business and trade publication issues, framing issues (the main Grumble forum,) tips, classifieds, design and pure foolishness or non-framing topics (Warped.)

This structure is designed to accommodate people like you who are unable or unwilling to read everything. That would include nearly everyone, by the way.

With no malice intended, I can tell you that, if you can participate regularly on The Grumble without learning something valuable for your business on a nearly daily basis, you need to be a little more open-minded.

Please keep in mind, if you've just arrived here, that a significant number of participants are off in Atlanta to the Decor Expo, so things may be a little slow right now. Give it a chance.

And Welcome to The Grumble.
 

Larry Peterson

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Dermot, To answer your questions.

Imagine you had a nice Jag with all the trimmings. That's a normal new PC. Now take out 4th and 5th gear. That's a Celeron. Maybe not the best analogy but it's Sunday morning. It's been awhile since I looked at the specs but the Celeron suffers from limited internal cache, bus speed and math performance. Anyone that runs computationally intensive programs such as any graphics program will find their performance suffering. Budget wise, an AMD processor for the same money will run circles around a Celeron.

Building your own PC is simple. Its primarily a mechanical process. You need to learn how to mount the motherboard in the case, mount the drives, learn where the cables plug in, turn it on and install the software. A quick google search gave me this site http://www.pcmech.com/byopc/ that goes through all the steps of building your own PC. Each component has its own warrenty. If you buy it from your Mom and Pop, they will take care of it. If you build it yourself, its usually easy to figure out which component is bad. I haven't looked but I'm sure that there are many sites out there that have repair instructions.

I am writing on a PC that I built 3 weeks ago. Let me run down the specs and the costs.

Case. Reused case from another PC.
400W Power Supply $20.00 on eBay.
Motherboard. NF7-S Abit Socket A 400Mhx Bus from Motherboards.Com. Dolby Audio/network on motherboard $128.
CPU AMD XP2600 333Mhx FSB from Motherboards.Com $114.00
Memory 512MB PC2700 DDR from Motherboards.Com $91.00
Memory 512MB PC2700 from another PC $0.00
Hard Drive. 120G Maxtor. $89.00 after rebate.
Mouse/Keyboard. Reused from another PC
Floppy Drive. Resued from another PC
CD-RW. 52x24x52 Reused from another PC
DVD Drive 16x40x. Reused from another PC
Video Card nVidea. Reused from another PC.
Operating System. Reused from another PC.
Monitor. Reused 20" monitor
Net Cost for a fast PC. $442.00

Total cost if I paid for everything including a 17" monitor: about $950. I went to Dell's site and priced a similiar configuration for a Dimension 2400 for $1079. $125 more and Dell wouldn't let me configure it the way I wanted. They wouldn't let me put a CD-RW in one bay and a DVD drive in another. They also had no options to upgrade the video card.

I also priced the same configuration with a Dimension 4600 that let me upgrade the video card to an nVidia but still had the problem with the CD/DVD drives. Total cost $1212.00 or $275 more.

I also took a look at their cheapest PC at $499 and determined that I could build it for $469. So not much savings there.

To Tedcanvas. The Grumble is about all phases of running a framing business. It is framers talking to framers about every area of their business and that includes computers. The tech forum is seperated from the other forums. If you don't want to read about computers, then don't read the tech forum. The other forums have a wealth of information on framing itself. And don't read the Business forum if you don't want to know about business issues. And don't read the warped forum if you don't have a sense of humor. Seriously, read the main forum (and all the forums). We are all framers and we can converse, confident in knowing we all have shared interests in framing. Comeradery, et all. All for one.....

[ 09-07-2003, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: Larry Peterson ]
 
D

Dermot

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Larry

About the only place a Celeron would not have an application in my opinion is in Notebooks….you could end up with a heat problem…this is one of the main reasons Celeron got a bad reputation..and why Intel developed the Pentium®M …..for desk tops the Celeron has it’s place and if it doesn’t meet an specific application requirement a Pentium4 can be used, I feel that it is a very sweeping statement to dismiss the Celeron out of hand…….after all many people would not have any computing power but for Celeron.

BTW what about the labour cost in sourcing all the parts and the time spent building you’re your own system!!!

I agree that if you have a specific requirement building your own system can be one of the options one could peruse, as for high end graphics a Celeron should NEVER be offerd as an option.


Rgs

Dermot

[ 09-07-2003, 05:26 PM: Message edited by: Dermot ]
 

Larry Peterson

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I didn't factor in my labor costs for building my own systems. I figure any time spent that keeps me out of my local is money saved.

I have to admit that I've never used a Celeron based system so I will agree that for non-intensive applications it has a place. I've spent so many years among programmers and graphic professionals that need real power that I'm a bit biased.

[ 09-07-2003, 06:09 PM: Message edited by: Larry Peterson ]
 

CharlesL

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Ted, you can always go to HitchHikers. I suspect the Grumble, AND the framers, etc, have been around a lot longer than you have....
 

Barb Pelton

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Wow. Did I start this?
I don't have anything to add here except that I just got it set up today and am happy so far.
I think the Celeron is suffecient to run the pos, and that will likely be all it has to do.

Just a little FYI so that no one will misunderstand my position here--I always try to do local business first. My options were Wal-Mart (not my choice for computer purchases), Office Depot (slightly better), and a locally owned computer center that specializes in business applications (powerhouse set-ups) and service. He helped me with my first computer I ever bought and also with getting the initial business set up for computers. He's the one that originally told me that I could find better deals than what he can build them for, once I became a little more educated about the available options. He has a wonderful business, and is a great resource to mine! I call him whenever I need service, and I've referred many customers to him.

(And, uh, Charles--like, I'm a framer so I rarely get to like, "do" my nails! And Gale has a Mac! teehee) ;) Jo, Gale is a psuedo- Grumbler--lurking in the wings! She got a kick out of seeing her pic revived!
 

Mike Labbe

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Some DELL desktop deals today:

Dell Dimension 2400 Desktop, P4 2.2GHz, 128MB, 80GB, XP Home $399.00 after $50 mail in rebate

Dell Small Business LINK FOR THIS DEAL
Be sure to check all options to see what you are getting.
Scroll Down and click on "Continue"
On next page, Scroll Down and again Click on "Continue"
On next page, Scroll Down and Click on "Add to Cart"
There is a $50 Mail-In Rebate (Expires 09/17/2003)
Dell Small Biz is offering Free Shipping on new system purchases
Your Final Price: $449 - $50 = $399.00 + Free Shipping

(you'll want to upgrade this to at least 256 or 384 RAM, but it's cheaper to do this later than with Dell)


Dell Dimension 8300 Desktop, P4 2.6GHz, 256MB, 80GB, XP Home $699.00 after $200 mail in rebate

Dell Small Business LINK FOR THIS DEAL
Under "Hard Drive" section, change the selection to "FREE UPGRADE! 80GB Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM Hard Drive"
Be sure to look over every option.
Go down and click on "Update Price"
Go down and click on "Continue"
Go down and again click on "Continue"
Next page, Scroll Down and Click on "Add to Cart"
It comes with a $200 Mail-In Rebate (Expires 09/17/2003)
Dell Small Business is offering Free Shipping on new system purchases
Your Final Price: $899 - $200 = $699.00 + Free Shipping
 

jvandy57

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Be aware that the systems Mike has posted, DO NOT include the monitor. A decent monitor through Dell appears to be $200 - $300. The picture of the system is misleading. That raises your price to $699 - $799 and shipping is not included with the monitor, add another $50 for that.


Edit: Also, Sound card and no speakers, no modem, no floppy, Network integrated card but with XP Home edition that can't work on (Larger than 5) peer to peer network or a domain enabled network (Novell)
This doesn't mean a lot to most of us, but I was looking at the price to replace a system at the office. You start adding all the extras that are there and the next thing you know the system is closer to $1000 than $399.

Just, as Mike said, look closely at what you get and determine what you need.

I can't build a normal system and beat the price that most "Big Box" computer sellers are charging for these bare bones systems. You may want to try pricewatch.com or EBay for bare bones systems with more to them.

[ 09-13-2003, 10:22 AM: Message edited by: jvandy57 ]
 

Mike Labbe

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Usually the Dell deals include sound cards, mice, keyboard, network card, video card, floppies, hard drives, on-site service, free shipping, and an operating system suitable for a frame shop, home, or small business.

Things like speakers, monitors, or modems are optional items that someone upgrading probably wouldn't have a need for. Dell often has the offer where they'll throw in a free 14" or 15" LCD screen with it, or for $99 more. (good deal) They have a deal like this on tv for $499. The dells are pretty much disposables, and good for upgrading an existing (outdated) machine. it's cheaper than assembling a clone.

Personally, I prefer clones and assemble my own. I don't like the small cases the workalikes (Dell, Gateway, etc) come with. I like to have 4 or more hard drives and a couple cdr/dvdr drives and most of them can only fit one.

XP Home isn't suitable for a Windows NT/2000/2003 server, but it'll work fine with the Novell Client or a peer to peer MS network. (it's the same thing but they didn't include some of the drivers so you'd spring for the higher priced version)

It all comes down to you get what you pay for, but these are pretty darned reliable and untouchable for the price. Great for a POS PC or teen. Never for a server. Always check bus speed on the workalikes, this is sometimes where they cut corners.
 
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