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Subject:Dell Computers
Posted by: blorp
Date:10/29/2004 11:08:03 PM

I'm about to put a bundle down on a computer. -- Are DELLs completely compatible etc with Acid, S Foundry products?

Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: Chienworks
Date:10/30/2004 4:18:33 AM

My opinion is based mostly on personal experience at work, but so far i've found Dell computers to be pretty much incompatible with life, the universe, and everything.

Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: JohnnyRoy
Date:10/30/2004 7:13:58 AM

I agree with Chienworks. Dell computers are created with non-standard, reduced-function parts and are made specially for them to cut costs. Read the PC Equipment page of my web site to find out why I would never buy a Dell computer again.


Message last edited on5/7/2005 8:26:58 PM byJohnnyRoy.
Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: DKeenum
Date:10/30/2004 9:09:58 AM

I have a dell and the built in sound card has a lot of latency and creates chaous when I try to use midi (seperate midi card).

Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: luceses
Date:10/30/2004 9:18:04 AM

I use a DELL laptop and it is solid as a rock and my buddy uses and older PIII
DELL w/98 and runs some big projects, also very stable. The trick is, don't get the cheapest one. Luceses

Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: JohnnyRoy
Date:10/30/2004 9:44:00 AM

> The trick is, don't get the cheapest one

I bought the top-on-the-line Dell and it was a piece of junk with crippled parts that I actually paid extra for. It could never recover from suspension right out of the box. Some of the software that shipped with it never worked from the first day.

I’m glad yours works but as a rule, I cannot recommend them. You can get a better computer for less money that uses industry standard parts from some of the smaller builders.


Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: MyST
Date:10/30/2004 10:53:14 AM

To actually find out if they're compatible with S Foundry products, you'd have to check on their website...



Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: MacMoney
Date:10/30/2004 11:38:06 AM

I too have had bad luck with Dells

George Ware

Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: coolout
Date:10/30/2004 12:10:08 PM

this is funny. i've owned 5 macs, 2 compaqs, and a sony PC.

my current dedicated audio PC is a DELL P4. it has by far the most standardized components of all the PCs i've owned.

it also has the most logical and well designed internals for upgrading. the cable management and drive mounting are just like a well-built custom PC. as opposed to my old compaq that i use for internet where everything is either nonstandard (like the power supply i just replaced) or very hard to get to (like mounting a hard drive)

nearly every PC manufacturer aside from sony and apple have small-form factor/integrated motherboard crap on the low end of the product line. it's the only way to make cheap computers. apple just does all-in-one imacs on the low end which is basically the same thing except they don't try to fool you into thinking you have a normal expandable desktop like the other guys do.

in general, just stay away from anything with integrated graphics and/or integrated sound card and you'll be fine.

Subject:DELL Computers PART II
Reply by: blorp
Date:10/30/2004 3:53:55 PM

I don't know enough to put a computer together on my own -- maybe I could get some help/advice from a local music store.

Are there any computer brands most of you guys agree that work well with Acid / digital audio?

I'm going to go somewhat high-end in terms of price & the features I know I'll need (processor speed, memory etc.) but may get screwed on an incompatible chipset or something I don't know about.

I went to the Acid site but couldn't even find Acid's system requirements (I'm sure they're there somewhere). This might not be be terribly helpful tho, as the system I'm considering I'm sure surpassses minimum specs.

Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: pwppch
Date:10/30/2004 3:55:38 PM

We develop our software on Dell boxes. We have the dual Xeon boxes around the dev team. Pretty much be writing our stuff on Dells for the last 4-5 years. Always dual proc, and always latest and greatest from Dell.

I basically strip mine down from all the garbage that gets installed by default, and once that is taken care of I never have problems. Rock solid boxes, and I never have compatability issues with the 20 or so audio hardware devices I test/dev against regularly.


Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: MyST
Date:10/30/2004 5:32:38 PM


So I gather the times SoFo would recommend either BOXX or Nirvana PCs, it was because you guys had "partnerships" with them? ;-)
Seriously though, I doubt alot of Acid users know how to streamline and "de-junk" Dell PCs like you software developers.
If one does a search on the Vegas-Video forums for "DELL", they'll see that they're sometimes (if not, often) problematic.

I think most would recommend you select your options wisely when configuring your Dell PC.


Subject:RE: DELL Computers PART II
Reply by: Iacobus
Date:10/30/2004 6:23:37 PM

Here are ACID Pro 5.0's system requirements.

Remember that if you go with a vendor like Dell, you may get more than what you wanted as Peter mentioned. Try to get it as minimal but powerful as possible.

You best bet is to configure a custom-built PC from the ground up yourself with the help of a vendor who specializes in custom systems, preferably with a pro-level audio interface of some sort (like those from Echo). However, this can be a daunting task for someone not familiar with PCs.

I always suggest to people going this route to stick with one vendor when building the system. If anything goes wrong, you only have the one vendor to deal with and no finger pointing between vendors. You might pay a little more, but you'll have more peace of mind as a result.

In addition to getting a quality audio interface, think about your options for media storage. For example, if you pick a system with an EIDE hard drive, upgrade it to two drives—one for your system and one for your media.

RodelWorks - Original Music for the Unafraid
mD's ACIDplanet Page
Guitars 4 Kids

Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: grainerr
Date:10/30/2004 11:47:48 PM

What i have read recently is that in order to maintain low prices, Dell have more recently been using cheaper componenets in all their computers. So maybe some of the older systems may have been good at the time, continue to perform while the newer systems have such a poor user satisfaction rate..... IMHO. At my work place I showed my boss the laptop made by Alienware (Area 51) and he bought it. All I have heard and read is that the Alienware sytems are all top of just have to pay for it. All high end components and I believe they even have systems made for Digital Audio.
Search for reviews on their systems or check it at:

Like I said the boss loves it (major brownie points!!!) and I've had some use with it (and although we use it mainly for AutoCad which can mean large graphics files). it's rock solid very fast and well worth the price and if I ever get a laptop. it will be from Alienware
p.s. I don't work for them...really I just cant say enough good stuff about them and at least it's worth a look and probably better than Dell.

Best Regards

Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: coolout
Date:10/31/2004 3:19:19 AM

if you're going to use any mainstream PC you're going to uninstall most of the crap they put on there, go to a site like and optimize it, add at least one additional hard drive for data, a good soundcard, and generally learn how to make it an effective DAW. that's really the only downside to all great powerful technology we have now...someone has to do the work.

guess what...if you don't have some tech configure and optimize a computer for audio you'll have to learn and do it yourself.

if you won't hire a engineer to properly mix and master your songs...guess'll have to learn to do it yourself.

you can't really call dell a crap manufacturer when EVERYTHING is built to order. if you don't like the components, DON'T ORDER THEM. if you call business sales they can sell you a box even without a OS or hard drive if you want it.

Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: JohnnyRoy
Date:10/31/2004 5:54:30 AM

> you can't really call dell a crap manufacturer when EVERYTHING is built to order. if you don't like the components, DON'T ORDER THEM

Perhaps you didn’t go to the link on my web site. I selected custom components for my PC. What I wasn’t told is that Dell has companies like Creative Labs create Audigy 2 cards without MIDI ports or Digitial I/O and SELLS THEM to you as a REAL Audigy 2 card! They have nVidia build GeForce cards with half the memory of the retail version (and slower memory at that) and then SELLS THEM as if they were the REAL retail version! So I paid extra to upgrade to a nVidia GeForce 2 GTS but I didn’t get an nVidia GeForce 2 GTS, I got some Frankenstein card that Dell cooked up with lower specs than the one I thought I ORDERED.

That, my friend, is a crap manufacturer selling crap parts. They have motherboards and power supplies that have special wired connectors so you have to buy replacement parts from Dell. I know, I own one of these and when my power supply was failing, they wanted $130 for what should have been a $40 power supply. AND TO TOP IT OFF, it was the same paltry 250W power supply. They didn’t make a more powerful one for my PC (which is what I needed). Had I bought a industry standard PC I could have bought any size power supply I wanted. Buying from Dell is a dead-end purchase with very limited upgrade options.

To be fair, Dell is not the only company that does this. Compaq, HP, and many others do too. That’s how the big companies sell so cheap. But the questions was asked about Dell.

I would recommend buying from ABS Computers, MicronPC, PCNirvana, Alienware, or any other manufacturer that lists their parts (with manufacturer name and part numbers) as being industry standard so you know what you’re getting.

For example, go to ABS Computers and configure a system. You will be able to custom pick the motherboard, power supply, etc. by BRAND NAME and be sure you are getting to REAL parts not like the cannibalized parts from Dell.


Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: coolout
Date:10/31/2004 7:51:40 PM

i'll guess you bought a dimension model from the home sales line and at the time you probably thought it was a good deal.

i'm sure i don't have to say it but: you get what you pay for. if the specs seem to match a smaller company and there's a huge gap in price there's a reason.

a company like dell can continue to dominate in the mass consumer PC market because most people are focused on price and not performance.

most people do not get a consumer machine with the corners-cut when they want a true workstation. thats why dell has a business line that uses more standard parts and as you can guess is about as expensive as the smaller guys. if you want to make records and you did your homework you wouldn't even had considered a friggin' audigy card. it's a consumer/gamer card and has had numerous complaints about the quality and drivers.

remember what i said, someone has to do the work. either you pay for it or learn to do it yourself.

i ordered my dell stripped down and then installed the stuff i wanted, optimized it myself and it's the best computer i've owned. if i wanted something that worked for audio production out of the box and didn't want to tinker around i'd go to a dedcated audio PC vendor like music XPC, but i like to tinker.

I'm going to build my next PC myself.

Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: blorp
Date:10/31/2004 8:22:02 PM

What's "all the garbage that gets installed by default" that I'd have to get off the computer?

(I assume I'd have to do full UNINSTALLs on them.)

Is there any list of known stuff that conflicts with Acid? (And is famous or causing other digital audio conflicts?)

I tend to run minimal software anyway because I've had horrendous grief with some software, like Symantec Norton Utilities, etc.

I once had to re-install XP because Norton wouldn't completely uninstall, and it was causing trouble. When I loaded McAfee Firewall onto a new laptop, it had a major shoot-out with the bundled Symantec Anti-Virus. UNINSTALLING the apps didn't help, since the uninstalls are incomplete. I got stuck doing alot of this on my own piece by piece, and have been told sometimes you have to edit the system registry to delete everything.

Anyway, I want to keep this as simple as possible, so a list of known conflicting apps & extensions would be helpful. And I'm not a tech-head, so if any of this requires more than a simple uninstall, I may be headed for trouble.

Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: JohnnyRoy
Date:10/31/2004 11:04:22 PM

> i'll guess you bought a dimension model from the home sales line and at the time you probably thought it was a good deal.

Yep, I didn’t even know they had a business line that a consumer could call. I ordered it right from their web site. Never even called them.

> you want to make records and you did your homework you wouldn't even had considered a friggin' audigy card. it's a consumer/gamer card and has had numerous complaints about the quality and drivers.

Actually, I bought the machine for gaming (Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament at the time). It wasn’t until later when I got into Video that I started creating music again. You’re right, the Audigy card is crap for audio and the drivers are terrible. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with it now until I can afford to buy something better.

> I'm going to build my next PC myself.

That’s what I finally did. I’ll never buy a pre-built PC again.


Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: babyboy0
Date:10/31/2004 11:18:35 PM

I have not had any problems running ANY software on a DELL machine. DELL uses mostly standard parts (except power supplies, and customized motherboards), but everything works fine. I've had a number of DELL machines over the years, and while their customer service has gone WAY downhill, their machines are still pretty reliable in my opinion.

DELL Dimnsion XPS GEN 3
P4 3.4E Ghz
3 GB DDR2 Dual Channel RAM
2 x 250GB WD SATA drives (non-raid)
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum / internal drive
ATI Radeon X800 SE PCI-E 128MB
ATI TV Wonder Pro
Canopus ADVC1394
Plextor PX-712AS SATA DVD+/-R/RW
TDK 4810B DVD reader/CD-RW combo
WinXP Home SP2

All works very well with this, including Acid Pro 4, Vegas 5 and DVDA 2.

Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: MattX
Date:10/31/2004 11:22:16 PM

Avoid DELL like the plague.

I bought their best system...stripped it down...tweeked it a few times...reinstalled the OS a few times with DELL support....voiced my complaints with the the same "avoid" advice...


Don't waste your money on those cookie cutter machines.

D.A.W (digital audio wave) *supposedly* makes *custom* audio systems...but we found out later that they buy system's from SAGER Computers in California. We live 15 minutes from their warehouse and took a visit. I HIGHLY recommend their SAGER system's and service, D.A.W SUCKS with service and basically false advertises.

The guys at SAGER told us to either buy from them...or even better, to buy from one of their sellers who they can't undersell...

The systems are high end and properly tested. My bro has one he uses with ACID 4.0 and it's NASTY!!!


the 8790, 5690 and 4790 have great deals.

Customize there and be happy. =D


Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: pwppch
Date:11/1/2004 5:36:47 AM

I format the harddrive, and install XP Pro from scratch.

Nice, clean system. No "garbage".

Then I build it up from there.

I have more audio hardware installed on my dev box than any real-world user would even consider doing - with no problems.

I have M-Audio, Digidesign, Echo, RME, MOTU, Terretec, Prosonus, Philips, Creative, Yamaha, Frontier Design, Tascam, etc, etc. PCI, PCI 64, USB, and Firewire. Audio and MIDI. Pace and other software and hardware based copy protection.

Software I have every major host, plugin, and audio/dev tool. Multiple versions all installed and working. I have more shareware and freeware stuff than I even like to think about.

These boxes live on the net. They are firewalled and connected 100% of the time. Not on a fancy corporate network, but a typical consumer broadband connection. More nasty network software than any typical user would ever have. VPNs, Security stuff, etc. Not a problem.

My point is, except in rare conditions (mostly audio hosts being incompatible with Hyperthreading), I have a solid and working Dell system with more hardware and software configurations tossed at it than any real user would realistically need or have. Sure I sometimes have conflicts, bad drivers, badd VSTi/VSTs, etc. However, I don't have any problems with what Dell shipped me. I just works.

No matter what I have thrown at the Dell boxes, they have just worked. I can only remember one device that caused me problem in the last couple of years - a prototype audio card that was not 'released' hardware. I just wouldn't work in the Dell. The final released product worked with out an issue.

Not saying go out and by a Dell, but I multiple Dells every day, and have for the last 4+ years. The Dell is never the problem and my performance is outstanding.


Subject:RE: Dell Computers
Reply by: LarryAW
Date:11/1/2004 11:41:43 AM


I have used Dell Computers since a Pentium Pro. I currently have 2 Dimension 8200's (wife has one), a 4500, a Dell Inspiron 9000, and a Dell Inspiron 8600C (wife's). I always get a computer that does not have integrated sound. All have 1GB RAM except for my wife's Inspiron 8600C which has 768MB. I am a retired, extreme-hobbyist, and spendthrift musician (which means I have too much time on my hands and I spend money on software (or hardware for matter) like it's going out of style. I have hard drives full of "rough-draft" songs but I have never released anything -- yet. So, you can take what I say with a grain of salt. Also, I use my 8200 as an "instrument" (using Chainer; Energy XT) to record to my 4500, which helps me avoid a lot of pitfalls like killing Acid, Ableton Live, Sonar, etc., with VST instruments, or VST effects for that matter. Both of my desktops have Ego Eystems Waveterminal sound cards.

Every problem I have ever had has been due to a utility like Norton Antivirus, which thought Reason 2.5 was a virus, and I couldn't even get it to accept it manually. Also, I have had problems with Norton Recycle-bin Protection, which, in my opinion should be turned off no matter what. I have used Acid Pro since v2 and Sound Forge since v4, and I have never had any problems. And...all five of our current computers are Dell "refurbs" and each came to us like new. Neither my wife nor I could tell any of the five had been used. The refurb buying started with my buying my 8200, which my boss (wife) let me buy since it was fairly inexpensive. After being so pleasantly surprised with the 8200's condition, we continued the refurb buying with my wife's 8200.. My newest computer, which isn't even used for music (it's mostly games), cost $2,000. It's my Inspiron 9000 came with a P4, 3.2 GB GHz, 1 GB RAM, and an ATI Mobillity Radeon 9700 128MB, and a 100GB hard drive. The sound card is standard because I am not making music with it.

I absolutely, positively accept that more than a few people have had problems with Dells. Fortunately, neither my wife nor I have ever had any problems. As I said earlieir, I am a spendthrift and I have spent way into five figures on music software. I have encounted no problems attributable to my Dell computers.

I apologize for typing this and running away. I am recovering from upper back (C7) surgery (too much synths and too much computers like now). I wanted to check to see if Acid Pro 5 had been announced or see if anyone knew anything. I saw this thread and I had to respond since I have been using Dell's without any problems for so long. Whenever I need to get a new computer, I promise you it will be a Dell and it will be a refurb, unless their service and their computers completely go to hell.

I don't care how my back feels on the 8th (even Vicodin isn't helping much right now), I will be upgrading to Acid Pro 5. I hope the downloads are just $99, but if they aren't, I am still going to buy it.

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