View Full Version : FAQ for poker config on new Dell systems?

06-27-2005, 08:33 AM
Everybody buy Dells. Everybody here just wants to run two 2001FP monitors and get max performance while connected to 3-4 poker sites, and maybe have it last for 3 years or so before having to buy a new computer. Everybody I know gets confused as hell trying to pick out the best deal when buying a new Dell.

Wouldn't this be a good topic for a FAQ from one of you smart people in the know?

I'm going through it right now - planning to buy a new Dell this week or next. I shouldn't admit this but it really doesn't matter to me if I spend $500 or $2000 (either one is cheap compared to poker earnings plus other value of computer), only I don't want to spend $2000 if $500 will do.

Ideally, I wish there was a FAQ that laid out 2 or 3 configurations for good poker systems and briefly explained the points that make a difference.

Failing that, I'd be grateful if anybody could answer a few specific questions:

First, do I want to stay away from the cheaper Celeron processors? I'm currently using an E-machines 600 MHz Celeron box that crashes all the time while playing poker (nothing else I do makes it crash). Some people blame the Celeron chip. But then, 600 MHz is awful puny. So my best thought here is to go with the 3.0 GHz Pentium in the 3000 series. Sound good?

Second, I read the monitor FAQ and mainly got from that that I want a video card with 2 DVI outs. All the Dell options seem to have one DVI and one VGA, at best. Lower end offer "Integrated Intel® Extreme Graphics 2" which sounds like a built-in graphics card, which the FAQ says is a no-no. My best thought here is to take the "Integrated" option and buy an aftermarket card of some type to replace it. I understand this means I have to then disable the on-board card and enable the new card through the BIOS at start-up, which scares me a little as a novice. Is this right? If so, what aftermarket card should I get and will it come with detailed instructions about what to do to enable it?

Third, performance wise, I presume anything from the 2.4 GHz Celerons on up can handle the minimal processing needed to 8-table a couple poker sites. Is that right, or will the faster processors make a difference?

Thanks for any help and sorry for my stupidity. And props, props, props to anyone who feels like doing an FAQ on this, I think many would be grateful.

06-27-2005, 04:10 PM
I am bored as hell at work so I figured I would take a crack at this.

System Requirements for PP and Skins (from the party poker site):

Windows 95/98/NT4/XP/ME or 2000
Pentium system with at least 32MB of RAM (64 MB required if you want to see the animations also)
Download size: Approx 3.1MB
Sound card if you're into hearing our audio
Screen resolution of at least 800 X 600 pixels with minimum of 256 colors

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Processor: I have ran 4 tables on a 500mhz P3 with 256 ram running XP. The computer did lag once in a while but I was able to play with no real problems (maybe slight delays from the moment you click to the moment the action happens)

If you have poker tracker running (which you will need if you are multitabling), you are going to take up some more processor power and ram. Anything extra (MP3's? Movies? Sleazy internet webcam chat?) you're gonna need more power.

That being said. 512mb of ram and any processor that is gonna be in a new pc from DELL (or similar PC company) should have enough power to multitable (with 4-8 tables). Your main concern as you add more tables is NOT going to be the processor(ie Pentium 4 or celeron)), it's gonna be the RAM. More tables = more ram. This is just a guesstimate, but you are probably going to want around 512mb RAM for 4-8 tables, (and you might even get away with 12 tables) But anything more than that I would really recommend getting closer to 1gb of ram

Also, some of the sites require more computing power than others. The party poker (and skins) software use very little computing power when compared to some of the other sites (ie Full tilt) that have the fancy shmancy graphics.

As for the video card, there are many cards on the market for dual display. If you just want it to play poker, there is really no need to get a dual DVI card. Most monitors will need an adaptor for the DVI and wont take advantage of it. Dual VGA is good enough. I think you will be hard pressed to get a PC that already has dual VGA outputs but installing them is pretty simple (open the PC, put the card in, restart the PC)

As for the monitors, Party Poker windows are 800x600 pixels. If you want to be able to see 4 windows at a time on each monitor, you are going to want a resolution of 1600x1200 so they dont overlap. For this you are gonna want a monitor that is at least 17" so that you dont go blind. If you have a small space to work with, you might want to get a Flat Panel monitor, as these take much less space.

Hope this helps

06-29-2005, 01:02 PM
Thanks, useful info here, but not exactly what I meant.

How about if I say it like this: Could a couple of you really computer saavy folks go to the dell web site, configure a system ideally suited to play 8 tables, run PT and either gametime or player view or the like, and play music in the background while playing poker. Then cut and paste the resulting system, with any comments you deem appropriate about the choices you made. If one or two people so this, then any other experts who don't want to go through the whole exercise, could you comment about the set-ups others give?

I kind of doubt this will work, because to those with the required knowledge its probably boring and time-consuming, but if anybody feels like doing it, I feel pretty sure it would be a big help to several others besides myself.

Maybe as a starter, here's the way I'm leaning now:

Dell 3000 series Pentium chip (comment - rumors of incompatibility of Celeron chips with some programming, small price difference)

Upgrade processor to Pentium 3.0 GHz (comment - 3.0 plenty of power, not cost effective to go with models that allow upgrades to 3.4 or 3.6)

upgrade to 1GB Dual Channel DDR SDRAM at 400MHz (comment - RAM more important than processor for having 8 tables + PT open all at once)

upgrade to 160GB Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM Hard Drive (comment - max size drive for big PT databases and music)

downgrade to no monitor; buy two FP2001s separately for better price, $912 total

video card - no options presented by dell for this system - take whatever comes and replace with aftermarket card that can run two monitors

Base price = $639 plus $912 monitors plus $100 video card = $1651

06-29-2005, 07:42 PM
sounds like you have everything under control memphis...no need for anybody to take time and do what you asked.

What you listed would be perfect

07-07-2005, 04:39 PM

Thanks for your post. Exactly what I was looking for!

I do your system as designated and get $702 (after 20% discount) not $639. Is there a coupon you're using in addition to the 20% off?

(1) Anybody know anything about quality of Dell wireless keyboard and optical mouse or should I buy separate?
(2) Recommendation on upgrading warranty length to 4 years?

Thanks. Pat

07-07-2005, 11:59 PM
(2) Recommendation on upgrading warranty length to 4 years?

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I'd downgrade the warranty if that was an option. I think PCs are the kind of thing that long warranties are a bad deal.


07-08-2005, 09:35 AM
Thanks for the advice. I think I will remove it.

07-08-2005, 06:43 PM
Also, you might consider removing the security subscription. On price watch you can find Norton Internet Security 2005 for 24.99 as opposed to 63.00. Actually, for some tech savvy folks who are self-confident, building your own PC off of price watch or new egg is actually way cheaper than buying a dell, only it doesn't come with that "fabled" logo and tech support.

07-08-2005, 06:50 PM
Memphis where can i get two 2001 Fps for 912 dollars?

07-10-2005, 05:44 AM

I do your system as designated and get $702 (after 20% discount) not $639. Is there a coupon you're using in addition to the 20% off?

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Memphis where can i get two 2001 Fps for 912 dollars?

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Frigging Dell changes prices and deals every day. I can't figure it out. Some folks on here and on fatwallet that have been watching the prices for a while might speak up here, but for me I just run the system I want using every coupon I can find, then copy all the results into a word document and save it and wait a week and run it again. I still haven't bought my system yet for that reason - I'm waiting to find a lower price than any I've seen so far.

On the 2001FPs, the Dell price is a bit over $500 this week with the best deal, versus $456 the week I wrote that. Wait a couple weeks and check every few days and they're probably drop back under $500. Also, check www.fatwallet.com (http://www.fatwallet.com), Hot Deals forum, and search titles for 2001FP. I saw a post a few days ago there with a really good price from a non-Dell source - I don't know what that does to warranty and all, you'll want to ask about that.