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I recently purchased a new Dell p4 Dimension 8200. All I can say is, boy is this thing fast. So fast that games play great, stable, rock solid…
Except for a couple of glitches to start, its been a great buy. The first problem I ran into was the “stock” install of XP Home for whatever reason disabled the Direct3D and OpenGL tabs in the Geforce4 ti4200 driver.
I called Dell Tech Support (what a joke!), waited on hold for 20 mins, then got someone who could barely speak English, explained the problem. He paused, I walked HIM through the problem. He paused. Said he had to look up something. No hold music, nothing, just sat there on the phone in complete silence. I asked again if he was there, and he responded again, he was looking for something… Couple more minutes go by, and still nothing on the other end.
I finally figured out what the problem was, in the complete silence… For some reason Dell put a registry string in the Nvidia area that was called “NoTabs”. I deleted that, and all was good. Went to tell the guy on the phone, and the phone goes dead, he hung up on me!

Round 2.

I go to attach my Sony TVR20 DV Camera. Nothing. Camera not found. I’ve tried everything. Moved the 1394 firewire card around, change IRQ’s, swapped OHCI drivers, but nothing is going to get this camera detected. So I called Dell again. This time, 10 minutes on hold, to find out they are calling this an accessory issue and not a Dell issue. Nothing they can do for me… So I tried the card in another computer, still doesn’t work, tried a different cable, nope…

So I gave up. Can’t get my video camera to connect. Did a search on Google, and it seems this is pretty common, though quite a few people do have it working. I figure I’ll stick to using the Mac G4 to do video edditing.

Anyway, besides the horrible Tech Support, which I knew about well before choosing Dell, this Dimension 8200 is a great system. Just don’t waste the cash on the Firewire option, go with something off the shelf.