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What about Micron PCs?

We are reviewing Micron and Compaq PCs.  Micron has provided
us with an excellent quotation on the following system:
333Mhz Intel Pentium II
64MB SDRAM
4.3GB ATA-33 HDD & FDD
32X CD-ROM
4MB Video Card
Keyboard/Mouse
Win98
Integrated Sound Card
3COM 10/100 NIC
No Monitor

Quotation = $900.00

Is this a good deal?  I would appreciate some information
about Micron's customer support record.  Where can I find
information about the Micron company customer service record?  Thanks for your help!

Denmark Weatherburn
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denmarkw
Asked:
denmarkw
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1 Solution
 
Stevie_emwsysCommented:
I don't know about Micron, but it would be worth finding out if they use a motherboard to allow easy upgrade. Compaq use custom boards so you are tied to them for (expensive) upgrades. Their annual report is at http://www.micron.com/98annual/index.htm.
It all hinges on their support record as you ask. Myself I would go their route. Nothing against Compaq but if you can save a few $ hundred on machines you can get a few more machines to use as backups incase of problems.

Regards
Stevie
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denmarkwAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your observations Stevie.
I would appreciate any other comments from techs. with previous experience using
Micron PCs.

Thanks in advance!
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angmarCommented:
My company just bought 3 Micron's. They are well put together and I stack them right up there with Dell and Gateway. In fact Micron is the old Zeos computer company that gained a reputation in the 486 days. I can't tell from your question exactly what type of system you are ordering. We just got 3 450 PII's. They came with 3Com WinModems (which suck). I called Micron and they agreed to replace them with regular modems at no charge as soon as they qualify some non-WinModem PCI bus modems. The reason I have to wait for this PCI qualification is THERE IS ONLY 1 ISA SLOT IN THE MACHINE. (OBTW there are only 3 PCI slots). Man, what were they thinking. I hope you don't have an ISA SCSI card for a scanner, or an ISA network card, or an extra game port card, or any one of the thousands of other specialty cards that are not out in PCI yet. Oh well, enough of my ranting and raving about the death of ISA. With that being said, make sure that the supplied busses support your needs.
Now, to answer your question. Yes that is a good deal. Micron is a fine company with quality computers. Windows magazine review their tech support in their Oct 98 issue (www.winmag.com). You can go to their site and look around for their featured articles from past mags. In summary, Dell and HP were rated excellent, Compaq, Gateway, IBM and Micron were rated good, Acer and Toshiba were rated fair, and AST, NEC, and Packard Bell were rated poor. I prefer Dell (all my customers buy them on my recommendation), but you will not go wrong with a Micron.
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angmarCommented:
OBTW, I forgot, Stevie is correct about Compaq (also true of HP and IBM). They provide proprietary designs (have a bunch of engineers sitting around with nothing to do, I guess). In fact, on some Compaq's, the BIOS is on the HARDDRIVE!!!!. It makes for a pretty Bios setup screen, but you can't buy a bigger harddrive for $200 and stick it in your machine. You have to buy the harddrive from Compaq (probably for $500). Also, these 3 companies usually don't provide an installable version of Win 95 or 98. They instead provide you a "restore" disk, which works fine if you haven't modified your computer. God help you if you have. In short stay away from these companies if you plan on changing your computer after you purchase it.
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denmarkwAuthor Commented:
Experts, here is technical specs. I received from Micron on the systems we want to purchase:

Denmark,
        Here are some specifications about the client pro ce, if more are needed just email what it is and I will be more than happy to research it:
2 - USB, 1 - serial, 1- parallel, 2 - PS/2, 1 - Midi/Game, Stereo - in, out & microphone.
EN440EX:motherboard
GVC: vendor
chipset:440EX    
32KB/512KB: L1/L2 cache
1-2: ISA-PCI slots
2 DIMM max 256MB sdram: memory slots
Integration for Streamlined performance
Greater reliability through integration of "Best of Class" audio and graphics.  
Less removable parts means cards won't jump out of the slots.  Few parts
reduces connectors going bad of part failure.  Fewer connectors equals faster
performance.
Intel 440EX chipset
An evolutionof the 440LX chipset, this design supports SDRAM, Ultra ATA hard
drives and USB.
 BIOS:
· Micron/Award PnP BIOS
· SM BIOS 2.1 compliant
· DMI v.2.0 compliant
· ACPI & APM v.1.2 compliant
 Audio:
· Integrated ESS M2M, full-duplex stereo audio solution
· 64-voice wavetable technology
 Graphics:
· 4MB nVidia Riva 128 AGP graphics accelerator
  Chassis:
· Micron MicroTower
· Internal drive bays: one 3.5" bays
· External drive bays: two 5.25" bays, one 3.5" bays
· Dimensions:  H 16.3", W 7.4", D 17.3"                                                              
                Financial information can be found on our website at:  http://about.micronpc.com/
Feel free to email me with questions.
BENJAMIN GAVICA
GLOBAL SALES DEPT.
BGAVICA@MICRONPC.COM
208.898.3434 or
1.800.708.1758  X33479
Fax: 208.893.7393
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rmarottaCommented:
I feel you're better off considering a generic "PC-compatible" that uses standard parts, available anywhere.
That built-in audio is one example of what has been mentioned.  What they don't tell you is that they put it on the motherboard to save a slot. (In addition to the reasons given)
Is it a standard ATX form motherboard?
What happens when you want to upgrade?

Ralph
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ZenMasterCommented:
I have to agree with Ralph.  Many national companies are very protective of their hardware, and want to make sure they make as much $$$ from a PC as possible.  Packard Hell has their own memory chips, Sony can't build a cache to save thier skins, etc.  A small local company that builds/sells generic PC's is just as likely to support their products, probably with the same or bettery quality.  IF however you must go with a national brand, go Dell.  I have personally met an unhappy owner of almost every machine that exists (including Micron), EXCEPT Dell.
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Stevie_emwsysCommented:
Hi Zen, meet an unhappy ex Dell owner :o)
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denmarkwAuthor Commented:
What about HP computers?
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