Thursday, August 11, 2005

Decision - PC

Several weeks ago I wrote about trying to decide whether to get a PC or a Mac desktop to bring back to San Miguel de Allende. For several reasons I've decided to continue life with a PC. But now I have the worry about bringing it in to Mexico. We had been told by the US consulate in San Miguel de Allende that it might be a good idea to get a certified letter from the Mexican consulate here in Houston that states that we live in Mexico and would be bringing our desktop in and out of Mexico. So today Ned went to the consulate. He told them that we have FM-3's and live most of the year in San Miguel and wanted to bring our computer. They said "No Problema" if you have an FM3 registered with your Mexican address which we do. Ned asked if they would give us a letter of permission to bring the desktop back and forth.

"No, you don't need a letter. No problema." Mm......anything can be a problema. You never know, it could get confiscated at customs.

I have a high-powered Dell Dimension XPS Gen5, Pentium D 830 processor on order because Dell has been running a 34% off sale on it. But it will be a couple of weeks before it is shipped. We hope we don't have to stay here more than another couple of weeks. By the way, Dell has a box that you check when you order that says you will not export the item....not just a PC but even a monitor. It says that you have to get permission from the US government if you are going to export. I think that is strange especially when they are selling the same technology in Mexico. At first I thought it might have to do with the computer technology being exported but then I saw the same check box about a monitor.

Today a photographer friend called about a HP Pavilion desktop that is at the other end of the spectrum and is on sale at MicroCenter. A AMD Athlon 64 processor 3500+. at 1/4 the price. Even if I add 2G of RAM, video card (not sure about "integrated" video and photoshop and it has a PCI-e slot available) and another HD to put programs on while I keep the large HD for storage, I'll still be at considerably less than 1/2 the cost of the Dell screamer. Will the HP do the job? That is the question. My friend has been running a HP laptop with a AMD Athlon 64 processor with Photoshop CS and he has been pleased with the performance.

One decision made....I'll stay with the PC but now price, quality, features comparisons could drive me bonkers. Researching the differences between Pentium IV, Extreme Edition, D, vs AMD Athion 64, AMD Athion 64x2, vs dual core, dual processors, hyperthreading, etc., could go on until Ned loads the car to head back to Mexico.

I know I want.......
  • Performance from the processor
  • at least 2 G RAM
  • 2 HD' large one for storage and scratch disk and 1 for programs
  • 128 M video card that will support the Nec 1980SXi LCD monitor
  • I'd prefer XP Pro over XP media center
  • Write to CD and DVD
  • Ethernet network adapter
  • USB ports...lots of them and some on the front
  • 2 Firewire ports

Always another decision. Stay turned for the next PC decision.


Anonymous said...

My understanding (that often does not have anything to do with the facts) is you can bring in a computer for each person entering Mexico - AND it should not still be in a new box - This year with two entries under my belt and three computers brought in with no problem. FYI
John Calypso

BillieS said...

Juan, were these computers laptops or desktops? I understand that bringing in desktops without an FM-3 is more difficult. And can even be difficult with an FM-e. I'll be finding out how difficult in a couple of weeks.