General discussion


Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

By Chromacat ·
I am looking to purchase 20 desktops to replace end-of-cycle machines.

Based on quality of support, I am wondering which vendor to choose. So far I have requested quotes from IBM, Dell and hp.

Machine specs:

P4 @ 2.8 GHz; 512 MB RAM; 80 GB HDD; CD-RW Drive;
Floppy; On-board Video; Gigabit NIC; WinXP Pro; Office 2003 Basic; 17" Display

System support: 3 yr. NBD 9x5

IBM's quote is the highest of the 3 vendors (by about $2000), but I have heard in the past that IBM support is superior to hp and Dell.

I have purchased from Dell before, but my recent experiences with their support have been disenchanting at best. However, I have never purchased any Optiplex systems -- Wondering if support for these is better since they are geared for the corporate environment.

Haven't dealt with hp support before, so I am curious how they measure up as well.

Like many in IT today, I am a one-man shop serving multiple locations, so getting the best support is a key factor in the purchasing decision. Any comments/suggestions will be much appreciated.



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I have worked with all three....

by caestelle In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offe ...

I have worked with all three, but Dell the most. I have been very happy with Dell's support, but we do have the premier support, which allows us to do our own warranty work and just send in the faulty parts (so that limits our interaction). I haven't had to deal much with IBM's support; but when I have, I have had good experiences. I have not had to deal with HP in the corporate environment, but when I have supported some home users doing side work, I have not been too impressed with HP's support. But, as I said those were home users and I would hope that they would give a little higher quality level of support in a corporate environment. So basically, I like both Dell and IBM?but the only thing that makes me lean more towards Dell is the fact that IBM costly significantly more like you said. Well that is my two cents!!!

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Leaning toward Dell as well

by Chromacat In reply to I have worked with all th ...

First off - thanks for the quick response to my post.

I am leaning toward Dell as well due to cost, but the difference between their quote and IBM's comes down to IBM's costlier display - maybe I could swing a deal elsewhere for monitors and close the gap. I know it would be pretty hard to sell the costlier IBM quote to mgmt solely on better support - 2 large is too large.

Regarding IBM business desktop support - do you know whether it is US based or offshore?



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Not sure...

by caestelle In reply to Leaning toward Dell as we ...

I am not sure where IBMs support is located, or if that will change now that they have sold their desktop line.

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US based

by Oz_Media In reply to Leaning toward Dell as we ...

I nCanada it is Canadian based and I have dealt with teh Customer service HO which is in teh states, Carolinas maybe? Not too sure, he had a cool accent though.

BUT, the onsite serive is usually farmed out to local companies that perform work as IBM authorized agents.

As far as IBM vs Dell, The hardware is better, the R&amp is liht years ahead, the Business INtellistations are extensively tested and tweaked dto MANY types of professional software (Auto Cad and other intensive apps). And the support is far better than DELL. All in all, as always you get what you pay for, you want CHEAP, you get CHEAP, you want QUALITY you pay for QUALITY.

I have cleaned out more than my share of Dell hardware only to replace it with IBM (and Compaq in one case).

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Really?? That is Great

by Chromacat In reply to US based

It would be nice to speak to someone I can understand the FIRST time. I am quite tired of the overseas phone support I get from Dell. "Thank you, come again!" (Apu, The Simpsons)

Others have mentioned that IBM has sold their desktop line. Do you think this will make a difference in the quality of support?

Regarding getting what you pay for, that is certainly true. But it is sometimes difficult to get management to see beyond $$$. Hence, I am leaning to Dell but desiring IBM.

However, I am making progress in getting them to see things from my perspective. Better support = less time spent on repair and more time spent on projects that build the business.

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Much better

by Oz_Media In reply to Really?? That is Great

Firstly support, IBM was sold to China, not India, so no Apu at THIS time.

I think IBM will retain it's NOrth American presence as it requires highly skilled techs onsite and therefore IBM MUST retain a local presence regardless of where some desktops are being built now(I heard Thinkpads, it's probably both though, even though MY Thinkpad has manufacturer stickers from around the globe).

DELL is a mail order company, they don't actually exist and neither does quality or support from them. I have NEVER had a problem showing a company the benefits of a real desktop over a DELL. Even the cheapest bugger will cringe at a $150.00/hr repair bill, they will try everything to weasle out of responsibility I find. Not to mention data loss due to low end or loss leader hardware. It seems Dell like sto buy up everyone's crap on clearance and liquidation deals and sell it in their PC's. I have found that out of a half dozen I USED to work with, identical machines, different hardware. Now if you download a BIOS update, how can you possibly believe it has been tested with YOUR configuration if parts are so interchangable? It works with a seagate or WD hard drive, an NVidea or ATI graphics card etc. Sounds like a pretty dodgy BIOS update to me.

Standardization, QUALITY hardware and onsite support makes IBM more favorable to me. And their price isn't THAT exorbitant when you consider POSSIBLE costs due to poor support or even worse failed hardware, downtime, added costs for stuff they deem not covered etc.

IBM and Compaq, 1-800 # that gets ANSWERED, people ask a couple of questions and then tell you a tch will be in touch with you to arrange replacement within 48 hours. Done deal, no problem and time/money is saved. You also get the same part that failed, unless replaced across the board due to a noted failure by IBM. IN 5 years if you had replaced EVERY part piece by piece in 4 desktops, you still have the same 4 desktops you invested in.

Dell is a farce to me, guys that have worked for cheap-*** companies in IT for years will swear by them, usually because they are ONLY concerned about budgets and costs (at one time Dell was even a viable contender), I would think the boss would be bettter off with all the staff working 24/7 instead.

Best of luck with your sales pitch, make it a good one, save yourself and everyone else the hassels of junk.

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I could not agree more

by rbncs In reply to Much better

I completely agree with OZ_Media on this subject. I have noticed the sames kinds of things with Dell hardware as well. If you are looking for return on investment, productivity and uptime, than IBM is the only game in town in my opinion. I have had several problems with Compaq that has driven me away from them and my work with HP has had a similar path. The nice thing about IBM is if they replace a part on a global scale they always replace with upgraded not downgraded equipment.

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Dell a farce - I'd like to counter

by Andrew Martin In reply to Much better

Perhaps Oz_Media has had a share of problems with Dell hardware in the past. Perhaps not - I cannot say.

I can say that in all of the companies where I have worked (large and small) Dell hardware has always been the best thing we have bought. And I continue to buy it today. And most likely will in the future.

Support is great - once you figure out what they want - (go get your DCSE for example) - the hardware is bloodless to work on in comparison to HP, Compaq, IBM, whitebox and all of the others that I have worked on.

In addition if you are not getting the Dell On-site warranty for the three years then I can say that you are selling yourself and their support short.

Keep in mind that I have only worked in the corporate arena, but I am a Dell fan overall. If their hardware breaks they fix it next day. Their online support is outstandinf and I have yet to have a problem that cannot be fixed by a little smarts on my end and some help from them when i need it.

This is tech support right? If you want a perfect piece of hardware that never fails you'll need to spend $5K per PC and get Panasonic Tough Books. Otherwise - stop the whining about it all and look at the mottom line. I can get two Dells for the price of some perfect "high end" PC. If it fails I have a replacement - I save the company money - I keep things running - and that is after all my job.

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Question about 'bloodless'

by Oz_Media In reply to Dell a farce - I'd like t ...

Forgive my ignorance but that is a new term for me when it comes to PC's. I see two possible things it MAY mean, but correct me if I am wrong.

BLoodless: MAY refer to not being proprietary. When it comes to standards, you WANT 'bloodless' proprietary in replacement hardware, especially if it is under warranty, it is tested and designed to work efficiently, OTHER OEM's actually DO optimize the proprietary hardware they use by customizing the BIOS to ensure maximum performance between hardware.

If you meant BLOODLESS as in easy to install. YOU obviously haven't worked with IBM or Compaq over the last few years. They BOTH offer completely toolless chassis and parts (drives) don't even get screwed into the frames, it clips in and out in seconds. The entire drive varriage just swings awat from teh PC (or lifts up and out) you slip the new hardware in and you're done in FAR less than 5 minutes.

Now you DID mention that you need the Dell onsite warranty. This is included in professional workstations, 3 or 5 years onsite next day service. But the phone support from the others makes the phone support form DEL a laughing stock. YEs I have worked on MANY DELL's, I sigh everytime someone calls me with a Dell because I KNOW what I have to face to get the right parts sent out.

Hopefully that explains my stand and why I considered Dell a farce. They are okay for Joe Home user but are simply a CHEAP solution when it come to a professional workstation.

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I started a thread about Dell....

by cp7212 In reply to Dell a farce - I'd like t ...

Read on for problems with Dell and then pass it on to management....

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