Dell is having a $500 off sale on notebooks so I ordered an Inspiron 6000 with 1.86GHz Pentium M and DDR2 533FSB. I went max on the drive size but barebone on memory because memory is much cheaper elsewhere. Total price tag including tax and shipping came to $1087. Not a bad deal I must say. BTW, the sale ends Sunday.
I've been browsing around for the ideal 2G (2x1G) DDR2 533MHz 4200 DIMMs for the notebook but haven't yet figured out which brand offers the best price/performance ratio. Corsair is the cheapest, followed by pqi. OCZ DIMMs received good review but there were some concerns about voltage requirements in some versions. Price range for 2G was rather wide too: $160-$320. But then even $320 is cheap when compared to how much Dell was asking for 2G ($1000). Crazy.
There were some conflicting posts about whether the latest Inspiron 6000's memory controller operates at 400MHz or 533MHz. I think the currently shipping Inspiron is running at 533MHz though.
For some reason, I overlooked the fact that 6000 came with a wide-screen which meant that I am getting 1280x800, not 1280x1024. So I cancelled my order (a saga in itself) and reordered one with 1680×1050. I briefly thought about getting the 128MB version of the GPU, RADIEON X300x16, for Longhorn but after reading Longhorn's long list of hardware requirements for optimal performance, I dropped the thought. I also dialed back the CPU speed to 1.6GHz to get the same price. With 2G, the speed difference should be insignificant for the kind of work I do. Now I just hope my other order does get cancelled.
Why am I getting a boring configuration? Just like cars, I've lost interest in the latest and the most powerful gadgets a while back because I realized that, given the rate of change in feature and price, it's like coveting disposable lighters. Now I just use computers or drive cars as what they really are: tools and rides.