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Dell's Misleading Graphics Card Buying Advice

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the you-should-know-better dept.

Advertising 381

Barence writes "Dell's website includes a guide to graphics cards for PC novices which contains a dangerous chunk of misinformation. The monitor on the left, labelled as a PC that uses a 'standard graphics card,' is displaying a Windows desktop that's washed out and blurry. The seemingly identical Dell TFT on the right, powered by a 'high-end graphics card,' is showing the same desktop – but this time it's much sharper and more vivid. They're both outputting at the same resolution."

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381 comments

The article is much too kind ... (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38155926)

... using words like "misleading" and "unfair." It's fraud, plain and simple.

Re:The article is much too kind ... (5, Interesting)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156038)

I want to agree. Though it's so prevalent I almost don't notice anymore.

They may have changed it now, but I had a good laugh at the AT&T uVerse bandwidth recommendations last time a family member was shopping. They'd recommend their very top tier plan if you like to watch HD movies and listen to music. I think Netflix recommends 5Mbps for HD. There was some bizarre strata of recommended services and plans for the rest, all of which were so decoupled from reality as to be worthless.

You know regular people everywhere actually use those kinds of recommendations when selecting packages, so it's pretty shady. And of course what they didn't mention anywhere were the upcoming data caps.

Re:The article is much too kind ... (0, Offtopic)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156082)

Whos fault is this really?

We elected the politicians, we put them in office, we empowered them to look out for Corporations...

When a congress person feels the EPA is "overreaching", it is a tell that perhaps they are not looking out for the little man, instead they are looking out for the businesses that would rather we cough up their poison than filter it from the air.

Re:The article is much too kind ... (-1, Flamebait)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156192)

Whos fault is this really?

We elected the politicians, we put them in office, we empowered them to look out for Corporations...
 

You might of. I don't get a vote in my home country or the country I live in.

Bet you think I'm either a convicted criminal or from a dodgy small African country. I've never have so much as a speeding ticket, I'm from the UK but live abroad.

Re:The article is much too kind ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156338)

Bet you think I'm either a convicted criminal or from a dodgy small African country. I've never have so much as a speeding ticket, I'm from the UK but live abroad.

Well, have you chosen either to settle in a country that won't give you citizenship or to simply not even try to become a citizen? I don't think you can reasonably expect the people in the UK to want someone who doesn't live there to vote on the government running the place.

Re:The article is much too kind ... (2)

tomtomtom (580791) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156358)

Unless you left the UK more than 15 years ago, you are eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary elections, EU Parliamentary elections and national referendums (source [aboutmyvote.co.uk] ). If you've been abroad for more than 15 years, surely you could have got citizenship where you've settled by now?

Re:The article is much too kind ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156340)

My God,

Three posts in and now its the governments fault? You need to get a serious grip on reality.

Re:The article is much too kind ... (1, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156218)

There is another problem here which may explain why companies do this; if they recommend you a service for HD movies and a 3 hour movie has a single hickup during playback, they're likely to get sued. Therefore anything which requires real-time performance (something the internet cannot guarentee), they'll just tell you to get the most expensive service. That way, when they get sued, they atleast can't be blamed for knowingly recommending an under-specced service, however reasonable a less expensive package might have been.

Doesn't mean it's "right", just that ligitious people and a law system interpretting law by the letter (thus ignoring common sense and reason) forces everybody to twist reality in order to cover their asses. They've made it risky to be honest.

Re:The article is much too kind ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156274)

They may have changed it now, but I had a good laugh at the AT&T uVerse bandwidth recommendations last time a family member was shopping. They'd recommend their very top tier plan if you like to watch HD movies and listen to music.

maybe because the crap.. err, cap on lower tier plans ain't big enough to do any serious streaming.

captcha: robbing

Re:The article is much too kind ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156302)

I don't think this is totally out of whack. In our house it's very possible to have 4 HD streams on netflix going simultaneously.

Re:The article is much too kind ... (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156058)

Perhaps they are trying to balance out the perplexing "dangerous".

Re:The article is much too kind ... (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156146)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p52QJi-Ydo [youtube.com]

He should have put peanut butter on the load catcher and the boosts to the desktop wallpaper would have been much cheaper and easier.

Re:The article is much too kind ... (4, Interesting)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156156)

... using words like "misleading" and "unfair." It's fraud, plain and simple.

Of course you are right. However almost all marketing involves implying things that are not true.

fuzzy post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38155928)

frosty!

Standard? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38155930)

There is no such thing as a "standard" graphics card

Re:Standard? (-1, Troll)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156186)

There is no such thing as a "standard" graphics card

This is what happens when tech advice is written by the marketing department.

But reading the article (shock horror) it's a slow news day at PCPro and they are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. The article specifies this is for the Optiplex line, Optiplex is in Dell's business section, so people here are expected to have some idea what's going on (or hire somebody who does). If they are that easily fooled, it's their problem. If they were targeting Inspiron purchasers, then we might have an issue.

Re:Standard? (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156248)

Optiplex is in Dell's business section, so people here are expected to have some idea what's going on (or hire somebody who does).

Unless, ofcourse, the business in question is one of the millions of mom & pop shops that need a basic PC to help with the bookkeeping.
There's a difference between "buyer beware" and outright lying to your customers.

Re:Standard? (1)

kyrsjo (2420192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156446)

I have an Optiplex at my desk, and it's a fairly powerfull machine (for its time), running RHEL5 (probably officially supported). Methinks optiplex is their line for workstations needing some "ooomph" (but cheaper than the certified-for-everything line of workstations which I can't remember what's called), not just typing stuff into word?

I can barely read this article, must get new video (2)

Dr Black Adder (1764714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38155944)

I can barely read this article, I better get a new video card! Shameless comes to mind.

Analog vs digital, maybe (4, Insightful)

cos(0) (455098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38155946)

Maybe Dell is comparing the VGA port of onboard graphics vs. DVI/HDMI of a discrete card. I do notice a difference between VGA and DVI on a 17" monitor.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38155966)

VGA = analog, DVI = digital. Of course there will be a difference; granted it will vary.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (4, Insightful)

gomerbud (117904) | more than 2 years ago | (#38155972)

I agree. 1920x1080 over an SVGA port with a low quality cable looks absolutely horrible, but this is hardly an apples to apples comparison. It's hard to find machines and monitors that lack DVI or HDMI ports nowadays, so this is very misleading.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156076)

I have been using an LG 26 IPS monitor through a VGA cable. Using a Lenovo X200 with Intel onboard video there is not much difference between analog and digital connection. I should mention that the VGA cable that was supplied with the monitor is the thickest one I have handled and I have seen a few.
I also should mention that the same monitor with the same cable but with HP notebook with ATI X1300? displays an image that is unusable.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (5, Funny)

Rennt (582550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156196)

I should mention that the VGA cable that was supplied with the monitor is the thickest one I have handled and I have seen a few.

I normally don't like to do this, but wow... that's what she said!

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (5, Informative)

Pausanias (681077) | more than 2 years ago | (#38155974)

Yeah, but that difference is about an order of magnitude more subtle than shown on Dell's site.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (2, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156138)

And even the cheapest on-board graphics come with a DVI port these days.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (2)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156346)

Atom Intel motherboards don't. I also bought a Dell Optiplex last year and it was VGA only. (Cheapest I could find because management didn't want to give me a reasonable budget)

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156404)

Make that this year... March to be exact. The machine was a OptiPlex 380 SF.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156408)

Atom Intel motherboards don't.

Not so fast. Some do, some don't. Mine does, and I have two different boards from different manufacturers. Both kinds exist.

I also bought a Dell Optiplex last year and it was VGA only.

My condolences.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (4, Funny)

underqualified (1318035) | more than 2 years ago | (#38155992)

Maybe they're comparing what an LCD screen looks like when you turn the flash on or off on your camera.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (2)

blackicye (760472) | more than 2 years ago | (#38155994)

Maybe Dell is comparing the VGA port of onboard graphics vs. DVI/HDMI of a discrete card. I do notice a difference between VGA and DVI on a 17" monitor.

I agree there is a discernible difference between analog and dvi output quality, though on an advertisement image that size and quality both would be indistinguishable at native resolutions for the display.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156006)

At least on one Intel based computer I've used, the VGA output was limited to 1280x768 by default. It wasn't until I deactivated the non existent "second monitor" that it let me adjust the res upwards. This wasn't exactly obvious, so even as a geek it took me a month to stumble over that detail.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156078)

Most likely because you didn't need it that much. As I use a CRT monitor, probably the first thing I would do after finding that limit would be to google for a solution.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156012)

This is on a site in 2011 though, what supplier has provided *anything* VGA in the last what, six years? I can't think of any.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156130)

Almost all of them?

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (1)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156208)

bought a laptop lately?

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (2, Informative)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156016)

On a 17" monitor? Unless the AD/DA converters on your video card and the monitor are totally shoddy, I highly doubt it. Running 1680x1050 out of an Intel onboard card via VGA into a Samsung 223BW right now, and there is absolutely no difference between that and DVI or HDMI.

Sure, if the monitor you're using has crappy VGA inputs or you're using a crappy cable, yes, you'll have problems - problems which are nonexistent with a digital connection (there you'll just have no signal at all)... but it's not correct to say that VGA is inherently fuzzy and washed out.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156142)

Yea, I can use 1920x1440@85Hz on my CRT monitor and it is not blurry. Also, this resolution requires much higher quality cable (because the pixel clock frequency is very high) than 1920x1080@60Hz

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156094)

Maybe Dell is comparing the VGA port of onboard graphics vs. DVI/HDMI of a discrete card. I do notice a difference between VGA and DVI on a 17" monitor.

The onboard graphics on the model cited by the article has a DisplayPort, which makes it compatible with HDMI. In fact, all Optiplexes except 380 have either DisplayPort or HDMI out.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156110)

The image used is clearly a Vista desktop, which would suggest it was written a while ago.

When Vista was in use it was more common for onboard (low-end) to offer VGA only, which would, especially with crappy Dell machines, often offer a quality difference similar to that pictured.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (3, Informative)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156118)

The video from a good quality DE-15 VGA cable of reasonable length is nearly indistinguishable from that of a lossless digital connection such as DVI when using sane resolutions. It is mainly when you are utilizing substandard cables, unusually long lengths or very high resolutions (the kind that workstation GPUs push out) that the cable becomes an impairment. KVMs are also major signal killers.

Digital panels also introduce benefits and drawbacks regarding analog inputs. Many flat panels operate with 60Hz refresh rates, so the bandwidth required to transmit the signal is lower than in the days of CRTs when you often had refresh rates in excess of 85Hz. That means that you can get away with a cheaper cable for the same resolutions. On the other hand, you're now reliant on the quality of the A/D converter in the flat panel monitor. You're also reliant on the quality of the monitor calibration software. I find that many monitors suck on the second task unless you use anything other than a background of alternating black and white pixels (like the default X background).

As for the article itself, they are correct in claiming that it is outright BS. I have to go all the back to my old S3 Trio64 discrete video card before I find something that can't drive my flat panel at its native 1680Ã--1050 resolution at 32bpp. Every discrete video card and integrated onboard chipset I've had in the past decade can do it. Heck, both the Geforce FX5500 and Radeon 8500 AGP cards I have for my old K6/500 system drive my HD plasma in its native 1080p.

Do they drive them well? Picture quality wise, they're no different than the latest Nv or AMD card around. However, they do tend to chug a bit. The Radeon 8500 is especially bad under Windows 7 since I'm using hacked Vista drivers since it isn't a DX9 card, which is a requirement for Win7 (I'm sure the K6 doesn't help). But that isn't what the picture at Dell's site is showing.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156306)

Actually, WDDM 1.0 (Vista) drivers require the graphics card support DX9. WDDM 1.1 drivers require the graphics card support DX10. Fortunately, Win7 still can use XP display drivers (Win8 won't able to and will fallback to Microsoft Basic Display Adapter).

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (1)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156436)

The video from a good quality DE-15 VGA cable of reasonable length is nearly indistinguishable from that of a lossless digital connection such as DVI when using sane resolutions. It is mainly when you are utilizing substandard cables

The culprit can be the card too. Several years ago I bought a work desktop for the secretary (from Dell, hah), and the output when plugged into the 17" 1280x1024 monitor via VGA was a blurry mess - nearly as bad as the ad in TFA. I figured it was the cable and swapped it, but got the same results. After the monitor tested ok with the output from a laptop, the only conclusion was that the integrated video card was at fault. I sprung $25 for a low-end video card, plugged it into the monitor via DVI, and all was good.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (1)

Keen Anthony (762006) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156160)

Maybe. So what would have been preferable? I've gotten by with onboard graphics for years, doing no more than video processing and photography, and as a console gamer, video cards are just something I don't think about. I'm assuming that the sell is that discrete video cards offer better features for intense gaming, and that integrated graphics will eventually disappoint when the user tries to play AAA game title. Dell could just provide performance metrics, but numbers really are meaningless to most consumers. I doubt they could get away with screenshots of Crysis 2 or Skyrim showing a comparative degradation in quality. I suggest a more clear alternative: happy panda with tears of joy cursing at all the noobs its pwning vs sad pirate wallaby stoically playing a game.

Non-native resolution can be blurry (1, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156168)

Maybe Dell is comparing the VGA port of onboard graphics vs. DVI/HDMI of a discrete card. I do notice a difference between VGA and DVI on a 17" monitor.

If the monitor is a flat panel and its native resolution is not VGA, or an exact multiple of VGA, then the image can appear blurry. Every play an old fixed resolution 640x480 game on a modern flat panel?

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156194)

Besides, the aspect ratio would be slightly different if that were the case, but in this case it is not.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (1)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156204)

I regularly switch between analog and digital on my monitor and notice no such difference (as i have 2 machines using 1 input each). The only advantage i get out of digital on a 22" widescreen 1680x1050 display is that the digital signal auto adjusts faster. there is zero blurriness on my Samsung LCD (similar to pictured in the dell image)

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156254)

I've used VGA on a 17" for years on an aging graphics card, and it never looked as bad as the Dell picture.
If may be a bit more fuzzy, but I could still see individual pixels and there's really no reason why the colors would be that flat.
Don't Dell TFT's have contrast/brightness settings?

They all have Display Port (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156276)

I'd have more sympathy for them and your comment if their monitors didn't come with Display Port and every model of Optiplex bar one seems to come with displayport as well for their integrated graphics adapters.

Money does not need to be spent for some mythical increase in contrast ratio (which is what they are showing on the website, and contrast ratio is one thing which does not improve going from VGA to DVI/HDMI/DP). There's only a barely noticeable increase in sharpness in many cases.

Re:Analog vs digital, maybe (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156406)

I have a 17" monitor with both VGA and DVI inputs. I don't notice any difference at all. I certainly don't see what the Dell site purportedly claimed.

Wow! Cheating in advertising! Something new? (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38155948)

Why don't they put two naked chicks fondling the expensive card monitor behind it . . .?

And Roseanne Barr behind the cheapo one . . . ?

Then I would know which one to buy!

Re:Wow! Cheating in advertising! Something new? (1)

lhunath (1280798) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156216)

Showing chicks fondling a monitor isn't an illegal or misleading marketing practice. Misinformation is.

Re:Wow! Cheating in advertising! Something new? (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156272)

Why don't they put two naked chicks fondling the expensive card monitor behind it . . .?

You're getting it all wrong.

Re:Wow! Cheating in advertising! Something new? (5, Informative)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156364)

The big difference is that in the UK and EU there's an excellent chance that this is illegal. Strange as it may seem, unlike the US we actually require adverts to be somewhat true - and not just by tacking on a timestretched disclaimer sped up to a garble at the end. For example, the Budweiser "Fresh Beer Tastes Better" ad campaign was ultimately sunk because fresh beer does not, in fact, taste better. Although the ASA eventually cleared the advert on the basis that Bud tastes so bad it actually becomes worse as it ages, the damage was done.

I would urge as many of you that summon up the enthusiasm to send a polite email to the Advertising Standards Authority [asa.org.uk] . Since this portion of the Dell website is aimed at UK customers, they must abide by UK laws.

Meh. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38155950)

Is this really worth any kind of discussion?

The people who would be fooled by this, would not have the capacity to adjust their monitor settings in Windows, let alone possess the skill necessary to Photoshop an image's brightness and contrast.

These are the same people who have a hard time understanding that having black bars on top and underneath your picture when watching letterbox on an NTSC monitor, versus having black bars on the left and right when watching an NTSC video on an HD monitor, is the result of something called "aspect ratio".

I just hate having those black bars on my TV, durrrrrrr...

Let's not even get into an xorg configuration.

Re:Meh. (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38155980)

Most people understand the black bars as being due to the shape of the image
Not exactly as accurate as knowing the difference between aspect ratios, but close enough
This video is in this shape, but the screen is in another shape so if I make it fill the entire screen it will get distorted. Easy enough to explain

Re:Meh. (1)

savvo (199165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156260)

Did you ever actually try to explain this to people?

I have, so many times to the same people that I've given up and suffer misshapen TV in silence.

The answer is always, "I don't care about that, I want the picture to fill the screen."

Re:Meh. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156398)

The answer is always, "I don't care about that, I want the picture to fill the screen."

So it sounds like they understood but have different priorities to you.

Re:Meh. (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156400)

I have tried explaining it
Most people atleast realise that they are watching distorted TV (helps that my home setup consists of a 25inch CRT 4:3 and a 32 inch LCD 16:9 side by side, fed from the same source so its very easy to show the distortion side by side)
Some will still insist on distorting the image since they "paid for a 32 inch TV, so will use all 32 inches"

Re:Meh. (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156112)

Is this really worth any kind of discussion?

The people who would be fooled by this, would not have the capacity to adjust their monitor settings in Windows, let alone possess the skill necessary to Photoshop an image's brightness and contrast.

So you're saying it's okay to defraud people if they're ignorant?

Here's a tip: everyone's ignorant about something. In fact, everyone's ignorant about most things. You know enough to spot the fraud in the Dell ad, great, good for you. But I guarantee you that there are people working very hard to part you from your money who will do their best to find the gaps in your knowledge -- and they will find those gaps, because you have just as many of them as everyone else does.

Normally, when (not if, when) that happens, people will be sympathetic. In your case, they'll point and laugh.

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156318)

I just hold the default position that people & companies are always trying to scam me. The more flashy the advertising the less I trust it. The bigger the "deal" the bigger the scam.

I assumed this is just normal and part of life. If you are stupid enough to believe someone that is trying to extract money from you, I don't have any sympathy.

Or maybe, I really am overly cynical.

Re:Meh. (1)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156422)

No, just overly ignorant of your own ignorance.

You are still placing the blame here on the person who is buying rather than the person who is telling the lies.

Reminds me of a sound demo. (1)

falzer (224563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38155952)

I can't remember what software it was, but it included samples labeled "8-bit" and "16-bit" to demonstrate the difference between 8 and 16 bits/sample audio.
I assumed the 8-bit audio file was deliberately made noisy and grainy, because it sounded much worse than the 16 bit file downsampled to 8.

Re:Reminds me of a sound demo. (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156238)

In the case of 16-bit audio vs 8 bit, you're talking 256 times the amount of sampling data.

Re:Reminds me of a sound demo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156390)

Not really. It's the size of a single sample so when you sample same length audio with same sampling frequency the 8bit sample file will be half size of the 16bit one. The 256 times you mention is the number of possible levels of single sample 8bit = 256 vs 16bit = 65536.

Sharp pictures (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38155958)

It's still funny how in some product descriptions and user reviews some flat display is described to have "sharp picture" even though that's equal for all of them. (Of course the VGA input might weaken it, but that's not the main point here.)

Re:Sharp pictures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156046)

Cheap IPS LCD displays can look rather blass, even when using DVI. Technically they are just as "sharp" but I can easily see someone not getting that.

Spend more money (5, Insightful)

mm0mm (687212) | more than 2 years ago | (#38155970)

Dell’s page says that its picture is for “demonstrative purposes only”

Dell should rephrase it and clearly state that this is for "promotional purposes only" instead.

Well... (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38155982)

So complain to the FTC, or to competitors who sell lower-end graphics chips. This is what truth in advertising is for.

I'm shocked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38155996)

Sales and marketing people will stretch the truth or actually just outright lie to sell a product!

Demostartive perposes only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156000)

That means that its fake and exaggerated. Dell are just taking this to unrealistic extremes.
An terrible graphics card, outputting 640×480 VGA, at a very low refresh rate, may indeed make things look fuzzy.

mod 04 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156004)

moronic, dileetante You should bring

I can't tell (5, Funny)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156020)

the images look the same on my low end graphics card. I guess I should upgrade.

Re:I can't tell (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156126)

Yeah.

Reminds me of the Sony TV adds ("colour like no other" i think it was) which looked pretty colourful on my 15 year old CRT at the time.

Re:I can't tell (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156280)

Right? And what about all those 3D TV adverts? Those 3D TV's look pretty 2D to me on my old CRT.

Oh, the fun that will ensue once people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156024)

... send this to various consumer advocacy groups and their lawyers.

This is an OptiPlex (1, Informative)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156032)

This is an OptiPlex, intended primarily for business-type customers and not available on Dell's "Home" section. The likelihood of a novice user stumbling to this is low.

Not saying it's fair of them, but still--and their "help me choose" pages are rarely representative of the actual choices, anyway (this being an exception, except it's misleading).

It's ok! (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156034)

Everything's fine, since

Images shown are for demonstrative purposes only.

Minecraft (3, Interesting)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156048)

My theory is that both displays are actually showing a bird's-eye view of a Windows desktop, as rendered by a redstone emulation of an X86 processor. The visual difference is because the worse card needed the "Fancy Graphics" and "Smooth Lighting" options turned off.

Not a suprise (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156054)

A company is using deceitful tactics to attract unsuspecting customers! News at eleven.

Over Reaction? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156060)

Are we sure this isn't an overreaction? Maybe they're simply trying to show the difference between VGA and DVI/HDMI to laymans in a way layman can understand?

Re:Over Reaction? (1)

neyla (2455118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156116)

This is the "help me choose" page when configuring a optiplex. None of those even come with VGA, and all of them (including the "standard graphics card") come with HDMI.

Duh... (1)

Jimbob The Mighty (1282418) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156068)

Large corporation uses FUD and misinformation in an attempt to generate more revenue. Film at 11.

How to play Blackjack by Ceasers Palace (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156074)

Reminds me of the time I watched an instructional video on how to play blackjack by Ceaser's Palace.

Digging a little deeper. (5, Interesting)

WalkingBear (555474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156108)

From the look of the two monitors on the 'example' page, it looks like they're showing 27 or 30 inch monitors. If that's true, then the comparison of the 'low end' Radeon 3450 at a max of 1920x1200 to a 3470 or higher with a max resolution of 2560x1600 (the native resolution of a 30 inch monitor) will look something close to the example photos.

Not labeling the examples with the types of cards used, resolutions, sizes, etc is close to unconscionable for a business computer comparison / assist site.

The funny thing is that even if that's true, then the lowest end baseline integrated intel graphics chip would match the high end in display resolution, and therefore, sharpness on any monitor Dell sells.

Re:Digging a little deeper. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156236)

No. No it will not. The picture on the left has less contrast/saturation. How is that going to happen merely because the display resolution is different? It simply won't. There's no comparison of sharpness here at all. It's like you didn't even RTFA and are just commenting based on the summary and what other Slashdotters have posted (hmm)

Also, the sidebar shown on both is scaled exactly the same. The Sidebar is not resolution-independent, thus indicating that the resolutions are identical anyways. So you're double-wrong.

Re:Digging a little deeper. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156424)

Not that I think dell is in the right here but dell 30 inch monitors do exist.

It's the idea that counts. (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156124)

It's advertising, and because we know better about monitors, it's clearly not for us. But think of, say, laundry detergent commercials. The latest always makes your clothes whiter and removes more stains than the "leading brand". Well, the commercial has been the same for 50 years. And so have the detergents, more or less...

All that matters is the warning at the bottom. Think of cigarettes. They kill you, but as long as they told you so.

Re:It's the idea that counts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156154)

If everyone just knew that "The Leading Brand" was kept chained to the wall in a bunker deep underground, regularly fed a diet of cyanide and hydrochloric acid so that its cousins in the open can enjoy perpetual advantage...

Dear Friends! (4, Funny)

blackicye (760472) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156152)

Dell super video is much good. Much much gooder than standard picture. Definition is very high! Don't buy cheap standard video!
Buy Dell video, I rating A++++++++++! Very happy very sharp picture!

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156176)

this is dell we're talking about, why is anyone surprised they'd lie http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/technology/29dell.html?pagewanted=all
or use misleading advertising http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/technology/29dell.html?pagewanted=all

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawsuits_involving_Dell_Inc.

the company originally made some very high quality equipment, i've seen dell machines from the late 90s still running in commercial applications.

my current self-observed five year failure rate for dells Scares me.

Marketing needs to be simplified ... (1)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156184)

Most people care about the results, not the specifications. Indeed, most people don't understand the background information required to understand specifications. So the marketeers have to simplify things. Which is awfully hard to do when you're talking about a static image on a website, which would make low end video appear on par with high end video. So they simplify things.

Do I agree with that simplification? Not really. Do I understand that simplification? Absolutely. After all, even though it is fraudulent in the purest sense of the word it is relatively realistic when you are talking about real time rendering of 3-D graphics.

Lol (1, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156188)

And the sad part is, I remember when Dell didn't have to resort to cheap tricks to sell PCs. Speccing in non-standard and substandard parts, plus rolling over for every sad business brain-fart has destroyed that company. Such a pity, at one time their Just-In-Time business model was seen as a something of a wonder.

Try a new tactic. Go back to doing what made you successful in the first place. Put on a black turtleneck (if you must), and inform your customers that while their money means a lot to you, you simply cannot sell them machines that run like dogs anymore. If that laptop doesn't have at least 8 GBs of RAM and a 1 TB 7200 RPM HD or 256 GB SSD, with a separate video card, it cannot be sold. Your company depends on repeat business, correct?

HAHAHA (1)

kikito (971480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156214)

It even blurs the stickers on the screen!

xD

Advertisiing Standards don't seem to work (4, Insightful)

Liambp (1565081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156230)

I know that in Europe we have fairly strong advertising standards regulation and in theory every ad is supposed to be "legal, decent honest and truthful". I see the odd case of outrageous ads being challenged but for the most part we get exactly the same litany of gullible customers being sold products they don't need: €100 hdmi cables, ultimate broadband for Facebook browsing etc.

I am not sure that any amount of regulation can stop it. I have become quite resigned to the whole business and I accept it as a kind of ignorance tax. While I can be smug about the fact that I am knowledgeable enough about tech products to avoid paying this ignorance tax I am quite sure that in other areas where I am less knowledgeable I am probably duped into paying more than I should.

Dangerous? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156288)

Misinformation yes, but "dangerous"?? Is someone going to die or get seriously hurt from this?

Truth in Advertising... (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156292)

Jumbo Shrimp
Military Intelligence
and Friendly Fire

Words that have no business being said next to one another for 800 Alex!

Advertising/Marketing v. Truth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38156316)

Watch any TV advert about a 'no surgery' facelift... Please note the differences on the 'actual patients' before and after photos and videos. They are selling a medical procedure, but showing the results of a make-over including hair style, make-up and jewellery.

What will bring you more 'satisfaction?' The few hundred bucks of the make-over? Or the few thousand dollars of the 'medical procedure?'

VGA output quality (0)

kyrsjo (2420192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38156434)

Hooked up my old 386 to a 21" good quality CRT - and the picture was definitively bad (not just the resolution). This card was designed to drive a puny little 14" monitor from the early 90s, not a good-quality (it still beats many LCD's, and I laughed when people started talking about "HD", its max-usable resolution still beats most monitors that's not 2x larger)... Also upgrading my old-old PC from a "integrated" ATI board to a much better nVidia board also yielded similar results: Much better picture quality - sharper with better colors. But this was ~6-7 years ago, with 10-15 year old hardware. And that machine is still running (fedora something) - my mother insists on using it even after I gave her a much more modern machine.
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