Looking to buy $1000 PC for design school

Hi,

First off, I really don't know much about computers. I'm starting at design school in August and I'm looking to buy a desktop for my apartment. The main reason I'm buying a desktop is for autocad, photoshop and other design programs. I've been told autocad works better on PCs, and I've never got used to Macs. Would this system work (or should I worry about the graphics card):

DELL XPS 8500 Fast track config43, Windows 8, 64-bit, English
Unit Price $1,024.99
Catalog Number: 29 FXDWPP11M

XPS 8500 XPS 8500 Fast track config43
Operating System Windows 8, 64-bit, English
Processors 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3770 processor (up to 3.90 GHz)
Memory 12GB Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz - 4 DIMMs
Video Card NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 640 1GB GDDR5
Hard Drive 1TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive 6.0 Gb/s
and Dell S2740L Monitor (27")

I'm open to other suggestions! My budget is $1000-12000

Thanks for any help!
7 answers Last reply
More about buy 1000 design school
  1. Don't bother with Dell. Build your own. Weak GPUs, proprietary motherboards, slow hard drives and incredibly weak power supplies cripple these computers. Combine that with very little upgradability (if any) and you've got a system that will last you maybe 1 - 2 years tops before you chuck it. If you build your own, you will get a system that will last you five years before an upgrade is necessary and you won't have to put up with sub par technical support on top of that. Now if it's your first time building I can understand getting cold feet but chances are you know someone in IT who can assist you with building a system or there's a local part shop nearby that can assemble the system for you.

    Try this:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($279.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($134.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB Video Card ($175.66 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1002.13
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-16 15:24 EDT-0400)

    Then add whatever monitor you want. I suggest a good 24" IPS Panel.
  2. g-unit1111 said:
    Don't bother with Dell. Build your own. Weak GPUs, proprietary motherboards, slow hard drives and incredibly weak power supplies cripple these computers. Combine that with very little upgradability (if any) and you've got a system that will last you maybe 1 - 2 years tops before you chuck it. If you build your own, you will get a system that will last you five years before an upgrade is necessary and you won't have to put up with sub par technical support on top of that. Now if it's your first time building I can understand getting cold feet but chances are you know someone in IT who can assist you with building a system or there's a local part shop nearby that can assemble the system for you.

    Try this:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($279.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($134.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB Video Card ($175.66 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1002.13
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-16 15:24 EDT-0400)

    Then add whatever monitor you want. I suggest a good 24" IPS Panel.


    Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it.
    Couple of questions:
    1. Would I be running any risks by trying to make a computer as opposed to buying from a big brand? (if things mess up 6 months down the line, chances are I will not know how to fix them...)
    2. If I bought all the parts you listed, would that be all that is needed to make a computer? (I have no idea)
    3. If I wanted to try to put it together myself, how would I find out how to do it? or, If I wanted to take it to a part shop for them to do it, how much does that sort of thing cost?
    4. I see you went with windows 7, why? I admit, I bought a small touch screen laptop a few moths ago and have not really got use to 8 yet, but any other reason?

    Thanks
  3. Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor is a very solid choice. I shouldnt see a problem with the build especially for video rendering
  4. What part of the computer would enable it to have an hdmi output? The case?
  5. johnnferguson said:


    Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it.
    Couple of questions:
    1. Would I be running any risks by trying to make a computer as opposed to buying from a big brand? (if things mess up 6 months down the line, chances are I will not know how to fix them...)
    2. If I bought all the parts you listed, would that be all that is needed to make a computer? (I have no idea)
    3. If I wanted to try to put it together myself, how would I find out how to do it? or, If I wanted to take it to a part shop for them to do it, how much does that sort of thing cost?
    4. I see you went with windows 7, why? I admit, I bought a small touch screen laptop a few moths ago and have not really got use to 8 yet, but any other reason?

    Thanks


    1. The only real risk you would run by building your own is that you're pretty much on your own for technical support and getting parts replaced. Thankfully most manufacturers make it really easy to get RMA's (returned merchandise authorization) in the event something goes wrong with your product(s). But otherwise any, repeat - any self build system you can buy will be exponentially better than anything you can get from any big box manufacturer (Dell, HP, Gateway, Acer, and so on).

    2. Yes. I select my components in such a way that everything you need is included with one part or another - and there's no need to buy any additional cables, LED fans, any additional accessories for the most part. If you want to add that stuff it's your choice but for the most part it's not necessary to purchase those things. If you want to take your components to a part shop and have them put it together how much they charge depends on the shop. You'll probably pay anywhere from $25 - $75 depending on how long it takes to assemble.

    3. There's *TONS* of resources out there that will help you assemble your PC. Just a quick Google search on "build your own PC" will generate like 5,000,000 results. After you get the case wires hooked into your motherboard, everything else hooks into place. There's a set place for your GPU, your PSU, your optical drives, your SSD (if you choose), and so on.

    4. I generally prefer Windows 7 over 8 - it's a much better operating system IMO. There's things I like about Windows 8 and things I can't stand (such as Metro and the App store). The desktop on Windows 8 is good and so is the task manager but that's about it.
  6. g-unit1111 said:
    johnnferguson said:


    Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it.
    Couple of questions:
    1. Would I be running any risks by trying to make a computer as opposed to buying from a big brand? (if things mess up 6 months down the line, chances are I will not know how to fix them...)
    2. If I bought all the parts you listed, would that be all that is needed to make a computer? (I have no idea)
    3. If I wanted to try to put it together myself, how would I find out how to do it? or, If I wanted to take it to a part shop for them to do it, how much does that sort of thing cost?
    4. I see you went with windows 7, why? I admit, I bought a small touch screen laptop a few moths ago and have not really got use to 8 yet, but any other reason?

    Thanks


    1. The only real risk you would run by building your own is that you're pretty much on your own for technical support and getting parts replaced. Thankfully most manufacturers make it really easy to get RMA's (returned merchandise authorization) in the event something goes wrong with your product(s).

    2. Yes. I select my components in such a way that everything you need is included with one part or another - and there's no need to buy any additional cables, LED fans, any additional accessories for the most part. If you want to add that stuff it's your choice but for the most part it's not necessary to purchase those things.

    3. There's *TONS* of resources out there that will help you assemble your PC. Just a quick Google search on "build your own PC" will generate like 5,000,000 results. After you get the case wires hooked into your motherboard, everything else hooks into place. There's a set place for your GPU, your PSU, your optical drives, your SSD (if you choose), and so on.

    4. I generally prefer Windows 7 over 8 - it's a much better operating system IMO. There's things I like about Windows 8 and things I can't stand (such as Metro and the App store). The desktop on Windows 8 is good and so is the task manager but that's about it.


    Thanks again! Final question, does the build you gave me have an hdmi port? Is that normally in the case?
  7. johnnferguson said:

    Thanks again! Final question, does the build you gave me have an hdmi port? Is that normally in the case?


    No that's on the GPU. The one I included has it but any GPU you get in the $150+ range will have 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI, and 1 x DP.
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