Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Build or Buy from Dell?

Last response: in Systems
Share
January 15, 2008 8:39:12 PM

I am having trouble deciding wether I am better off building a system on my own or buying from dell. Under normal circumstances I would always chose to build myself as it is normally cheaper and I enjoyed building my previous systems, however this time it is much cheaper to buy from dell. I was either going to buy from dell:

XPS 420
Intel® Core™2 Q6600 Quad-Core (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB)
Memory 3GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 4 DIMMs
Video Cards 512MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
Hard Drive 500GB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
Dell Media Card Reader included in Dell Bluetooth Package
Operating System Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium with Digital Cable Support
Optical Drive Blu-ray Disc Combo (DVD+/-RW + BD-ROM)
Bluetooth and Media Reader Dell 19 in 1 Media Reader with Bluetooth
Adobe Elements Studio Adobe Elements Studio for XPS™ 420
shipped with tax for $1050 or

build this:
SILVERSTONE TJ-03 SLVR Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
ASUS P5K-E/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
EVGA 512-P3-N802-AR GeForce 8800GT Superclocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready SLI
CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply - Retail
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail
G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ck
Arctic Silver Ceramique Thermal Compound - OEM
ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail
ARCTIC COOLING Accelero S1 VGA Cooler - Retail
for $1200 (I will use a 1TB HD and 2 24" monitors from my last build)

Do you think its worth the extra time and money to build it myself so I can overclock it? In this case I don't think I need the extra power gained in the overclock and I want a very stable sytem. Any advice is appreciated.

More about : build buy dell

January 15, 2008 10:26:21 PM

Build, better case, mobo, and PSU. Dell will limit what you can do in the BIOS. No upgrade issues in the future especially for PSU, RAM, or CPU. Dell screws with their mobo. If your seriously overclocking, the stock HSF will work fine
January 15, 2008 11:25:21 PM

Yes, you should be able to OC that system.
You can OC the XPS systems.

Don't Forget to add Vista Premium or other OS if needed to your build.
You might already have one.
Related resources
January 15, 2008 11:30:46 PM

Buy

1. For now it may be ok but you will be limited for all upgrades and you cannot use any of the material like case,PSU and etc for other purposes.

2. Locked to vendor.

Build
1. One time investment in case,PSU and other stuff...can go as you like upgrade and can retain for years by upgrading in small amounts.

2. next build just sell/throw the old mobo+ cpu +ram and get new combination....once again you will be all set for new generation computer with less investment.

With that close difference in price i definitely prefer building ,in fact if you plan to defer some upgrades for little time to time you can save more,prices keep dropping.
January 16, 2008 12:04:09 AM

Get a case < $100. Get a basic P35 mobo for $100. Don't get extra cooling for the CPU/GPU, stock is sufficient. Toss in a copy of XP Pro (if you don't already have one) and you are good to go, with a much better and easily UPGRADABLE system for LESS than the cost of the DELL.
January 16, 2008 12:21:04 AM

Dell PC are not as closed as they were, so if you prefer saving time and money, or avoiding the risk of wasting time troubleshooting your build, just get the Dell delivered at your door for you to play right on. The time and money saved can be better spent with your wife/children/GF/Friend.

There is nothing wrong getting a prebuild system, as they will perform close to something you'll build.

But there is fun building one too...



January 16, 2008 1:13:35 AM

Your build is actually a little cheaper if you consider the premium case you are getting as opposed to say a $50 equivalent to the Dell.
January 16, 2008 1:16:11 AM

I agree with Pat. Save yourself a lot of time and grief if you get an incompatability issues. If anything goes wrong, get on the phone to Dell.
Plus now their pricing is so competitive, because you don't seem to have factored in the cost of Vista Premium on the build, which is really where they get their economies in licensing.
I used to think build all the time, but in reality in two years time, it's not just the graphics card that needs replacing, the CPU will be out of date and the motherboard won't fit the new CPU, and the RAM will hold you back and so on. Typically you will find it more economical to pass the machine to the wife/kids/relative who only need to surf and get a whole new machine, rather than forking out and throwing away parts.
January 16, 2008 1:17:02 AM

Not all the XPS systems are overclockable. I have the XPS 410 and it is not overclockable. If you blow 3 or 4000 on a Dell system then yes some of those XPS's are somewhat overclockable but I wouldn't waste my money on a Dell. Build your own you will be much happier.
January 16, 2008 1:21:18 AM

I am big fan of upgrading stock Dell boxes.

Get the basics from Dell. Case and PSU. MB and CPU. Absolute basic RAM and GPU. OS and 1 HD. Basic DVD burner and anything else you just gotta have. The cost of the stock box is usually less than you can build the same unit. Even if the cost of the stock box is higher than a build your own, always remember that the unit is bench tested to make sure it at least turns on. There is a decent warranty on the parts that you will most likely screwup and usually onsite repairs are included. Then install your own RAM, extra HD's and of course an upgraded GPU.

In spite of all of the critical comments Dell's stock boxes are well designed and are nearly bulletproof.
January 16, 2008 1:48:18 AM

StevieD said:
I am big fan of upgrading stock Dell boxes.

Get the basics from Dell. Case and PSU. MB and CPU. Absolute basic RAM and GPU. OS and 1 HD. Basic DVD burner and anything else you just gotta have. The cost of the stock box is usually less than you can build the same unit. Even if the cost of the stock box is higher than a build your own, always remember that the unit is bench tested to make sure it at least turns on. There is a decent warranty on the parts that you will most likely screwup and usually onsite repairs are included. Then install your own RAM, extra HD's and of course an upgraded GPU.

In spite of all of the critical comments Dell's stock boxes are well designed and are nearly bulletproof.


You will get better warranty on the individual parts, 3 or 5 years or lifetime compared to Dell's 1 year. So you have to replace a part yourself, not difficult
January 16, 2008 1:55:13 AM

The problem with upgrading the gpu on a Dell is that you'll likely need to upgrade the psu too. The ones that come configured with the better gpu also have a bigger psu to handle it.
A Dell system with a Q6600 can be overclocked to 3.0Ghz with a fairly simple pad mod to the cpu. I've read about people who've done it. But if you want a higher overclock, you'll need to build yourself.
These Dell systems are very attractive price wise. It just comes down to personal choice of how much time you want to spend building a pc, how much you want to OC, and which option is cheaper for your needs.
I've been looking at these XPS systems recently an pricing them. They are tempting.
January 16, 2008 2:12:01 AM

Thank you very much for the feedback.
I think I am going to take advantage of the dell deal. It is just too close in price to building it without enough performance gain for building it for the effort.
January 16, 2008 3:02:25 AM

A lot of the mainstream Dells (Dimension 9xxx, Precision 3xx and some older Precision 4xx) come with a stock 375w PSU.

Dell sticks the high cost (and high power consumption) nVidia Quadro's into the Precision 390, including some Quadro cards that draw 150w (similar to the 8800GTS).

Considering warranty and the cost of the Quadro cards, it stands to reason that the 375w PSU must be sufficient for pretty much any card except the 8800GTS Ultra.


So I asked Dell. The 8800GTS 320 and 640 were on the internal recommended parts list for the P-390. Internal list is different than the public visible list as the public list is "worse case" scenario parts that must work under any circumstances or computer configerations, such as a P-390 with SAS drives in RAID.

So I got an EVGA 8800GTS 320mb back in Sept from Dell price matched to the lowest onine parts vendor price.

By the way the new T3400 can be configured with a 525w PSU.
January 16, 2008 3:09:28 AM

Check the warranties on the Dell Precision series.

3 years is standard with next day on-site business repairs.

Dedicated North American telephone support is also standard.
January 16, 2008 3:54:40 AM

Did anyone other than me notice that the Dell came with this:

Optical Drive Blu-ray Disc Combo (DVD+/-RW + BD-ROM)

That's like a $200 drive right there! Go with the Dell. It's an awesome deal atm.
January 16, 2008 4:58:15 AM

Wow, all the prebuilts are getting cheaper by the day....i mean even apple has a cheaper Mac Pro kicking around....

If you can live with less(or even no...but XPS should OC) over clocking....thats not a bad deal at all....

On a plus side...most Dells are very quiet....

You do have some good after market cooling on your build too tho....its a close call....
January 16, 2008 6:20:20 PM

im in the same boat. q6600, 8800gt, 3gb 800mhz, 500gb hd, 22" lcd for $1500 w/ 3 year warranty

you can oc the 420 with a cpu mod. see the dell community forums

you can upgrade everything but the motherboard. but that is compatible with the penryns anyways
January 16, 2008 6:35:50 PM

StevieD said:
I am big fan of upgrading stock Dell boxes.
I was too, until the PSU was insuffuicient for a quality video card, and I hit the wall on the limited number of ports available, and I couldn't upgrade the CPU, and, oh, forget it. Dells are good cheap office machines, they suck for anyone who is even mildly interested in performance or upgradability.

I recover a fair portion of my component upgrade costs on eBay. Can't do that with a Dell.
!