Done my research just need some last min advice

Hi all,

I've done quite a bit of research before deciding on a new machine. I finally know the difference between memory and hard drive space, the different types of video cards and what they do, CPUs duo and quad, etc.

Ok, so I'm close to a middle aged woman who knows very little about the innards of computers but likes to play computer games and I need your help!

I haven't been able to play a newer game on my unit now (HP Pavilion 8765c straight from the box with some added memory) for a couple of years. I'm not a heavy duty gamer, but if I get something current, I want to be able to play it on high res., etc. I know that a game like Cysis may not be possible but I would hope most others will be.

So, I have configured an HP m9100t and a Dell XPS420 right around $1300.00. (see specs below) My question and comments are:

1) The HP has a 512MB 8800GT but the CPU is a 2 Duo E6750. The Dell has the slightly better (according to Tom's charts) E6850 CPU but with the lesser 256MB 8600GTS and no better upgrade available. I'm not sure which to go with. I'm thinking the HP with a better graphics card is more important at this point.

2) The HP has a non-opt out of ATSC-NTSC TV Tuner which I won't need, but perhaps in the future?

3) I could go with a guad on either one of these for the same price, but for current games it seem duo is still the way to go. I'm not that big of a gamer that I will continue "upgrading" my games. I just would like to play the ones available now.

4) I could go to CyperPower, but all of those configurations confuse me! Might be less expensive with more options, but I’m not sure about their quality or warranty. And my little current HP has done very well. Any input?

Anyhow, I'm leaning towards the HP...what do you all think? Here are the specs...

HP:
Operating system Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit) edit
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo processor E6750 (2.66GHz) edit
Memory FREE UPGRADE to 3GB DDR2-667MHz dual channel SDRAM (2x1024,2x512) from 2GB edit
Graphics Card 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT, 2 DVI, TV-Out edit
Networking No Modem edit
Hard Drive 500GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive edit
Primary CD/DVD Drive LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive edit
Secondary CD/DVD Drive 16x max. DVD-ROM edit
Front Productivity Ports 15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB, 1394, video, audio edit
TV & Entertainment Experience ATSC-NTSC TV tuner with PVR, FM tuner, remote edit
Sound Card Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio edit
Security Software Norton Internet Security(TM) 2008 - 15 Months edit
Productivity Software Microsoft(R) Works 9.0 edit
Speakers HP stereo speakers with subwoofer and remote (2.1) edit
Keyboard and Mouse HP multimedia keyboard and HP optical mouse edit


and here is the Dell:

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6850 (4MB L2 Cache,3.0GHz,1333 FSB)
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium with Digital Cable Support
MEMORY 3GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 4 DIMMs edit
HARD DRIVE 500GB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache edit
OPTICAL DRIVE Dual Drives: 48x Combo + 16x DVD+/-RW w/ dbl layer write capable
MONITORS No Monitor
VIDEO CARD 256MB nVidia GeForce 8600 GTS
SOUND CARD Integrated Sound Blaster®Audigy™ HD Software Edition
KEYBOARD Dell USB Enhanced Multimedia Keyboard
MOUSE Dell Optical USB Mouse
FLOPPY & MEDIA READER No Floppy Drive or Media Reader Included
WI-FI AND MODEM 56K PCI Data Fax Modem
My Software & Accessories
SPEAKERS Dell A525 30 Watt 2.1 Stereo Speakers with Subwoofer
ADOBE ELEMENTS STUDIO Adobe Elements Studio for XPS™ 420
ANTI-VIRUS & SECURITY Trend Micro Internet Security 15-months
PRODUCTIVITY Microsoft Works 8. DOES NOT INCLUDE MS WORD


Any input is appreciated!

Stacey
20 answers Last reply
More about done research advice
  1. The Hp with the 8800GT is way better, cpu will make barely no difference but the 8600 vs 8800 is a no brainer. You might as well get a quad core if it's a free upgrade - future proofing and that.
  2. It might not be an upgrade if you are loosing 600mhz
  3. Definitely the 8800GT!
  4. absolutely go with the 8800gt, check the charts - you'll see what a difference it makes, where as the CPU dif is miniscule

    and now i have to do the inevitable thing and shout at you for not building it yourself :P
    edit: I suppose the only possible problem with the HP, is if they've built it shoddily, the 8800gt may cause quite a lot of heat, but if you have a warranty then, meh
  5. http://www.pcusa.com/shopKitConfig.asp?id=KIT-460&selectList=0,0,0,9,0,1,2,2,2,0,1,0,5,0,0,0,8,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,


    Have a look at that. I recommend these guys as well, pretty good. Good value for money as well. Just remove one of the the 2 GPU and upgrade to 8800gt 1GB.
  6. Yeah - you may need at least 500W PSU. The one listed there is 350W
  7. Thanks everyone. I was a bit concerned that it may run too hot or not have enough power supply wattage.

    As for building it myself, I don't really have the patience for it or the knowledge. Although it probably would be fun.

    So what about the 65 bit vista? I am "downgrading" to the 32 bit only because from what I have read, the current games run better on the 32.
  8. chibuya said:
    Thanks everyone. I was a bit concerned that it may run too hot or not have enough power supply wattage.

    As for building it myself, I don't really have the patience for it or the knowledge. Although it probably would be fun.

    So what about the 65 bit vista? I am "downgrading" to the 32 bit only because from what I have read, the current games run better on the 32.


    I agree, go 32-bit.

    Go with the 512mb GT as well. For games you don't want to give up a good video card for a slightly better processor.
  9. Thanks so much everyone for your input!... last question... do you think I'll be ok with 350w power?
  10. chibuya said:
    Thanks so much everyone for your input!... last question... do you think I'll be ok with 350w power?


    I'd go with 550ish
  11. What I'd be worried about is more of what ya get than what ya don't get. Like that Norton stuff. And while I wouldn't argue hard against Vista (I do prefer XP for its speed advantge) but I am not a fan of the "Home" version of anything from MS.

    Since you mentioned Cyberpower I went tot heir site and just quickly configured a system better than the above:

    Started here: http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/Gamer_Infinity_8800_Pro/

    and selected (just about everything is an upgrade over the Dell / HP systems):

    -X-Discovery Mid-Tower Case 420W W/ WINDOW & Temperature Display
    -Extra Case Cooling Fan (2 of em)
    -500 Watt Power Supply
    -Socket775 Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6750 CPU @ 2.66GHz 1333FSB 4MB L2 Cache 64-bit
    -Asus P5N-D nForce 750i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard
    -2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair Value Select or Major Brand)
    -VIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 16X PCI Express
    -500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD
    -Silver 20X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER
    -Creative Labs PCI 56K v.92 FAX Modem
    -Creative Labs SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio 24-BIT PCI Sound Card
    -Sicuro RW-375XL 2.1 Gaming Speakers (Silver)
    -Logitech Cordless Desktop EX 110 Keyboard & Mouse
    -PCI Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Interface Card
    -INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer (Silver)
    -Microsoft Windows Vista Business Edition or Windows XP Pro
    -Microsoft Works

    Free T-Shirt and Carrying case

    $1213 w/ free shipping

    Again just about everything is a significant upgrade from what they giving you. They want $100 for that 3rd GB of memory, I'd buy from newegg and pop in yaself for $30.
  12. This has got to be one of the most helpful forums out there!

    Thanks for the configurations from the other sites. I am tempted to go with CyberPower, but people are telling me to stay with a "trusted" retailer such as HP.

    Can anyone comment on CyberPowers reliability, customer service and warranty?
  13. Hi Chibuya,

    Here is a link to Cyberpower satisfaction rating: http://www.resellerratings.com/store/CyberPower I recommend resellerratings anytime you want to know what people think of a particular merchant.

    Now having said that, if you do not want to build the system yourself then one particular place that has gotten very high reviews is puget systems found at http://www.pugetsystems.com/

    However, be aware that they primarily build higher end computers. I have heard that there customer service is awesome and they will even help you build your computer, making suggestions on your configuration and helping you tailor it exactly the way you want.

    Another good place is Ava Direct found at http://www.avadirect.com/

    I am personally not a big fan of HP. It is not high on my list of being a "trusted" retailer.

    Hope the links help. :)
  14. I have a cyberpower at the moment. I only have bought one computer from them so I can't speak for any others that may have got dud equipment. Runs pretty good, and was a really good price (around 500 cheaper than from dell.) I would try to stay away from HP unless you need their "services".
  15. Ouch! Just checked HP and they rate 2.7
  16. I purchased a cyberpower once, just once. When I received the pc, I had to open the case to hook up front panel. Upon opening, I found out I didn't have the memory I ordered. It was slower. Hard drive? wrong! ATA instead of SATA. Contacted cyberpower they told me they were sorry they just couldn't get what I wanted. But they did adjust the billing. I'm sorry just not good enough. So beware!
  17. Thanks Allanag

    I checked the rating for avadirect and they seem great. This is what I came up with folks.

    I really don't know what I'm doing when configuring a machine. Not sure about the fans, mother board and also the graphics card. I thought the all GeForces were made by nVidia but there seems to be other options on avadirect.

    If you guys don't mind taking a look this configuration. The only thing this doesn't have that the HP does is the TV tuner and one less GB of ram.

    ROSEWILL, R5605-BK Black Mid-Tower Case, ATX, No PSU, 500W PSU, Steel
    ASUS, P5N-E SLI, LGA775, nForce 650i SLI, 1066MHz FSB, DDR2-800 8GB /4, PCIe x16 SLI /2, SATA RAID 5 /5, HDA, GbLAN, FW /2, ATX, Retail
    INTEL, Core™ 2 Duo E6750 Dual-Core, 2.66GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 4MB L2 Cache, 65nm, 65W, EM64T EIST XD, Retail
    ARCTIC COOLING, Freezer 7 Pro Quiet CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink, Socket 775, Ceramic Bearing, Retail
    OCZ, 2GB (2 x 1GB) Gold GX XTC PC2-6400 DDR2 800MHz CL 5-5-5-12 SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
    MICROSTAR, NX8800GT-T2D512E-OC, GeForce® 8800GT 660MHz, 512MB GDDR3 1900 MHz, PCIe x16 SLI, DVI /2, HDTV-Out, Retail
    WESTERN DIGITAL, 500GB WD Caviar® SE16 (WD5000AAKS), SATA II 300MB/s, 7200-RPM, 16MB cache
    RAID, No RAID, Independent HDD Drives
    SONY, CRX320EE Black 52x32x52-16A DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive, OEM
    NEC, AD-7190A Black 20x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner, IDE, OEM
    CREATIVE, Sound Blaster® 16 Pre-Amp, 2 channels, 16-bit 48KHz, PCI, OEM
    LABTEC, Spin™ 95 Black 2.0 Stereo Speakers, 4W RMS (2W + 2W)
    LOGITECH, Office Pro Keyboard, Black, PS/2
    MICROSOFT, Windows Vista Home Premium Edition 32-bit, OEM
    WARRANTY, Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, 3 Year Labor Warranty)
  18. jerfle said:
    I purchased a cyberpower once, just once. When I received the pc, I had to open the case to hook up front panel. Upon opening, I found out I didn't have the memory I ordered. It was slower. Hard drive? wrong! ATA instead of SATA. Contacted cyberpower they told me they were sorry they just couldn't get what I wanted. But they did adjust the billing. I'm sorry just not good enough. So beware!


    That sure bites. :ouch: I had the same problem with my local shop, but they did call me and offer alternatives, they didn't just go ahead and make changes by themselves.
  19. chibuya said:


    ASUS, P5N-E SLI, LGA775, nForce 650i SLI, 1066MHz FSB
    MICROSTAR, NX8800GT-T2D512E-OC, GeForce® 8800GT 660MHz
    SONY, CRX320EE Black 52x32x52-16A DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive, OEM
    NEC, AD-7190A Black 20x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner, IDE, OEM


    Sounds good, except for a few minor things.
    1. GA-P35-DS3R motherboard
    http://www.avadirect.com/product_details_parts.asp?PRID=8960

    2. The MSI brand is not one of the best. Also, that particular model has a single slot cooler which will give you pain. I'd get this BFG instead:
    http://www.avadirect.com/product_details_parts.asp?PRID=10070

    3. The DVD-ROM/CD-RW is pointless, any DVD burner can do all that

    4. I'd very much prefer this SATA burner:
    SH-S203B DVD burner
    http://www.avadirect.com/product_details_parts.asp?PRID=9426

    I hope Avadirect gives you free assembly and shipping, because the prices are horribly high compared to newegg and buy.com.
  20. chibuya said:
    ...
    ARCTIC COOLING, Freezer 7 Pro Quiet CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink, Socket 775, Ceramic Bearing, Retail
    ...
    WESTERN DIGITAL, 500GB WD Caviar® SE16 (WD5000AAKS), SATA II 300MB/s, 7200-RPM, 16MB cache
    ...
    WARRANTY, Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, 3 Year Labor Warranty)

    1) Stay away from aftermarket CPU coolers, as almost all lack the secondary component cooling function of "downdraft-style" coolers such as the Intel OEM cooler. Especially on an nVidia chipset board, you want to be sure the northbridge and PWM area stay cool. You'll be able to overclock that CPU a fair amount with the Intel cooler, so stick with it.

    2) I'd sure prefer a Seagate hard drive, which has a 5-year warranty, instead of the 3-year-warranty WD drive.

    3) 3 years can be a long time in the small-PC-company business. Is their warranty backed by a bond/service contract so you're still covered if they go out of business in the next 3 years?
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