This is my first post so I apologize for being a newb!
I am upgrading my old P4 3.0Ghz H/T PC and have been looking at both the Dell XPS 420 and 630 model. I have decided on getting the Intel Q6600 2.4Ghz Quad-core processor which I can get on either model. Of course each model uses a different motherboard. The 420 supports the newer 45nm Intel chips, but only has 1 PCIe x16 slot for one graphics card. While the XPS 630 has the NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI chipset which does not support the newer 45nm chips but does support an SLI configuration.
My question is which is the better way to go? Have a motherboard that will support the 45nm chips which now are expensive, but it will allow me to upgrade in the future when prices come down. Or is having the capability for an SLI setup going to be better (I would not be getting 2 graphics cards right now, would upgrade later). Would I also be correct in assuming if the XPS 420 motherboard supports 45nm cpu, would it also support DDR3 RAM? Of course there is no specific docs from Dell saying exactly what the models of motherboards are being used. I am actually not going to be gaming at all, but I do lots of 3D animation with 3DS Max and work a lot with Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects. What do you guys think?
Better off building your own if you're that concern about the mobo. ALL OEM's use a proprietary mobo built to their specs. Then again, OEM's are built for people who never worry about upgrading anything, and will just buy a new machine when their system gets too old, too slow, etc.
I understand OEM's normally are for people not concerned with upgrading at all. I built my current PC and I'm one of those that knows more then the average joe, but isn't an uber techie when it comes to ironing out all the kinks that come with building your own system. I can get more performance for my money with Dell because I get a discount through work plus not deal with headaches of building it myself.
You mentioned the mobo's are prioprietary built for their specific system, does that mean if I wanted to upgrade processors I would not be able to do so because of the way the mobo is made? I would think as long as it is the same socket you should be fine?
Upgrading is not always an option, especially with Dell. The new wolfdale cpus may not work with the board included with your q6600. But you shouldn't have to upgrade anyway. Cpus usually outlast the motherboards. The newer cpus use less energy; that's their main advantage. I think you'll be happy with the dell. Just be sure to get all the memory you can afford. Dell has the habit of filling both memory slots so you have no open ones left to use. A few dell boards have 4 memory slots, but not with the cheaper systems. Check the specs carefully when ordering. 2 gigs is the minimum with vista, but 3 or 4 is better. You'll pay double the regular price for a dell memory upgrade; that's the way they make money.