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Help! Confused by Dell

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September 22, 2009 2:40:08 PM

I'll get straigt to the point....
In the next couple days I want to purchase a desktop from dell; the Dell Studio with these specs.

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E8400 processor (3.00GHz, 1333MHz, 6MB cache)
4096MB 800MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [4x1024]
640GB (7200rpm) SATA Hard Drive
Integrated GMA X4500 HD Graphics

Wattage 360
Voltage 115/230 Vac, 50/60 Hz, 7A/4A

As you can see the graphics card is very very weak.
I wish to upgrade it once I get it to a Radeon 4850 or better yet a 4870.

I wouldn't usually think this is possible without buying a new PSU as the needed wattage of the 4850 and 4870 are 450 watts and 500 watts respectivly.

However if one orders the XPS 430 from dell it comes complete with a ati radeon 4850, even though its PSU is 375 watts.

Whats the deal dell? How does this work?

I would much appreciate someone with more knowledge on the matter telling me if its possible to upgrade the studio with a 4850 without needing a new PSU or melting my motherboard. Does the Voltage readings effect things more than the watts.

Thanks in advance.

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September 22, 2009 2:53:49 PM

I'll first start by begging you to consider just building your own PC with the specs you want...and save bundles of money in the process ;P

Anyhow, video card manufacturers often embellish the needed PSU requirements to have a safe zone buffer since not all PSUs are created equal. Basically, the requirement of a 450 watter is to account for lesser quality PSUs. I used to run my 4850 on a corsair 300ish PSU with no problems at all...but my stock 300 watt which came with my Acer couldn't handle it after an hour or so. Dell's 375 watt PSU has undoubtedly been tested to handle the 4850 GPU...meaning it's better than your average stock PSU.
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September 22, 2009 3:16:43 PM

First of all thanks.

The reason I'm not building my own PC is that I have been using laptops for the past 6 years, and only had a desktop briefly before that, hence my fear of (while i'd love to and I did think seriusly about doing so) building my own desktop. I thought it better to buy a ground model desktop first, and think about building in a couple years(hence why i'm buying a relativly cheap model and not buying an extreme i7 core now).
I also can't find a good computer parts store/website over here in ireland... shame newegg doesn't ship outside america.

So is it likely that a dell 360 psu very similar to the the 375....Incredibly tough question, now that i think about it, sorry.

Thanks again, I'm a bit of a newbie to this type of thing.
I've spent the last two days googling so as to not make the right decision .... the situation with nvidia graphic card renaming at the moment and the choice between dual core and quad core is giving me the most confusion.

-Is the nVidia 240 GT (which are on dells) the same as the 8800 GT (Heard its very good), then I hear that the 240 renaming has been canceled, yet its still being sold by dell....????

-Is a Dual core 3.0 ghz better than a 2.6 ghz Quad core for games?
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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2009 3:30:12 PM

Your warranty will probably be void once you open the case and it's much cheaper to build a system yourself, but let's put those objections aside for a moment.

The HD 4850 and 4870 cards are excellent additions to your E8400/4GB DDR2 system.

HD 4850: this card needs a PSU with one PCI-E connector and (with your system) 20A (but 22A would be better) on the 12V rail, this means a "maximum combined wattage" of 240W (20A) or 264W (22A) on the 12V rail.

HD 4870: this card needs a PSU with two PCI-E connectors and (again, with your system) 26A on the 12V rail (312W.)

If you're PSU doesn not meet any of these requirements you can probably still get a HD 4670 or a (low power, or "Green") version of the 9600GT, they're not as good as a HD 4850 or 4870, but will play most games and they're still gazillion times better than the integrated X4500.
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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2009 3:40:40 PM

trigonometry happy said:
First of all thanks.

The reason I'm not building my own PC is that I have been using laptops for the past 6 years, and only had a desktop briefly before that, hence my fear of (while i'd love to and I did think seriusly about doing so) building my own desktop. I thought it better to buy a ground model desktop first, and think about building in a couple years(hence why i'm buying a relativly cheap model and not buying an extreme i7 core now).
I also can't find a good computer parts store/website over here in ireland... shame newegg doesn't ship outside america.

So is it likely that a dell 360 psu very similar to the the 375....Incredibly tough question, now that i think about it, sorry.

Thanks again, I'm a bit of a newbie to this type of thing.
I've spent the last two days googling so as to not make the right decision .... the situation with nvidia graphic card renaming at the moment and the choice between dual core and quad core is giving me the most confusion.

-Is the nVidia 240 GT (which are on dells) the same as the 8800 GT (Heard its very good), then I hear that the 240 renaming has been canceled, yet its still being sold by dell....????

-Is a Dual core 3.0 ghz better than a 2.6 ghz Quad core for games?


Yes, the 240GT is based on the 9800GT, which was based on the 8800GT, it will perform nearly the same as the HD 4850.
A 3.0ghz dual core used to be better than a 2.6ghz quadcore (back then it was the E8400/Q6600 debate) but that is rapidly changing with more and more games taking advantage of 3 or 4 cores and if that quadcore is an Intel i5 or i7 than it will be at least as good as the E8400.

What's the price difference between the Dell model with the X4500 and the one with the HD 4850?
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September 22, 2009 3:42:48 PM

Yeah, kinda guessed that... but i'd rather have the sexy graphical eye candy than peace of mind...I think :) 

As I said i'm quite new to the technical stuff.... So what your saying is that both will work with my desktop's voltage/watt?

If so.... I am so happy.
If both work i'll go with the 4870 as I've heard great things about it.

A little off topic but what is the nVidia geforce 240 gt like? as that can come with the dell too, for not much extra. Couldn't find any info on it, so i'm guessing its not very good.

BtW i won't be paying much for this computer anway, I think i'm paying 500 euro for it + screen albeit minus a in anyway decent graphics card.


Thanks.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Edited.... didn't see you other post.

~~~~Sorry one mistake its the nVidia 240 GTS and actually costs 200 euro that comes with it.... whats the difference?


Intel® Core™ 2 Quad-Core Q8300 Processor (2.5GHz, 4MB cache, 1333MHz FSB)*
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium SP1 - English (32 BIT)**
512MB ATI® Radeon™ 4850 Graphics card
4096MB 1067 MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [4x1024]
1TB (7200rpm) Serial ATA/100 Hard Drive

*Probably will upgrade to the q9550 2.66 ghz 6mb one
**Gonna get 64 bit, is that a good idea?

749 euro w/o screen though

the other one is 500 euro with screen, but will cost 900 with the graphics card and processor upgrade...
The 430 Seems like the better choice if i choose the 240 gts.

Thanks again these decisons are really difficult.
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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2009 4:10:19 PM

trigonometry happy said:
Yeah, kinda guessed that... but i'd rather have the sexy graphical eye candy than peace of mind...I think :) 

As I said i'm quite new to the technical stuff.... So what your saying is that both will work with my desktop's voltage/watt?

If so.... I am so happy.
If both work i'll go with the 4870 as I've heard great things about it.

A little off topic but what is the nVidia geforce 240 gt like? as that can come with the dell too, for not much extra. Couldn't find any info on it, so i'm guessing its not very good.

BtW i won't be paying much for this computer anway, I think i'm paying 500 euro for it + screen albeit minus a in anyway decent graphics card.


Thanks.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Edited.... didn't see you other post.

~~~~Sorry one mistake its the nVidia 240 GTS and actually costs 200 euro that comes with it.... whats the difference?


Intel® Core™ 2 Quad-Core Q8300 Processor (2.5GHz, 4MB cache, 1333MHz FSB)*
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium SP1 - English (32 BIT)**
512MB ATI® Radeon™ 4850 Graphics card
4096MB 1067 MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [4x1024]
1TB (7200rpm) Serial ATA/100 Hard Drive

*Probably will upgrade to the q9550 2.66 ghz 6mb one
**Gonna get 64 bit, is that a good idea?

749 euro w/o screen though

the other one is 500 euro with screen, but will cost 900 with the graphics card and processor upgrade...
The 430 Seems like the better choice if i choose the 240 gts.

Thanks again these decisons are really difficult.



The E8400 is actually better at gaming than the Q8300, the Q8xxx's are a poor excuse for a quadcore.

These parts will cost you $140, so buy these parts and put them in the E8400 Dell.

HD 4850: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 22, 2009 4:20:52 PM

Excellent, I can order now (the special offer ends tomorow)... Gut feeling was that I felt safer behind those mighty dual 3.0 ghz cores. Heard its very easy to overclock as well.

Sadly i'll have to find and irish site to order those parts from, hopefully they will be the same price.

Sorry one last thing whats the difference betweeen the 240 GT and the 240 GTS?

Oh and Thank you! Thank you! Thank You!

*Edit*
Found a Site Komplett.ie.
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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2009 6:15:34 PM

trigonometry happy said:
Excellent, I can order now (the special offer ends tomorow)... Gut feeling was that I felt safer behind those mighty dual 3.0 ghz cores. Heard its very easy to overclock as well.

Sadly i'll have to find and irish site to order those parts from, hopefully they will be the same price.

Sorry one last thing whats the difference betweeen the 240 GT and the 240 GTS?

Oh and Thank you! Thank you! Thank You!

*Edit*
Found a Site Komplett.ie.


Good luck then with your setup, should make for some pretty solid gaming experience.

GT vs GTS? Usually GTS versions are just a bit better than GT versions, they also consume more power, but the 240GTS won't beat a 4850 (though it might get close), so don't worry.
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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2009 9:42:08 PM

Stay away from Dell unless you are the kind that can easily throw a pc out the window and buy another in a split second... in other words regardless of your budget you will be better off by building your own machine compared to getting 75% in generic crap from a pre-built PC.....
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