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Dell XPS 420 (Q6600) vs. Phenom II X2 550 build vs. other? ~$400

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September 10, 2009 3:39:37 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within 2 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: $450-$500 absolute max, I do not want to spend even that much

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Multimedia, Multitasking

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, OS, speakers, monitors, GPU, optical drives, HD

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES: No preference, just don't want any junk

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP, I'm a broke college student just looking to build a new computer. The build I put together is ~$398 after rebates, and should play any games I want fine no?

I'm ready to retire my old athlon 2800xp desktop from daily duty and get a new computer.

A friend of mine has an XPS 420 (640gb HD, Bluray drive, 4gb ram iirc?, Intel Q6600 (2.6 quad core) and it just needs a new video card). He's asking $500 for it and I have a brand new MSI 9800GT I could throw in there and have a fully working computer that should handle anything I need (COD: WAW, UT3 maybe some Aion since my roommates have been playing that)

My other option, an Phenom II x2 550 I put together on newegg. I have optical drives and the 9800gt I mentioned above so this should be good to go.

Antec 500
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...29021

GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...28387
gibson5469 (1:08:07 AM):

PSU: OCZ 600w
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...41017

cpu: Phenom II x2 550 BE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...51259

ram for now: 4gb OCZ Reaper DDR2 1066
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...51259

GPU: MSI 9800GT

Total would be $398 after rebates
September 10, 2009 4:57:25 PM

I would go with your build over the Dell system.

1) You get the enjoyment of building it yourself

2) The Dell system doesn't allow for OCing or Upgrade paths with the EOL socket

3) As mentioned in point 2, your built system will allow for you to upgrade to new quad core AM3 chips and OCing, which gives your system more power without adding cost... :D 
September 10, 2009 5:11:58 PM

Should I go with a MOBO that supports DDR3 instead? Will SLI/Crossfire be a necessity down the line as well?

Also, if anyone has a better build for around the same price I'm more than open to suggestions same with suggestions for a different MOBO.
Related resources
September 11, 2009 2:45:21 AM

any other advice?
September 11, 2009 3:28:14 AM

brokdown711 said:
Should I go with a MOBO that supports DDR3 instead? Will SLI/Crossfire be a necessity down the line as well?

Also, if anyone has a better build for around the same price I'm more than open to suggestions same with suggestions for a different MOBO.

If you can fit into your budget a DDR3 MOBO, I would recommend doing so. It will help your system out more in the long run.

Crossfire/SLI isn't required but it is a great way to boost your system performance in gaming. Nvidia publish an article showing the cheapest way to increase performance was by adding another GPU over upgrading your CPU. To get max settings on certain games at high resolutions, it can only be done through Crossfire/SLI.
September 11, 2009 3:31:42 AM

Whats a good DDR3 SLI board for the AM2+/AM3 ? iirc the only ones I came across were nearly $150+
September 11, 2009 4:25:50 AM

hmm that doesn't look to shabby, the "hybrid sli" worries me though.
September 11, 2009 10:24:12 AM

brokdown711 said:
So with that MSI board + different case/psu I can build this for ~$300 + cost of ram because of Bing cashback

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/7203/buildr.png

Another possibility is going with the ASUS M4N82 Deluxe, sure it's a bit more money but is it worth it?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Or just stick with the MSI board?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

The decision is yours... here is my input though..

Pros for ASUS M4N82:
1) True SLI support (16x 16x), with the option of 3-way SLI
2) Better motherboard (Features and Manufacturer)

Cons for ASUS M4N82:
1) Cost is $80 more... can you fit that into your budget without giving up too much?
2) If you don't plan on every setting up your GPU in SLI, the MOBO is not worth the additional cost.
3) NOT DDR3 RAM... it supports DDR2 RAM

Edit: After thinking about it some more... I would go with the MSI board...
September 11, 2009 10:51:47 AM

On your budget, you don't need SLI or Crossfire.
You also don't need DDR3.
Stay with your original plan, or increase your budget and change your plan.
September 11, 2009 12:54:31 PM

Hiyah,
You could go for DDR3 and SLI on your motherboard, but really, would it be worth it?

How long do you think it will be before the next time you upgrade? Two to three years?
If yes, then you will probably want to upgrade your motherboard at the same time as the rest of your compy anyways.

Since the rig you put together will benefit VERY little from DDR3 over DDR2, it would then be a waste of cash that could be better used for other things...Beer for example!

Good Luck!
September 11, 2009 2:35:32 PM

Most of these boards will accept a Phenom II X4 as well right? That would be my upgrade down the line.

Oh and I could get away with an OCZ 500w PSU instead of $600 right?
September 11, 2009 3:02:53 PM

Yes & Yes :) 
September 11, 2009 3:09:51 PM

What do you think about the Antec Sonata III 500 + 500w Antec Earthwatts PSU? I could have everything for $350, and $330 after rebates !

Specs:

Phenom II X2 550
GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P
4gb OCZ Reaper DDR2 1066
Antec Sonata III 500 + 500w Antech PSU combo
September 11, 2009 3:22:53 PM

Don't think you'll need 4GB of RAM, 2 should be enough for your purpose.
September 11, 2009 4:07:11 PM

brokdown711 said:
What do you think about the Antec Sonata III 500 + 500w Antec Earthwatts PSU? I could have everything for $350, and $330 after rebates !

Specs:

Phenom II X2 550
GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P
4gb OCZ Reaper DDR2 1066
Antec Sonata III 500 + 500w Antech PSU combo

Here is a review on the Antec Earthwatts EA500 PSU... http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1048&pageID=3081 It received a good rating and should be fine with your system. The Sonata III 500 is a good case if you are looking for quite case. I'm a little concern about how it would handle high level OCing & etc. with limited airflow, but should still meet your needs for your system.
September 13, 2009 12:26:44 AM

what about the AMD Athlon X2 Regor 250? It doesn't have an unlocked multiplier but it is 15x so it won't take much to overclock.

September 13, 2009 10:07:02 AM

any word on what performance will be like with the Phenom II X2 550 vs Q6600?
September 13, 2009 12:51:15 PM

brokdown711 said:
any word on what performance will be like with the Phenom II X2 550 vs Q6600?

Read these benchmarks... http://anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=53&p2=97

It looks like the 550 is better in games and the Q6600 is better in apps, which makes sense. Most games benefit more from higher clock speeds over more cores. Where apps benefit more by number of cores versus higher clock speeds.
September 15, 2009 6:19:31 AM

The more I look at it, if I can get the XPS for ~$450 it would be a much better deal and the performance should be more than enough for me. Considering what I'm already lol.

I've gotten the AMD build down to around $365 AR, add in an HD for $35 + optical drive and I'm already over $400.

September 21, 2009 8:31:54 AM

Well I'm picking up the XPS this week, getting it for a GREAT deal. I might try the BSEL or tape mods, but most likely not.

If I feel the need to upgrade down the road, I could always get a new case/psu/775mobo and overclock

I decided to go this route for several reason: I really only play CS 1.6, CS:S, UT3 and Call of Duty. I get a Blu-ray burner, tv tuner, 640gb HD... etc..

Hopefully I don't regret it lol
!