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[Dell] Overwhelmed by choices

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January 15, 2010 1:25:35 AM

Hello everyone,

I have been visiting this site for some time now reading the reviews etc and it seems the more I read the more confused I get. Here is my situation, I am in the market for a new PC. I do NOT want to build my own (yes I know I could save some money, but I am really not interested in building one). My previous computer was an Alienware P4 3.4 (purchased in 2004, pre-dell buyout) The computer served me well and would still be using it but we had a house fire and it's literally toast.

Since I never had a problem with Dell i decided to check out the XPS, and have narrowed the selection down to a couple systems, I hope you hardware tech savoy people can help. My main uses for my computer are Web, internet, graphics editing in Photoshop CS4, Video Editing (Sony Vegas Pro 8), Buring Videos (AVI to DVD etc), Light gaming, I also Multitask a lot (3-4 programs open at one time).

Each system has Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 16x DVD+/-RW w/ dbl layer write, 23" Dell ST2310 Full HD Widescreen Monitor, nVidia GeForce GTS 240 1024MB

Option 1 Price $1844
Studio XPS 9000
Intel® Core™ i7-920 processor(8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz)
12GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 6 DIMMs
1TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
Soundblaster® X-Fi™ Xtreme Audio
AY410 2.1 Stereo Speakers with Subwoofer
Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard
Dell 1525 Wireless-N PCIe Card

Option 2 Price $1398
Studio XPS 8100
Intel® Core™ i7-860 processor(8MB Cache, 2.80GHz)
8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMs
750GB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB
Dell Studio Consumer Multimedia Keyboard
Dell 1525 WLAN PCIe card with11n mini-Card & external antenna
Integrated Audio.

Option 3 Price $1659
Exact same system as Option 2 put upgrade processor to
Intel® Core™ i7-870 processor(8MB Cache, 2.93GHz)

Option 4 Price $1939
Exact same as Option 2 except upgrade RAM to
12GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMs

I've read reviews that the i7-870 out performs the 920 in some areas, I also noticed that the XPS 8100 offers RAM at 1333MHz as opposed to the 9100m which the ram is 1066MHz.

This is sooo confusing....can someone offer some opinions?

P.S. I do NOT intend to overclock..to worried about warranties, cooling, etc.

Thanks so much
January 15, 2010 1:50:28 AM

Here is a CPU comparison tool that should help you make a decision:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=108&p2=47

Bottom line is that the i920 and i860 processor have essentially the same performance. If I were choosing, I would buy the i860 system because it costs less.

Good luck with your decision.
January 15, 2010 1:58:36 AM

Thanks for that link...I was just reading on the intel site that the i870 seems to be a better, newer, processor.

http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?ids=41315,41316,37147,

What happen to the old days when high numbers = newer faster lol, I what confuses me is Dell offers the newer processor (i870) in the lower (i would think older) system XPS 8100.
Related resources
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January 15, 2010 1:59:33 AM

If you don't intend on Overclocking then go with Option 3

there is no need for more 6 gigs of RAM and after around 5 gigs you see little to no difference in performance

however, you can also go with this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

it is better than all your choices as well as cheaper

Cyberpower is reliable and about the same reliability as dell


one more thing you never stated the graphics card on those dells
January 15, 2010 2:02:36 AM

Upendra...thanks for that link,

The graphic card was listed right about option 1

"Each system has Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 16x DVD+/-RW w/ dbl layer write, 23" Dell ST2310 Full HD Widescreen Monitor, nVidia GeForce GTS 240 1024MB"
January 15, 2010 2:55:40 AM

getting Option 3 drops the Ram to Dual channel, Option 1 has Tri channel...is the better CPU (the 870) a good trade off for the not better RAM?
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January 15, 2010 9:53:11 AM

if you wont do any actual work on your pc ,tri channel will only give you minimal benefit over dual channel
a b à CPUs
January 15, 2010 12:28:10 PM

oh man, please do not buy off of dell, there are better options, even if you're not going to build yourself...

my question is, does all of the options you posted include the monitor or would you have to buy it seperately?
January 15, 2010 3:50:48 PM

obsidian....what do you mean any actual work?

jonpaul....I havnt had a problem with Dell in the past, not to mention my company has an employee purchase program. All of the options include the 23" Dell ST2310 Full HD Widescreen Monitor. Upendra09 suggested a CyberpowerPC from newegg but it doesnt include a monitor. ....do you have some other suggestions?...My budget is about $2100 but that needs to include a monitor,wireless N router,wireless printer, 1TB External Drive, 1TB network Drive.

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January 15, 2010 4:02:07 PM

For the software you're using, I'd go with Option 1. I lean towards Option 1 for the tri-channel and amount (12GB).

A lot of my clients do graphics and encoding work like you and that machine better suits your needs.
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January 15, 2010 4:05:40 PM

work as in rendering, high level visual editing,or CAD applications
January 15, 2010 4:14:54 PM

The most intensive thing I do is video transcoding, and some video editing/rendering with After Effects
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January 15, 2010 4:31:33 PM

quxote said:
obsidian....what do you mean any actual work?

jonpaul....I havnt had a problem with Dell in the past, not to mention my company has an employee purchase program. All of the options include the 23" Dell ST2310 Full HD Widescreen Monitor. Upendra09 suggested a CyberpowerPC from newegg but it doesnt include a monitor. ....do you have some other suggestions?...My budget is about $2100 but that needs to include a monitor,wireless N router,wireless printer, 1TB External Drive, 1TB network Drive.



Does Option 1 cover wireless N router,wireless printer, 1TB External Drive, 1TB network Drive?

I was thinking go to Cyberpower PC and start the Intel Configurator, go with the following:

Keep in mind that you would not really need any more than 6GB of RAM.

Xion AXP 600 Mid-Tower Gaming Case

Corsair Power Supplies (650 Watts CMPSU-650TX - Quad SLI Ready) [+0] More Brands ...
- ($10 off Mail-in Rebate) 650 Watts CMPSU-650TX - Quad SLI Ready

Intel® Core™ i7-920 2.66 GHz 8M L3 Cache LGA1366

Venom Boost Extreme OC Certified) Xigmatek Dark Knight-S1283V Gaming CPU Cooling Fan (Double layer H.D.T. technology for maximum cooling)

Asus P6T Deluxe V2 Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Mainboard SAS Triple-Channel DDR3/1600 SATA w/ eSATA,Dual GbLAN,USB2.0,IEEE1394a,&7.1Audio (Venom Boost Extreme OC Certified)

6GB (2GBx3) PC1333 DDR3 PC3 10666 Triple Channel Memory (Corsair Dominator) [+0] More Brand ...
- Corsair Dominator (All Venom OC Levels Certified)

NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB 16X PCI Express (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+0] More Brand ...
- Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA

($10 off Mail-in Rebate) 24" LCD - Asus VH242H Wide Screen TFT Active Matrix LCD Display (Black) - Fall Special

1TB (1TBx1) SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD

LG 22X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Dual Layer Drive


All of this comes to $1859.00 which leaves $241.00 to get the rest (below)



The only things that are not included are
Keyboard
mouse
sound card (you don't really need a sound card, on-board sound will be fine)
Wireless printer
1TB network drive
1 TB external drive
speakers

I am guessing that the options you posted from Dell do not include the router/printer/etc...

The items i chose in Cyberpower are MUCH better than what dell has to offer, like the power supply, the GTS 250 (which is better than the GTS 240)
The case (which will allow for future upgrades) the motherboard (also allows for better OC & upgrade options) The list goes on... it's CHEAPER & BETTER!

Ps. You can also add the wireless network card and operating system and router for more, but you get the point...

*** UPDATE*** Just went thru the same configurator to add Win 7 Pro 64-bit, wireless router, wireless card and it totaled to $1859.00, still plenty of room for other items... and still better/cheaper than dell. also, there is a 3 year waranty.
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January 15, 2010 4:37:38 PM

Personally I'd think you'd save at least $400 if you built your own. You can get a Samsung 25" "touch of color" TV/monitor for $330 at buy.com (probably less if you search). However if you're set on Dell, then option #1 seems best for your needs.
a c 133 à CPUs
January 15, 2010 4:44:42 PM

+1 for jonpaul 37 i think u will get a better quality system thru cyberpower
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January 15, 2010 4:50:22 PM

between option 1 from Dell & my Cyberpower build you will get better OS, Video Card, Motherboard, Power Supply, etc... not to mention you will get a router, i will list the differences below. I just really hate to see another Victim of Dell...

Video Card:

Dell = GTS 240
Cyberpower = GTS 250


Motherboard:

Dell = Proprietary crap that dell uses
Cyberpower = ASUS awesomeness

Monitor:

Dell = 23"
Cyberpower = 24"

Router:

Dell = none
Cyberpower = one

Power Supply:

Dell = shitty one
Cyberpower = Corsair (one of the best PSU's made)

Operating System:

Dell = Win 7 Home
Cyberpower = Win 7 Pro



The list goes on........
January 16, 2010 3:03:16 PM

I've checked out CyberPower PC for reviews and found a couple that were really bad. I'm sure Dell has some bad reviews but I figured sticking with a bigger company might help.

Here is a review found on this site about CyberPower PC
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/210549-31-cyberpowerp...
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January 18, 2010 1:39:22 PM

I have personally bought a computer from Cyberpower PC (before i started building my own) and when the machine arrives at my house, it didnt even have a fingerprint on it, that's how immaculate they did, they also had very helpful people for any questions i had.

Don't even ask me about the poor experiences i have had with dell, there are many...
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January 18, 2010 1:40:40 PM

go with dell and you WILL be sorry, Dell is for big companies that have alot of cash to blow on crappy PC's
January 18, 2010 2:56:32 PM

Due to my experience with Dell, I would go for Option 2 as it is very sufficient for your needs though the graphics card could be better.. I have had my dell for a little over 2 years now and haven't had one issue at all. If I have the money, I think I would go for the CyberPower PC as it has excellent specs. especially for the price.
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January 18, 2010 3:07:35 PM

all three uses GTS 240!?!?!?

dude, don't get it, ask for a radeon HD 5870 or a 5850 at least, or a GTX 285 or something...
a b à CPUs
January 18, 2010 3:51:45 PM

Holylancer, read a little more carefully, he's not going to be gaming hardcore, just lightly... Per quote from OP:

My main uses for my computer are Web, internet, graphics editing in Photoshop CS4, Video Editing (Sony Vegas Pro 8), Buring Videos (AVI to DVD etc), Light gaming, I also Multitask a lot (3-4 programs open at one time).

More of these are CPU intensive, the GTS 250 that i suggested in the Cyberpower PC build is more than enough to handle what he's looking for. If in the future he needs a better video card, then he can buy one, but it is not a necessity right now...
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January 18, 2010 4:12:19 PM

jonpaul37 said:
Holylancer, read a little more carefully, he's not going to be gaming hardcore, just lightly... Per quote from OP:

My main uses for my computer are Web, internet, graphics editing in Photoshop CS4, Video Editing (Sony Vegas Pro 8), Buring Videos (AVI to DVD etc), Light gaming, I also Multitask a lot (3-4 programs open at one time).

More of these are CPU intensive, the GTS 250 that i suggested in the Cyberpower PC build is more than enough to handle what he's looking for. If in the future he needs a better video card, then he can buy one, but it is not a necessity right now...



ops, i saw alien ware and immediately think overpriced gaming pcs

then yeah the GTS 250 would be more than enough, but hey if he is doing a lot of photoshop and video editing, maybe a eyefinity with 3x 1600*1200 monitor setup would be a killer rig option (one of few ppl whom actually needs eyefinity)

just suggesting tho, and then he would need like a 5770 or something and limit gaming to a single of that 1600*1200 monitor
January 18, 2010 6:58:07 PM

Thanks for all the continued comments, it's helping a lot. As far as the gaming questions...I dont do a lot of gaming at all...The last game i played was America's Army.

I mainly use the computer for video capture, video editing, photoshop, virtualdub etc.

I have to say Cyberpower PC scares me. for two reasons, I havnt found a good review except from jonpaul. The other reason is the many different options when building a computer..I really dont know what to choose etc.

I know a lot of gamers and DIY builders hate Dell, and most other big manufacturers, but i never had a problem with dell. They have done warranty work quickly and honored pc recalls etc professionally.

I dont dispute the CyperpowerPC has great specs for the price....I think my main hangup is that i never dealt with them before. And all the choices on the web page when building a system is daunting to someone who has never built a system before. Altho I do really like the PC bundle with a free 10'' notebook lol
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January 18, 2010 7:10:45 PM

I bought from CyberPower years ago before building my own. They did a good job and I had no problems with them.

That said, I'm not a fan of Dell, but you've used them before and they do make your options easier. Most of their desktops are built well enough.

Since you want Dell, go Dell. My thought is still Option 1 based on your work. The extra memory, tri-channel, and i7 920 will help your work go smoother.
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January 18, 2010 7:56:00 PM

quxote said:
Thanks for all the continued comments, it's helping a lot. As far as the gaming questions...I dont do a lot of gaming at all...The last game i played was America's Army.

I mainly use the computer for video capture, video editing, photoshop, virtualdub etc.


I know a lot of gamers and DIY builders hate Dell, and most other big manufacturers, but i never had a problem with dell. They have done warranty work quickly and honored pc recalls etc professionally.

I dont dispute the CyperpowerPC has great specs for the price....I think my main hangup is that i never dealt with them before. And all the choices on the web page when building a system is daunting to someone who has never built a system before. Altho I do really like the PC bundle with a free 10'' notebook lol




Quote:
I have to say Cyberpower PC scares me. for two reasons, I havnt found a good review except from jonpaul. The other reason is the many different options when building a computer..I really dont know what to choose etc.


I basically listed the items you would want to choose (in comparison to the Dell options) Just follow the configurator and what i listed, it's not that hard.

If you want to spend more $$$ on a PC that will be less powerful than the Cyberpower PC, then join the rest of the clueless population (not saying you're clueless, you seem to know at least a little what you're doing), it'll only keep giving Dell more $$$ that they don't deserve.
January 18, 2010 8:23:22 PM

jonpaul....thanks for the help, I admit I dont know as much about hardware anymore...I am mainly a software guy. To me writing a webpage or asp app is much easier then choosing the PC to do it LOL.

You seem to really dislike Dell..are you like that with all computer makers? I tend to find DIYers really dislike computer makers :) 
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January 19, 2010 11:36:46 AM

I am actually typing this email on a Dell machine that i HAVE to use at work, they won't even let me bring in one of my own machines. My company pays an arm and a leg for each PC they buy (and that is with a bulk discount) and could be saving a ton of $$$ on better options, but... the world keeps spinning. It's just that they charge way too much for the crap that they sell, let me ask you, would you buy a brand new KIA for $15,000 or a brand new BMW for less?
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January 19, 2010 12:08:23 PM

cyberpower is good, IF you know what to look for

they offer junk PSU that is marked at 1000w that can maybe pull 750 if ur lucky, they yet they offer Thermaltake 1200w right alone side that one (abit for 200 dollar more, but hey) and if you went with the thermaltake, you would be safe as that is a good PSU

then they offer things like the junk NZXT cases, alone side the Thermaltake Element-V and the Corsair Obsidian (both of which costs ~200 extra)

and they offer their shitty "water cooling" that is beat by the same CoolerMaster V8 or DarkKnight that they offer.....

It's how you configure the parts, and aside from not allowing specifically for XFX lifetime warrantied gfx, they are good for the parts
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January 19, 2010 1:34:51 PM

I have used and worked on dells for a while and I really don’t like them. In my experience they use cheap components that are more prone to break. Yes I do build my own pcs but I do not hate all big pc companies. Honestly there are only two that I dislike Dell and Mac. There are many other companies out there that will give you a better more reliable pc for the same price or cheaper. Alienware was a great company yes they were overpriced but they use quality high performance parts; when dell bought them out it was a sad day. I would not buy an Alienware today because I know the quality has dropped. If you don’t like options feel free to come on here, tell us what you are looking at and we can make a few good setups for you.

If you must go with a dell I would buy option 3.
January 20, 2010 12:04:01 AM

Prolima, I owned a Pre-Dell Alienware (2004) and it was the best system i ever had. Yes it was a bit over priced, but at the time i preferred to have it built and had the available funds. I would still be using the Alienware if it wasnt for a house fire that destroyed it...Which his why i am in the market for a new system.

I Posted a new thread asking for help coniguring a system. As theholylancer pointed out..it's configuring the parts that confusing me. I am not a "hardware" tech so I dont know the difference between cases, PSU etc etc.

THe Thread I posted is here.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/273969-28-cyberpower

Here is a short tidbit of what i am looking for, if you or anyone else is enterested in building a system and saving it for me

I have a $1800 budget for a PC, That must include a Monitor at least 23 inches, an all in one card reader and more then one firewire port. Extra USB ports (hopefully around 6-8). I would also like the Logitech g15 keyboard and the Logitech MX518 mouse and 1TB hard drive. and at least i7-920 CPU. and wireless N card

Earlier in this thread i said I had about 2100 to spend. 1800 is what is lef after i get a dual band router, NAS, ext HD and printer.
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January 20, 2010 11:25:03 AM

quxote said:
Prolima, I owned a Pre-Dell Alienware (2004) and it was the best system i ever had. Yes it was a bit over priced, but at the time i preferred to have it built and had the available funds. I would still be using the Alienware if it wasnt for a house fire that destroyed it...Which his why i am in the market for a new system.

I Posted a new thread asking for help coniguring a system. As theholylancer pointed out..it's configuring the parts that confusing me. I am not a "hardware" tech so I dont know the difference between cases, PSU etc etc.

THe Thread I posted is here.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/273969-28-cyberpower

Here is a short tidbit of what i am looking for, if you or anyone else is enterested in building a system and saving it for me

I have a $1800 budget for a PC, That must include a Monitor at least 23 inches, an all in one card reader and more then one firewire port. Extra USB ports (hopefully around 6-8). I would also like the Logitech g15 keyboard and the Logitech MX518 mouse and 1TB hard drive. and at least i7-920 CPU. and wireless N card

Earlier in this thread i said I had about 2100 to spend. 1800 is what is lef after i get a dual band router, NAS, ext HD and printer.



all that for 1800 is only possible if you got a very low end gfx, a 23 inch monitor ~$300 a mobo for 1366 ~$300 (this would have at least 6-8 ports USB, at least 1 firewire and at least 1 internal firewire connector for a front panel, making two total) a i7-920 ~$300 g15 ~100 MX518 ~60 and just those things you are looking at around 1000 dollars, and there is no HDD, no wireless N card, or card reader, nvm the ram, the psu, the case and etc...
!