I am about to order a dektop from dell, and can't make up my mind whether to get the i7 920 or the i7 860. The price is similar, and of course the 860 is 2.80GHz when the 920 is 2.66GHz. Both will come with 8GB memory, but the memory that will come with the 860 will be 1333MHz vs. 1066MHz with the 920 . The computer will mostly be used to run applications and virtualization, i.e. I'm planning on running at least one MS VM on it. Not planning on running games, and not planning on upgrdaing, at least not for a few years. I read opinions for both sides, but I'd appreciate your input here. Thanks!
I'd say that there is very little performance difference between the two. However the 920 (1366 platform) is an older chip which has been replaced by the 930. On the other hand the 860 (1156) is newer with faster memory, but less flexible for future upgrades. I'd say it's a coin flip, but call them up and try to negotiate down the price on the 920 system since it has been sitting on the shelf for a while.
If you could post the system specs, it would be helpful.
Looking at the Dell page, oddly all the 1366 Studio XPS's have RAM in dual channel. Platform price difference between the two systems for the same setup is ~$60. It looks like they have a sale on the 1156 systems today and tomorrow.
The only advantages of the 1366/x58/i7 9xx platform are dual graphics at x16, and triple-channel memory.
Using dual-channel memory and a single graphics card with an i7 920 is like using a i7 860. The main advantage of i7 (as far as memory, since you're doing virtualization) is you can have up to 24 gigs if you have the money. The 860, up to 16 gigs.) That's something you'll have to decide for yourself.
But the 860 looks fine since it isn't being run in triple-channel, and you probably won't be running SLI or Crossfire.
But take Stardude's advice and negotiate. The 920 is to be *replaced* by the 930, so if you want to go that route, go into the dell store and complain to a salesperson that the chip is deprecated, so he should lower the price.