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$600-$800 desktop

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February 16, 2010 3:29:24 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this month

BUDGET RANGE: $600-800 After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: photoshop lightroom, web surfing, video editing, msft excel/word/powerpoint

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, any other reputable/reliable online retailer

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: None

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024x768

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am ready to upgrade my current 2.1GHz Dell pc to a faster unit. I priced out a Dell xps 8100 with the spec below and can get it for about $700 before tax. I was wondering with the same amount of money, will I get a better value if I build one on my own. Thanks!

Intel® Core™ i5-750 processor(8MB Cache, 2.66GHz)
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, English
6GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMs
nVIDIA GeForce G310 512MB DDR3
500GB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
OPTICAL DRIVE 16X DVD+/-RW Drive
SPEAKERS No speakers (Speakers are required to hear audio from your system) edit
KEYBOARD Dell Studio Consumer Multimedia Keyboard

More about : 600 800 desktop

February 16, 2010 8:48:09 AM

You are way under-powered (unless all of your editing is in standard definition (like DV-25) ...

You would be doing yourself a huge favor if you were to increase your budget by $300 and wait until (around) August 14th, 2010, to "do this".

I don't know where to start, so I won't, but I did work for DELL (here in Austin), and they always find some (unpublished) way to cut corners or make "crap" peripherals (like large runs of refurbs) "work" within warantee limits.

Besides paying for *i5) GMA graphics (which are worthless, for you), you don't even get hyperthreading (which most editing tools can make use of).

Do yourself (and us all, here) a huge favor and spend a little bit more for a Core -i7/920 (a chip and a bus that can really breathe) !!!

Maybe even get a small WD-VelociraptorRaptor (to boot) and a big VelociRaptor, for your video content and play-space ... get a crappy 1TB drive, for backup.

If you "cheap-out", you will most certainly regret it ... and cut off your upgrade path!

=JMO=
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February 16, 2010 3:35:50 PM

I also worked for Dell, and I now manage a company's IT network and use Dell almost exclusively for new equipment. Additionally, I own, or my family owns, 6-8 Dells and have made a total of 3 supports calls in 5 years. Two of those calls were for replacement keyboards on our laptops...

That XPS is a nice system. Are there better systems out there? Sure. Can you get more for your money? Well, do you want to overclock?

If you are going to run things at stock, that is a sweet setup at that price. If you don't mind tinkering and getting your hands into the thermal paste, you can buy a cheaper system and overclock it for better performance.

If you can spring for a quad-core, I would highly recommend it for video editing. It makes a HUGE difference.
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February 16, 2010 9:08:55 PM

Yeah, I should recant ... Dell workstation and business-class systems are at least as good as any, and their "preferred customer" support is the best ... They could not compete, otherwise ... BUT, while their XPS and ALIEN systems often top the benchmarks, I still would recommend you build your own, because you really do want control over the quality and compatibility of components ... DELL *can* (has) made *some* crappy design choices, regarding chassis and components and, when you get down to "family value" systems, you just might get a modem that won't fax or a drive with a high failure rate or junky "deal sweateners". As long as you view the lower end systems as a "value appliance" AND get a 3-yr warranty/nxt-day, you will probably be happy but, I really don't like the way they (must?) handle large issues of (occasionally) bad or marginal components. The slimmer the margin, the higher the "crap-factor". They must look for ways to increase thin margins. If that means purchasing a component that only works with the originally approved configuration, then so-be-it. They do not support certain devices on certain systems, ... they just make sure that it works the way they (originally) sold it.

Yup ... go with a hyper-threading quad core (as your base requirement), THEN, cut corners (costs) wherever you think you must.

=Al=
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February 16, 2010 11:01:58 PM

Alvin Smith said:
You are way under-powered (unless all of your editing is in standard definition (like DV-25) ...

You would be doing yourself a huge favor if you were to increase your budget by $300 and wait until (around) August 14th, 2010, to "do this".

I don't know where to start, so I won't, but I did work for DELL (here in Austin), and they always find some (unpublished) way to cut corners or make "crap" peripherals (like large runs of refurbs) "work" within warantee limits.

Besides paying for *i5) GMA graphics (which are worthless, for you), you don't even get hyperthreading (which most editing tools can make use of).

Do yourself (and us all, here) a huge favor and spend a little bit more for a Core -i7/920 (a chip and a bus that can really breathe) !!!

Maybe even get a small WD-VelociraptorRaptor (to boot) and a big VelociRaptor, for your video content and play-space ... get a crappy 1TB drive, for backup.

If you "cheap-out", you will most certainly regret it ... and cut off your upgrade path!

=JMO=


Thanks for the information. I am curious, why August 14th?
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February 17, 2010 3:36:27 AM

rl168 said:
Thanks for the information. I am curious, why August 14th?


Ah! Interested that you are interested and, yes, it is a voo-doo oriented time frame, and not a project dependent date.

Cycles, Mah Dude, Cycles! Platform cycles, Peripheral cycles, Market cycles, Business Cycles,
... Also, convergent temporal foci, regarding the maturity of the broader scope of Personal Computing, as only one single (though, central) "node", in the much greater "network" of Modern Info-Literacy, with IT as central to "Communications", which includes all Digital Multimedia communications modes, such as Higher Density Professional Video Codecs (in excess of 30 Megaabits/'sec), Cost-Performance availability of the current "State of the Art" in the storage and transmission (processing and content creation/distribution). ...
... was that a run-on sentence? Yeah. ...

But YOU are certainly aware that these cycles overlap and show convergent maturity, over time. There are Nexus or Conflux or "sweet spots", in time, when it makes sense to perform MAJOR version upgrades, of all related Hw and SW.

Most TV Stations just did this, with the "jump" (not a shift) to Digital & HDTV infrastructure.

The Military has, traditionally, been slower to "migrate", but I am seeing the "COTS" (Commercial Off/On the Shelf) cross-adaptations of expedient and affordable procurement.

MicroSoft finally (just) took a big ol' dump, and got off the potty. Much hope for 64-bit "7" and beyond.

Pro & Prosumer Digicams / Camcorders / Blu-Ray ... Streaming distribution.
You may have heard of the Red One (4K) Cinema Camera ? Computers still have a bunch of catching up to professional density video codec bit-rates of 50Mbits Intra-100, etc. Can you say Gulftown?

Gulftown? 6 cores, 4GHz, 12GB, 3xSATA3-SSDs,
(Short-stroked, Outer partitionned, eSata3/600GBx3/"VelociRAID0")
All on air.

Oh, and let's not forget about "back-to-school/college" market wave, or the fact that I want to get my stuff before Q4, when I believe that business demand will cause some over-demand pressures on availability and pricing.

You think I'm gonna buy a $300 MB that doesn't have USB3.x and eSATA3x9 ?
You think I might want a case with USB3/eSATAx connects ? Might as well.
You think I wan't time for my (to let) pro-studio-apps to catch up to Gulftown ???
You think I might want time for 2010 NAB (Broadcasters) products to reach street?
Lot's more SATA3 storage peripheral options will be a street price/availability USB3, too.
SSDs SSDs SSDs All my entire life (since IMSAI) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMSAI
SSDs SOLVE THE MAIN BOTTLENECK IN SYSTEM THROUGHPUT SINCE DAY ONE !!!
Did I mention SSDs ? Good.

August 14th, I will start with a case and PSU, ... I will be done ordering, before September 1 .

Why not August 1st? I could go with Aug 01 ... Should be good forward vision, by then.

= Al = I hope you dint waste yer time readin' that ! (I feel much better, now, tho).
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February 17, 2010 9:19:26 AM

rl168 said:

Intel® Core™ i5-750 processor(8MB Cache, 2.66GHz)
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, English
6GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMs

the i5 isn't triple channel nor you won't find any 3 gb sticks of ram thus you can go down to 2X2 or up to 4X2.
rl168 said:

nVIDIA GeForce G310 512MB DDR3

is that the new fermi gpus? they arent' out yet... also, for the resolution you use and the usage of the computer, you don't need that powerful card... get the low 5txx from ati where the t<7.
in addition, fermi gpus won't match ati's current line.

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