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Dell XPS 9000 better than homebuilt?

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March 3, 2010 7:49:49 PM

My requirements:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week

BUDGET RANGE: $1,000-$1300

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: video editing, surfing internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor, operating system

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: microcenter, USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: none (is the i7-920 best though?)

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: none

Here's the Dell XPS 9000 for $1,200 incl tax:
Intel® Core™ i7-920 processor(8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz)
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
21.5" Dell ST2210 Full HD Monitor with VGA cable
16X DVD+/-RW Drive
8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM4 at 1066MHz - 4 DIMMs
750GB 7200 RPM5 SATA Hard Drive
nVidia® GeForce® 310 512M GDDR3

My question:
Can I get a better system outside of Dell? if so, what should I get (open to anything)?
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b C Monitor
March 3, 2010 7:58:50 PM

You haven't given us enough info to really price it out. Mainly, we need to know what video card is in the build. I'm willing to bet its not a good one...

Why don't you follow the forum guidelines (link in my signature) and give us a budget and usage. Then we can give you the best PC for you, and you can compare prices with all the crappy prebuilt vendors...
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March 4, 2010 11:03:17 AM

and madadmiral strikes again haha. All this prebuilt vendors always scam you on the minor details not said. Like the efficiency/stability of the power supply, the timings/latency of the RAM etc. I do admit their marketing of monitors always draws people in though.
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March 4, 2010 11:32:20 AM

My requirements:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week

BUDGET RANGE: $1,000-$1300

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: video editing, surfing internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor, operating system

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: microcenter, USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: none (is the i7-920 best though?)

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: none

Here's the Dell XPS 9000 for $1,200 incl tax:
Intel® Core™ i7-920 processor(8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz)
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
21.5" Dell ST2210 Full HD Monitor with VGA cable
16X DVD+/-RW Drive
8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM4 at 1066MHz - 4 DIMMs
750GB 7200 RPM5 SATA Hard Drive
nVidia® GeForce® 310 512M GDDR3

My question:
Can I get a better system outside of Dell? if so, what should I get (open to anything)?
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Best solution

a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b C Monitor
March 4, 2010 12:24:30 PM

For your uses I would get something like this:

CPU: i7-930 $299
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R $210
RAM: 2x G.Skill Pi Series 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $360
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $90
GPU: HD 5770 $150 after rebate
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Neo Eco 520W $120
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $24

Total: $1,253. This would be a lot better for your uses. Tack on the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus for $35 if you want to overclock.
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March 4, 2010 12:29:14 PM

Would I see a big difference between the I7-920 versus 930?
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b C Monitor
March 4, 2010 12:42:20 PM

The 930 is only $10 more than the 920 anyway. It's pretty much a replacement. There aren't a lot of benchmarks on it yet (it was released in the last week). It will be faster. I wouldn't recommend getting the 920 over it to save the little bit of cash...
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March 4, 2010 1:16:06 PM

For the motherboard, I'd like to get this at Microcenter and they don't seem to have the motherboard you recommend.

Some of the boards they have are below:

Gigabyte - GA-P55A-UD4P LGA 1156 P55 ATX http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?pro... $169

Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 LGA 1366 X58 ATX http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?pro... $279

EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR LGA 1366 X58 http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?pro... $199

Asus P6T LGA 1366 X58 http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?pro... $223

Or something else?

Thank you :) 
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March 4, 2010 1:26:41 PM

why would you buy at MC if its costing you more tha the egg?

the only reason we recommend checking MC most of the time its because some people that leave near by can save on shipping charges, and MC have some sick deals on prossesors that are really budged savers, but if you aren't saving whats the point>?
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b C Monitor
March 4, 2010 1:29:54 PM

Agree. MC has really good prices on Intel CPUs. If you've got one nearby, get the i7-920, as it's usually about $200 there (the 930 is still $300ish). Get everything else from Newegg, unless the same part is cheaper at MC.
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March 4, 2010 1:32:50 PM

Hi, Good question -- Most of their prices are less than Newegg -- eg: i7-930 is $249

Since they're right up the street it makes it easier as well.

What do you think of the motherboards?
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b C Monitor
March 4, 2010 2:05:57 PM

Well, the first one isn't even compatible with the CPU.

The second one (Gigabyte) is the only USB 3/SATA III board on the list. The other two only have extra features that you (and everyone else) will never need.

I would still save the $60 and get the board from Newegg.

I would also get the case/PSU from Newegg, as I know that combo is better than anything MC would have. By the way, here's a better combo that will allow for more expansion: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W for $125. That would be the preferred combo, but I don't think it was up the last few days.

Just make sure to price check everything, as prices will vary. Just because one place has a cheaper CPU and/or board doesn't mean it will have cheaper HDDs, PSUs, cases and other stuff...
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March 4, 2010 2:17:05 PM

yes once more Mad beat me to it, but I just want to say that those 3 boards you posted, well 3 because one of them is for socket 1156, not the one you need, aren't exactly what we would recommend, because the all cost more than the newegg recommendation except for the evga and gigabyte in the egg is simply better, I would do as Mad says, get any cpu deal at MC and the rest a new egg, hence to the Antec illussion is essentially the same as the 300 but with more fan, better airflow, in combo with psu it makes for an excellent base for any gaming pc..
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March 4, 2010 2:19:33 PM

Thank you very much for your information and patience :) 
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March 4, 2010 2:21:21 PM

not a problem good luck with the build!!:) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 4, 2010 2:23:51 PM

One thing to note, as I was browsing through the Dell website recently, is that a lot of their recommended settings don't make a lot of sense.

For the XPS 9000, they recommend 8 GB of RAM with the i7-920. The i7-920 has a triple-channel memory interface, meaning that while 8 GB will work...it will perform in dual-channel mode, 6 (or 12) GB is a better option.

The hard drive MadAdmiral posted is also somewhat better than whatever hard drive Dell is including, as the 500 GB platter drives are the most efficient and best value out there right now. The XPS 9000 comes base with a 500 GB drive, but there's no way to tell if it's 1 platter or more. The 750 GB drive you have cannot be a 500 GB platter drive.

You can also guarantee the quality of your power supply, motherboard, etc. by buying it yourself.

If you need a new monitor, you could remove one of the 6 GB kits from MadAdmiral's build, and possibly drop down to a 500 GB Samsung Spinpoint F3 or Seagate 7200.12 and you'd have about $200 for a monitor.
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March 5, 2010 6:37:14 PM

Best answer selected by ploom.
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March 12, 2010 2:06:34 PM

Ok, stupid question, but I want to make sure i do this right.

I have the earthwatts 650. It has an internal fan (its not where the plug is).

I have the Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion case.

When installing the Power supply, does the fan face the top of the computer or the bottom? if installed on the bottom, there's only abotu 1/2 inch opening before the bottom of the case.

Thank you

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