Dell XPS 7100 or a Homebuilt $700 System???

I have been looking at building or buying a new computer to replace my 2004 pentium 4 build. It is starting to make some strange noises and one of the hard drives will only run for a few min. before shutting down.

I have built a few computers in the past, but my last computer for my wife was a Dell and it has been running 100%. I just came across a sale on one of the new Dell XPS 7100 computers for $699. That is about the top end of my budget as I also want a 1080p 23" monitor also and it should cost a little less than $200.

My interest is using the computer for internet, running a flight sim, watching movies from NetFlix streaming, some drawing programs, and light gaming.

I do want to have a copy of Windows 7 into the build. I also like the Antec 300 Illusion case just for the looks. I have a keyboard, mouse, speakers and would like to everything else for the new computer.

The Dell XPS 7100 looks attractive, but maybe building one would allow a better upgrade path in the future. I do like the idea of having a computer that if it does not work the different suppliers will not blame each other for the problems. I don't think I really need a X6 processor...maybe a faster quad would work just a well for me.

Anyway here is a list of the things in the Dell XPS 7100 that I have found:

Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, English
AMD Phenom™ II X6 1035T + ATI Radeon HD 5670 1GB
1 Year Basic Service Plan
4GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz- 2 DIMMs
No Monitor
1TB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
16X DVD+/-RW Drive

Any insight or suggested builds would be appreciated!
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  1. Just to clarify the $200 for the monitor is in addition to the $700 you budgeted for the build?

    What sort of time frame are you looking at? I ask because the 7100 aren't supposed to ship until the later portion of this month. Dell has been having some ongoing fulfillment products getting orders shipped out the door so it's possible if you go for the Dell you might not be getting the system in a timely manner.
  2. jbakerlent...thank you for the list of parts. I would need to add in Windows 7 so it would bring me up to about the same price as the Dell. I think the Dell has a 400 power supply or something in that area, so yours would have a better PS for sure.

    Indecisive_Man....that should be my name on here. I have been shopping for quite a while and am very indecisive. I am in no hurry as long as my old computer is still going, but I really need to do something as I do not want to lose some of my data. So there is no rush right now. The $200 monitor will be in addition to the computer budget, a total of $800 to $900 is kind of what I want to spend.

    Another problem with getting a new computer is I do not want to retire my old HP LaserJet that cost $1000 back when it was the leading edge. Great printer and works as well as when new. It needs a parallel port connection and the newer mother boards do not have a parallel connection. I have played with one of the parallel to USB cords with little success. Should I plan on putting one of the parallel boards in the new computer?
    Any other suggestions???

  3. The Phenom II x4 955 that jbakerlent lists in his build is going to be a better performer in terms of gaming then the hex core AMD in the 7100. If you are going to be doing any compiling, video editing or heavy productivity stuff, the x6 will be the better performer. The PSU he lists has more juice but the OCZ units are usually not considered to be as high in quality as the Corsairs or Antecs. The stock power supply on the 7100 is listed as a 460w. This would be one of the beefier power supplies for Dell. They are even offering the Radeon 5870 as an option on that system but I'm not sure if they'll use the stock PSU or actually upgrade it for you. The upgrade path in the Dell is not going to be stellar but it isn't nearly as bad as they used to be. Previously, everything in those boxes seemed to be proprietary. These days, they are actually putting in components that might be considered standard.

    In terms of cost, I'm not sure where you live but another piece of the financial side is tax. If you live in a state that has no sales tax or you live in California, you can probably safely ignore the rest of this. If you live in California, Newegg and Dell will both charge you sales tax. If you live outside of California, Newegg will not charge the tax and Dell will. Depending upon the tax rate, you could be looking at an additional one hundred dollars or so in tax when buying from Dell.

    As for the printer, you'd probably have fewer problems by just slapping in the PCI card. I've tried to use those parallel to usb cables and I've never had much luck. This isn't to say they can't work. I just couldn't figure mine out.
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