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Which setup would be better overall? Please help me decide.

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June 15, 2010 12:56:23 AM

Hey guys, so I'm trying to decide now between the dell xps 8100 and the dell xps 7100. Both seem pretty decent to me, and both seem to have their pros and cons. But in all honesty, my knowledge of computers is pretty darn lacking, so I really want to just leave it to you guys to help me decide which one I should get.

I'll be using this desktop as my main computer (I would say mostly for gaming, but also for almost all other normal things like browsing, downloading music/movies, word documents, etc.. nothing too intensive like photo editing or anything. I would like if this computer lasted me atleast for 3-4 years, and would be able to play most games on high/ultra settings on 1920x1080 (although I don't mind bumping the resolution down). Basically I just want a mid ranged gaming pc that is somewhat "future proof" that can handle every day stuff easily. I'm not into making my own PC, even though that seems to be the better choice in most situations.

*I'll leave out the stuff that doesn't matter, like the OS which will be windows 7, and the speakers, keyboard, etc...*


Dell XPS 7100

Processor: AMD Phenom™ II X6 1055T + ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB
Memory: 6GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMS
Hard Drive : 1TB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
Monitor 24.0" Dell ST2410 Full HD Monitor with VGA cable
Optical Drive: 16X DVD+/-RW Drive

Price: $1,587 (before tax)


Dell XPS 8100

Processor Intel® Core™ i7-860 processor (8MB Cache, 2.80GHz)
Memory 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMs
Hard Drive : 1TB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
Graphics Card ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024MB GDDR5
Optical Drive Blu-ray Disc (BD) Combo (Reads BD and Writes to DVD/CD)

Price: $1,539 (before tax)




So with the 7100, I can get a great GPU, however it comes at the cost of a Bluray drive and from what I've read, a slower CPU. With the 8100, I get a decent GPU, more ram (but over 4 is overkill from what I've read so it's not a big selling point for me), a faster processor, and a Blu-ray drive.

One of the things that's bothering me about the 7100 is the AMD processor. I'm no computer expert by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems to me that the intel core i5/i7 are more popular now and are more widely used than the AMD phenom processors and so I would have an easier time if it came down to problems with the CPU as it's more commonly known (in my mind it's similar to PC's and Mac's, if that makes sense?). Also it struck me as odd how the processor and GPU for the 7100 were bundled together, as if they're kind of stuck with each other? Like I can't upgrade them over time? However like I said, I'm no expert so what I just said could be complete nonsense.


Overall I just want a computer that will last me for the next few years that will easily handle just about anything I throw at it and be able to play games on moderately high/ultra settings. Any advice is much appreciated, thank you very much.


More about : setup decide

June 15, 2010 1:30:44 AM

Personally i would go with the 7100 cuz it has a sweet gpu much better then the 5770 which is an entry level performance gpu.
Nothing wrong with an AMD cpu as for the optical drive i think blu-ray is hype but that's my opinion.
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June 15, 2010 1:37:33 AM

Welcome to the new "Prebuilt" section...

I would go with the Dell XPS 7100 for your needs. Why...
1) The 5870 will out way the performance differenct between the 1055T & 860 when compared with the 5770. The 1055T isn't the best of gaming CPU's but by no means is it bad!!

2) Your system needs will not need more than 4GB of RAM, so either build has more RAM than you need!

3) Right now BD isn't worth it for the most part and when the time comes you need it, you can always just add it to your Dell XPS 7100.

To answer your concerns on the CPU to a point, you are buying an OEM system, so you will be VERY limited in CPU upgrades with either system, which is the downfall of OEM systems (not the most upgradable!!).
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June 15, 2010 1:51:02 AM

How bad is the 1055T for gaming? I've looked at a few benchmarks but to be honest a lot of them just don't make sense to me. Also, for stuff other than gaming, how would the 1055T compare to the i7?
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June 15, 2010 2:06:17 AM

Wow it seems to be a pretty significant difference. It seemed that even on the FPS tests on the games the core i7 seemed to do a lot better. Would the 5870 really make up the difference? I mean, in some cases the difference is even 30 fps.
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June 15, 2010 2:07:59 AM

Yes... it will make a difference since those benchmarks are done with equal setups, which the 5870 isn't equal to a 5770.
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June 15, 2010 3:05:09 AM

I would not get either desktop. I would look to dell's alienware line. I just put one together online just to see what you could get for 1500. Here are the specs for 1524 before tax...

i7 920
HD 5870
6gb DDR3 1333mhz
875w PSU
Liquid Cooling
500gb HD
DVD-RW

Those other Dells you are looking at have WAY underpowered Power Supplies and are likely to blow up on you.

If you are patient you should sign up for their email list and they often send coupons of like 25% off. I picked up an i7 950 with crossfire 5870s refurbished for 1285 after my discount.
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June 15, 2010 3:51:37 AM

brennon7 said:
I would not get either desktop. I would look to dell's alienware line. I just put one together online just to see what you could get for 1500. Here are the specs for 1524 before tax...

i7 920
HD 5870
6gb DDR3 1333mhz
875w PSU
Liquid Cooling
500gb HD
DVD-RW

Those other Dells you are looking at have WAY underpowered Power Supplies and are likely to blow up on you.

If you are patient you should sign up for their email list and they often send coupons of like 25% off. I picked up an i7 950 with crossfire 5870s refurbished for 1285 after my discount.



Is that in Canadian dollars? Also, I think I should have mentioned before that my monitor/keyboard/mouse/speakers also have to be included in the price range >_<
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