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Dell XPS Dilemma

Last response: in Systems
January 19, 2011 11:21:33 PM

I'm looking to buy one of two systems as my current one is on its last legs.

Dell XPS 9100
4GB Ram
1 TB drive
Ati 5870 1GB
525W PS
They'll throw in a 23' monitor (which is a bonus)


Dell XPS 8300
i7 2600
6GB Ram
1 TB drive
Ati 5770
460W PS

It's for some gaming (battlefield, CoD, SC2), work (office products and some statistics software), tv/movies and web surfing.

I've owned a few Dell's and they do the job. I don't have time to build one otherwise I would (maybe next time).

I'm leaning to option 2, but that 5870 is calling to me.

Been lurking around Tom's for a few years and I'd like to hear your thoughts/advice.


More about : dell xps dilemma

January 19, 2011 11:23:37 PM

See if you can go to the custom-build pages and upgrade the 8300 to a 5870? Dell tends to offer those options, if you are buying directly off their site. Get the best of both worlds!
January 20, 2011 12:02:33 AM

XPS 9100 is a triple channel RAM kit unit, runs LGA1366 socket motherboard.
you need 6GB like you listed in the second unit.
please go back and check your sources.
you get the CORRECT triple channel kit and the HD5870 with unit 1.

Strange... I looked at the base model (economy) which has the 4GB and just upgraded the video card to the 5870. It didn't stop me from doing this. I don't doubt you on this one, but it's not a big deal.

6 GB would be better and I could go that route as it only adds about $100 to the price.

So which would serve me better?
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January 20, 2011 12:20:41 AM

it's a LGA1366 socket and it's optimized for triple channel memory configuration.
you should have 6GB(3x2GB) in slots 1,3 and 5.
i'm not saying that it won't run with 4GB but it will be in dual if in the correct slots but that system is meant for triple.
all it really means is that you won't be experiencing the units true speed and capabilities..

Thanks that clears things up.

So back to my question. Is one better or will they both work for what I need?
January 20, 2011 12:29:14 AM

actually looking at those two options, are you certain that you do not have any of the info backwards.?
the 8300 up top and the 9100 down below..
it just doesn't seem right.

I don't think so?


January 20, 2011 1:09:06 AM

I've seen so many that I get confused.
OK, I got it....
believe it or not it is wrong....
the 9100 should have at least 6GB of RAM and the 8300 should have the 4GB.
the 9100 is a LGA1366 socket and the 8300 is a LGA1156 socket.
it might be a clerical error or whatever....
but I'm telling you as a tech, that you should check and see if the 9100 is LGA1366 and if it is then you need a triple channel kit, PERIOD.
and the 8300 if LGA1156 socket runs a dual channel kit, PERIOD.
so I'm asking you to PLEASE look into that.
please look at my signature (when comes back up, seems to be having technical difficulties ATM)
and at least give me the benefit of the doubt for being so adamant about it.
either you are going to get a LGA1366 on dual channel not triple or you will get a LGA1156 running single channel and not dual channel.
(unless the LGA1156 board has 6GB of RAM configured like this:
4GB(2x2GB)+ 2GB(2x1GB) filling up all four RAM slots)
and having a full set of RAM isn't optimal either but that's entirely a different story..

I don't doubt you in the least on this one. My reply to you was intended to be self doubtful as I'm not quite sure that what they are offering makes sense to me after conversing with you. From everything I've read 1366 works best with triple channel. The 4GB was just me being cheap and I'll make that upgrade if I choose the 9100.

For the 8300 I think you meant to say LGA1155 as the cpu's offered are all sandy bridge. However, you're quite right on the memory issue again.

I'll have to look into this some more.
January 20, 2011 2:08:41 AM

thanx for the clarification including the LGA1155 and not LGA1156, typo.
I was so frustrated when typing becuase I new something wasn't right.
let me know what you find and if need me for a resource just yell.

No worries, I appreciate your help with this. I'll check into it and get back to you.
January 20, 2011 5:24:18 PM


the 8300 is 2x2 and 2x1 according to the rep (4 slots used). Would it be better to pick the 8GB option instead? (2x4 I assume).

for the i7-930 I'd just pick the 6GB kit.
January 20, 2011 5:51:04 PM

I just called someone at dell and they do have that 5870 option on the second computer. You just have to ask for it.
January 20, 2011 10:58:06 PM

8GB(2x4GB) is a good move.
gfx card is also a good move.

I have to double check that 8GB again. It looks like 4x2GB instead :( 

Good to know that I could get the 5870. Although the 460W PS seems small for that upgrade. I used a ps calc and 460W is pushing it for the 930 & 5870. 2600 would be a bit better power wise, but that's still too close for me.

I could always get the 2600 with the 5770 and upgrade the PS and card later to the 6000 series. I think the make or break is the RAM situation. If I can't get dual channel using less than 4 slots would the 930 with triple channel (6GB) be the better choice?

January 20, 2011 11:15:56 PM

boo-urns. It's 4x2GB.

Okay so what's the best option: i7-930 w/ 6GB and 5870 or i7-2600 with 6-8GB and 5770. Keep in mind it's for gaming, work, movies/tv and the web.
January 20, 2011 11:32:32 PM

Yeah, I think I'll go that direction. I know the 2600 is better. It was that tempting 5870 option on the 9100. The 5770 is good for what I need. You can't always get what you want... But sometimes you get what you need (sorry to paraphrase mick).

Thanks for all of the help. I really appreciate it.
January 20, 2011 11:32:47 PM

Best answer selected by lookyloo.
January 21, 2011 7:20:36 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar