After careful thought I have decided to buy a desktop to replace my moderate laptop (Inspiron 1545, pentium dual core, 4gb ram, ati mobility 4330), which is being used for college now. I have always been a moderate gamer, but simply put opting to buy a laptop a while back to game with was a bad choice. So this year I took advantage of Dell's back to school offers and nabbed a customized XPS 8300. I took the mid-level package and only had to upgrade the video card from the GT 350. Here are the specs:
Intel i7 2600 (3.4 GHz, 8M Cache)
8GB DDR3 SDRAM @ 1333 MHz
AMD Radeon HD 6870
Standard 1TB 7200 RPM SATA drive
Cost - $1100 (Decent value?)
So the big question, how will it perform. It's a given that it will drastically outperform my laptop, but in games such as Shift 2, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, NFS Hot Pursuit, Bioshock 2, Cities XL 2011, Portal 2, and Crysis 2? The monitor included runs at 1080p but I usually set gaming resolutions lower to keep the detail settings high. From what I have read it should handle all of them, I'm just not sure how well. Also, how do you think it will perform in future games?
I suppose my only concerns are with the power supply and cheap motherboards. I read the power supply was 460w, yet the radeon 6870 recommends a 500w. Not sure if dell upgrades the PSU for you if you exceed that, but either way a PSU upgrade may be in the works as it ages, depending on whether or not 500w is really necessary or just "recommended"
As long as you don't try to overclock your HD6870, you should be fine, as is, with your rig. You should also be able to game quite well, even at higher graphics details settings and at 1920x1080. While you could have likely built as good or a better system for the cost, you seem to have a purchased a decent machine, with Dell support, so you should be good to go for a while.
BTW, adding a stronger PSU is not a bad idea, but really isn't necessary now.
Quick fix here, the monitor was NOT included in that price, I purchased it in a store for $150 a while back so I already have it, just need the hdmi cable for the new pc and I'm set.
I don't mess with overclocking unless it is available stock (like the i7 2600k if it was an option in this build, which it wasn't). I did look to see what the price was on the components themselves, but it ended up being about the same:
And all I really got there was a nicer case (who else will ever see it besides my family and some friends?) and maybe a larger hard drive or solid state drive if I really wanted it. Other than the 2600 vs 2600k (Which is what, just an unlocked multiplier, right?), it's basically the same setup for the same price, except I have to build the second one, something that can be fun (read: frustrating) but isn't essential when I buy.
And it's great to hear that the 6870 can handle 1080p gaming! I may just leave the resolution alone then . And with regards to the psu, I have a history of over-taxing them as they age, so while it shouldn't be necessary immediately I'm guessing I will upgrade it a year or two down the road.
Well since this rig can handle 1080p gaming I decided on a nice Acer 24" 1080p LED monitor. Since I'm used to a 15' laptop screen it should be plenty, and it was on clearance so I got it for under $120 Thanks for the info on the graphics card, otherwise I would have thought 1080p was too much to game with and gone with a smaller monitor.
This picture with the laptop next to my new monitor says it all: That thing is a beast compared to what I'm used to. I can't wait to get my desktop delivered so I can give it a full test (And get rid of that ugly old apple keyboard I had to pull out due to reduced space on my desk ), a mobility 4330 really can't do 1080p all that well