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Dell Precision t5400 vs DIY

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April 7, 2012 2:34:27 AM

Hello,
I have around 900 dollars to spend towards a gaming pc and I was wondering whether it would be worth it to get a Dell Precision t5400 with two 3.16ghz quad core xeon's 16gb of ram for about 600 dollars and I have a spare ati 5850 gpu to throw in it, or should i just build my own single processor i7 system?
April 7, 2012 3:03:58 AM

For $900 I don't think you'd be able to make much of an i7 build. If I were you I'd build an i5 or an AMD (the Phenom IIs are getting cheap, almost off market though)

I built my rig for $950 (Well, just over $800, but the SSD was a gift)

CPU - AMD FX-6100 Black Edition

Mobo - BIOSTAR TA990FXE AM3+

RAM - 8GB 2x4GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 2000

GPU - nVidia GeForce 550Ti (ZOTAC TA-50401-10L)

Case - CoolerMaster HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower

PSU - SeaSonic X650 80PLUS Gold Fully Modular

HDD - WD CaviarBlue 500GB SATA 6Gb/s

SSD - Corsair Force 3 Series 90GB SSD


You can go with a non Modular PSU and a cheaper case and allocate that money elsewhere (like a more powerful GPU).
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April 7, 2012 3:18:05 AM

would the dell even be worth it because it would give me 2 xeon quad core's at 3.16 ghz, and id even have extra money for a more powerful gpu if that's nessisary as well?
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April 7, 2012 4:11:20 AM

mechpilotace said:
would the dell even be worth it because it would give me 2 xeon quad core's at 3.16 ghz, and id even have extra money for a more powerful gpu if that's nessisary as well?


Would be better to build our own with the $900 and later you would leave room for upgrades. Go with an i5 build with 2500k as the cpu, one of the best cpu's for the buck right now.
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Best solution

April 7, 2012 2:37:07 PM

mechpilotace said:
Hello,
I have around 900 dollars to spend towards a gaming pc and I was wondering whether it would be worth it to get a Dell Precision t5400 with two 3.16ghz quad core xeon's 16gb of ram for about 600 dollars and I have a spare ati 5850 gpu to throw in it, or should i just build my own single processor i7 system?


mechpilotace,

I'm not an expert on the current world of home-brews, but I can see that an i7 CPU is abut $300, the RAM would be another $300, the motherboard $250+ so there' would seem to be nothing left for the case, PS, optical drives, and so on. The CPU cooling system alone might be quite costly.

I have however, used a Dell Precision T5400 for about 2 years > [3.16 quad core xeon (5460) , 12GB DDR2-5300, nVidia GTX 285, WD RE4 500GB, 2-Sony Optiarc 24X, m-audio 2496, Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit < AutoCad 2011, Inventor 2011, Revit, Maya, Adobe CS5, WP X4, Corel Technical Designer X5, Sketchup 8. Monitor is HP 2711x 1980X1080] , and while I've never tried games, the performance in 3D CAD and video is just fantastic. The disk system too is amazing, internal file transfers seem instantaneous and applications just "snap" on. With a Quadro FX580 512MB video card, this T5400 scored 1850 on the Passmark benchmark test, and with the GTX 285- and Win 7 basic theme- 2240. By contrast , my well-worked out Dell Optiplex 740 AMD X2 64 3.0Ghz, 6GB, Quadro FX 580 512MB, Seagate 500GB scored 1330. The 3D score of the 1GB GTX 285 gaming card was 3X the 512MB Quadro. BTW, the T5400 has a 875W PS, which is very important with high performance Video cards needing over 200W alone.

Overall, the $600 T5400 seems an unbelievable bargain- especially with 8 cores of the xeon 3.16 - that was a $2,500 CPU new- each- and that T5400 with 16GB RAM would've cost over $14,000+! I don't see how a home-built could near that performance for several times your budget. The build quality of the T5400 too is amazingly good and I plan to use mine as my main work computer for at least the next 3 years- then perhaps a used T7500 with a 2GB Quadro.

If you like to fuss with performance, the T5400 responds very well and with your left-over $300, perhaps consider some kind SL1 dual video card setup or something like a GTX 295. In preparation for some video editing in Premier CS5, I've been considering adding the second xeon 5460 to mine- about $250. these are just terrific machines.

Cheers,

BambiBoom
Los angeles
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April 24, 2012 6:27:10 AM

mechpilotace said:
Hello,
I have around 900 dollars to spend towards a gaming pc and I was wondering whether it would be worth it to get a Dell Precision t5400 with two 3.16ghz quad core xeon's 16gb of ram for about 600 dollars and I have a spare ati 5850 gpu to throw in it, or should i just build my own single processor i7 system?


Get the Dell. I purchased one from ebay (only 1 3.16 xeon. I added a second later). I liked it so much I bought a second t5400 2x 2.5 xeon I got from computer geeks for 250$. This machine is a beast. Running w/a gtx 460 and I play Call of Duty, Shogun 2 total war, Crysis3 w/out any problem. Keep in mind though, I am not a gamer. I play every now and then. Case is heavy duty and most importantly, quiet. Runs a 875watt power supply. Maxes out at 32 gb ram ECC (although th 4gb module are expensive - have 24gb)I have not been able to throw anything at it that it cannot handle. Have vmware vsphere 5.0 running on the second unit w/windows 2008 lab setup w/out any problems. On my main unit I have vmware workstation. I also have emu 1820 pro sound card w/breakout box and a 6 port nic card installed. I use this as my main unit and could not be happier with it. Use it for games, video and audio encoding, computer labs (I have 3 hdd in unit w/one for virtual machines, audio, and video files). I am sorry I did not buy a third unit from computer geeks. You have a great deal, no way you could build out a machine with those specs for that price.
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April 24, 2012 12:01:52 PM

Ram 300$?! What type of ram are you buying? You can get 16gbs of good ram for 125$
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April 24, 2012 6:08:35 PM

Stupid Username said:
Ram 300$?! What type of ram are you buying? You can get 16gbs of good ram for 125$


Dear Mr. S. Name,

None of my computers use it so, but a quick check at amazon has 16GB of DDR3 RAM for as little as $90. However the Dell T5400 uses DDR2-6400 RAM- (BTW, the same RAM as Dell Poweredge 29XX servers) and DDR2 RAM is substantially more expensive. In these amazon.com listings for DDR2>

http://www.amazon.com/Komputerbay-PC2-6400-PC2-6300-Hea...

>is the cheapest at $230.00 and >

http://www.amazon.com/Komputerbay-PC2-6400F-Buffered-He...

> while the cheapest 16 GB of DDR3>

http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Technology-Modules-KHX16...

> is only $88!.

Back to DDR2, the most expensive 16GB of T5400 RAM>

http://www.amazon.com/Komputerbay-PC2-6400F-Buffered-He...

- costs $528, the highest price for DDR2.

and the most expensive DDR3>

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-1600MHz-Memory-...

-which costs $120 - just as you mentioned in your post.

It's ostensibly counter-intuitive that the obsolete, lower performance memory costs more than the current, but that is reflective of the original cost. I'm not sure, but in 2009 having 16GB RAM in a new T5400 might have added $2-3,000 and a computer with multiple CPU's, professional video cards, and multiple HD's could total solid five figures- $11-14,000. If you customize a new T5500 to the approximate level of my $600 old banger (Xeon quad 3.16GHZ, 12GB RAM, 1GB GTX 285, 500GB RE4, W7 Ult 64) , it costs about :

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us...

- $4,898.00.

Of course, the new T5500 would be a better performer than the T5400- DDR3 seems to be a useful improvement, but so much of performance is in configuration so the Passmark benchmark scores for my T5400 could run higher (2239) than a number of T5500's including dual CPU, and six-core processors machines, and/or with more RAM.

The Good Ol' Days > My first computer - 1993- was an IBM 486 running at 25Hz , 2MB RAM, 85MB HD, running Windows 3.1 over DOS6.2. and cost about $2,100. Note those numbers are MB's and not GB's . The 85MB HD had the OS and >AutoCad 10 DOS, WordPerfect 6, Corel Graphics 3, To make it faster with Cad, I added a math co-processor- $330, a "DX50"- 50Hz, and maximized the RAM by adding 2MB of RAM to 4MB- $180! I filled the HD in 6 months, and a 240MB HD upgrade was $275. The largest HD the OS could see was 528MB's and a 540MB drive started at $500.

How good were the good ol' days?

Cheers,

BambiBoom
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May 4, 2012 9:48:29 PM

Best answer selected by mechpilotace.
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