**I am sorry in advance to the moderators for posting this topic in both the Dell and HP forums, but since my topic concerns comparing HP and Dell affiliated system, I figured this would give me the best answers and advice concerning my questions. If these topics belong somewhere else, please let me know where to put them in the future.
Anyways... I am a long time custom-systems builder but I have decided to be lazy and give one of the big custom PC makers a go this time around and build a gaming(primary)/workstation(secondary) system online. Unfortunately, the two sytems that I am looking at don't seem to have alot of head-to-head reviews on the web and I was hoping for some better feedback than the company websites give me.
I'm looking at a water-cooled Intel Quad core system from both parties. (the Alienware Area-51 and the Voodoo OMEN Intel video studio).
Currently my config for both systems is:
- 2x 150G 10K RPM Raptors (RAID-0),
- 1.0 TB of Non-Raid backup drives,
- 4 Gigs of the company's supplied RAM,
- Windows Vista Ultimate (I have XP Pro at home in case the vista should try to eat itself),
- Whatever Processor/Video watercooling is offered by the company,
- I have yet to decide on my 7.1 audio options but I will go something higher than integrated MB audio,
- I may go dual Geforce 8800's if I place more emphasis on gaming, but since I would like to adress my fears that the SLI is the most likely problem with regards to system cooling, driver issues and general system operations, let's just assume that I have made up my mind and I am going SLI.
Does anyone know of a reliable review of these systems head-to-head (config doesn't have to be exact) that has been posted within the last month? If not, does anyone have experience dealing with these systems, their components, or these companies directly that could help me make a decision? My main concerns are the reliability and quality of their components, craftsmanship, cooling, and overall support. I am open to other system manufacturer's as well (Widow PC, Falcon, etcs.) but I decided to examine these two builders first.
Personal experience with either system? No
I have heard horror stories about Alienware though. Computers being shipped wired wrong or not being correctly packed. Stuff you wouldn't expect after paying big bucks for a PC.
Personally what I would do is compare the Voodoo and a Falcon Mach V. The magazine Games for Windows reviewed high-end systems from Voodoo, Falcon, Alienware and a few others. The Falcon and Voodoo ended up going toe to toe. The Voodoo edged the Falcon out by a small margin. You can go to pcmag.com to see reviews of systems from all PC builders like the ones mentioned. They do not include head to head though.