I have ordered a Dell XPS 435(mini tower) that I am having second thoughts on and would like some opinions. I will use the computer for gaming. These are my goals and what I ordered.
Budget 700.00 (excluding video card and power supply upgrade)
Need it to last at least a couple years
Need to run new games and of course what will be released in the near future. I am into games like COD4.
Need to be able to upgrade video card and maybe power supply.
Studio XPS 435 Desktop: Intel Core i7-920 Processor (8MB L3 Cache, 1MB L2 Cache, 2.66GHz)
640 GB SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
256MB ATI Radeon HD 3450 supporting HDMI
16X DVD +/- RW w/dbl layer write capability
6 GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz (6 DIMMs)
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
I can't seem to find much information on what this particular model and I am concerned that I will be better off with the Q9X00's since I am purely interested in running games. I also will probably not be doing any overclocking since I probably would end up totally killin' the thing! My question is should I stick with this or look for something else. Also if video card is upgradeable; what would be best?
I have had many purchases with dell, and about half of them get screwed up. After my last order for the studio 435 xps, which was delayed over a month, then cancelled "by accident" on there side, I will no longer order anything from Dell. Save yourself a huge headache, hours of time on hold, and buy something elsewhere. I would much rather spend a little more money, and be able to talk to a customer service rep whom I can understand, and that can give me answers....
I had a Dell 8400 that served me well for 5 years - till I needed to get a new system and decided to build my own - which is not that difficult and does save money - usually a little on the initial build but even more when you upgrade later. I also was very happy with my old Dell monitor I used for 6 years (and still works great) and the larger one I purchased 2 months ago.
That said - that is a very good price on the system - the i7 cpu alone retails for $279. It is the latest class of Intel processors, very fast, and should be be able to get at least one good upgrade later - although Intel has already talked about a new family with a different CPU socket. However the CPU delivers more power than you will ever use in game play in the near future - in short it will be wasted and you can save money here without it affecting game performance.
Right now the Q9550 seems to be the sweet spot for high end game play with some electing to use even lower priced AMD systems. Based on your own comments - I would say you got it - you should look to the Q9550 - or Q9650 if it does not cost too much more - for your system.
For the video card - how much do you want to spend and what games do you want to play how fast? Have you looked at this THG article with the best model of graphics card for each budget level?
The two together might help you focus into a range so others can help better. What were you using before and what were its inadequacies.
Also, you may want to compare purchaseing the card as a Dell upgrade vs. getting the cheapest option you can with the purchase and going to a third party vendor like newegg to purchase the card you want to use. Often the latter can provide significant savings, although what you wrote and the selection of the ATI 3450 indicates you already may be planning that.
Glad to see you also know about the likely need to upgrade the PSU. Once you hone in on a video card so we know its requirements and what is in the system you select, we can better advise on PSU. Also do you want to allow headway for a better graphics card later? You will most likely be looking for a PSU in the 450w to 600w range. I assume the Dell system will not allow overclocking or a second graphics card.