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New Dell Studio XPS system

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October 30, 2009 1:48:58 PM

I'm about to buy a new PC that I will use for heavy office use. I will be running two Microsoft Virtual Machines most of the time, and programming with Visual Studio. Here's the machine i have built. My budget: I'd LIKE to stay below $1500, but if there is a necessary upgrade that will go over that it's ok. Absolute max is $1900.

Dell Studio XPS ($1329)
=================
PROCESSORS Intel® Core™ i7-920 processor(8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz)
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Ultimate, 64bit
WARRANTY AND SERVICE 1Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis edit
MEMORY 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 4 DIMMs
HARD DRIVE 500GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
OPTICAL DRIVE Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 16x DVD+/-RW w/ dbl layer write capable
VIDEO CARD ATI Radeon HD 4350 512MB
SOUND CARD Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
WIRELESS Integrated 10/1000 Ethernet

Here's the options that I'm considering. What are your opinions on these, should I upgrade?

CPU:
i7-920 8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz (I choose this one)
OR
i7-950 8MB L3 Cache, 3.06GHz add $470 (worth the money?)

RAM:
6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 6 DIMMs
OR
8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 4 DIMMs (I choose this one)

Sound Card:
(I will be doing some gaming, not a lot though)
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio [Included in Price] (I choose this one).
OR
Soundblaster® X-Fi™ Xtreme Audio [add $60]
OR
Soundblaster® X-Fi™ Titanium [add $100]


Wireless:
Integrated 10/1000 Ethernet [Included in Price]
OR
Dell 1505 WLAN PCIe card with11n mini-Card & external antenna [add $70]

Does anyone know if Dell Studio XPS machines are easy to upgrade? I will want to upgrade the video card to a gaming card that supports dual monitors and I will want to add another HDD after I get the computer (Dell is just too expensive on their second HDD, $150 for another 500 GB pffft! I should be able to get a terabyte for that cost I think).

Thanks in advance!

More about : dell studio xps system

October 30, 2009 2:41:15 PM

You can't use dual channel memory (8GB) on a 1366 socket motherboard (i7 920). If you go with the i7 920, you need triple channel memory (6GB).

The i7 950 uses a 1156 socket, which uses dual channel memory (8GB). This won't run with triple channel memory.

For the price you are paying, you are seriously getting ripped off. With the help of the people on this forum, and the manuals that come with the hardware, you could build one yourself. You would save $$ and get a much better system.
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October 30, 2009 3:09:41 PM

hrm .. that's the Dell recommended memory for that system with that processor.

I've actually been considering building my own. I just dread the research it will require, but it may be worth it. I may look at that option though.
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October 30, 2009 3:25:46 PM

The homebuilt section of the forum is a good place to start. There are always people looking for build advice. You could start your own thread, or look at others, and check out the suggsted builds.

If Dell is now advising dual channel memory on 1366 boards, they have really gone bottom level in support. It has to be tri channel.
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October 30, 2009 3:39:55 PM

what do you think about this system:

i7 920
6GB DDR3 1600 triple channel
nvidia GTX 260 graphics card
xigmatek dark knight CPU cooler
gigabyte x58 mobo
WD Black 500 GB HDD 32MB cache
LG 22x DVDRW optical drive
Antec three hundred gaming chassis
xigmatek 650 watt PSU

That is another system built by a local business. I have heard good things about their computers.

This system is $1499.00
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October 30, 2009 3:46:21 PM

Xigmatek is known for quality CPU coolers, but not PSUs. I'd change that.

The WD hard drive is quality, but there are a few others, well priced, that are faster and/or larger.

Nvidia is way overpriced. ATI cards are as good if not better, and much better priced.
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October 30, 2009 3:46:49 PM

and what about this system

i7 860 (2.8 GHz)
gigabyte UD3 series mobo
4GB mushkin DDR3-1866
nvidia geforce GTX 275 graphics
500 GB western digital black HDD
samsung DVDRW
xigmatek HDT-S1283 CPU cooler, seythe slipstream fans
corsair 750W PSU
antec three hundred chassis
windows 7 home

this system is $1600. How is the i7-860 compared to the i7-920?
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October 30, 2009 3:56:24 PM

i7 920 - 289
6GB DDR3 1600 - 130
xigmatek cooler - 45
Gigabyte x58 - 174
WD HD:
Green - 55
Caviar Black - 70
LG drive - 30
Antec 300 - 70
Xigmatek PSU - 110

Assuming they used the caviar black HD, not the crappy green drive, the total comes to ~$918. And that is before any combo deals. You could easily build this and save $$.
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October 30, 2009 3:59:07 PM

cchampio said:
and what about this system

i7 860 (2.8 GHz)
gigabyte UD3 series mobo
4GB mushkin DDR3-1866
nvidia geforce GTX 275 graphics
500 GB western digital black HDD
samsung DVDRW
xigmatek HDT-S1283 CPU cooler, seythe slipstream fans
corsair 750W PSU
antec three hundred chassis
windows 7 home

this system is $1600. How is the i7-860 compared to the i7-920?



This looks like a very nice build. The it 860 is very similar to the i7 920. If you plan to OC, go with the 920. If not, I'd choose the 860.

Still way overpriced though. :D 
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October 30, 2009 4:12:51 PM

So out of those three systems you'd definitely choose the i7-860.

Maybe I'll look at how much I could build a simular system for. If I could save over $300 by building it myself I would consider it.
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October 30, 2009 4:35:46 PM

are gigabyte mobo the best? he sales guy talk like they are the best, but I have always heard asus is the best mobo.
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Best solution

October 30, 2009 4:55:25 PM

4870 - 150
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCZ 500w - 35
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4GB DDR3 1333 - 80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
coolermaster case - 50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Samsung spinpoint f3 500GB - 55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asus p55/i7 860 combo - 449
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Samsung DVD burner - 31
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This build comes to $850 after rebates. The case can be swapped for whatever you like. If your not really into games, the video card could be dropped down. Or if you are thinking of xfire/sli in the future, the PSU would need to be upgraded.

Asus and Gigabyte are the 2 best motherboard manufacturers. You can't really go wrong with either.
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October 30, 2009 7:17:04 PM

Yeah Im definitely convinced I can build my own a lot cheaper now. I guess it's worth doing the required research, I'm just a bit nervous because I never built a system before. I like the system you built, but I think I rather stick with the i7-920 because I been reading it uses the LGA 1366 which is what future processors will use and so it's more upgradable.

Is EVGA good motherboards too?

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