Your opinion regarding this Dell pc?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by P-P-S-S, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. P-P-S-S

    P-P-S-S
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    I have recently decided to get a new pc for home usage (i am not much into pc gaming by the way). So far i have decided to go for the Dell Studio XPS Desktop (the first one in that list). I thought i would chose the option of 8Gb memory rather than 4 that it comes with originally. Main features include Intel Core i7 2.66Ghz, Vista premium Sp1 64Bit, 8Gb DDR3 tri channel. The video card says ATI radeon 4850 but i am not sure if they mean ATI Radeon HD 4850 or not??!! I am thinking of connecting this pc to my Lcd tv (see my signature for model of TV)

    Anyhow what do you guys think? Is it a good choice/value for money?
     
  2. EarthRod

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    Hi

    Yeah - looks OK-ish for the price, except for the graphics card and choice of RAM.

    To take advantage of the tri-channel RAM configuration 3, 6, 9 or 12 GB of RAM need to be installed (i.e. 3 RAM modules). Cannot have 4 or 8GB in tri-channel!

    IMO, i7 is powerful stuff and requires powerful components. Spend a little more and get a better graphics card.

    Dell's offering is a cut-back or truncated system. There are better systems in the market place if you look around.

    Alan
     
  3. P-P-S-S

    P-P-S-S
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    Hi Alan

    Thanks for the advice. Do you know if the videocard is the ATI Saphire Radeon HD 4850?

    If not what video card would you reccomend and would it void the warranty?

    I understand about the RAM issue and have decided to go for the 6Gb option.

    When you say the system is truncated appart for the video card is there anything else that is lacking?

    I have been out of the PC scene for a while and i have no idea about other pc makers in the market and dont want to go for a company that doesnt offer good customer service. Any reccomendations?
     
  4. EarthRod

    EarthRod
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    Hi

    Dell are control freaks, they have a tendancy to cutback on available user BIOS settings so you cannot change things - the PC is 'fixed' into Dell's configuration.

    A give-away on this is the RAM, Dell put 4GB into a tri-channel system. The chances are the tri-channel feature has been (how shall I put it) 'truncated'. In other words the RAM data throughput is throttled.

    IMO Dell's i7 offering is a marketing ploy, that's why its so cheap. I was very interested in it until I did some digging around and found out that what you see is not what you get (as it were).

    I could be wrong and being unfair with Dell, but I'm not taking the risk - especially when it comes to forking out £800 or so on a system.

    As far as the graphics is concerned, With a powerful system like the i7 I think the minimum requirement is a 1GB HD 4870.

    Are you sure you need such a powerful system? Because i7 is cutting edge stuff.

    Alan
     
  5. Sheks

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    I have recently got one of these, and for me it so far appears to be doing a fine job.

    It's the first "off the shelf" PC I have bouight in 10 years - the last 4 PC's I have built myself.

    I am not a gamer, nor interested in overclocking. I do video editing and some photo editing.

    After researching I found that the video editing is more about processing power than graphics performance. Yes I only have 4gb which as Alan CD above points out may limit ultimate performance of the iCore7 - however I read somehwere online (can't find it now) that a review found it made a relatively small difference (in the real world).

    I guess it depends what you want from a PC. When I ordered mine I paid £700 with a full HD 22" dell monitor (which is ace:thumbsup:), but only a 500gb hd. At the time I calculated it would cost me circa £150-£200 more to buy the components and build an equivalent PC myself - hence I bought the Dell (I never thought I would ever buy a Dell!!!!:suicide:). I have read that the Dell motherboard in these machines limits overclocking potential so if you are into that sort of thing then I suggest you look elsewhere. If you are into gaming I guess you will want to change the graphics card and upgrade the ram.

    I hope this information helps.

    Best of luck:thumbsup:

    Sheks
    I hope this helps
     
  6. P-P-S-S

    P-P-S-S
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    Well i intend to use the system along similar lines as Sheks i.e. internet, little video and photo editing and the odd game once in a blue moon. I am not into the "heavy stuff", overclocking and graphics hungry games so i have no intention presently or in the future to tweak the system. The only modification i may do is change the video card and add a disk drive (maybe sometimes in the future).

    I also realise that i7 is a powerful system but i also have the habit of buying the best i can possibly afford. I intend to keep the pc for at least 5-6 years and in that time you never know what i might fancy doing with a pc so i'd like it to be a little 'future proof' (if i may use the phrase loosely since nothing is future proof in the pc world).

    As far as the RAM goes i will order the pc with 6gb of RAM so that way it would make more use of the tri channel feature of DDR3 (at least i hope).

    Re: the graphics card i doubt i will need a powerful 1gb one for the forseable future so as long as the one it comes with is a HD one rather than a common one i am quite happy with it.

    My major concern is that when i checked the ATI's (AMD) website in the tech specs for the Radeon HD 4850 card it says that it recommends a CPU of at least 450w but the one that dell has put in this computer is a 360w one. Would that cause a problem or limit the performance of the system/video card? And also if i upgrade to a more powerful card in the future would i need to upgrade the CPU to a more powerful one? And is it possible to upgrade the CPU in Dell systems or is it a locked feature?

    Sorry about all the questions guys. Just trying to make sure that the £800 will be well spent.
     
  7. EarthRod

    EarthRod
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    Hi

    Yes, 6GB RAM is good, as is the HD graphics card.

    Dell's offering of 360W PSU is somewhat inadequate, it will work but will be overdriven and inefficient. In other words the 360W PSU is likely to fail after a period of time (and take down the motherboard with it).

    Another sign of Dell's truncated design thinking. As I've said before, the deeper you dig the more flaws found!

    IMO, look at other websites offering i7 stuff. There are now quite a few and the specs are much cleaner (as it were). A little more expensive but better value for money.

    Alan
     
  8. Sheks

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    Alan CD makes a good point here. Comments I read the web have alluded to an underpowered PSU within the DELL. I still went for it as I would not look to upgrade the graphics card or add many (if any internal) components - I may at some point swap out the DVD writer or add a Blu-Ray writer. But any harddrives I add will be external, the Dell has an esata port on the back I have just added an external esata HD dock which allows me to put bare esata drives into it - this is externally powered so not greatly affecting the internal PSU.

    I am hoping the PC will last me 4-5 years like my old (shuttle sff) home built PC.

    IMO if you just want a plug and play PC with a relatively cutting edge processor and don't intend to do any major upgrading I don't think you can go far wrong with the Dell. But as Alan CD points out if you get into upgrading then the Dell maybe a false economy for you.

    All the best.
    Sheks
     
  9. P-P-S-S

    P-P-S-S
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    thanks guys. well i dont intend to upgrade anything major in the future appart from the cd drive (maybe). I have no idea how much the PSUs cost but am thinking of upgrading it in the future along with the fans (well as long as they are cheap components to get).

    I decided to go ahead and get the studio xps without monitor and with 6Gb of memory. I found a 10% discount code and the whole thing cost me £737 with free delivery.

    I only intend to use this pc for storing all my music collection in it, internet browsing and the odd picture editing.

    One last question if i may: i am connecting the desktop to my HDTV and was wondering what sort of cable should i buy to do that? Would any sort of DVI to HDMI cable do?
     

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