TechSpot

Which of these rigs should I buy?

By skomand
Aug 31, 2007
  1. *My question largely concerns video cards, hence posting here.

    Hi all, I'm in the market for a new PC. I've had good experiences with Dell and have chosen to buy from them again. My ultimate goal is to run Bioshock at max settings and keep up with new software over the next several years.

    I've configured three rigs on Dell's site (below). In your opinion, which of these provides the best value? I'm willing to spend a lot of money IF I'll get what I pay for in performance. But if spending another $400 (as detailed below) will just get me some marginal improvement, I don't want to do it.

    Specs and prices below. Please let me know if you need more info. (I should also note that the 410s are not SLI capable, so I wouldn't be able to upgrade.) Thanks!

    XPS 720 -- $2,019.00
    Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6600 (4MB L2 Cache,2.4GHz,1066 FSB),
    Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium
    2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 2 DIMMs
    Dell 20 inch E207WFP monitor
    SLI Dual 256MB nVidia GeForce 8600 GTS
    250GB - Seagate 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 8MB Cache
    16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
    Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ XtremeGamer (D) Sound Card


    XPS 410 -- $1,889.00
    Intel® Core™ 2 Q6600 Quad-Core (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB)
    Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium
    2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 2 DIMMs
    20 inch E207WFP Widescreen Digital Flat Panel
    768MB nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX
    320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache
    16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
    Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ XtremeGamer (D) Sound Card


    XPS 410 -- $1,639.00
    Intel® Core™ 2 Q6600 Quad-Core (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB)
    Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium
    3GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 4 DIMMs
    20 inch E207WFP Widescreen Digital Flat Panel
    256MB nVidia GeForce 8600 GTS
    320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
    16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
    X-Fi™ XtremeGamer (D) Sound Card
     
  2. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 883

    The middle one! 2GB of RAM is fine and the 8800GTX is much better. If you can drop it down to a 8800GTS 640 you can save yourself some bucks. The 8600GTS isn't going to keep up in the long term.
     
  3. Grafficks

    Grafficks TS Rookie Posts: 454

    XPS 410 -- $1,889.00

    That one is the best out of the three of them. It has the best video card (GeForce 8800 GTX), and a better processor than the XPS 720.

    Honestly, the XPS 720 doesn't justify being that much more expensive than the XPS 410's. The hardware specs in the 720 is inferior. The only thing good about the XPS 720 is that it has a higher model number, and has a cooler looking case.


    If you're willing to, then it would be much better to build your own computer (almost everyone on Techspot does). If you don't think you can choose the right parts for your own computer, then just copy the parts on an existing configuration (like that Dell XPS410) and order those parts from newegg. It will be cheaper and you'll learn a lot about the insides of a computer.
     
  4. skomand

    skomand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the advice!

    I've been thinking about building my own, but I don't like the thought of being without a warranty and a big company to back me up in case anything goes wrong.

    My Dell HD died a few years ago. I simply called them and they sent a technician out to my house in a few days. He ended up replacing the dead 120 gig HD with a 160 gig version -- for free! Can't beat that.
     
  5. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 883

    Well, if you did build yourself there would be a warrenty on each of the individual parts, though not the whole rig. You would also wind up spending somewhat less, but I'm not going to try and talk you out of buying a pre-built. If Dell is what you want then go for it and I'll just sit here and be jealous because your new rig will be faster than mine!
     
  6. skomand

    skomand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So a single 768MB GeForce 8800 GTX will beat out dual 256MB GeForce 8600 GTSs running in SLI mode?
     
  7. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,265   +41

    Yes it could depending on what type of benching you run.
     
  8. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634

    It will blow it out of the water.
     
  9. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 875

    This is what I would do, just a suggestion. I have a Dell and if I hadn't just got my system recently I would do this myself. Check out the Dell Outlet:

    http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnline...line/en/InventorySearch?c=us&cs=22&l=en&s=dfh

    You can pickup a 710 pretty cheap and do the upgrades yourself and save alot of $
    The 720 is the replacement for the 710.
    You could do the same thing with the 410. I would wait on buying a new 410 though since it's replacement the 420 is due out soon (if not out already).
    If you go this route just get the best cpu you can find for the system you want, they go pretty fast, the site gets updated like every 15minutes so if you find something you like be ready to pull the trigger or it may be gone.
    These systems don't come with monitors.
     
  10. papercut_2008

    papercut_2008 TS Rookie Posts: 77

    I have that EXACT same XPS 410 configuration in the middle, 'cept i got 800mhz memory instead of the 667, which I think you should do. It's only like $50, and it's worth it. You could also drop that sound card. I got that same one off NewEgg for $65, and put it in myself. Saves you $35 or so, and practically pays for the memory upgrade (only if you're comfortable doing upgrades yourself though). Mine is one powerful machine, and I've been running the demo of BioShock maxed, without a single hiccup. My only complaint is that it doesn't have SLI, but that GTX is so powerful, I doubt I would notice...
     
  11. skomand

    skomand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I went ahead and ordered my Dell today. I found a pretty good deal in the outlet...

    Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66GHz 1066FSB
    Vista Ultimate
    4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz
    20 inch Widescreen Digital Flat Panel
    768MB nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX
    160GB HD
    16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability

    ...$1900 shipped. It'll arrive on Friday. :)
     
     
  12. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 875

    Good job. You'll like it.
     
  13. skomand

    skomand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks! Now I just need a few good games. Bioshock and Oblivion should keep me busy for a while. And it's nice to know I'm all set to run Fallout 3....drool.
     
  14. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 875

    Where did you find the monitor? Those are in short supply unless the outlet had some?
     
  15. skomand

    skomand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I got it new from Dell.
     
  16. rickk1

    rickk1 Banned Posts: 89

    Congrats on buying a new Dell but why would you put an operating system such as Vista on it when it has caused so many problems and it is very unstable?
     
  17. ColdFusion1990

    ColdFusion1990 TS Rookie Posts: 141

    I disagree with rickk1, Vista's a good choice. If your just a gamer, and you don't mess around a lot, you'll be happy.
     
  18. rickk1

    rickk1 Banned Posts: 89

    In my opinion, Vista is just another Windows-Me. Some liked it but most hated it. Another Microsoft disaster!
     
  19. skomand

    skomand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I didn't have a choice. It comes pre-installed.

    That said, Vista is obviously Microsoft's platform for the next several years and not some offshoot like Windows ME. I'm sure they will support it with service packs and make everything as stable at XP eventually.
     
  20. rickk1

    rickk1 Banned Posts: 89

    Actually, you could have gotten xp on it. If you configure and buy it through Dell's site, XP is cheaper if it is bought through the small business site. You would've saved about $500. To buy from the small business site, you must have a small business and a name. However, you can always make up some name and doing so will let you get it cheaper.
     
  21. skomand

    skomand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It was thru the outlet so I had no choice. Also I don't have a small business, so I can't purchase that way. And there's so way the price difference is $500 -- the standalone program is only $339.
     
  22. rickk1

    rickk1 Banned Posts: 89

    You don't have to have a "REAL" small business. I have lots of friends that have fictitious businesses just so they can get the same product for less money.

    Truth be told, had you decided to buy an xp from Dell through their home user site, the cheapest system would have been a minimum $579 but that is without any real power. Several weeks ago, I surfed Dell's site and the cheapest xp system through their home & home office site was $900. The cheapest in their small business site is roughly $400.
     
  23. skomand

    skomand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    don't u need vista to use dx10 features?
     
  24. rickk1

    rickk1 Banned Posts: 89

    According to everything I've read so far about dx10, it is doable in xp but microsoft doesn't want you or anyone else to use it with xp since they're trying real hard to force everyone to buy Vista aka Windows-MeII. I've also read that dx10 is no big deal and doesn't do as much it claims.
     
  25. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 875

    False. There may be patches, fixes, etc that may come along but not at this time. Anyway the cards out now won't be able to utilize it effectively until the next generation of cards(at least) come out. If you game right now, the 8800 series or the 7900 series from Nvidia are the way to go. Ati I don't know. But that can and probably will change as drivers mature.
    Here's what Microsoft says about DX10 FYI:

    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb219721.aspx#Will_DirectX_10_be_available_for_Windows_XP
     
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