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Thread: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

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    New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    I know, I know... yet another new build thread, but bare with me. Please?!

    I'm passing on my current system to my folks, as they kinda need a new PC. The only thing worth salvaging from my old system is a 7900GT graphics card. That's my starting block!

    I was planning to put together a new system myself, but I'm struggling to put something together that is a sensible alternative to Dell. I appreciate Dell systems aren't exactly upgrade friendly, but for the price they're asking I could live with replacing it in a couple of years.

    The sort of thing I'm looking at just now from Dell is based around q6600, 2GB, 500MB. That's around £320 delivered (as I'm in the Channel Islands I fortunately don't need to pay VAT, just about another £10 in local tax) and I can easily add DDR2 to it fairly cheaply.

    Scan can also offer things VAT free, but I'm not really up to date with PC components any more so I'm not terribly sure what I'm doing! My attempts at putting together a similar system come to a higher price, admittedly with better components, but also without a home warranty which could be handy.

    Whaddya think chaps and chapesses? It just seems so easy to go to the dark side

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    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    Real question is.. do you need a Q6600?

    If you don't build something around your 7900GT and a E5200 pentium dual core (£55 with VAT)

    Ebuyer will do you an Antec NSK3480 + 380W eathwatts PSU for £53(with VAT)

    You would need a uATX motherboard for this. Something like a G33 based intel motherboard would do very nicely for this. ~£60.

    4GB PC6400 RAM ~£50
    640GB WD Caviar Blue ~£44
    Optical drive ~£13
    Could add a nice HSF to the cpu for around £15 (xigmatec 2183 from scan)

    And vista ~£70

    That should come to about £280ish ex vat. (£295 with HSF)

    Certainly a nice build but the dell is tempting I'm sure.

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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    Thaks for that staffsMike, appreciated

    I probably don't need a Q6600 as such, I had looked at some of the newer C2D's, but the reason I was using it for reference was it's kinda in the 'sweet spot' of the price/performance with the Dell systems.

    I actually bought one of those 640GB WD drives from Scan last month, for the system that's now getting passed onto my folks. Can't take it back out now though, as the system is in Glasgow and I'm in Jersey Should have thought about it before I left really!

    That system looks good, but for the difference in price I'd probably just go with the Dell, unless there's something horrible about Dell systems that I don't know (which is possible). I vaguely remember a pal moaning about a Dell he'd bought because it had a different type mobo to the norm, or somethig similar!

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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    Regarding the 7900GT, do you not have the funds to replace it, or do you just not want to let it go, as it is likely to hold you back in quite a few modern games.

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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    one thing to be aware off some Dell DDR-2 Systems use special ram modules which are a pain in the butt to get replacements for, also their bios' etc are all horrible to work with if you plan on dual booting or overclocking

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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    Dell or building your own is a hard choice, I have had 3 dell pcs now and could not fault them in anyway, especially the XPS, but those are big money.
    There are dell PCs that use standard DDRII modules none the less. Have you looked at any of the vostro range? These are amazing value for what you get.
    I would send you a link, but coz im a nOOb member on this forum, I cant >.>
    The vostro 410 would be the one you would want (I think)
    Keep the base hard drive though, the upgrades are over priced. Just get a second one from overclock or scan
    (can get 500gb 7200rpm 12mb cache hitachi deskstar for under £35 from overclock)
    My vostro I got a year ago, whacked an 8800GTS in it (with new PSU admittedly to cope with the extra power requirement) and it still runs all of the modern games
    cost me around £490 in total q6600, 4gb ddr2, 320gb hdd and vista home premium (including gfx card and psu from overclock)

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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    Quote Originally Posted by bigblue View Post
    The sort of thing I'm looking at just now from Dell is based around q6600, 2GB, 500MB. That's around £320 delivered (as I'm in the Channel Islands I fortunately don't need to pay VAT, just about another £10 in local tax) and I can easily add DDR2 to it fairly cheaply.
    If that's with the three years in-home warranty then go for it. At £375 inc. VAT I doubt you'll get anything better. Which machine was that based on? I can't seem to make one that comes close.

    If it's just with the 1 year warranty then that's collect and return, not in-home.

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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    Dell - cheap(ish) you get what you specify at build time and you get support. If it goes wrong out of warranty you still have a repir option although Dell spares may be a bit expensive. It will pretty much work out of the box. Dell have econimies of scale which bring the prices down, and many of the components wil be made where the system is assembled, so transport costs are less for them.

    Self build. You can customise it exactly as you want, but you have to solve any component integration problems yourself. You are responsible for your own support, and while the individual components may have a warranty, the overall system itself doesn't. If you buy OEM software to run on it, again you are responsible for supporting it. However you know exactly what is in it, and can plan for any future upgrades.
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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Powderhound View Post
    Regarding the 7900GT, do you not have the funds to replace it, or do you just not want to let it go, as it is likely to hold you back in quite a few modern games.
    I don't really need anything more powerful really I don't play too many PC games any more, and for the odd title I may pick up, the 7900 should be ok-ish.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcvs
    one thing to be aware off some Dell DDR-2 Systems use special ram modules which are a pain in the butt to get replacements for, also their bios' etc are all horrible to work with if you plan on dual booting or overclocking
    That's the kinda thing I was wondering about. The memory is a worry, though the bios less so. No real advanced needs for this machine, I've given up on tinkering
    Quote Originally Posted by strike-down
    Have you looked at any of the vostro range? These are amazing value for what you get. The vostro 410 would be the one you would want (I think)
    Yup, that's the one I'm looking at
    My vostro I got a year ago, whacked an 8800GTS in it (with new PSU admittedly to cope with the extra power requirement) and it still runs all of the modern games
    If you don't mind me asking, what PSU did you put in? Was it essential, or just in case?!
    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessWaves
    If that's with the three years in-home warranty then go for it. At £375 inc. VAT I doubt you'll get anything better. Which machine was that based on? I can't seem to make one that comes close. If it's just with the 1 year warranty then that's collect and return, not in-home
    It's a Vostro 410, and it's a 1 year business warranty, which I don't know a lot about to be fair!

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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    I put in an Antec Earthwatts 650w PSU. The PSU supplied with the vostro wouldnt have cut it along with the overclock on the q6600.
    Even so, after a rather painful experience with a PSU supplied with a PC before, Ive never really trusted manufacturer installed power supplies. Once bitten twice shy as they say. But thats me
    I always go overkill on the PSU because I dont want to risk damage to any of my more expensive hardware cheap PSUs are a no go.

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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    And just so you know, it wasnt a dell system that the PSU blew on, it was an acer.

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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    Well one thing I would pinot out it that the basic dell's are no good for overclocking.
    Now it depends on what you want to use it for, but off hand I'd look at a c2d instead of a q6600 as you'd probably get more out of a faster core2duo ( and haveing a q6600 and not overclocking it is almost a crime )

    dell's as with most bought systems are designed to spec and don't generally have much headroom for upgradeing, sticking a 7900gt into a dell shouldn't be a problem, your adding about an 40w to the load on the psu which it should be able to cope with.

    Memory is not generally a problem, however, it's the BIOS again, alot of memory needs more than the default 1.8v to run and the BIOS might not let you change the memory voltage, also the memory it comes with probably runs at the default 1.8v and may not like additional voltage.
    This shouln't be that big a problem but will restrict you to the more basic/value memory.

    One other hidden problem with dells, (well not so much a problem as an annoyance) is pre-installed software, you just have to go through unistalling all the crap and cleaning it up.
    It's another area wher dell reduces costs by offsetting them with software
    (ie I'm pritty sure dells come with nortan anit-virus 1month free installed on them, dell get money off norton for this and norton get the hope of additional sales)

    EDIT: forgot to memtion Overclocking can sometimes be an impossibility on many bought systems, as they often use custom BIOS that simply do not have the settings to overclock (we got some HP's at work where the cpu is automatically detected and FSB set to it, there is no manual FSB settings so overclocking is totally impossible)
    Last edited by Pob255; 12-10-2008 at 11:34 PM.

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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    dells arent so bad with that, but HP have a reputation for locking you out of everything in the bios. Overclocking, hardware, anything not HP, you name it. I have an old presario R3000 laptop and to get the intel wireless card i bought to go in the mini pci slot i had to flash the bios with a generic phoenix bios as they whitelist a huge number of cards other than the one you buy direct from them.

    As for the bloatware, I just reformat the drive and reinstall windows. takes me 45 minutes tops to get it back to the state it arrived, minus bloatware and other hidden apps

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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    Thanks chaps!

    Just to mention again, there'll be no overclocking/tinkering with this system really. I can't be bothered with it any more, not worth the effort

    Only things that I will be doing is fitting that 7900 card, some more memory and storage.

    Strike-down: Were there no issues fitting the new PSU? Someone on another forum had mentioned that space was a bit of an issue?

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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    the space issue is only in the slimline vostro in which case you would need a small PSU.
    The 410 takes a standard ATX PSU so should be no problems regarding that.
    For your requirements, I dont know if you would need a new PSU anyway seeing as the graphics card you will be using is the 7900GT which requires a 350w psu, and the supplied card needs a 300w. I was supplied with a 450w psu (apparently that varies though).

    Should have said, the supplied card is a Radeon HD2400 Pro
    Last edited by strike-down; 13-10-2008 at 08:28 PM. Reason: Missing Detail

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    Re: New build vs Dell, help me see the light :)

    Does depend on the case, the older dells used a ver ingenious case/layout which ment you pritty much had to use dell PSUs, motherboards and coolers, however I belive they have gone over to standard ATX cases now.
    However you will need to double check sizes.

    Semm to be 3 sizes/types
    200 mini = mATX minitower
    Standard atx psu, but not a lot of space inside esp for a psu that looks like an octopus
    http://www.trustedreviews.com/images...0-IMG7848s.jpg

    200 Slim = mATX Slim tower
    not an AXT psu, also only takes half height graphics cards so this one is out.

    400 = standard mid tower
    Couldn't find a pic on the insides but there's a german youtube review
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=723fplMIuTE
    The outside panels look very shiney, but that back panel looks cheap.

    Oh and it's a good job you don't want to overclock because from what I've seen so far it looks like there are no setting in the BIOS for overclocking.
    Last edited by Pob255; 13-10-2008 at 08:49 PM.

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