Question Buying my First Desktop - Many Questions

Nov 26, 2019
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Greetings all,

Firstly, I am new to any kind of forums so please excuse any faux pas’. Also, my knowledge level of computers is very limited so please forgive me for any questions that may seem inept or may have been asked a plethora of times already.

I am looking to buy my first desktop ever from the official Dell store on eBay, a Dell XPS 8930. I have a limited time to make this decision, because the discount ends on 2nd of December. Provided below is the link, please scroll down and click on the “Tech Specs” tab. For those who want the specs information copied and pasted, it is at the bottom of this post:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Dell-XPS-8930-Desktop-9th-Gen-Core-i7-9700-16GB-RAM-512GB-SSD-RTX2060/392305672723?hash=item5b573d8213:g:DJcAAOSw9Vxc8IoF&frcectupt=true


I have a few questions given I am a computer novice:
  • I would like to know with the current 20% discount if this build is good value and whether I should purchase it. After the 20% discount is applied, the cost comes to $1671.2 AUD, which at today’s exchange rate is approximately $1131.38 USD.

  • I have done some very surface level research, and from what I’ve read the power supply of 460W is considered low for a build like this. Will this cause problems down the line? If so, why would Dell incorporate such a low watt power supply unit?

    I am not particularly interested in buying a new power supply and installing it myself due to cost, and if this power supply is a substantial problem then I won’t purchase a desktop at all as I cannot find another prebuilt or a customised desktop at better value (I used au.pcpartspicker.com to quickly assemble the cheapest parts build with as an economic comparison).

  • If you don’t visit untoward websites, is an antivirus necessary? I have heard their protection is retrospective from a friend in IT so they don’t do much anyway. I have also read here and there as news pops up that many popular antiviruses, including but not limited to Kaspersky, have been compromised. Please inform whether one is necessary or not, and if so which one is the best and why:
    1. Paid antivirus
    2. Free antivirus
  • For how long will this build be futureproof?

  • Maintenance: If I clean it with pressurised air once a year to get the dust out, and reapply thermal paste after 3 years, will the desktop function fine for at least 5 years?

  • I have done a search of “Dell XPS 8390” in the forums and found only 4 results, which is quite a small amount. Only one post concerns me because the desktop died only 1 month after warranty expire at 13 months. I am still willing to take my chances.
    If for any reason this build is not good value or has issues, please direct me towards a better alternative that at the same or very similar cost.
The reason I want to purchase a pre-built is because as a novice it takes too much time and effort with my schedule to: research all the parts and whether they are compatible or not, the intra and inter-brand different parts performance comparisons, cost benefit analyses, and teaching myself to assemble the desktop as a complete beginner. In addition to this, I believe a prebuilt desktop will be optimised by a reputable company such as Dell in a way that there likely won’t be any issues, or at least less issues than custom built PCs which will could require an extensive amount of effort and time to remedy.


This is a big expense for me so your help is much appreciated. Sorry for the long post.


Thanks heaps for your help





PROCESSOR
Intel® Core™ i7-9700 [9th Gen Processor Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 8-Core/8-Thread 12M Cache]
OPERATING SYSTEM
Windows 10 Home 64bit English
MEMORY
16GB DDR4 2666MHz
HARD DRIVE
512GB PCIe M.2 Class 40 SSD + 2TB 7200RPM HDD
VIDEO CARD
NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060 6GB GDDR6 (OC Ready)
WIRELESS
802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1, Dual Band 2.4&5 GHz, 1x1
KEYBOARD
Dell KB216 Wired Keyboard Black, English
MOUSE
Dell USB Mouse
WARRANTY
1Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis
PORTS
Front

1x USB 3.1 Type-C
3x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports
1x Mic-in
1x Headphone
1x SD Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC)

Rear
3x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port
2x USB 2.0 ports
1x USB 3.1 Type-C port
1x HDMI
1x Display Port
1x Gigabit Ethernet
1x Audio ports (5.1 channel (3 Jack)
SLOTS
Up to 4 total 3 HDD/1 SSD; ODD
4x PCIe expansion slots (x1, x1, x4, x16)
4x DIMM slots (supports up to 64GB)
CHASSIS
Bays

3x Hard Disk Drive bays
1x Optical Disk Drive bay

Form Factor
Desktop tower

Keyboard
Dell Multimedia Keyboard – Black

Mouse
Dell Laser Scroll USB 6-Button Silver and Black Mouse)
DIMENSIONS
Height: 386.5mm (15.22") x Width: 180mm (7.09") x Depth 356mm (14.02")
Starting weight: 10Kg (22lbs)
POWER
Up to 225W via 2x 6 pin power connectors (with 460W power supply)
 
Nov 26, 2019
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Just want to say a big thank you for your response and help. It doesn't seem many people can be bothered to read my long post lol

Black Friday sales hit, and they gave a further discount at $1519.20 AUD, or at today's exchange rate approximately $1027.65 USD, so I just had to strike and I ended up buying it. The wait is long though, estimated arrival is 3 - 10 January which kind of sucks.

I messaged Dell on eBay about the motherboard and they responded with "The unit has a chipset of intel Z370". Is this chipset any good? I checked the specs on https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/125903/intel-z370-chipset.html but I'm such a layman it's another language to me. Seems a little old though for an RTX 2060 since the Intel Z370 was released 2 years ago.

I went onto aupartspicker and also made a rough build because I don't know what brands Dell use either, and it came out to $1700.39 ($1150.21 USD), even when I picked the cheapest or very close to the cheapest parts available while matching the specs. The CPU cooler, peripherals and optical drive weren't even included (Windows 10 home included), and the aupartspicker build price still exceeds the Dell price.

The skeptical side of me can't help but think that Dell uses lower quality parts in order to maintain margins at such discounts. I hope this isn't the case.

The estimated wattage on aupartspicker came to 336W (recall there were omitted parts like the CPU cooler), but I think that's low enough that I don't have to worry about the 460W PSU Dell puts into this build. What do you think? Are the recommendations on newegg of at least a 500W PSU just to be on the safe side?

You mentioned this XPS 8390 case doesn't look like it has good airflow. Do you think overheating will be an issue with stock fans?

Since Dell is selling it, I am not worried about compatibility issues, however, the aupartspicker build I made showed some potential issues/incompatibilities:
  • Warning!Some Intel Z370 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Coffee Lake Refresh CPUs. Upgrading the BIOS may require a different CPU that is supported by older BIOS revisions.
  • Note:The motherboard M.2 slot #1 shares bandwidth with a SATA 6.0 Gb/s port. When the M.2 slot is populated, one SATA 6.0 Gb/s port is disabled.
  • Note:Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.
I'll save you having to explain any of these, if you can just tell me that I don't have to worry and can use it without any tweaking right out the box for years to come, I'm happy.

Sorry for so many questions.
 

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