Dell XPS 435 or build my own


Jun 22, 2009
hey all - I'm in the market for a new computer and have been looking closely at the dell XPS 435 but have also been strongly considering building my own and would love to get some advice about the pros/cons of either.

little background - I need a system for 3D work, mostly architectural renderings and product shots using 3ds Max and Maxwell render. I've been out of the field for a while but getting back into it now, so I don't want to drop a ton of money until I see how much work I'll be getting, but I do need a pretty decent system to get any kind of performance out of these programs. I pretty much am set on the Core i7 920 since it is in my budget and seems to perform very well with the processor intensive renderings (

The XPS 435 definitely seems like a pretty good deal at about $1,500, which includes a 24" monitor. My biggest concern is everything I have read about limited upgradeability (not sure if thats a word but you get the point). Like I said not sure how much work I have coming, but it would be nice to upgrade the system down the road. I have a Dimension 9100 now and as far as I can tell there is not much I can do to upgrade it. Anyway, here are the specs for XPS 435:

Intel® Core™ i7-920 processor(8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz)
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1, 64-Bit
6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 6 DIMMs
750GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
Dell 24 inch S2409W Widescreen Flat Panel
ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB

Option 2 would be to build my own. Keep in mind I have never built a machine before, but I do consider myself to have above average intelligence and everything I have read online makes me believe it is not the most difficult thing in the world. The components I have more or less decided on for the build would be about $1,100 not including a monitor. I do have a 17" monitor I could use for now (though the 24" would be nice). Here are the components.

Mobo: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
RAM: OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
HardDrive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
Video Card: ASUS ENGTS250 DK/HTDI/1GD3 GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
Case: XCLIO Windtunnel Fully Black Finish 1.0 mm SECC Chassis ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
PSU: XCLIO GREATPOWER X14S4P4 700W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
CD/DVD Drive: tbd

Any thoughts - keep it simple and go for the Dell, or take on a little challenge of building it myself? Also, if you recommend the latter, feel free to make recommendations on any of the components listed above. (Keep in mind some of the components were selected because of Newegg combo deals - ie the xclio PSU, the OCZ Memory, etc...)

Thanks - sorry for the long post, just trying to be detailed.