tallen234

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Mar 17, 2010
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I am going to be buying a new system in the next 2-3 weeks to replace my current XPS600. I must buy a Dell as it is related to my work. The upgrade is needed primarily to help my current purchase of a Sony HD Camcorder and editing video through Premiere. Also, I do a bit of gaming. Here is the system I am considering (my questions are in brackets):

PROCESSORS Intel® Core™ i7-920 processor(8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz)
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Professional, 64bit, English
WARRANTY AND SERVICE 2 Year Basic Service Plan
MEMORY 9GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 6 DIMMs edit
[SHOULD I UPGRADE TO 12GB for $100 more?)
HARD DRIVE 1TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
[SHOULD I DO A RAID SYSTEM, IF SO, WHAT?]
VIDEO CARD nVidia® GeForce® 310 512M GDDR3
[I WAS PLANNING ON INSTALLING A BETTER VIDEO CARD AFTERWARDS, BUT THEY DO HAVE AN OPTION OF AN ATI 5870 FOR $330. THAT SEEMS LIKE A DECENT DEAL CONSIDERING THIS CARD IS $400 TO $500 ELSEWHERE]
MONITOR 21.5" Dell ST2210 Full HD Monitor with VGA cable
OPTICAL DRIVE Dual Drives: Blu-ray Disc (BD) Burner (Writes to DVD/CD/BD) and DVD+/-RW
SPEAKERS No speakers (Speakers are required to hear audio from your system)
SOUND CARD Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
WIRELESS Integrated 10/1000 Ethernet
KEYBOARD Dell Studio Consumer Multimedia Keyboard
MOUSE Dell Studio Optical Mouse
MODEM No Modem Option
SECURITY SOFTWARE McAfee SecurityCenter, 15-Months
DATASAFE ONLINE BACKUP Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year

This system is $1569, so it seems like I am getting a decent bang for my buck.

Any ideas, comments?

Thanks!

 
G

Guest

Guest
Hi Tallen,

In answer to your questions;

9GB is more than enough for any possible personal application. 8GB is considered the maximum required for professional graphics/video editing workstations, and games are unlikely to use more than 4-6GB, even in the coming years.

Now for your RAID question;

It is unlikely that you require more than 2 hard drives given modern capacities. This leaves you with 2 options - RAID 0 or RAID 1.

RAID 0 - This configuration 'stripes' data across both disks, simply put - it will increase the functional speed of the disks. However - if one disk fails, you will lose ALL data on both disks. Backing up regularly is therefore critical when using this configuration.

RAID 1 - 'Mirror' configuration does what it says on the tin - all data is mirrored on the 2nd disk, an instant backup.

The choice on whether to have a RAID system configured is purely personal in your case, if you are terrible at backing up your work and have a history of destroying hard drives - RAID 1 should be considered. In perspective, my two workstations have no RAID configuration, whilst my server is configured in RAID 1 as it contains a huge amount of company data. Be aware, however, that RAID configurations can cause more hassle than they are worth - and backing up important data is more than sufficient.

Graphics Card;

Please dont fall into the enthusiast trap. the 5870 is, without doubt, a brilliant card. However, for the time being it is very overpriced and in 6 months will probably be nearing half the current pricetag.

Even more than this - if you are desperate to be 'one-up' on the majority - buy two 5770's and outperform the 5870 for a lower price.

I use a single 5770 and play the latest DX11 games at 1900x1200 at max settings - smooth as a babys bum :D

My Professional opinion;

Motherboard - The most important component is not mentioned in your post. The quality of the motherboard defines the potential performance of every single component you add to it. putting great components into a poorly performing mobo is like putting the brain of a track athlete into a legless donkey.

Memory - 9GB is more than sufficient. Ensure that it is big name brand for the best performance/reliability. Spend more on Higher Speeds [MHz] and lower Timings.

Hard Drives - RAID not neccessary, consider buying a 30-60GB Solid State Drive for your Operating system and most used applications/games for ultra fast speeds. Use this in addition to your 1TB data drive.

GPU - Go straight for a 5770, job done.


Hope this helps.

 

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