Dell PC advice needed please - XPS 420

  Cactus23 15:51 24 Nov 2008

It is time for a new PC and I am going with Dell or HP possibly. HP have never let me down before. My first two Dell machines from years back (1998 and 2003) were fantastic (as was their support back in 1998).

My 2 year old HP PC is going to a family member. So I am pondering Dell vs HP as far as support and component quality is concerned. The two year old HP PC has been great – the PC runs silently, and has been stable for two years, although has started to slow down a bit and isn’t great for the latest games. I have not had an opportunity to use their tech support though (never needed to).

I use my PC for work purposes and playing games (mainly World of Warcraft and Warhammer). I am after reliability and peace of mind if something goes wrong.

The Dell PC I am considering is: XPS430 (Quad Core 2.4GHZ, 512MB Radeon 4850, 3GB RAM). I would then consider a HP PC of a similar spec.

Can anyone compare Dell vs HP for me in terms of:

1) Technical Support: (whilst I can troubleshoot software, I am not fond of troubleshooting hardware – so if the PSU fails for example, I would rather an engineer fitted a replacement). I know that both Dell and HP offer warranties. If I had an onsite warranty with Dell, does that mean if something needs replacing they will send an engineer around asap? Or will they force me to replace internal parts such as PSUs, motherboards, etc? An onsite warranty is important to me – and I prefer not to keep shipping the PC back and forth by courier.

2) Reliability of components:
I hear Dell make most of their own components and I am not sure about HP. My previous two Dell machines and my HP machine were rock solid as far as reliability is concerned. But that was a long time back. How are Dell and HP related for reliability these days?

3) After experiencing stability issues with a Nvidia graphics card in another PC (8800GT - BSODs, rising temperatures at odd times, annoying Nvidia Network Access Manager issues, etc), I have decided to continue buying machines with ATI cards (which have never failed me). It seems the ATI Radeon 4850 card compares well to the Nvidia heavyweights such as the 9800GT. However, one thing that concerns me is the higher temperatures that the 4850 seems to run at (see click here) . Will this prove to be a long term issue that will cause me problems? I presume that most components in a PC are heat sensitive, and so could higher overall temperatures from the ATI card affect other components?

4) It would appear that a 375W power supply is used for the XPS420 – that seems a little shocking to me – can it sufficiently power an ATI 4850card under load???

5) Oh and finally, does anyone have any vouchers for Dell (I would imagine that as Christmas approaches, some would be released?) - Crossbow 7 – you have been great in the past with vouchers – your input would be appreciated!!

Thank you for reading, I await any advice!

  citadel 17:49 24 Nov 2008

4850 draws 110w when its flat out.

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