Your Help Please - Which System is better?

  mattr1979 00:27 05 Mar 2008

Hi There,

I am about to order a new system, but as a novice i need a little advice or a slight push in the right direction. Now i'm not doing this completely blind, i have done a little research over the past couple of weeks but this has perhaps confused me a little more and my head is now buldging and pulsating with CPU's, HDD's and PSU's. I'm literally spitting Mhz here people!

I have decided upon a Quad core system - Q6600 to be precise. That was fairly simple to decide upon, the rest of the build is a little more confusing for me. I have 2 spec's that i have almost definately possibly maybe decided upon. Monitor is not needed, just the base unit. The first is a Dell machine and the next a custom build.

XPS 420
Premium Chassis
Quad Core Q6600
4GB RAM 800Mhz (unsure of make)
640GB HDD RAID 0 (2x 320GB)
16X DVD +/- RW Drive
Vista Ultimate

Custom Build System...

Quad Core Q6600
X-Cruiser Case
Asus P5NE32-E-SLI (I have absolutely no idea if this is any good)
620watt PSU (Corsair)
4GB RAM 800Mhz (Corsair)
1 x 80GB HDD & 1 x 500GB HDD
2 x Pioneer 112d DVD re-writer
Vista Ultimate

Both are approx the same sort of price. Is there a better spec here? Which would you go for? If theres not much between them i guess it would go down to reliability and reputation of the supplier - the big player of dell or the smaller but perhaps more customer focused system builder?!

Over to you forum people....

  GaT7 01:58 05 Mar 2008

Both have their merits, so it's hard to choose. But if it was based on value alone, you cannot beat a Dell - especially with the discount, cashback & cheaper RAM detailed below:

Use Dell 10% voucher 22HGWHCJM$NW1R at checkout (works on XPS systems only) - your order needs to be a minimum of £599 (excl VAT & del), which shouldn't be a problem here I think! EXPIRES 5/03/08.

In addition, go through Quidco click here to get 5% cashback (on order value excl VAT & del) - that's £30 on a £600 order for example.

I'm sure I can cut it down a little further by getting the RAM upgrade to 4Gb from elsewhere (e.g. eBuyer), as Dell's ones are too dear. If this reduces the order below £599 (i.e. misses 10% discount), then don't do this. G

  mattr1979 10:45 05 Mar 2008

Thanks for the advice Crossbow7, much appreciated.

If i wanted to configure the Dell system further, which would mean speaking to Dell over the phone as they dont give me the options i want online, would i still be able to use the 10% voucher?

  lisa02 11:23 05 Mar 2008

Custom build but it would depend on supplier.

The only reason I chose Dell was the closest, but under specced, custom build was £930 and I paid Dell £593 (inc VAT & Del) for:

XPS 420
Premium Chassis
Quad Core Q6600
3GB RAM 800Mhz (2x1GB 2x512MB)
640GB HDD RAID 0 (2x 320GB)
512MB 8800 GT NVIDIA
16X DVD +/- RW Drive
Vista Home Premium

  mattr1979 12:12 05 Mar 2008

The custom build is from Cougar Extreme. So the choice is between them and Dell. Price for both systems even with the dell voucher discount is roughly the same.

I've never owned a dell system, or cougar come to think about it, so it all comes down to which build is better and more reliable.

I have a few reservations about the Dell PSU and the overall cooling capabilities. Running a high end graphics card, i hear can create a lot of heat so anyone with a dell want to help clarify if they've ever had any problems here?

  lisa02 12:25 05 Mar 2008

The XPS is cooled by 2 intake fans at the front, never heard of an XPS overheating....

Warranty - the XPS comes with Next business day onsite as standard.

  lisa02 12:27 05 Mar 2008

PSUs in Dells are under-rated. Most mfrs measure peak but Dell measure sustained output.

  GaT7 12:30 05 Mar 2008

May I ask what further changes do you want to make that they don't offer online? Also, how much are they quoting (incl VAT & del) for the above XPS 420 spec you mentioned?

About the voucher - not sure it would work by calling them, but no harm asking whether it will or not. Tell them you got it online if they ask click here.

The voucher code expires TODAY - not sure when in terms of time, but it worked when I tried it online just now. G

  mattr1979 12:33 05 Mar 2008

Lisa02 - thank you. I had best hurry up and make my decision as that voucher code expires today!

  mattr1979 13:01 05 Mar 2008


I wanted to make changes to the optical drive. It looks as though i can only get Blue-Ray ROM (read) Drive, whereas i wanted the capability to be able to burn and watch dvd's at the same time. I'm assuming i cannot do this with the Blue Ray drive. Blue Ray would be nice, but it's not a necessity.

Also, the HHD's i originally thought was 640GB (2x320GB), but i can actually only choose between 750GB or 1TB (2x500GB). I'd ideally want 2 drives for back up but 1TB would probably be much more than i would need.

  GaT7 13:36 05 Mar 2008

Can you please post the XPS spec again (as it seems to have changed from your initial post) & how much you're getting it for incl VAT & del?

You can make quite a few choices with the XPS systems - sometimes you just need to find the right one to start off with

Why Vista Ultimate, as it's adding a considerable amount to the total? Do you really need those 4 extra features over Premium click here? Which one(s) are most important as there may be free alternatives. G

P.S. btw, just discovered the 10% code apparently expires midnight tonight

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