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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:23 AM   #1
bj house
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Default Dell Dream PC Recommendations

If you had to use Dell what would your ideal PC look like? I have been asked to put this together and don't know as much as I could about PC's.

I am aiming for a $3,000 sticker price (just computer). That seems to be about what most of our customers would be willing to spend. We need fast hard drives, good video cards and at least 2GB of RAM to run our software reliably. These would be doing data acquisition and data processing reporting etc.

Restrictions are Dell, XP/Vista, Office etc. no linux or other weird shit

Several of our customers use the giant T7400 like the one I will list below. If the next model down (5400) would perform as well I might spec that also.

Any suggestions?

Dell Precision T7400 32bit:
Quad Core Intel® Xeon®
Processor E5410
(2.33GHz,2X6M L2,1333)
T623 1 [223-3128] 1

Operating System:
Genuine Windows Vista®
Business
Bonus-Windows® XP
Professional loaded

Graphic Cards:
256MB PCIe x16 nVidia
NVS 290, Dual Monitor
DVI Capable
NV290 1 [320-5864] 6

Memory:
4GB, DDR2 SDRAM
FBD Memory, 667MHz,
ECC (4 DIMMS)
4G4E6 1 [311-7681] 3
DVD, and Read-Write

Devices:
16XDVD AND
16XDVD+/-RW, w/
Cyberlink PowerDVD™
and Roxio Creator™
RM16DV 1 [313-5954][420-7980][420-8857] 16

Hard Drive
Configuration:
C1 All SATA drives,
Non-RAID, 1 drive total
configuration
SATA1 1 [341-5369] 9
Boot Hard Drive:
160GB SATA, 10K RPM
Hard Drive with 16MB
DataBurst Cache™
160T16 1 [341-5228] 8

Wireless:
Dell 1505 Wireless-N
PCIe Card
DW1505 1 [430-2756] 19
Vista Premium Sticker VPDGRD 1 [310-9161] 750
Sound Card:
Sound Blaster® X-Fi™
XtremeMusic(D),Dolby®
Digital 5.1,WXP
SBXFI 1 [313-5882] 17
Additional PCI-E
Network Adapter card:
Broadcom NetXtreme
10/100/1000 Gigabit
Ethernet controller-PCI
Express card
Productivity Software:
Microsoft® Office 2007
Professional and Adobe
Acrobat 8 STD
WS27PR 1 [410-1099][420-6712] 22
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #2
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what exact graphics card is that?
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:34 AM   #3
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Both of my dells are far more expensive than the one you have listed. I currently run a brand new M6300 laptop loaded. I also run a 670 Workstation desktop, again loaded, dual processors, 4 GB memory. Than you need monitors, docking station, etc. I run a dell 24" wide screen flat panel on the 670. That's around 7 Bills I think, and the 20" wide screen flat panel with the laptop & docking station. I just jave to say the 24" flat panel is incredible!!! I honestly didn't think it would work for my CAD station and I was wrong. These PC's are around 6-6500.00 each. If you can get a rockin desktop for 3,000 your doing good.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:40 AM   #4
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Another bit. I would use the SUN computer line. Their newer lines that run windows will sink dell in a heart beat. All of our Pro-E stations are run on these now and they are cheap from what I heard. The Sun can take a job that takes 20 minutes to process on a decked out dell and run it in 2 minutes flat. They were tested extensivley before they were introduced in our facility. I'm getting one next year!! Can't wait.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bow_Extreme View Post
If you can get a rockin desktop for 3,000 your doing good.
For non CAD use, it is quite easy. Actually, I have seen some of the best CAD stations home built for less than $3000. Now on the other hand, I put together a Dell for the other engineer here that cost $7500. I have learned a lot since then.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:43 AM   #6
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I agree, dell can get expensive. My company requires that we lease dells and our IT team will only support specific PC's. They will not support used pc purchases or home built PC's. They just recently made the exception of SUN systems for our Pro-E teams. MY 670 DELL is still on lease yet or I would have the SUN.

Last edited by Bow_Extreme; July 17th, 2008 at 11:51 AM.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:10 PM   #7
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I just had a PO issued for the following:

• Dell Precision M4300 Vista Qty 1
• Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9500 (2.60GHz) 6M L2 Cache, 800MHz Dual Core, Genuine Windows Vista® Business
• Operating Systems Genuine Windows Vista® Business Service Pack 1, With media
• LCD Panel Options 15.4 IN WIDE WUXGA Anti-Glare LCD Panel
• Memory 4.0GB, DDR2-667MHz SDRAM, 2 DIMMS
• Internal Keyboard Internal English Keyboard
• External Monitors Dell 24 inch UltraSharp™2408WFP Widescreen, Adjustable Stand, VGA/DVI 2408FPW
• Graphics NVIDIA Quadro FX 360M, 512MB Turbo Cache memory (256 dedicated)
• Hard Drives 160GB Hard Drive, 9.5MM, 7200RPM (Free Fall Sensor) 160D72F
• Touchpad Options Standard Touchpad TPAD
• Bluetooth Dell Wireless® 360 Bluetooth Module for Vista BT360VS
• AC Adapter 90W A/C Adapter 90AC
• Module Bay Devices 8X DVD+/-RW w/Roxio Creator™/Cyberlink PDVD™ DVDRW
• Wireless LAN (802.11) Intel® 4965 802.11a/g/n Dual-Band Mini Card
• System Documentation Resource CD and DVD contains Diagnostics and Drivers for XP and Vista RCDDVD
• Batteries 6 Cell Primary Battery 6CELLP
• Hardware Support Services 3 Year ProSupport for IT and 3 Year NBD Onsite Service
• Installation Services No Onsite System Setup NOINSTL
• External Keyboard Dell USB Enhanced Multimedia Keyboard with built in 2 port USB Hub
• OS Labels Windows Vista™ Premium VPRN
TOTAL:$2,278.08


We have a fairly good contract with Dell, as for budgetary purposes I had spec'ed just the laptop, with slightly lower specs, and without that 24" external monitor at $2,500ish.

for CAD/GIS I'd probably prefer the Quadro Vid Cards, especially at the higher RAM amounts over the NVidia. Not completely comparing apples to apples, but that was based on comparing this type of laptop vs the XPS series from Dell which typically ship with ATI, or NVidia cards.

Last edited by RyeBread; July 17th, 2008 at 12:13 PM.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:53 PM   #8
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Thanks RyeBread that does help a little

My top decisions are (in no particular order)

#1 CPU [don't need the top of the list that adds over $1500 to the cost, so I picked middle of the road
#2 RAM [Even though only 3.3 might be recognized adding 4GB is not that much more and is worth it imo]
#3 Vid card [Our software can be pretty heavy on the graphics card, should I opt for one with 512MB over 256MB?
#4 HD's [10,000 RPM SATA's ??]

FYI - It has to be DELL and as long as it falls under $4K [PC only] I am going to submit it. This is just a recommended spec for our customers not something we are actually buying.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #9
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get the best cpu they offer, everything else is easy to upgrade. if your running vista get the 4 gig ram option and get the 512 mb card. personally i don't even worry about the on board hd size. i prefer to keep my stuff on a external drive for backup purposes..
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bj house View Post
Thanks RyeBread that does help a little

My top decisions are (in no particular order)

#1 CPU [don't need the top of the list that adds over $1500 to the cost, so I picked middle of the road
#2 RAM [Even though only 3.3 might be recognized adding 4GB is not that much more and is worth it imo]
#3 Vid card [Our software can be pretty heavy on the graphics card, should I opt for one with 512MB over 256MB?
#4 HD's [10,000 RPM SATA's ??]

FYI - It has to be DELL and as long as it falls under $4K [PC only] I am going to submit it. This is just a recommended spec for our customers not something we are actually buying.
From those areas I would go with the 10k RPM hard drives, and 512mb over 256 mb video. And the RAM can't hurt as you mentioned. Who knows how much the next go round of windows will max out at or need. Processor, I know that most CAD softwares will not utilize more than two cores. I am not sure what other softwares will be able to utilize the last two cores with quad core.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by KartRacer View Post
From those areas I would go with the 10k RPM hard drives, and 512mb over 256 mb video. And the RAM can't hurt as you mentioned. Who knows how much the next go round of windows will max out at or need. Processor, I know that most CAD softwares will not utilize more than two cores. I am not sure what other softwares will be able to utilize the last two cores with quad core.
the nice thing about getting a top of the line cpu is that it stays usable with future software longer.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bj house View Post
Thanks RyeBread that does help a little

My top decisions are (in no particular order)

#1 CPU [don't need the top of the list that adds over $1500 to the cost, so I picked middle of the road
#2 RAM [Even though only 3.3 might be recognized adding 4GB is not that much more and is worth it imo]
#3 Vid card [Our software can be pretty heavy on the graphics card, should I opt for one with 512MB over 256MB?
#4 HD's [10,000 RPM SATA's ??]

FYI - It has to be DELL and as long as it falls under $4K [PC only] I am going to submit it. This is just a recommended spec for our customers not something we are actually buying.
I also had originally spec'ed it out with a middle road CPU, and 3 gigs of RAM with XP. And was planning on expensing a cheap USB keyboard/mouse from our office/depot account. IT Director reviews/edits all specs before spec'ing/quoting and added all the above. (I threw the monitor back on it when I saw how low it came in at, and more than likely the monitor will end up on my boss' desk, which in turn helps me out when I assist her with IT related issues)

without knowing the specifics of your app, I guess I'm up in the air over whether you'd need a 512 meg vid card, or one with a different type of GPU, etc. I also confess, this is the first time I've looked/spec'ed a piece of hardware in two years, as the last year at my old Job I was sort of eliminated from that aspect when the Division I was on loan to wouldn't find the funding, and my actual funded division got pissed at IT for having me for free for 4 years and not finding the funding...

and finally, this will be my first real exposure to Vista (I've done nothing more than play around with it on other people's machines prior to this, and found I really didn't like all the candy-assed themed/graphics, but cest la vie)
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:06 PM   #13
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Thanks again,

Steveo good internal HD's are a must we stream large amounts of data to disc at as fast a rate as the SCSI or UTP connections can handle. Also the max cpu for the T7400 I think was a $1200 option.

Kart Racer thanks that helps, my group has test hardware/software mostly NVH no silly CAD in my group. Agree on the two versus quad core, our software currently can only utilize a 32 bit OS although it will run on 64bit (maybe that is related?)

I guess that would be another question, worth going with 64bit just so that it can use more RAM or stick with 32?
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Thanks again,

Steveo good internal HD's are a must we stream large amounts of data to disc at as fast a rate as the SCSI or UTP connections can handle. Also the max cpu for the T7400 I think was a $1200 option.
what is a large amount of data? I ALWAYS choose a fast hd over a big hd. seriously, get the big cpu. the last desktop i built had a quad core i it, and it made a difference.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bj house View Post
Thanks again,

Steveo good internal HD's are a must we stream large amounts of data to disc at as fast a rate as the SCSI or UTP connections can handle. Also the max cpu for the T7400 I think was a $1200 option.

Kart Racer thanks that helps, my group has test hardware/software mostly NVH no silly CAD in my group. Agree on the two versus quad core, our software currently can only utilize a 32 bit OS although it will run on 64bit (maybe that is related?)

I guess that would be another question, worth going with 64bit just so that it can use more RAM or stick with 32?
Be careful with 64 bit. Unless you have the newest peripherals and software, it won't work with everything. It has caused us a lot of headaches here.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #16
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NewEgg, anything from Dell can be made cheeper and with better componets when you get into the higher end stuff. Plus you don't have to deal with all that BS Dell licensed software
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Old July 17th, 2008, 02:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
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NewEgg, anything from Dell can be made cheeper and with better componets when you get into the higher end stuff. Plus you don't have to deal with all that BS Dell licensed software
You don't have to deal with bs dell licensed software from dell either - especially if ordering corporate... (which he is)

Pretty sure that they won't allow him to purchase/expense parts and build a box...
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Old July 17th, 2008, 02:25 PM   #18
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NewEgg, anything from Dell can be made cheeper and with better componets when you get into the higher end stuff. Plus you don't have to deal with all that BS Dell licensed software
I hate ordering from Companies for pre built machines, the only reason to do so is because of the warranty. I can't get any parts within a day unlesss I pay large amounts of shipping charges, then I have to worry if that part is made anymore. If it's in warranty it is the manufactures hassle.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 02:25 PM   #19
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http://www.mtechlaptops.com/specific...mtechd900c.htm
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Old July 17th, 2008, 02:46 PM   #20
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If you had to use Dell what would your ideal PC look like?


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