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Questions about, hard drives, memory, sound & video cards....

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posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 02:28 PM
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As I said the other day, I'm ready to purchase a new PC.

I'm ordering from Dell.

XPS series 410.

I have questions on the componets....

It will be used by my wife and myself... mainly for web surfing, some online gaming, a little music - cd burning and finally printing digital pictures...

I need to know which of these is best for the money and my needs...

Windows XP - Professional
or
Windows XP - Media Center

Processor: Intel ® Core™2 Duo Processor E6400 (2.13GHz, 1066 FSB) included
Intel ® Core™2 Duo Processor E6600 (2.4GHz, 1066 FSB) +$150


Memory: 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz- 2DIMMs / included
1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 2 DIMMs / + $20
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 2 DIMMs / + $160


Hard Drive: 250GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™ + $50
500GB Performance RAID 0 (2 x 250GB SATA 3Gb/s 7200 RPM HDDs) + $120

Video Card: 256MB nVidia Geforce 7300LE TurboCache / included
256MB ATI Radeon X1300 Pro / + $50
256MB nVidia GeForce 7900 GS / + $200

Sound Card: Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio / included
Integrated Sound Blaster®Audigy™ HD Software Edition / + $25
Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ XtremeMusic (D), w/Dolby® Digital 5.1 / + $100



Of course I wish I could say that money is no objet, but I'm trying to stay around $1200.00 on this system.

minimum config on this includes a 19" flat panel monitor and the first of the choices listed above at $990 plus tax.

Okay, so based on my needs, where should I spend the extra money?

Thanks...





[edit on 20-9-2006 by elevatedone]

[edit on 20-9-2006 by elevatedone]




posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 02:36 PM
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Since you are going to play music then get the best sound card you can afford. Also if your into gaming then get what you can afford on the video end also (512mb - 1gb video cards are out there...but the 1gb are expensive !)

And hard drive space goes quick...I would go with the 500gb raid setup.










[edit on 20-9-2006 by Alpha Grey]



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 02:28 AM
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More memory is always good. I have a Mac and just doubled my memory, and it feels almost like I got a new computer, it's so much snappier.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 05:07 AM
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For the applications you intend to run, the minimums of the spec options you listed will run everything fine if you're worrying about the pennies. The single hurdle might be your online gaming. If you're running graphics intensive MMOGs, then you will want to beef up on the video card.

Personally I would spend any extra optional cash on the CPU, RAM, and video card. These three are the pillar of a good computer and if they're ahead of average spec you'll be able to run anything and everything without any hassles or frustrations - plus they tend to go out of date fast.

For HD space, you can always purchase a peripheral HD at a later date if you need it, which is convenient too because you can transport huge files easily to and from other computers.

The integrated audio will play music and game sound fine, and without a lot of useless bells and whistles.

I hear Media Center XP is a dog, but if you're not savvy with or can't be bothered with choosing and setting up third party media management appz on your computer, then it might be useful.




[edit on 2006-9-21 by wecomeinpeace]



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 10:59 AM
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Bases on what you say you will be using the computer for, I will give you my recommendations:

1)For operasting system, I say go for XP Pro, currently it is the most stable M$ OS out their.
2)For ram, honestly, only the most "HardcoreGamer" who benchmarks everything will notice the difference betweeen ram @533 or 667. In terms of $$, I nwould say just add one more gig of 533 for a total of 2 gig's of memmory.
3)For harddrive's, it depends. Are you tech enou to be able to ad in an extra harddrive yourself, or a friend??? If yes, don't buy extra harddrive from delll, wait till a nice big harddrive goes on sale-I got a 300 gig seagate W/16 meg buffer on sale for $89. If you can't, have dell put in a second harddrive. Now, as far as Raids, they can be good and bad, depending on which one you have.

Raid 0 is a high performance, it reads and writes to "2" harddrives at once-it can bring a realworld improvment of 40+ percent in "hardrive performance. That said, if you lose(breaks) one harddrive, you lose all the info on both drives.

5)For videocards try pricing a nvidia 7800GT or 7900GT-they are powerfull and reasonable well priced in terms of performance.

6)For sound, I don't know what speakers you have. For now!, I would stick with the 7.1 onboard sound. In the future as more money comes in, you can upgrade to an x-fi soundcard-I have one, it is SWEET!!!!



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