Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Looking for relatively high end, expandable desktop replacement


  • Please log in to reply
37 replies to this topic

#1 saluqi

saluqi

  • Members
  • 570 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:07 AM

Posted 21 January 2014 - 03:59 PM

Dell is currently (until tomorrow!) offering XPS 8700 (4th gen i7), 12 GB memory, 1 TB HDD and 21.5" touch monitor for $1000.  Is this a good choice, and what "extras" would be advisable?  Solid state buffer drive?  Blu-Ray writer?  Budget is somewhat flexible.  Are there other off-the-shelf systems out there of comparable price and value?  I used to build my own (worked in a systems house for several years, building computers, installing and maintaining networks and writing specialty software for them) but haven't done that for a while so I am a bit out of touch (and the nearest Fry's is 5 hours' drive away <G>).

 

What I do or might do?  Writing, editing, photography, video (I have published books and films, mostly scientific), desktop publishing, E-mail (I am owner and/or moderator of a number of mailing lists, again mostly scientific), database programming (earned my living that way for years, though not right now, but still like to build better mousetraps for my own amusement).  Graphics, including engineering stuff (I am currently a water district manager).  Wide ranging Internet searches - I am a scientist (physics and biology) but have very wide-ranging interests.  Music.  Art.  History.  Paleontology.  You name it.

 

I am also a hunter, falconer, rider, climber, SCUBA instructor and scientific diver of long experience, etc. etc.  Now slowing down a bit (just turned 82) so people want me to write about all those things <G>.  Need a good tool for that, and to keep me amused while doing it ...

 

Thanks for enlightenment!



BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 killerx525

killerx525

    Bleepin' Aussie


  • Members
  • 7,220 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Local time:11:07 PM

Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:57 PM

Hi, that's a pretty awesome deal and i would definitely take the SSD upgrade to it as you will certainly notice the difference. I do believe the system Dell is offering will more then enough for your needs as that i7 processor has a fair amount of grunt in it and 12GB of ram is plenty.


>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#3 Kilroy

Kilroy

  • BC Advisor
  • 3,318 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Launderdale, MN
  • Local time:07:07 AM

Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:27 PM

I agree with killerx525, the only real recommendation I would make would be to upgrade the boot drive to a Solid State Drive (SSD).

 

Unless you know that you will be burning Bluray disks I'd advise against a Bluray burner.  You don't even need a Bluray reader if you're not looking to play Bluray disks.  Blank Bluray disks are still about $4 each.  I put a Bluray burner in my last build and have burned exactly zero Bluray disks.  I have read a few, but absolutely none burned.


Edited by RKilroy, 22 January 2014 - 12:27 PM.


#4 saluqi

saluqi
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 570 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:07 AM

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:20 PM

Thanks!

 

I was wavering in the direction of building my own, after browsing around this list a bit.  I'd need some help, because i've been out of this loop for a while and the range of choices now is far greater than when I was building systems (about 1985-1995).  Guess I will call the Dell folks this evening and find out exactly what it is they are offering -- for instance, what graphics card with how much RAM, etc.  In the past I've noted that some of their lowball offers are less impressive on closer look ...



#5 killerx525

killerx525

    Bleepin' Aussie


  • Members
  • 7,220 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Local time:11:07 PM

Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:27 AM

Thanks!

 

I was wavering in the direction of building my own, after browsing around this list a bit.  I'd need some help, because i've been out of this loop for a while and the range of choices now is far greater than when I was building systems (about 1985-1995).  Guess I will call the Dell folks this evening and find out exactly what it is they are offering -- for instance, what graphics card with how much RAM, etc.  In the past I've noted that some of their lowball offers are less impressive on closer look ...

Wow building systems in the 80s and 90s, a great deal amount has changed throughout the years!


>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#6 Kilroy

Kilroy

  • BC Advisor
  • 3,318 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Launderdale, MN
  • Local time:07:07 AM

Posted 23 January 2014 - 10:19 AM

Wow building systems in the 80s and 90s, a great deal amount has changed throughout the years!

 

Exactly why I started just building new machine and not bothering to upgrade my existing machines.  I found that when I was looking to upgrade, about every three years, I would have a different CPU socket, different RAM socket, and different video card socket.  About the only things that could move from machine to machine were drives and cases.  So, I leave the boot drive in and move the storage drives to my new machine.



#7 killerx525

killerx525

    Bleepin' Aussie


  • Members
  • 7,220 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Local time:11:07 PM

Posted 23 January 2014 - 10:39 AM

 

Wow building systems in the 80s and 90s, a great deal amount has changed throughout the years!

 

Exactly why I started just building new machine and not bothering to upgrade my existing machines.  I found that when I was looking to upgrade, about every three years, I would have a different CPU socket, different RAM socket, and different video card socket.  About the only things that could move from machine to machine were drives and cases.  So, I leave the boot drive in and move the storage drives to my new machine.

 

I usually just switch out to a high end pair of graphics card and leave everything else as it is because it will not boost much performance in my games anyway. 


>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#8 saluqi

saluqi
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 570 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:07 AM

Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:54 PM

Well, I seem to have missed out on the Dell sale - their telephone link said "this office is closed" and after. going back to my office to go online I found I could get the SSD upgrade only by going to the next higher grade of XPS 8700 for a base price of around $1500 and change.  No Windows 8, no touch monitors, etc.  Not the first time I have been faked out by Dell.  Looks as if a configuration I might like would have cost around $2000 ... which is rather more than I really want to pay if I can avoid it.

 

So it seems I will have to bite the bullet and build one.  Maybe better anyway?

 

I am thinking, start with processor and MOBO and graphics card(s?) and build around those?  Processor I suppose i7 - how many versions are there?  MOBO, how many different chipsets? (mind boggling I suppose).  Graphics, enough for video and movie editing and quasi-professional photography, at least.  Desktop publishing, and Web site development.  What else?  I don't see myself doing heavy duty gaming, but I do like to play with images.  "Art" photography as well as documentary stuff.

 

Re: photography, have actually worked as a professional at times, had my own shows and produced a high-end coffee table book with 288 pages of two-column text and 190 color photographs ... and expect to do more of the same, I'm in the process of digitizing more than 40,000 Kodachromes of mostly natural history material (for intended books), African and Arabian environments and wildlife and lots of underwater coral reef stuff.

 

Memory - 12 GB, or 16?  I suppose choose MOBO such that I can expand RAM easily later if I want to.

 

I think 256 GB SSD.

 

HDD(s?) - 1 or 2 TB I suppose ... configuration?

 

Optical drive(s?) - DVD/CD read/write

 

Case and power supply appropriate to the above, with expansion in mind ...

 

I think I do want to go with Windows 8 and a touch-screen monitor.

I have a USB 3.0 external card reader - do I want one built into the case? or is that just a dust catcher?

 

I'm sure I've left stuff out, this is a first guess and it's late and it took me more than an hour to get logged on here - my login was rejected for "no sign-in name entered" until more or less by accident (after much read-only browsing) I got a different, smaller login screen and that one worked.  Really annoying, can someone tell me how to fix it?

 

Thanks for any guidance in what is for me a voyage of (re)discovery <G>.



#9 killerx525

killerx525

    Bleepin' Aussie


  • Members
  • 7,220 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Local time:11:07 PM

Posted 24 January 2014 - 08:54 AM

Well, I seem to have missed out on the Dell sale - their telephone link said "this office is closed" and after. going back to my office to go online I found I could get the SSD upgrade only by going to the next higher grade of XPS 8700 for a base price of around $1500 and change.  No Windows 8, no touch monitors, etc.  Not the first time I have been faked out by Dell.  Looks as if a configuration I might like would have cost around $2000 ... which is rather more than I really want to pay if I can avoid it.

 

So it seems I will have to bite the bullet and build one.  Maybe better anyway?

 

I am thinking, start with processor and MOBO and graphics card(s?) and build around those?  Processor I suppose i7 - how many versions are there?  MOBO, how many different chipsets? (mind boggling I suppose).  Graphics, enough for video and movie editing and quasi-professional photography, at least.  Desktop publishing, and Web site development.  What else?  I don't see myself doing heavy duty gaming, but I do like to play with images.  "Art" photography as well as documentary stuff.

 

Re: photography, have actually worked as a professional at times, had my own shows and produced a high-end coffee table book with 288 pages of two-column text and 190 color photographs ... and expect to do more of the same, I'm in the process of digitizing more than 40,000 Kodachromes of mostly natural history material (for intended books), African and Arabian environments and wildlife and lots of underwater coral reef stuff.

 

Memory - 12 GB, or 16?  I suppose choose MOBO such that I can expand RAM easily later if I want to.

 

I think 256 GB SSD.

 

HDD(s?) - 1 or 2 TB I suppose ... configuration?

 

Optical drive(s?) - DVD/CD read/write

 

Case and power supply appropriate to the above, with expansion in mind ...

 

I think I do want to go with Windows 8 and a touch-screen monitor.

I have a USB 3.0 external card reader - do I want one built into the case? or is that just a dust catcher?

 

I'm sure I've left stuff out, this is a first guess and it's late and it took me more than an hour to get logged on here - my login was rejected for "no sign-in name entered" until more or less by accident (after much read-only browsing) I got a different, smaller login screen and that one worked.  Really annoying, can someone tell me how to fix it?

 

Thanks for any guidance in what is for me a voyage of (re)discovery <G>.

Hmmm, have you tried browsing through Newegg's pre-built desktops as there is a huge variety?


>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#10 saluqi

saluqi
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 570 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:07 AM

Posted 24 January 2014 - 02:36 PM

"Hmmm, have you tried browsing through Newegg's pre-built desktops as there is a huge variety?"

 

Not yet (have been without Internet access at home, and can't do personal shopping on the company's clock),.but will try that, and other things to inform myself.  Thanks to help here on another forum, I have Internet connectivity back on the old computer, so a bit of the heat is off and I can take time (a little ... <G>) to get this right.

 

I'm not scared of trying to build a computer - I've done it before, dozens of them, but as several people noted, things have changed enormously since the 1990s <G>.  I've nothing against convenience either, so long as it doesn't involve giving up quality.

 

Long years ago I actually wrote a little book about computer hardware, for the education of technically unsophisticated computer users on the networks I was maintaining.  It was intentionally jokey, since the main purpose was to get city employees, etc., over being scared of their computers.  It had subtitles I now find almost cornball ... "two's company" for basic digital logic, "sweet sixteen" for hexadecimal notation, and so on.  It was fun at the time (around 1990).

 



#11 killerx525

killerx525

    Bleepin' Aussie


  • Members
  • 7,220 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Local time:11:07 PM

Posted 24 January 2014 - 08:57 PM

I had a quick browse through Newegg's desktop range and found the HP Envy which packs the latest Core I7 processor, 8GB of ram, 1TB hard drive and Wifi AC for $700.


>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#12 zooterman

zooterman

  • Members
  • 9 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:07 PM

Posted 26 January 2014 - 02:00 PM

Hi from another pensioner, but I'm one of the thick ones, saying that,  I have just built a system, Lian Li case, Corsair 800w PSU, Gigabyte GA-X79S-UP5-WiFi motherboard, ( There are sockets for 8 SAS, 4 SATA 2, 2 SATA 3  plus board sockets for USB 3)  Intel i7-3820 LGA2011 socket, 3.6 Ghz, Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 Type D cooler, (This is a large cooler with 2 4in fans it needs a large case at least 8in int width, I didn't realize how big it was until I opened the box) , plus 32  gig DDR3 ram. also installed a Gigabyte GEFORCE GTX 760 graphics card, and a Creative Blaster recon 3D sound card. I don't go along with huge hard drives, if one goes down you can loose a lot of data, no I use a 300gig for system and programs, with an external unit with 6 SAS drives for data. I also treated myself to a 24in Ilayma touch screen monitor whic I highly recommend, Dell computers are built to a price not quality,  so go ahead and build your own.

It's a bit OTT for my use, so what, what else do I spend my money on, too old to spend it on women.

Wal


Edited by zooterman, 26 January 2014 - 02:05 PM.


#13 saluqi

saluqi
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 570 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:07 AM

Posted 26 January 2014 - 05:46 PM

Would it be impolite to ask roughly how much all that cost?

 

Our main computer in the office is a custom build in a Lian Li case.  No, I didn't build it, but I know the guy who did (runs a computer business in the next town, I'm trying to help him set up a high speed link for our tiny little town).  At the time it cost way too much (bought by one of my predecessors in this job).

 

The internal HDD on my old Compaq/HP is 150 GB, enough for system and programs, I have an external 2 TB for data but keep regular backups separate.  I take your point about drives going down.

 

Yesterday at COSTCO I looked at a lot of HP boxes ... some almost interesting ... but think, now that my old machine can get online again (had to downgrade Avast! from build 2013 to build 2008 for that to work!), I can at least take the time to explore custom-build possibilities.

 

I will have to do some homework before I can even talk intelligently about these things ... but that probably won't hurt me <G>



#14 killerx525

killerx525

    Bleepin' Aussie


  • Members
  • 7,220 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Local time:11:07 PM

Posted 26 January 2014 - 08:25 PM

That system alone is certainly over $1000 and it is more of a workstation desktop. Dell desktops are not completely rubbish, if the quality was not there then why do governments, schools, colleges purchases and uses Dell desktops? As long you maintain and take care of the desktop then it will last for quite a long time. But if you insist on building a custom system then i can put together a list that is within your budget of $1000.


>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#15 saluqi

saluqi
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 570 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:07 AM

Posted 29 January 2014 - 01:23 AM

Wrote a lengthy reply here, but it seems to have vanished into cyberspace.  No more time tonight (10:25 pm here, and I have to get up at 5 a.m.) but tomorrow if I am lucky (in the water business you never know, we spent most of the afternoon repairing a leak when solar-farm construction folks breached one of our water mains ...).






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users