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Dell XPS 3800 or iMac?


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#1 Majik8ball

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 11:48 PM

Hello, I am shopping for a new computer for both gaming (Mostly GW2, and Skyrim) and general use (General internet use, watching movies/tv, class projects and homework, ect.)  I have narrowed it down to 2, (well 3) systems.

Dell XPS 3800:
Intel® Core™ i7-2600 processor(8MB Cache, 3.4GHz)
1.5 TB Performance RAID 0 (2 x 750GB SATA 3Gb/s 7200 RPM HDDs)
8GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMs
AMD Radeon™ HD 6770
Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit
Price: $999 (Not including KB/M, Monitor, speakers, tax, ect.)

iMac 27"
2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
2560 x 1440 resolution
12GB RAM (2X2GB + 2X4GB)
1TB hard drive
AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB
Price: $1500 (Includes monitor, KB/M, speakers, ect) (tax not included)

Also considering upgrading to:
iMac 27" Pro
3.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
2560 x 1440 resolution
12GB RAM (2X2GB + 2X4GB)
1TB hard drive
AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 1GB
Price: $1800 (Includes monitor, KB/M, speakers, ect) (tax not included)

What are your opinions on these? I have never used a mac or a desktop before so I really don't know which to pick. (I don't mind not being able to play at max settings in GW2/skyrim, I just don't want lag, and don't want it to look like Minecraft. Also, keep in mind, this is not solely for gaming.)

#2 tijo

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 11:51 PM

I would say neither of those three. However, the xps is by far the best option for gaming if you replace the GPU and drop the raid 0. Why not buy the parts from a shop and have them assemble it (usually costs ~$50).

#3 The Comfy Chair

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 09:00 AM

Like tijo: none, but at a push the dell.

#4 stormglory

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 03:23 PM

Majik8ball said:

Dell XPS 3800:
Intel® Core™ i7-2600 processor(8MB Cache, 3.4GHz)
1.5 TB Performance RAID 0 (2 x 750GB SATA 3Gb/s 7200 RPM HDDs)
8GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMs
AMD Radeon™ HD 6770
Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit
Price: $999 (Not including KB/M, Monitor, speakers, tax, ect.)

That's kind of a poorly-configured machine for gaming. Pairing an i7-2600 with a pretty low-end 6770 is just going to keep the i7 down and return poor framerates in games. Its too much processor and not enough graphics. If Dell gives you the option to configure graphics and processor yourself, a current-generation Core i5 is the best gaming CPU you realistically need. Pairing that with a GTX 560 Ti or Radeon HD 69xx will result in a much more balanced machine. If you're worried about the price, you could build the aforementioned machine yourself for less than $1000 and be better off all around. A good 1080p monitor beyond that should cost less than $300.

Those Macs are absolutely toxic to me, regardless what your workload is (freelance designer here, btw). The prices are absolutely outrageous and a 512MB HD6770 will not produce anything approaching acceptable frame rates in a modern game at 2560x1440. Anything you need to get done can get done on Windows.

#5 Elder III

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 04:51 PM

How about you just tell us your budget and we help you pick out the parts?  You could get the parts yourself and have a local PC shop assemble it for a fee, or you could just pick from a custom configuration site, whether that be DELL, IBUYPOWER, or some other online site....

#6 Naqaj

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 05:02 PM

Presenting us with these specific options kind of tells me a self-assembled system or upgrade is not an option for the OP.

some pointers:
- The HD6770 is insufficient in either of those machines. The 6970 is better, but comes at an outrageous price in the iMac, and is only the mobile version of the card. Look for an option to upgrade the card in the Dell.
- Don't buy the RAM upgrades from Apple. Under no circumstance. Ever. RAM is the only part in an iMac that is easily and completely idiot-proof upgradable. Getting the appropriate Notebook RAM for less than half the cost shoul be no problem. Though you shouldn't actually need a RAM upgrade at the moment, as there's still hardly any software that makes use of the extra (outside of some very specific programs you're likely not using).
- Keep in mind that in either case you'll have some extra cost. Monitor and other peripherals for the Dell, Windows and a mouse for the Mac.

Edited by Naqaj, 28 November 2011 - 05:06 PM.