Thursday, December 20, 2007

Product Lust - Dell XPS 420

I think I'm in lust. Dell's been trying to create some product lust and I think I've fallen in lust with the Dell XPS 420.

I've had the same machine for about 4 years. It's a home grown Intel P4 2.80 GHz with 2.5GB RAM and I just upgraded the video to the Nvidia AGP 7800 GS, which is the last of the last new AGP cards. Did all that just so I could play Call of Duty 4 and Team Fortress 2. I've got over 1TB of disk space with SATA drives and it runs Vista Ultimate so I can watch TV with the TV tuner card. Ohhh, and I also purchased a Dell 22" LCD widescreen when I got the new video card.

I OC'd the proc to 3.2 GHz and the Nvidia 7800 to 525/800, and can play COD4 fine and I kick some pretty good butt on TF2 with decent frame rates.

So I'd have to say I've eeeked out about as much juice as I'll get from this box, and honestly the frame rates are high enough that I really don't notice on the games. But of course I'm not playing in the highest resolution or graphics mode that I could.

So after looking at the XPS 420 for about a month, and watching the outlet prices, and watching the regular prices, I decided to pull the trigger. I justified it in the fact that I didn't have to buy a monitor, and I have plenty of disk so I could save on that too, and I get the 17% discount for employees, and they were offering $100 off on top of that, AND I got 2nd day shipping free, AND I got a free $150 gift card to the Dell store. So how on earth could I pass up that deal ?

I kept my head clear while ordering and clicking through the options, which is hard to do :-) I decided on the Intel Dual Core 6850 instead of the Quad Core. For my applications, the 3.0GHz with 1333 MHz FSB is a better deal. Ohhh forgot to mention that they included 3GB of RAM, an extra 1GB for free ! I spent the extra $50 to get 800MHz RAM instead of 667MHz.

Now the tough part, which video card to get ? I'm a big Nvidia fan, so that part was easy, but they offer both the 8800GT and the 8800GTX. Now of course your supposed to get the biggest baddest card with the X in the name, it has to be better, right ? Wrong ! - Check out this link on Tom's Hardware. Of course that is the OC'd version of the GT, which of course I'm going to do with Ntune ! And it's within 5% of the performance of the 8800 Ultra. Price difference ?? .... would have cost $350 more for the GTX, and I would have gotten worse performance in my application ! -- so on paper it looks better, but the benchmarks say different. And even though the names are similar, the GT uses the newer G92 core, the GTX uses the G80 core.

Benchmarks against my old machine aren't even close. If I thought I was having fun with TF2 on the old box, I can't imagine how crazy it will be on this new box.

The case is awesome. Piano black finish, a space on top to rest my camera, iphone, other things .... and the cords come up to the top to charge, download, upload, etc. And a ton of ports on the FRONT, along with a 19 in 1 media card reader with Bluetooth connectivity. It also has a little color LCD screen on the top that supports Windows Sideshow, looks like interesting technology that will be fun to play with. Not sure how I will use it.

I'm ready for it ! SHIP SHIP SHIP SHIP, ordered it two days ago and it still says "In Production" .... I'm thinking about taking a trip down to Parmer and watching it go down the line :-)

Ohhh and thanks to the people in Vegas at the MGM on table 11 for my new Dell XPS 420. Bought and paid for with YOUR money !

I love poker.

UPDATE : Just checked order status and it shipped ! Shows to arrive tomorrow ! ... wohoooo, ordered on the 18th, late at night, and went out for shipment today at 1:10pm. AWESOME ! - Prepare to be fragged !