ordered Dell XPS 8500 w/Win 8, would have preferred Win 7

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Jim Cockfield
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ordered Dell XPS 8500 w/Win 8, would have preferred Win 7
10 months ago

My primary desktop failed yesterday.

It's my fault, as I had an overheating video card that I had to manually start the fan on to get it running for months now (literally pushing on the fan blades to get it going every day with the case cover removed).

It's overheated and shut down so many times, it's nuts.

Again, my fault (not the card that shipped with the desktop, as I bought if cheap on sale).   I should have replaced it months ago (or at least replaced it's fan).   But,  I was "stubborn" and it managed to short out the motherboard when left on overnight ("scorched" areas of the motherboard next to the PCIe slot the video card was plugged into, and the MB will not post at all now, even using the integrated graphics with the video card removed. That's what I get for being "cheap".

Right this minute for going online (including this post), I'm using an old Dell Inspiron 1720 Laptop (with a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse plugged into it).

Who says laptops are not reliable?

I bought this laptop in refurbished condition from Dell Outlet in 2007, and it still works jut like a new one, except that the battery doesn't hold a charge as long is it did when I first got it. It's not the fastest machine around (older Core 2 Duo CPU with Intel x3100 graphics). But, it works in a "pinch", even allowing me to watch youtube videos with no problems.

But, I doubt they make them that reliable anymore.

Anyway, I needed a new desktop (as the old one is probably not worth the trouble to fix, as it's going to need a replacement motherboard at a minimum. So, I just ordered a refurbished Dell XPS 8500 with a Core i7 3770, 2TB 7200rpm Drive, 12GB of DDR3, Nvidia GT 640 with 1GB of GDDR5, etc., from an Ebay vendor.

Dell uses an OEM version of the GT 640 with faster GDDR5 (much faster than the retail version of it using slower GDDR3), with virtually the same specifications as the retail GTX 650 (1GB of GDDR5, 384 CUDA cores, similar clocks speeds to the GTX 650, etc.).

So, it should be "good enough" for my needs (as anything faster than a GT 650 gives you diminishing returns for most image editing purposes, as the Dell GT 640 w/1GB of GDDR5 should perform about the same as the retail GTX 650.

It should have plenty of "perks" for my needs (lots of USB 3.0 and USB 2..0 ports, integrated card reader, Wireless N and Bluetooth, etc.; and has a 2TB 7200rpm drive installed.

I'll use a Samsung 830 Pro I already have as the boot drive with the OS and Programs on it, and just use the included 2TB drive for data (photos, docs, etc.). That shouldn't be too hard to setup.

The main concern is that it's got 64 Windows 8 installed. Grrrrrr

I've used both the earlier developer and consumer preview versions of Win 8, and even test drove the production Enterprise Version of it; and frankly, I just didn't like it.

I haven't tried Win 8.1 yet though (but, I guess I'll get that chance very soon with the system I just ordered, as I'll just use the online upgrade from Win 8 to Win 8.1 after I move the boot stuff to an SSD first.

I still would have preferred to get a box with Win 7 (preferably the "Pro" version) instead.

But, I did find a pretty good deal on the box I just ordered ($649 with free shipping). I ordered it from this Ebay listing:  So, the price was "right" for that kind of system:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/151161079976

I usually order that kind of thing directly from Dell Outlet using coupon codes for more off (I've bought multiple desktops and laptops that way). But, I don't see any coupon codes right this minute for Dell Outlet listings on XPS 8xxx boxes; so I just ordered a system from an Ebay vendor instead (with 100% positive feedback).

I wish that I could have found the same deal with 64 Bit Win 7 Pro. But, I'm in a hurry for a replacement, and I'll have to make do with Win 8 for right now instead. Grrrrr

I use Linux most of the time anyway (and I'll set up the new PC in a multi-boot config with linux distros and Windows available from the boot menu, installing them on a Samsung 830 Pro SSD I already have, using the 2TB drive included in that system for data and photos).

Hopefully, Win 8 won't be that much trouble when I need to use Windows specific apps for anything (as I help out with camera reviews for another site from time to time, and need to include information on camera manufacturers' software for Windows). I'll probably install the free Classic Shell for Window to help out in that area after I upgrade it from Win 8 to Win 8.1.

Other than that (testing camera manufacturers' software), I don't really need Windows. But, I've still got a feeling I'll regret going with Windows 8 (versus being patient and finding a similar deal with Win 7 instead).

Time will tell, but if worse comes to worse, I'll just buy a copy of Win 7 and install it to replace Win 8.

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JimC
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Samsung i7
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