Help me plan a system upgrade...

Started Mar 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,333
Dell XPS 8500

Just buy a refurb Dell XPS 8500.

You can get one brand new XPS 8500 with a Core i7 3700, DVD writer, plenty of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, integrated card reader, dedicated video card, 8GB of 1600Mhz DDR3 (2x4GB leaving two slots open),  7200rpm hard drive, Windows, Wireless N, Bluetooth, etc. for $699.99 delivered right now if you're a good shopper (and I'd be happy to PM you with links).

Or, just buy a refurb instead (Dell Outlet has a 35% off coupon code available on the XPS models that's good through tmrw (March 21), and refurbs have the same warranty as a new machine.

Reviews indicate that the XPS 8500 it's a very quite machine, and it's 460 Watt PSU (which allows a video card drawing up to 225 Watts via it's connections for video cards) should support anything through the Nvidia GTX 660 (Dell sells them with that card).

It's got an mSATA port for an SSD (and Dell sells them with a Samsung 256GB 830 series mSATA drive). Unfortunately, Samsung doesn't sell their mSATA models via retail channels. But, you could go with a Crucial M4 series mSATA drive (cheaper option), or an Intel 525 series mSATA drive (faster and more expensive option with a 5 year warranty) if you wanted to install one yourself.

I do see multiple refurb listings right now that include a 256GB SSD and 16GB of RAM, Blu-Ray drive and more right now though (that you buy for under $1K after the current 35% off coupon code).

That way, you'd have an mSATA SSD for the OS and Programs and could install up to 3 hard drives + an Optical Drive. Basically, it's got 4 SATA ports (2 SATA III, 2 SATA II), with only two 3.5" drive bays. But, if you're OK with only 1 Optical Drive, you could use the other Optical Bay for a 3rd Physical Drive. That would give you an mSATA SSD for the OS and Programs, an Optical Drive, and 3 Physical Hard Drives (2 using the 3.5" bays, 1 of them in an Optical Bay using a 5.25" to 3.5" adapter).

Then, go external for more. For example, I bought a 4 Bay SATA enclosure not long ago from for around $100 (including an eSATA Card) for use with my desktop.

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