Help me plan a system upgrade...

Started Mar 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,333
Re: 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).

Yeah, it's certainly an option.

OTOH, I already have the SSD and two HDD's. I don't really need an optical or a Windows license either.

Although there are some great XPS 8500 deals which negate the cost the problem I'd be stuck without a spare SATA port (Optical plus my existing SSD and HDD's).

Hmmmm, I guess I could solve that nicely with a USB3 dock.

That leaves me having to replace the video card if I want Nvidia and CUDA versus ATI.

Well.. you can install up to 3 Physical Drives + an Optical Drive (as the MB has 4 SATA ports), plus an mSATA SSD.

Then, go external for the rest. I bought a 4 port Enclosure that included an eSATA card (SATA III with port multiplier features) for $79.99 on sale not long ago after a promo code at newegg. So, they're not very expensive if you're a good shopper.

As for video cards, if you want Nvidia, Dell sells 'em with the Nvidia GT 620, GT 640 and GTX 660 cards.

They're just not very flexible on which configs you can add which cards to.

Their OEM version of the GT 640 is probably the best deal. That's because it's got virtually the exact same specs as the retail GTX 650 (using GDDR5 versus the GDDR3 used by the retail GT 640 cards). IOW, like the GTX 650, it's got 384 CUDA cores (like both the retail GT 640 and GTX 650 models), only the Dell OEM version uses faster GDDR5 (whereas the retail GT 640 uses slower GDDR3).

But, if you wanted a "screamer", go with a machine equipped with a GTX 660 instead (Dell sells them that way).  Or, just get a machine with the base Radeon HD 7570 (or Nvidia GT 620) that Dell sells them with, and buy a faster card later if needed.

Personally, I'd just get a refurb, as they have a 35% off coupon code on the XPS 8500 that's good until midnight tmrw. But, the listings are a bit "sparse" right this minute. So, you'd have to refresh them often to find a better deal. I do see some with 16GB of DDR3, 2TB Drive, 256GB SSD (and they use a Samsung 830 series mSATA model), HD 7700 (a faster ATI card), Blu-Ray and more for $1470 right now (meaning under $1K after the coupon code). But, if you want to add to one yourself, just buy one of the $1K (before 35% off coupon code) listings and add more stuff yourself later.

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