Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Dell Studio XPS 8100 home PC (Part 1)

I've just replaced my aged Pentium IV 2.4GHz home PC which had served for many years, with a new Dell Studio XPS 8100. It was the same time when I bought my Dell SX2210T 21.5" full HD widescreen multi-touch all-in-one active-matrix LCD monitor. If you have been reading the "IT talks" section of this blog all the while, you might be well awared about this from my sharings along the process.

The Pentium IV PC which had served me for 8 years is still working fine, and I've sold it at minimal price to its new owner. It was my great asset with superb return on investment. I remember I bought it at around RM4k, and over the years, I've used it to write books & articles, coding for programming projects, analyse stocks, perform online trading, etc. Hopefully this new Dell Studio XPS 8100 with Core i5-750 processor will reap even higher ROI for me from now on.

Now, let me share with you the process of chosing this new home PC.

DIY or branded?

My previous Pentium IV PC was a DIY one. This time, I've chosen Dell because:

  • The Dell Studio XPS 8100 has a competitive price that is very close to DIY the same specs myself.
  • I can buy it with 12 months interest free credit card instalment.
  • Its price includes warranty and insurance (1-year XPS Premier Service, 1-year CompleteCover accidental damage protection)
  • Its price includes 1 year 24x7 Priority User PC phone support
  • Its price includes 1 year 2GB Datasafe online backup. Not very big, but good enough to remote backup my important document files.
The processor

I've chosen the Intel Core i5-750 processor. By the time of buying, there wasn't any option to choose for Intel Core i5-760 yet as the i5-760 was just launched. Otherwise, I would have chosen the later as the price difference is minimal to i5-750.

I didn't choose an i7 processor because i5 with 4 cores is good enough for my use. The hyperthreading feature in i7 to boost its 4 physical cores to virtually 8 cores is nice, but bear in mind that whenever hyperthreading kicks off, the CPU temperature will rise sharply, and power consumption will increase tremendously too. Therefore, if you can live with i5 with 4 cores without hyperthreading, you probably won't need to go for i7, and in long run, that could save you money for less electricity consumption.

On 21 June 2010, I wrote about "Main differences among Intel 64-bit processors: Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, i3, i5, i7, ...".

Operating system

I do support for genuine OS and application software as long as the cost is reasonable.

For Dell Studio XPS 8100, there are only some variations of Windows 7 to choose. I've chosen Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit edition. I need 64-bit because I'm going to choose 8GB RAM. I don't need the additional features in Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate.

Unfortunately, this Dell Studio XPS 8100 package does not comes with the Windows 7 DVD. I only get a piece of yellow paper with instruction to burn my own Recovery DVDs.

The installed license key is also different from the one printed on the sticker on top of its chasis. I believe it is a generic Dell OEM Windows 7 license key for Home Premium 64-bit edition.

On 16 July 2010, I wrote about "Is Windows 7 Home Premium good enough? Do you need Professional or Ultimate edition? ".

On 12 September 2010, I wrote about "Workaround for Windows 7 to have multi-panel [All Programs] like Windows XP ".

Security software

Actually, I don't like McAfee, but I was forced to choose the cheapest one from the list, as I was told it is part of the package which cannot be taken out.

As soon as I received the computer, I've uninstalled the pre-installed McAfee Security Center and installed with Norton Internet Security which I bought at RM100 for 1 year subscription for 3 computers.

On 19 August 2010, I wrote about "Intel to buy over McAfee for $7.68 billion ".

On 27 August 2010, I wrote about "Best antivirus / security suite in 2010".


I've chosen the Dell SX2210T 21.5" multi-touch monitor with webcam. However, the price of this monitor in the Studio XPS 8100 package didn't have any discount and stood at RM1,584. Therefore, I've chosen "no monitor" for the package instead, and purchased the monitor separately at the discounted price of RM1,099.

On 23 September 2010, I wrote about "My Dell SX2210T 21.5" full HD widescreen multi-touch all-in-one active-matrix LCD monitor ".

On 27 September 2010, I wrote about "Free multi-touch screen games and fun applications for Windows 7 by Microsoft ".

... continues to Part 2...


Coswest said... Reply To This Comment

Dude, dell product is good but pls take notes if your motherboard/graphic card/Ram etc is faulty. they will give you the recycle board instead of new one when you report to them.

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