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Step By Step Guide To Ordering A Dell PC

Updated on March 20, 2011

As much as I firmly believe that in a vicious recession like this one big ticket items should be avoided to about the same degree as jumping into a bubbling vat of biohazard chemicals, I simply had no choice but to upgrade my computer to a new system. Adobe Photoshop is now in CS4 version and just way too hungry for RAM and CPU cycles for my trusty old desktop PC to handle. It was time for a new one. And I knew exactly what I was lusting after:

I wanted a PC that would be state of the art today, run Photoshop like a greased ball shooting out of a nuclear cannon, and still stay current for a minimum of 24 months, and 30 months being better still. When I looked carefully at all those requirements, I realized that there really was no choice but to go with the Core i7 series of Intel processors.

Since this series of CPUs is still fairly new, the prices on the street have not yet matured out of the "new adopter" overpricing so it is very easy to spend well over a thousand dollars for just a Core i7 920, a motherboard, and 6 GB of RAM. With the economy tanking and the likelihood that by this time next year we will all be trading eggs for sock darning services, I most certainly wasn't in the "money is no object" crowd and I wanted to squeeze each Canadian nickel until the beaver squealed.

That's why I had to evaluate every component carefully and realized that there really was no choice but to go with Dell. Yes, I am well aware that Dell's component quality can often be less than optimal, with their outrageously puny and wimpy power supplies as well as their often comically under featured motherboards leading the charge, but the bottom line is that if I had to duplicate the configuration of Dell's Core i7 920 system by selecting the least expensive components from,, and, it would hike the cost of the system by no less than $428.37! Sure, I'd be getting "better" components, but none that would perform "better" in any noticeable manner in the way I'm going to use the system, and four hundred bucks is a lot of money in a recession... I have a lot better use for it than to have "name brand" components to plunk in my sig so that I can show off to a bunch of nerds in PC forums!

Ok, so now the first step is to choose between four starting permutations of the Studio XPS 435 MT with the Core i7 920 CPU. No, I have no idea why Dell gives you four different starting versions which you can customize to just about any configuration you want instead of just giving you a blank slate to start with and then letting you go on and build whatever you want. The only possible reason I can see is that they have incorporated a Dell 24 inch S2409W Flat Panel Monitor into version number 3 which is not included in version 2 and they charge you an extra $200 for a total of CDN$1299 (US$1041 at today's exchange rate). The S2409W is a perfectly good monitor for my needs: I've used it before and found it to provide good (if not superlative) performance. Now two hundred bucks is a damn good price for a decent 24 inch monitor, so I'm in!

Next: Pay Double, Get 10% More


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    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto

      Er... that's because it's the configuration I purchased! That's the whole point of this guide, to show MY experience. Did you think you were reading a Dell Purchasing Guide?