Need help making decision about new computer

I need some advice if I should
1) Buy a new computer OR
2) Simply make do with what I currently have.


Current situation:
Computer 1 (Precision 670) 2.8ghz 64-bit Xeon & 2gb of RAM (only using as VMware machine) and file server for all my software, etc. I have about 15 virtual machines on this VMware server but only 1-2 are running usually and the processor usage is very close to zero since this is only a test server (no production stuff going on)


Computer 2 (Dell Dimension 4100) - 5yr old machine 1ghz Pentium with 512mb RAM
This is my primary machine for every god damn thing. Outlook, browsing, CD burning, P2P apps, etc. I have tons of applications installed on it - no high-end graphics or games though



Current problems:
In today's enviornment, you cannot really survive with 512mb RAM - not with 5-7 apps open at all times since you'll heavily use paged memory which I have been doing with tons of frustration all along. The reason I have no apps installed on the Precision is because I don't want to mess with it. I want to keep it as a clean server only hosting my VMware virtual machines. Does this make sense to you guys or am I being too touchy?


I was considering replacing the Dimension with a new Dimension E520 for about $400 (getting good deals on Duo processor with 1gb of RAM). Alternatively, I can start using the Precision as my primary workstation + VMware and only use the Dimension for CD-writing, P2P apps and maybe a couple of other things


What do you guys think? Should I consider any other factors to help me make a decision? Also, if I make the Precision my primary workstation it does run Windows 2003 64-bit hence I'm afraid that some applications may not support 64-bit processors. I'm seeing more and more apps offered in 64-bit so wondering if this is a non-issue

Thx guys!


LVL 11
billwhartonAsked:
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dlangrConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It depends on how eager you are to keep the precision machine clean and on your financial situation. As for the 64 bit windows, you can reinstall your O.S. to a 32 bit O.S. and reinstall VMWARE while keeping the other data (vmware images/software) safe on a separate partition or backup.
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PUNKYConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Just get new one to replace the 5 years old Dimension. Use this old comp for file server that would be nice as well. Dont mess with Precision since you already have done ton of jobs on it and it is running just fine, isn't it? Or just upgrade the Dimension the memory, possible faster CPU (check with Dell).
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achcheeCommented:
Have you ruled out an upgrade of ram and maybe cpu for the 4100?  It would be cheaper for you.
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bschwarz6Commented:
check out Dell Outlet http://outlet.dell.com ... you can get serious discounts on either returned or one-off models. i've gotten some serious deals there in the past.

Brad
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billwhartonAuthor Commented:
Can't upgrade either the CPU or RAM on the 4100. I'm at the max levels
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PUNKYCommented:
Then, new computer might be just what you needed. Regards.
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PCBONEZCommented:
On the Dell if the chipset doesn't support 1 Gb of memory I'd upgrade/replace it to something that will.
(My 'by use' equivelent of your Dell is a 1Ghz P3 with 512Mb but I use W2k which needs much less memory than XP to get the same amount done and I'm quite happy with it.)

For the server, the 32bit/64bit question:
I'd add another machine (maybe even a used one) and have one each a 32bit and a 64bit server.
That will give you the most flexibility in apps, you won't have to touch the existing machine, and you won't have to rebuild or reconfigure anything to switch between 32bit and 64bit or back.

.
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