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4gb vs 8GB - 350 vs 460 Watt Power Supply

Posted on 2010-08-31
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I am looking at a new desktop.  Either a Dell XPS 7100 or 8100.

The 7100 has 4gb RAM and 460 Watt power supply.

The 8100 has 8gb RAM and 350 Watt power supply.

The machine will be used for internet browsing, MS Office.  But I am a stickler in browsing and want my web pages to load quickly.

Better to go with 8gb vs 4gb, or will I not see any advantages in surfing the net.

460 watt power supply worth it over 350 watt?

Question by:jrbanderson
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Expert Comment

by:Matt V
ID: 33572328
The larger power supplies are for more internal devices like extra hard disks and powerful video cards etc.

If you plan to buy it as is and not fill it with extra parts, the smaller power supply is probably fine and the 8GB of ram will definately go a long way if you like to keep a lot of open browser tabs/windows and office documents.

Expert Comment

ID: 33572347
You will never use 8GB surfing the web.
With 4GB you will have enought.

What you have to check is if the memory technology is the same: If 8GB are DDR3 it means that read and writes will be faster and the programs load time will be lower. If it's DDR2 it will be slower.

The more watts you have, the more external/internal devices you can upgrade (Fast video cards, some PCI cards....) but if you don't plan to upgrade the PC, any watt ammount will be fine.  
LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 33572354
I upgraded my Thinkpad T61p to 8Gb while my Thinkcenter M90p remains at 4G (for the time being). I got the additional memory in the T61p to run multiple virtual machines. There is *no* difference in browsing speed or the numbr of open tabs available (although I do not often have more than 18 tabs open at one time).

So if you want the larger power supply for the long haul, go for that, because you can always add memory later if your usage demands it. ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

ID: 33572389
Both are DDR3 RAM.

XPS 7100 - AMD Phenom II X6 - ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB - 4gb DDR2 $699

XPS 8100 - i5-750 - ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB -  8gb DDR3 $799

Those are the choices.

Expert Comment

ID: 33572417
With XPS 7100 will do the work because you will not notice any difference in surfing with one or other.
But if you can afford 100$ more, you will have a less power consuming and more powerful CPU and 4GB RAM more that if you  buy it later will cost a lot more.
LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 33572425
I would be inclined to get the second one for the CPU. Make sure you want the ATI card as there have been some issues with them. My machines use latest Nvidia cards and they have been good.

Also, you will need Windows 7 64-bit to run such machines, and 64-bit will present its own issues in terms of software upgrade costs to 64-bits. I have already done that and software was much more than machine cost.
... Thinkpads_User

Author Comment

ID: 33572901
what kind of issues with ATI cards?

Both are Windows 7 64 bit.
LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 33572919
I have seen issues about Windows 7 drivers, Adobe, a couple of overclocking and such like. If you are buying new from a vendor (XPS is Dell is it not?) then you should be OK.  In my case Nvidia had hardware GPU problems but my units have been fine. ... Thinkpads_User
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 33573162
Go with the i5  ==> although the i5-750 is nominally "outgunned" by the Phenom X6 1035T in the XPS 7100  (PassMark of 4,934 vs 4,210, the i5 is nevertheless a much better CPU ... it achieves that level of performance with only 4 cores vs. the AMD's 6;  and in addition can run individual cores at an automatic boost of 20%.     This means single-threaded applications will run FAR better with the i5.     In addition, should you ever decide to upgrade, a simple CPU swap to one of Intel's forthcoming Socket 1156 hex-core CPU's will give you far better performance than the 1035T  (although quite frankly it's unlikely you'll feel the need for a long time, as the i5-750 is a superb CPU).

Note also that for an extra $100 you can upgrade the 8100 to an i5-860, which easily outperforms the 1035T  (PassMark 5527).

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