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Choosing a computer

speedtofly used Ask the Experts™

I need to upgrade my computer. I do some web site design and have a small business.

I was looking at the work stations T3500 and 9100 from Dell

Any suggestions reviews etc
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Are you buying a new opne or used?
T3500 is aimed at businesses and is a great machine performance wise, processor variety and upgradability. The 9100 is aimed at general consummers (Does not mean it's no good), uses I7 processors which is enough to what you do and more.
At the end, both computers will do what you need to do, but personally i would go with the T3500, because it has a better Raid options (to secure your data) and wide variety of CPUs to use (mostly Xeon) which is a kick ass CPU

Anyways it will be your call and you have to take into consideration the hardware configuration of each one of them, because most of these machines are subject to modifications.
Please review both the sites and decide:


9100 looks trendy. otherwise both the models are more or less same with price.

Dell Precision™ T3500 fuses Intel® Xeon® technology into a single-socket workstation that won't break your IT budget. Core features include:
Certified by independent software vendors (ISVs) to perform reliably on a variety of single-threaded workstation applications
Ample memory (up to 24 GB2 of DDR3 ECC or non-ECC memory) for true workstation-level tasks
Intel Xeon technology for performance and scalability well beyond the range of standard business desktop systems

Dell Studio XPS™ 9100 desktop has intense power and immense expandability that provides high performance for the most demanding entertainment needs, now and into the future.
Intel® Core™ i7 and Intel six-core and quad-core processor options
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
Popular ATI™ and NVIDIA® performance-class graphics options for enhanced video and display technology
525W power supply that supports high-end graphics and processors
Immense expandability with up to 24GB of memory and up to 4TB of storage available
WakeupSpecialist 1
Looks like the Studio XPS 9100 and the T3500 both have favorable reviews from dell's site.

The XPS 9100 seems to be a more popular model.   With 10x more reviews than the t3500.

The T3500 uses Intel Xeon technology, and the 9100 uses Intel Core i7.

This is kind of an overview look:

The 9100 is a GOOD all around computer.  To do a little bit of everything.  Has more of a MEDIA base to it.
The t3500 is a workstation, with some guts.  And will do a little bit of everything as well.

Both systems imo, don't come with adequate power supplies for upgrading features later on (higher end graphics cards, multiple hard drive upgrades etc.)
Also make sure you go 64bit on the OS.  So you can utilize maximum ram ability for the future.
DarinTCHSenior CyberSecurity Engineer

is your main point
expansion capability?

p.s. Dell outlet offers great deals - I've used is many times



All of the above . My budget is $1000

Any link for Dell outlet?

What about Optiplex?

Other Brand suggestion in the budget?

Thanks a lot
If you are looking in terms of business, you should opt for DELL T3500 coz of its fast speed and RAID support which is useful in terms of redundancy. Even there are a total of eight upgrade options for more demanding purposes of processor. Precision T3500 is a computer that appeals to graphics centric professionals coz of its 256MB NVIDIA Graphics Card. Its power supply is enough to handle your web design and other multimedia application.

Whereas 9100 is basically a home computer with gaming and multimedia attraction.

Whichever you opt, you should go for 64bit OS.


What about the Optiplex compare to the T3500 ?

It seams similar in performance at a lower price
WakeupSpecialist 1
The Optiplex is a more of a budget minded business entry level class system, not a workhorse workstation class like the T3500.  The XPS is gamer minded or enthusiast minded.
The T3500 has a better motherboard, has dual PCi-e X16 slots compared to just one on the optiplex.  Has a better power supply.  etc.  I haven't seen the insides of the new optiplex and new Precision machines as of late...so I am not sure how much expandability you'll have in either, but going thru the system specs on dell's site, and as to what you can customize in each different machine, the T3500 and Optiplex don't have the same pieces you can add.  IE: the T3500 has the higher end spectrum of processors, that can be upgraded or changed to, up to 24gb of ram, The higher end video cards and some that support quad monitors, SAS drive support as well as raid, etc.  Just review the customization.  I picked the T3500 to give you an IDEA...rather than the XPS...
I believe the T3500 is the better choice of the three (personally).
So also some things to think about is future.  Right now, this is what you need...But what about tomorrow?
Will their be room to upgrade?  Will you need more ram?  Faster processor upgrade?  Hard drive upgrade?  Etc...

Grant it computers and technology change too...So will their be parts available to upgrade your machine in 2 years?  3 or let alone 4 years?
History tells me the farther out you go to try to upgrade, the harder it is to find.  As parts get outdated and manufacturers do not produce anymore.
So...if perhaps the machine you want is an optiplex as you'll just throw (recycle or decommission it )away the computer and buy a new one again in 2 or 3 maybe 4 years...
So you have some things to think about and decide what you'd like to do.
Other thing about the XPS is that people are saying it is a LARGE computer case...so if you have a physical dimension that the desktop computer needs to fit in, you might want to check that as well.
DarinTCHSenior CyberSecurity Engineer
the link for Dell outlet


I saw the 3500 for as low as $700

you could get more bells and whistles if you want.......

and I agree with the 3500 - is has been a very dependable PC
WakeupSpecialist 1
ya...their's one for $709....But the entry level new t3500 is $779, and has all the same specs except instead of an 80 gb sata 7200rpm drive, it comes with a 250gb sata 7200 rpm drive...I know it doesn't make up $70 cost difference...
But...for a new one compared to an outlet (probably refurb, returned, or remanufactured) one....might give you incentive to get the new one....just a thought.... Not saying to not get the outlet one...just proposing a situation.


Thanks a lot