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AMD Hardware

Dell's First XPS System With AMD Phenom II Tested 75

Posted by timothy
from the shakeup-in-round-rock dept.
MojoKid writes "Dell's new XPS 625 is their latest AMD-based creation, and is the first out of the Dell labs using the relatively new Phenom II processor. Initial reviews of AMD's new chip have been favorable, as this new quad-core processor is slated to deliver roughly the same performance as Intel's quad-core Core 2 processors at more tolerable price points. While it's pretty clear that the Phenom II can't quite crack Core i7 levels of performance in most usage scenarios, the new Dell rig does show more than respectfully in a myriad of benchmarks. This was obviously a solid design win for AMD with their latest CPU."
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Dell's First XPS System With AMD Phenom II Tested

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  • Anyone want to add up all of the components and show us how much cheaper you could get it for?
    • by wjh31 (1372867)
      nah, just compare it against a macpro of similar spec
      • Mac Pro: a 2.66Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor, 3GB of memory, 640GB hard drive, 18x double-layer Superdrive, and a NVIDIA Geforce GT 120 with 512MB of memory priced at $2,499

        Dell XPS: AMD Phenom II X4 940 (3.0 GHz) Quad-Core Processor, 4 GB DDR2, 150GB, ATI Radeon 4850 Graphics, 512 MB ($1500)

        Unsurprisingly $1000 cheaper and only lagging behind in HDD which can be upgraded.
        • by Ahnteis (746045)

          Check that hard drive again:
          >Western Digital Velociraptor 150GB, 10,000 RPM

          • Rotational speed is only one component of the equation. As well, a lower capacity drive will be able to keep less data on the outer edge, where the fastest speed of the drive can be measured. Platter density and intelligent drive head mechanics can matter more.
            • by Ahnteis (746045)

              Feel free to look up the benchmarks of the velociraptor. The benchmarks are very easy to find. It's a very fast drive and costs considerably more then a mere 640GB drive (which can be had for about $65).

              • by h4rr4r (612664)

                I bet that drive does not cost $1000.

                • by Ahnteis (746045)

                  Not even close.

                  In fact, the difference is only around $30/30% which isn't THAT much more. However, I was pointing out that the Mac drive isn't necessarily an upgrade. Guess I should have been clearer. :)

                • by aliquis (678370)

                  But it was $1000 CHEAPER and had the velociraptor, it's not the mac pro which has the fast disk obviously.

              • I am not questioning the speed of the drive, but rather that there is a lower likely-hood that all the benchmarks will be good. Much of the data will be written at the inner rings. Rotational speed is not the only measure of a drive's speed in single disk setups. When you go into multiple disk setups, then access time matters more, when discussing large arrays, and then rotational speed and RAID cache matter more.
            • That makes perfect sense if you assume the drive is one platter. Since the higher density drives likely have more platters of roughly the same same it doesn't really matter. But by your platter density comment I'm sure you knew that anyways. Well optimized drives can run a good deal faster though just by a smarter data allocation.
              • Data allocation is usually a function of the FS or other internals. However, proper queuing of the access can also optimize a drive. There are no free lunches. You can never have a drive/filesystem that excels at everything as you make trade offs based on the intended workload. Moving around database objects would likely have better performance from 8K or 16K block sizes, depending on the block read of the database. Moving around large data sets, with likely linear read, like tar files would be better
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      * AMD Phenom II X4 940 (3.0 GHz)
      Newegg: 219 + free shipping exact match

      * 4 GB DDR2-800 Memory (2 x 2 GB)
      Newegg: 39 + free shipping G.Skill 5-5-5-15

      * AMD 790FX Based Custom Motherboard
      Newegg: 100-200 depending on manufacturer

      * ATI Radeon 4850 Graphics, 512 MB
      Newegg: 120-180 depending on manufacturer

      * Western Digital Velociraptor 150GB
      Newegg: 160 (OEM) + free shipping exact match

      • Yup, you can knock $100 off the top by just trading the Velociraptor for a 7200 RPM drive. The Raptor has somewhat better benchmarks, but not enough to justify the price. You basically only buy it if (A) you're a developer and will be hitting the disk IO or (B) price is no object. And at that point, you might consider trading-up to an SSD.

        I will say, although I wouldn't buy an AMD chip today, it's good to have them back in the saddle competing again. Phenom was a disaster: late, defective and under-perf

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I recently ordered a complete Dragon system (case, mobo, 512MB 4870, PSU, x4 940 black 3.0GHz , 4GB RAM, 750GB HD, DVD-RDL optical) on newegg for $781.92 (bundle discounts applied) + tax and shipping.(not including OS of course)

      Total shipped came in under $900.

    • but better NZXT tempest case same chip 8 gig of reaper memory 2 750 gig HDs cost to build 848$ When doing the specs close to those i got right around 600
  • Intel i7 (2.6GHZ I believe) ~ $288 on newegg.com, phenom II 3ghz ~ $219 (2.6GHZ version ~$170)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Also, for those interested in quick specs between the two processors:

      # Series: Phenom II X4 ($219) # Hyper Transports: 4000MHz
      # L1 Cache: 4 x 128KB
      # L2 Cache: 4 x 512KB
      # L3 Cache: 4MB
      # Manufacturing Tech: 45 nm
      # 64 bit Support: Yes
      # Voltage: 0.875-1.425V

      # Series: Core i7 ($288)
      # QPI: 4.8GT/s
      # L2 Cache: 4 x 256KB
      # L3 Cache: 8MB
      # Manufacturing Tech: 45 nm
      # 64 bit Support: Yes
      # Hyper-Threading Support: Yes
      # Virtualization Technology Support: Yes

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you know anything about cars, this is about as good as saying my car gets more rpms for less...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Now add a motherboard and memory.

      The cheapest LGA1366 motherboard I could find on NewEgg is $190.
      The cheapest AM2+ motherboard I could find on NewEgg is $60

      Also, the AM2+ can still use DDR2 ram, while the core i7 requires more expensive DDR3.

    • by leathered (780018) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @02:35PM (#27081251)

      I don't have figures to hand but you also have to factor in the cost of i7 motherboards which are typically double the cost of their AMD couterparts. DDR3 isn't cheap either.

      Whatever the case, it looks like AMD have taken back the price/performance crown they've always been known for.

      • by DanWS6 (1248650)
        Asus P6T deluxe V2: $280
        6GB of 1300MHz DDR3: $120

        People say this is expensive.

        The first PC I built 10 years ago cost me ~$1500 for the case, 200 watt PSU, 500Mhz P3, asus motherboard, 512MB of ram and a 8MB video card. I could build a new I7 system for about $900 or $1200 after throwing in a NVidia 285 GTX.
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          it is if you are going for a budget pc. Not everyone has a large budget and a hundred dollars less for a pc means a hundred dollars more towards something else.

          1000 vs 1200 might not mean alot when you can afford that much ...but...
          500 vs 700 means quite a bit especially when you compare percentage difference

          the i7 is obviously the choice if you want to most performance (which most people don't exactly need anyways)

          the phenom is a good choice if you want performance at a good price where people have strict

        • I paid $1400 for a 286 20Mhz with 1MB of RAM, a 40MB hard drive, EGA video card, Sound Blaster 16, 2x CD-ROM, 5.25" and 3.5" floppy drives, EGA monitor, and 9-pin four-color dot matrix printer. Later I paid $135 for a 2400 bps modem (with 4800 receive and 9600 send fax capability). Now get off my lawn!

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Pulzar (81031)

          It's not so much that that is expensive, it's just that a Gigabyte AMD770 board is $100, 4GB of DDR2 is $50... so couple that with $70 savings on the CPU, and you're looking at $688 for Intel and $370 for AMD. As always, you have to pay a major premium for the top 15-20% of performance.

          Now, I do have to agree that that both of those options are cheap as far as the history goes. *Especially* the Phenom II option... $400 for that motherboard/cpu/ram option is really cheap, and an awesome upgrade if you need t

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        it looks like AMD have taken back the price/performance crown they've always been known for.

        For me and my friends, they were known for having the performance crown; the price crown was just thrown in for good measure. Retaking the performance crown would do wonders for their market share, but that doesn't look likely anywhere in the near future.

  • Plus its AMD, (have to love AMD, if it was only Intelm chips would cost thousands). Phenom II is an OK processor competitive, but not a outright winner. Its a pity that AMD gets starts catching up, just as the economy goes to crap, and no ones buying.

    Minus its a Dell. Incredible boring machines, Dells. Has Dell, ever done anything innovative?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by orclevegam (940336)
      Actually if they would just price it around ~$900 give or take $100 I might consider it. I put together a very similar system on newegg for ~$960 including shipping, but that also included a beefier GPU, and a 1TB Raid-0 array, but no Blu-Ray, and a case that isn't quite as nice but provided better active cooling.
    • Gratuitous use of the word "dude" in their marketing? Packaging that resembled bovines?
    • Dell doesn't really do innovative. Frankly, that isn't really a bad thing. Innovation is great; but there are also times and places where you just need a reasonably solid, cost effective implementation of the status quo. That is where Dell comes in. Somebody has to make cement and grow potatoes. Dell puts out cheap x86s.
  • Yet another overpriced and underspec'ed "gaming" machine from an OEM. As always, the proc is pretty good, but *only* 4GiB of RAM and *only* a Radeon 4850, for that price? No way...

    For that much cash, and also considering OEM's like to have bigger numbers on their checklists to sell better, give me an MSI K9A2 Platinum [newegg.com], 8GiB of RAM, and the x2 variant of the graphics card, in quad-sli, leaving 2 PCI-Xpress slots open for more later (it is marketed as "enthusiast/gamer")

    That's not to say 4GiB of RAM isn
    • by GotenXiao (863190)

      You mean quad Crossfire. SLI is NVIDIA's tech. Interestingly, I own an MSI K9A2 Platinum, with a pair of 3870s and 8GB of RAM. Not got around to upgrading my CPU from the 9600 Black Edition that's currently in the socket though. Also, with the advent of 4GB memory modules it's theoretically possible to have 16GB on the board (not sure if anyone's tried this yet).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "AMD's new Phenom II X4 940 chip is a speedy little bugger"

    But what is a "speedy little bugger"? A Gerbil?

    This phrase makes the author sound dumb.

  • Does it really use ddr2-800 instead of ddr-1066? Seems like an odd oversight, unless I'm missing something. TFA says "The processor is connected to 4 GB of DDR2-800 memory, which gives theoretical memory bandwidth of 12.8 GB/s".. Anybody know for sure based on that 12.8g/s measurement? The 800 runs at 200x4 while 1066 runs at 266x4. The article doesn't even mention 1066 at all, ie, "it doesn't use 1066 because" or anything.. Actually, I just checked wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ddr3 [wikipedia.org] and it seems 1

    • by Slashcrap (869349)

      Does it really use ddr2-800 instead of ddr-1066?

      If you really think it makes the slightest bit of difference, you would probably benefit by fucking off back to HardOCP.

      • by Sczi (1030288)

        1. Using the faster ram is a feature of the chip
        2. XPS is supposed to be high performance line
        3. You're obviously a threadshitter or a troll of some kind... how... unique

  • I've been fighting with mine for over a month. The motherboard will see 4 sticks of DDR2 1066, but I can't much past POST before the computer locks up. I can't even run memtest. I sent back the mobo and the proc. I've swapped out the memory as well. I try a different brand of mobo, and still I can't run 4 sticks of memory.

    Finally someone mentions on the AMD forums that there is a known defect with the processor affecting some customers where you can't run more than 2 sticks of DDR2 1066. I find a stat

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Hey EnderAndrew...
      I've got 4x2GB = 8GB on my MSI K9A2 platinum v1 running in unganged mode (better multithreaded performance) without issue. It ran for the 9500 and the phenom ii 940 I just upgraded to.

      You probably need to be using SINGLE SIDED modules to run them all at max speed. If you have DDR modules with little dram chips on both sides of the chip, those won't work (at full speed) on most boards. That's your issue, see if you can borrow 4 of those to confirm it.

      As a VM user, I was miffed at the 9500's

      • I'm at work, and not at home to check. However, it isn't a speed issue. I've tried underclocking them to DDR2800, adjusting the voltage, etc. And I'm using Kingston HyperX, and I've also tried swapping with my GSkill from my other desktop.

        There are people running 4 sticks of DDR2 1066 with no problem, but when I started to Google, I realized I wasn't the only one with this problem. Two different sets of memory, and two different mobos, and the same problem? Yet AMD is convinced it can't be them?

        Even be

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