View Poll Results: Keep Dell XPS 720 or Buy new computer to get Win7

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  • Buy a new hard drive and install Win 7

    6 85.71%
  • Buy a new computer with Win 7

    1 14.29%
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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    My Dell XPS 720 will be 3 years old 10/10: Intel QuadCore Q6600, 2.4 GHz, 4 GB RAM, NVidia GeForce 210 (1 GB), and running XP Sp3. The Dell when delivered had 3 hard drives crash, and the replacement drives were apparently refurbished and are showing only 50% "health."

    My dilemma: Buy a new 500 MB to 1 GB hard drive (I have several other drives on the system), install Win7, and reinstall ALL my programs (time robber) OR buy a new machine (probably HP this time) and install all my programs (time robber). I bought a new graphics card (XFX NVidia GeForce) but of course, with XP (and DirectX 9) full capability of the new card is not being utilized.

    I'm thinking my quad core Dell is probably OK and I could install more RAM. But wanted the input from the experts in the Lounge.

    Thanks,

    Ed

  2. #2
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    I would wait until the machine really needs replacing, then buy a new one with W7 installed. That way you can donate the old one to someone who needs a computer and it will have a genuine OS on it.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    That's a solid base to upgrade on. If it were me I'd clone or image my flaky drive to a new one, keeping XP and all programs operating as they were. If however you have a pressing need to move on to DX 10\11 supported games you won't get that with XP, and of course if you want cutting edge the leap to i7 and DDR3 most likely means a new system.

    So as is the case so often, it depend on what you use the system for and what you may want to use the system for. I'm very satisfied with my similarly spec'ed Q6600 system and don't lack any capability I currently require. If your needs are different, you have good but not ultimate flexibility for upgrading.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Nottingham View Post
    I'm thinking my quad core Dell is probably OK and I could install more RAM. But wanted the input from the experts in the Lounge.

    Thanks,

    Ed

    32 bit or 64 bit?? 32 Bit can only access 3.1 GB RAM. I would get the new 1 TB HD, Install Win 7. Be sure to run the Windows 7 Upgrade Adviser. For a great site on speeding up and customizing Win 7 check HowToGeek Win 7 tweaks. Your XPS has plenty of power to fly with Win 7 so go for it. It sounds like, except for the HD, your PC still has plenty of life in it. You will have a more stable, more secure OS that will be able to take advantage of that super machine you have.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Thanks for the input. Good reminder also that I could have mentioned that I use my Dell for fairly standard activities (no gaming), including some video editing, photo work, etc. Currently 32 bit, but like the 64 bit on my HP laptop, and would probably install the 64-bit W7 version.

    I really appreciate the excellent responses.

    Ed

  6. #6
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    Ted, do you have a reference for Win 32 bit only accessing 3.1GB?

    cheers, Paul

  7. #7
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Re the Win32 RAM limit; it's highly variable, depending on exact Windows versions and drivers, hardware (esp. video cards) installed, but generally between 2.75 and 3.5GB is available to Windows.
    For example, I purchased one from a boutique gaming rig company that came with 4GB of RAM and two 1GB video cards. I hadn't specified the OS version and assumed that they'd put 64-bit Vista on it, but it came with the 32-bit version and as a result only 2.2GB of the memory was accessible by Windows.
    From Mark Russinovich's technical blog.

  8. #8
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    replacement drives were apparently refurbished and are showing only 50% "health"
    This is potentially very bad. Download the disk manufacturer's testing software and check the drives.

    cheers, Paul

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    Thanks Paul. The WD diagnostics show everything is OK, but the more robust tests I run (although now I don't remember which ones) reported the "50% health" stat. That concerns me as well, and that really motivated me to replace the main C Drive when I upgrade to Win7 (or get a new computer).

    Thanks again for all the great input.

    Ed

  10. #10
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    If the WD diags show it's OK, then it's OK.
    Either way, backup is your friend. ;-))

    cheers, Paul

  11. #11
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If your comfortable with installing RAM and hard drives, why not consider doing your own build?
    You can keep what you have now until your done with the build.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  12. #12
    New Lounger
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    Thanks Clint. Building has an appeal, but these days, not enough "free time" to build my own. On my list of things to do when I retire (if I ever get to retire ) :-)

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P T View Post
    Ted, do you have a reference for Win 32 bit only accessing 3.1GB?

    cheers, Paul

    Many, check here or here or advantages of 64 bit.

    There are many others. Most specify between 3.12 and 3.3 GB RAM. Just Google search win 7 (or Vista) 32 bit ram
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  14. #14
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    @Ted, read my earlier post, then check your 2nd link which looks like it's completely unworthy of repeating.

    Your're first link is outdated.

    And the 3rd link is vague.

  15. #15
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Interpret the links any way you want. The entire discussion with all the links is that 32 bit windows will NOT be able to access the entire 4 GB RAM, as you do also state in your post. The only reason for these links is to provide a place to go look at what other forums and experts are saying about 32 bit versus 64 bit and it's ability to access RAM. Many of the readers of this forum would not be able to follow the very technical discussions of the reasons for this limitation, so I thought these links point to discussions that all could follow. I do not believe they are outdated or vague or not worth repeating to others that find it easier to follow these discussions. Would this link to Windows 7 forums better suit your needs? This is slightly more technical while still allowing the average user to understand it!

    Here is a post directly from Mark Russinovich that discusses this phenomina in more detail. If you want a very technical explanation of the RAM access by 32 bit versus 64 bit architecture, read this article.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

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