I ordered a Dell XPS desktop about a week ago, which finally arrived yesterday. When I returned home I grabbed a cold beer (Brooklyn Chocolate Stout) and began unpacking, setting up the computer.
First my goals of this desktop were to have a desktop where I could run several virtual machines on it. I am working on several projects at once, and one project specifically where I have to write software that will span several different servers (database, mail server, etc). So I wanted a computer that had a decent processor (or dual processors), lots of memory and a good chunk of storage (with possible RAID).
About a week ago, I ordered a XPS 630i, with a quad processor running at 2.4 (Q6600), 2GB of memory and 500 GB SATA 7200 RPM storage drive.
The desktop and 24inch LCD is quite impressive. I opened the LCD first, clipping on the stand and carefully setting it on my desk. I had to safely remove the 22inch HP LCD that was on my desk and place it down somewhere safe.
I then opened the desktop PC. The tower was much larger and heavier than I expected. The packaging that Dell provided the XPS to me was very neat and eye catching. I’ve only experienced similar packaging with Apple when I saw Jeremy open his Mac Book Pro for the first time. The front of the tower has a black wire mesh that makes it look tough and hip at the same time.
I decided to take a peek inside the tower, check for loose items, etc. Upon opening the cover I was very impressed. The inside was very neat and well organized. All hardware including cables looked top notch. Nothing looked cheap or like some half baked idea some engineer through in there last minute. There were no dings, dents, or even scratches on the outside or inside.
The tower of the Dell PC was nicely protected with clear wrap, which I removed with ease. Powering up the XPS for the first time surprised me. One because I was in a dark room sipping on my beer and lights illuminated on the front of the Dell, which I hadn’t expected. They are not too bright to annoy me, but the Dell is also sitting off to the side.
Second, I was impressed because the desktop is so quiet. I actually have an older Dell PowerEdge sitting right next too it, that I use as a file server with Linux (software RAID-5). And I couldn’t hear my new XPS even turn on!
Everything is working fine with Home Vista pre-installed on it. I don’t mind Vista, I have actually been getting use to it with my other new laptop that I purchased a few months ago.
The problems and issues? Yah, there is always something, right? When I ordered the XPS, I had full intentions of maximizing the memory of the computer. So I wanted the initial memory purchase of 2GB to come on a single stick of memory (memory module). The problem was Dell sent me two sticks of 1 GB memory.
So this morning, I was on the phone for an hour and spoke to four different departments. I’m happy that I wrote down the reference number. But I don’t think that my explanation was heard when the reference # was created. After finally being sent to the returns department, in short, they offered me $175 to offset the cost of the new memory I would have to buy to replace the two 1GB sticks.
And I accepted.
I didn’t realize that 32bit Vista Home Premium only supports a maximum of 4GB! Ahhh..so much fun! I found this website that actually discusses memory limitations. Simply upgrading to 64bit may not be as simple as it sounds either. I guess I get to spend less money on memory, and will upgrade to 4GB only.