Just received my new PC for home. After finally getting rid of all most of my old stuff.
I had a rough outline of what I wanted – a single computer, capable of running 2-3 virtual machines concurrently, good sound, and good upgrade capabilities. Also I have been promising myself since completing my MCSE that I could purchase two monitors and an Ergotron monitor stand.
In the end I was deciding between 2 machines: A Dell Precision T5500 and a HP Z600 Workstation. I’ve always had a preference to HP over Dell – personally I feel that the build quality is far superior for similar specification and similar price machines.
After some research and review, I have ended up with the following configuration:
- Intel Xeon Quad Core 2.26ghz
- 6GB 1066mhz RAM
- nVidia Quadro NVS 295 graphics card
- Creative X-Fi Titanium
- Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
My display configuration:
- 2 x HP LP2275W22″ Widescreen TFT Display
- 1 x Ergotron Dual LX Side by Side Arm
So far I am very impressed with the whole thing. The machine is precision engineered – nigh on silent too – which is great. Everything is screw-less. Nothing feels plastic or cheap. Installing the additional cards and a second hard disc was extremely quick and painless. As a bonus on the security front, the case lock feels substantial. Once locked, nothing moves. Everything is well laid out, and the cable channels which keep everything tucked away neatly really aid access to the case. Of course having all of those cables neatly out of the way under the motherboard also means that airflow is nearly unrestricted throughout the case. You would never know it had 6 fans constantly running either!
Performance wise – it flies! Booting up to Windows 7 takes less than 30 seconds from cold. Have it on standby and I can be back working in only a couple of seconds. With a virtual server running, I can still be copying files, listening to music on iTunes, browse the Internet, have my email open, and still not notice that the machine is working. I’m yet to have to wait for something to load.
Graphics performance is absolutely fine for what I use the machine for. I am not a heaby gamer, and that is clearly reflected in my choice of graphics card here. The nVidia Quadro 295, with 256mb RAM is plenty adequate for my needs. It does run games fine. Nothing special though.
Sound is amazing. After being really happy with my Creative Audigy 2 for nearly 10 years now, I have obviously missed out on what 10 years of sound technology in a PC has done. Crisp, clear, well defined full range sound is the order of the day. Of course, the speakers are a major player in this. I still love the sound of my Cambridge SoundWorks 4.1 system.
The displays are clear, stylish and simple. No problems reading or looking at them for long periods of time. Two gripes with them. They seem to be slow to turn on, and they default to DVI input, with Auto Input Select turned off. Took me 5 minutes to work out how to change the input. Surely Auto Select should be turned on in the factory?
Looking to get some programming done on the machine a bit later, and I am hoping that the performance will be as good as I expect.