Pimp My Dell

By Deane Barker on September 28, 2005

For fun, I pimped out one of the new “luxury” Dell XPS machines to see how high I could get it. First I had to set some ground rules:

  • No peripherals (tower, mouse, keyboard only), or else it’s too easy. No monitor either — those LCDs get expensive.
  • No software beyond the operating system.
  • No additional services (warranties, etc.)
  • Also, desktops only. Servers would be too easy.

I got one up to $5,118. I had to fiddle a bit with the options, since when you get in that rarified territory, some things don’t work with other things (kind of like putting Paris Hilton and Britney Spears in the same room). Some specs:

  • Intel Extreme Dual Core 3.2 GHz processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1 terabyte storage at RAID 1
  • Dual 256MB GeForce video cards

Interestingly, I couldn’t have a modem with my TV tuner card. Is this because there’s only one slot for them? Seems odd.

Here’s the screencap of the spec screen. Anyone wanna try and out-pimp me?

What This Links To
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  1. Why the hell would someone spend that kind of money on a machine that will be outdated within a year?

    Very true. Slashdot had a story the other day on “The Decline of the Desktop.” I don’t think the desktop will disappear completely (for gaming, if nothing else), but its importance is diminishing rapidly. With all the Web-based services, people actually need less computing power now than, say, a year ago.

    I wrote this a long time ago (it’s post number 132, how quaint):

    Computer manufacturers need a killer app that sucks up so much power that users are compelled to upgrade their machines.

    However, if anything, the opposite is happening. Rather than load up new software, users are off-loading processing chores to Web-based services. We have an entire generation of computer users who are getting a Hotmail account instead of running a traditional email client.

  2. As far as gaming goes, I have shuned any console gaming system…except now the XBox360 has my attention:

    5.1 surround sound Widescreen on all games High-Def games Wireless controllers

    I may be a convert if this is as good as everyone is saying it will be (which means it probably won’t be…)

  3. You sould have added $60 by selecting the 2 dimms instead of the 4 dimms for your 2GB of memory. Since your going for the highest price…

  4. Wow! That makes an “overpriced” Mac G5 2.7GHz DP seem like a bargain.

    I know it’s not comparing Apples to apples, but what the heck. I pimped out a G5 with similar specs as your Dell & came up with a price of $4,473. The selection list had a couple of limitations that kept me from matching your Dell: there’s only one GeForce 6800 GT DDL card (but just one of those cards will drive two 30″ Apple Cinema Displays) and only 800GB of drive space (2x400GB), and there was no option for a media reader. I’d still have $645 left from your $5,118 budget. I did equip the thing with wireless & Bluetooth, which added $99 to the bill.

    Of course I could’ve maxed out the RAM (8GB) on it & spent another $1,900, if I were to buy it from Apple.

  5. I know it’s not comparing Apples to apples, but what the heck. I pimped out a G5 with similar specs as your Dell & came up with a price of $4,473.

    Did you get dual processors for that price?

  6. How about a $12,000 dollar system, parts-only? I went to zipzoomfly.com and “added to cart” all the parts to make the most ridiculous workstation PC ever: A Tyan Server MoBoard with Dual Xeon 3.6Ghz CPUs, 8 GB of Ram, a 2TB Raid Array, dual PCI-X 256 Video Cards (SLI), some insane alum case with 10-hard drive bays…

    It’s possible.

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