Friday, January 22, 2010

Home Workspace

My home workspace setup.You can finally congratulate me. The upgrade to my home workspace is complete — new computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse and general clean up. And yes, I finally did get my computer. Not the way I planned it originally, but much better in the end.

Dell Studio XPS 8000.Here are the final specs of the machine — Dell Studio XPS 8000.
  • 2.80GHz Intel Core i7-860
  • 8GB G.SKILL Ripjaws 1600MHz1 DDR3 SDRAM — 4×2GB
  • 1TB Western Digital RE3 32MB Cache SATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
  • 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 SATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
  • nVidia GeForce GTS240 1024MB GDDR3
  • 16x DVD+/-RW w/ Double Layer Write
  • 19-in-1 Media Card Reader

And that goes in conjunction with:
  • Dell UltraSharp U2410 24 inch IPS Panel Widescreen Monitor
  • Logitech Cordless Desktop MX 5500 Revolution Keyboard & Mouse
  • Window 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Dell AS500 Sound Bar2

Inside the case -- not a lot of room for anything else.When I received my computer I had a lot of plans for it. I wanted to do a number of upgrades and modification, but I also wanted to gage how much of an effect those changes are having. For that I decided to use a rather simple benchmarking applicaiton — Geekbench.

Logitech MX Revolution mouse.My first 3 runs yielded an average result of 7071. After that I updated BIOS to a new version, enabled a bunch of BIOS features3, upgraded RAM and did a fresh install of Windows4. The top benchmarking score after these updates was 88085 with an average score slightly below 8800 mark. When I run the same benchmark after installing an antivirus, keyboard control application, a pair of IM clients, adding several gadgets to the desktop and so on I get consistent scores of 8650 and higher.

Ports on the top. Continent way to hook in a USB key without having everything else on the key chain hang in the air.Needless to say I’m very happy with the setup and performance. Photoshop CS4 starts up in under 3 seconds. Everything else starts up even faster. Also I can’t say how happy I am to finally move to a widescreen. Everything is just so much easier and more efficient. Photo editing is great as well with so much screen real estate.

Old vs New. Old Gen 3 XPS next to a new Studio XPS 8000.And on top of that I was able to get rid of a million useless cradles and accessories plaguing my work space. The card reader is built right into the computer, speakers are replaced with a sound bar and mouse and keyboard no longer need an RF receiver on the desk, just a simple bluetooth dongle in the back of the computer.

I also will say that I’m very happy with Windows 7. Never had the urge to try Vista, so I stuck with XP for many years. I’m glad I made the jump now.

  1. Because of Dell BIOS limitations RAM runs at 1333MHz. Mobo upgrade? []
  2. This one can be considered an antique, but it’s a nice space saver. []
  3. Dell, by mistake, has left several key performance CPU features on disabled. []
  4. I used a Dell CD that was included with the computer and was pleasantly surprised to see that it’s a clean version of Windows, without Dell “features”. []
  5. My score and how it compares to others. []
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