I recently purchased a Dell Studio XPS 435t. I want a decent gaming machine. I plan on putting a 650-750 watt power supply in it. Then I will add a good graphics card (hopefully I'll be able to afford a x2 card). Will the lack of ability to run dual graphics cards hurt me too much in the gaming department?
6 gigs RAm
640 hard drive
Not really. Some games take advantage of SLI or Crossfire and some don't with little or no performance improvement. The best single card you can get is the GTX 295 followed by the X2 cards. Of course they are all really expensive so it just depends on the games you play and the settings you will use as to whether you would actually need a card like these. A GTX 295 costs $500, but a HD 4870 x2 is only $350 with very little performance difference depending on the game. In some games the X2 can fall way behind the GTX 295. For a bigger savings, the GTX 275 or the HD 4890 are worth a look though since they will give you excellent performance for around the $200 mark or less. For the price, these are the two I would look at as they both should play games at the native resolution of your monitor, but it's up to you.
Thanks a bunch for your reply. I think my course of action will be to add the 750 watt power supply right now and that'll keep my options more open for the near future. I'll try and save up for the x2 card but if I grow impatient I'll go with the GTX 275 or HD 4890 as you suggest.
Will I be able to upgrade the motherboard in the future with this system if I want to?
Dell motherboards have always been proprietary so upgrading them has never been possible as retail ones just will not fit in the case correctly.
I'm thinking that I should have gone with the XPS 630 for what I wanna do. Whats your opinion JMichael?
Well, I would have gone with the XPS 630. It would just be a better gaming machine capable of SLI or Crossfire and already comes with a 750 watt power supply. You don't have the option of the i7 processors, but that would not be a big deal for me.
As far as the proprietary motherboard is concerned I think they use a standard ATX motherboard now. Does that still mean that it is still propretary and I couldn't switch it for another motherboard?
As far as the proprietary motherboard is concerned it is a standard ATX motherboard. Can that mean it is still proprietary and could not be swapped out?