Harold, I see a lot of people egging you on to buy top shelf gear, but I've yet to see a good reason for most of it. My guess is that you're going to spend something around $1,000. While $1,000 won't break the average Boglehead, make sure this is what you want to spend it on. You can buy a five year old used machine for $100-200. Chances are that machine will (a) subjectively feel as fast as this monster you propose given the tasks you seem likely to perform, (b) will last almost as long, and (c) will let you blow $800-900 on something else.
You're not unlike most computer users. You read your email, surf the web, listen to a little music, write the occasional letter, do a little arithmetic in a spreadsheet. You do not need this sort of computer to accomplish those tasks.
- CPU: An i7-4770? The average Core 2 Duo CPU, vintage 2008, has enough horsepower.
- RAM: 12GB? A mistake. For what you do, 4GB is probably enough and 8GB is certainly enough. They're giving you 12GB because they can't get rid of 4GB sticks for any price these days. On top of that, if you really are a performance nut, the unbalanced 8GB/4GB combo makes things worse, not better.
- Disk: 1TB 7200 rpm SATA3? The terabyte is potentially useful, if you use a lot of disk space anyway. Do you? How big is the drive in your ten year old machine? Let me suggest that an external drive ($50-60/TB on sale), in combination with an inboard 120GB SSD ($100 on sale), would be a much better alternative.
- Card reader: If they're throwing it in for nothing, fine. Just don't pay anything for it. You can buy one that plugs into a USB port for $5 delivered from China. And will you ever use it?
- Wireless: Again, if you're paying nothing, fine. But, if you've already got CAT5 running to where your computer sits now, and I'm sure you do, then how much is this really worth?
- Bluetooth: Ever going to use that? I didn't think so.
- DVD-RW: How much are you going to use that? I still use mine, but I know a lot of people who have no use for optical media. If they need storage, they use a USB key. If they absolutely have to read or write optical, they use (which means they borrow my) external drive. $25 at Best Buy, AFAIK.
- Keyboard and mouse: Unless your current keyboard and mouse have PS/2 connectors, in which case they won't plug into the new machine, you won't be happy with what you get. It will be different from what you're used to, and you're still tethered by wire. What they're sending you is worth $10 retail, and might have negative value to you. Treat yourself. Wait for a sale at Dell (there's one every three weeks as far as I can tell) and buy yourself a wireless setup for $30.
To sum up, what you're proposing is vast overkill. Different strokes for different folks, so I'm not telling you that you shouldn't blow $800 for the sheer joy of it, but just be sure that this is how you'll get the most pleasure out of that $800.
The last two machines I bought, I spent $60 on a refurbished off lease Core 2 Duo desktop with Windows 7 (admittedly a price error by the vendor), but that sort of thing is available for around $150 almost every day, with a money back guarantee. The last laptop I bought was a $65 Thinkpad T60, vintage 2007, with a Core Duo CPU that has 1/12 the raw power of your i7-4770. That was off ebay so I was taking a chance, but how big a risk is $65? I put a $60 SSD (sale price, end of the line) into that laptop. With the SSD, it's lightning fast even though it's ancient, and it lives at my daughter's so I don't have to carry a laptop back and forth when I visit. (She won't use it. She's a Mac person.) I would venture that either of these solutions would satisfy your needs.
Added: Here's an example.
This is out of stock now, but it was available yesterday and might be again Monday once someone updates the inventory. $144. Free shipping. Warranty. The CPU is rated at about 1/5 of the i7-4770, but it's also rated 6-8x what you probably have now. Suppose you do something compute intensive now that takes a few seconds to complete. The $144 box will finish in half a second, a difference you'll notice. The i7 will finish in a tenth of a second. You'd notice that too, versus your old machine
, but I'll wager you wouldn't versus the $144 system. I'm not saying this particular machine would work for you
: these M58p desktops are very cramped inside and fitting in a decent video card can be a problem. Just be a little more flexible about what you need
tj wrote:Do people think the computer I got was not very good?
It's absolutely fine. But you won't be surprised if I say you probably spent too much.