Today after taking the picture for Photo365, Meaghan and I headed to Staples, mainly to look around. In our exploring, we discovered a very cheap Dell. A Dell that I bought, somewhat uninformed about it, but I'm very happy with the decision. The idea is that I don't like dual-booting the iMac into Windows for games, and a slim desktop system would be able to take a graphics upgrade would be a very helpful type of computer to have around.
If it weren't on clearance, this particular system would've cost about $600. Luckily they had it on massive clearance discount, so I brought it home for about $300. The trip home with it was quite fun. Meaghan and I had to carry the CPU separately from all of the other stuff, because the original box wasn't included. Meaghan has decided that it's name needs to be precious, because it's such an adorable little computer.
The specs of the system in it's base form aren't too terribly spectacular. It's got a 1.8GHz "Pentium Dual Core" processor in it, 2GB of memory, a 320GB hard disc, a mega DVD burner, and a card reader. The motherboard has an Intel GMA X3100, but one nice surprise is that it's not using the expected 965 Express series chipset, it's got a G33/G31 Express family chipset, which means it's capable of using much nicer processors, like either the Wolfdale E8500 or the Yorkfield Q9300 processor. It's also got a PCI Express X16 slot, and it should be capable of holding up to 4 or 8 gigs of memory.
My plan for that PCIe slot is an 8-series nVidia GPU with 256mb or more of memory. I've found five candidates on Newegg, which I'll talk about in a later post I think.
Right now the thing's running Vista Home Premium, but I think I'm going to load MSDNAA Vista Business onto it. Other than that, I'll put Office2007 on it, and as soon as I get the new GPU, I'll install the games on it and remove Vista from the iMac I think. Tonight's project is burning a Vista Business DVD and getting this machine up to date.
Speaking of the iMac, I'm not 100% sure what I want to do with the iMac yet. This system is shaping up to be more powerful than the iMac, and it's definitely more expandable. I'm just not sure about whether or not I'm too attached to Mac OS X and/or the iMac itself to impulse-sell the iMac. More on that in yet another blog post.