Earlier this year I helped a friend purchase a new computer. She went from a single core machine to a quad core. She got every dollar out of her old Dell that thing was quite a work horse. The new Dell was a perfect replacement it helped to increase her productivity. Dell gave her plenty of room to expand the system and she was happy with her purchase.
Since then I have been drooling over the idea of building my own quad core machine. I have been curious about the difference between quad core and dual core, also building a system. My old computer was a Dell XPS 400 it has been a great computer, it ran XP just fine, evena dual boot of Win 7 RC for a short bit. It has been kicking butt with the different distros of Linux I have installed along the way. My wife went from a Mac with a 800Mhz cpu to using a HP a1203w with a 1.8Ghz cpu.
Originally I was just looking to build a box for my wife her current computer was painfully slow. I believe the Motherboard was starting to fault. Forget doing photo editing the processing time was ridiculous, run two processes at the same time forget it. I found a good priced bundle on Neweegg.com it was so good we got two. One of the few times we will have anything matching on purpose.
Since we were going to be able to cannibalize our old computers we kept the price way down. This was fun for me it reminded me of building bicycles. Only replace what is broken or worn. All we replaced was the Motherboard, CPU, Computer Case and PSU, plus we added RAM and card readers. Everything else we were able to reuse. Some because it had been added or replaced alone the way or the parts were just still in good working order. I choose a Motherboard that would use DDR2 so we could use the 4 Gigs in my computer. That way we would both have 4 Gigs to start with. We can upgrade to 16 Gig if we ever need to.
We both noticed a difference right from the start. Of course some of this is just do to the fact that my computer was 5 years old and hers was 9 years old. I have noticed a difference on task that were sluggish before everything keeps running smoothly now with out any performance hit. That is great, I also like having more access to my BIOS settings. My Dell had a few things locked down that I now have access to. Also my Dell had some proprietary parts that made it a pain to replace a simple thing like a cage fan. I figure if that is my worst complaint about Dell that is pretty good. I am sure once the honeymoon period wears off I will have some annoyance about the new computer. Until then I will live in Happy Happy Joy Joy land ;) and my Mom will get my old Dell which will be quite an upgrade for her.