Personally, and I'll preface this as being my opinion only... HP systems are generally garbage. I like the fact that they're one of the few big name companies that will use AMD chips in some of their higher end stuff, since Intel needs a little competition to keep things rolling, but HP's build quality is usually garbage.
I'm in no way saying Dell is the best OEM out there, but IMO, they offer the best balance between cost, quality, and features. And a dedicated card is going to beat integrated any day of the week.
And if you're looking to figure out why one card is cheaper than the other, you usually need to look at some of the details. One card may use DDR3 RAM while the other uses DDR2, and one card may have a 128-bit memory bus instead of 64-bit on the cheaper one. Little things that can have a pretty profound impact on the overall performance.
If it were me, I'd go with the Dell, and see how things work out with the supplied card. I'm betting it'll be more than sufficient for your needs. And if not, you can look into replacements.
And I know what it's like to be on a budget, but if price out the door is your driving factor, it doesn't matter what brand you go with, it'll be a crap system that'll bring you nothing but grief. It will absolutely be worth it to go over your budget a little if what you end up with is going to be a significantly better system overall.
I'm thinking of buying a new desktop to run CAD and a friend recommended not buying an integrated graphics card. I did some research, found out what that means and why, and I've narrowed myself down to two options - so I'd like some input from people who understand this stuff.
First option is a Dell i580, 8MB ram, intel core i5-650, and a dedicated NVIDIA geforce gt 220. price: 800$
Second option is an HP 6540y, 8MB ram, AMD Phenom II, and an integrated ati radeon HD 4200. price: 730$
The HP is cheaper than the Dell by 70$, and I'm a college student so every penny counts.
First - I don't play any computer games and I can guarantee that CAD and Matlab are the most graphics/data intensive programs that I'll be running. Could the HP handle it? The CAD program is Pro/Engineer if that helps.
Second - is it worth it to buy the HP and make up the difference in cost by purchasing a graphics card to install myself? I'm eyeing up either the card that's in the dell, or this ati radeon hd 5450, but the price ranges from 50-100$ based on the company that manufactures it. visiontek = 100$, sapphire = 50$. I don't know either company, but clearly a 50$ says something about them.
Keep in mind that I have little money so functional but cheap is key.
Any thoughts and feedback is appreciated!!