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The fact it is a Dell does not mean it would be good with Java. It would be down to the hardware inside the Dell and even then all computers should work well with Java.
Bulding your own would be a good way to keep the cost down and also assure that nothing is 'skimped' on, which consumer companies always tend to do.
For example you can buy a reliable Corsair power supply rather than having the generic japanese built one that will no doubt come with an off the shelf buy. It may seem a little daunting but with the internet it is so easy to teach yourself how to put one together, it is very easy and rewarding.
I'm guessing you are American as you used dollars as the currency so I would look around on Newegg, a Core i3 or i5 would be plenty, for what she is going to be using it for you won't need a particularly fast one.
For RAM anything over 8GB is still overkill unless you are video editing at a high level or something.
I would always recommend a solid state drive as well as a second harddrive but it's not by any means needed, so just a simple 1TB would suffice no doubt.
Motherboard - something simple to keep those in, as you won't NEED to overclock a fairly budget one while keeping to brands like ASUS and Gigabyte.
Sound Card not necessary, most motherboards on-board audio is pretty decent, but they are cheap also so whatever you feel like.
Graphics Card, to be honest I only really know GeForce well, something like a GTX660 or 680 would be plenty, keep in mind a 740 is not actually better than a 680 just because it is a higher number. While a 740 might have updated shaders etc. the 680 will be a more powerful card in the 'top end' of the range of it's time... if that makes sense! Basically go for the 660/680 versions and you can't go wrong!
And to power all of that anything above a 600w will be plenty. Corsair are particularly good for PSUs, don't go for a cheap PSU just because it's 700w and the 500w corsair is more expensive.. it will be less sufficient in other areas. Go for a reputable brand.