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Dell XPS 700 - reviewed, dissected

Dell created something of a storm when it unveiled its new range of gaming machines back at E3 this year (check our our report from the show). After some problems and delays with production, it is finally shipping systems to buyers, and we got our hands on one of the first out of the doors.

What makes this such an interesting product (aside from the Core 2 Duo chip and the fantastic styling) is that it has an NVIDIA nForce 590 chipset - which currently, NVIDIA says isn't released.

We've seen the 570 hit Intel, but not SLI as of yet - well, Dell appears to have boards up and running.



Unboxing

The XPS ships in a huge, very heavy box. This is perhaps not unexpected, given the system's construction (which we'll come to).

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There is a box of gubbins on the top, whilst the main system is guarded by foam and covered in plastic tear-off sheets to prevent scratching.

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The bits and bobs include a restore disc for the copy of XP Media Center installed, a remote control, a crummy mouse mat and a user manual, amongst other things. Pulling the system out of the box is a hefty effort which requires the assistance of Smalley, our general dogsbody.

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Bizarrely, the first thing you'll have to do when you pull your XPS out of the box is put the feet on it. There's a weird plate which slots onto the bottom and provides some stabilising fins. It's a bizarre method that doesn't entirely work well.

With that preliminary bit of work done, let's get into the meat of the XPS 700.