Dell XPS 700 - reviewed, dissected

Comments 1 to 25 of 55

Orca 4th September 2006, 02:40 Quote
Great article, never knew that the LED lights on the front could be changed! :p
mattthegamer463 4th September 2006, 02:45 Quote
I don't get it.

They say Core 2 Duo is so amazing, and that Dell has done really well with this XPS, but it got owned in most catagories (especially gaming) so what is the deal? Is it just because the entire system sucks but Core 2 Duo is good so it sort of pulled the dead weight of everything else through? I don't get it.
Cheap Mod Wannabe 4th September 2006, 02:56 Quote
Well see they use Core 2 Duo to attract people, but put cheap memory that fu**s things up causing the whole system to perform pretty average. I don't get it why they could not spend a bit more on memory and motherboard to make it a great machine.
mashles 4th September 2006, 03:06 Quote
i just want that case sooo bad. From that review, its the only top class thing in the whole package i think.
Bachy 4th September 2006, 03:16 Quote
I would of thought that it be more appropiate to put proviso on the recommended award - to get dell to think about using decent memory and ironing out all the bugs, and like the reviewer says to sort out the pricing.

So from the gist of the whole review its an under performing overpriced peice of hardware. Albiet it comes in a lovely aluminium case - however I feel performance is king (especially so on a site like bit-tech) - which this machine lacks.
ex421 4th September 2006, 03:24 Quote
nice case and nice graphics card and CPU but Dell will go cheap where they can, theres not many off-brand CPU's or video cards, but tons of off brand memory which costs half the price of the huge names...they use cheap technology wherever they can, leads to a higher profit, and thats business...
Tulatin 4th September 2006, 03:39 Quote
Ehm, the memory dell is using is likely based on the same Micron chips that power half the world, but with a natch;

Either by purchasing chips in volume and spinning their own sticks, purchasing the off chips (can't clock worth beans) from other manufacturers, or just buying up scads of value ram, they're making a killing - especially when you see that a gig of this stuff costs as much as two of the top shelf kit. Still, if you tried better memory, i doubt the bios would let you fix the clocks/lats
ex421 4th September 2006, 03:43 Quote
and thats why if you have any knowledge of PC's you should be building your own :)
Bachy 4th September 2006, 03:45 Quote
Thats partly the point I was trying to make (mybe badly though). Most of the bit techers reading this realise that they could knock together a rig which performance wise would knock the socks off the Dell for half the price. Thats why I found the review (although well written) dissapointing to give it a bit tech recommended badge.
hitman012 4th September 2006, 03:59 Quote
You're missing the point. Some people don't want the hassle of building a new PC and dealing with the associated troubleshooting, component selection and plethora of other potential problems that lie in wait. This machine is designed for enthusiasts who just want to play games at high settings. Period.

And why haven't other BIOS manufacturers come up with that layout yet?
r4tch3t 4th September 2006, 04:30 Quote
I remember when BTX was first announced, the BTX Heatsink was huge, taking up the entire shroud, now its no even half with core duo.
I like the 3mm Aluminium.

Nice review ;)
Drexial 4th September 2006, 06:43 Quote
the bad memory CLEARLY killed the performance on that machine. and i wonder if the fact that it wont run a second card for SLI might have something to do with dell requiring it being a dell card. i do believe dell did something like this on a larger scale years back. its kinda just a random guess. it may explain why Dell does offer it with two cards, but when you plugged in your own it didn't work.

but for a high end system its not a bad start. i'm not very much a fan of dells myself and would probly look elsewhere for a pre-built gaming rig. but i build all my own systems anyway. so not a concern for me.

and i have to say BTX is a really bad attempt at ripping off apples design. which for airflow is a prime setup.
Firehed 4th September 2006, 07:18 Quote
Recommended? It took a bit too much flak to earn that title, if you ask me. Seems like it should get an almost there type of award... it's got the potential, but a couple of really stupid issues as clearly noted (ie, the RAM) really held it back. I suppse for the no-fuss, no-muss everyday gamer it could be a decent choice, but it seemed to be trailing by just a bit too much in the high-detail gaming considering alternatives (though, in fairness, I don't spend my days pricing out gaming rigs anymore). I do like the look of the case, or at least the outside, but I think it's really being held way back by a pretty stupid limitation.
Rd52 4th September 2006, 07:50 Quote
i just want the case, ITS BEAUTIFULL
BioSniper 4th September 2006, 08:58 Quote
I know the case is "pre-modded tat" ( generally speaking ) but I actually really do like it asthetically. Sure the colour change LED lights is hammy as hell and im sure some cheap company will rip it off and market it as a new product but the case just does something for me.
If there are other colours for the main body of the case then I would be sorely tempted to buy a bare case if it were possbile. Only deal breaker there is BTX :/
Tim S 4th September 2006, 09:54 Quote
I'm going to quadruple-check the numbers when I get to the office. A lot of the deficit is down to memory timings in 2D - the gaming results shouldn't be as low as they are though. They were checked three times before I passed the results to Wil.

I'll let you know in a few hours.
xion 4th September 2006, 09:58 Quote
Sure it looks the dogs-danglies, and I'd love to have a machine of that power sitting beside me, but... well... its Dell.

Dell is the OEM equivalent of PC-World, duping the not so tech-savvy into plumping a premium for an over spec'ed (read: overpriced) system for their needs. Adding insult to injury, often using sub par components along side top-notch goodies. Something doesn't add up; this system is designed for enthusiasts, yet inside it looks like it was put together by a 14 year old powered by a steady intake of 80 espresso's an hour.

Recommended? if I had this kind of money to buy a new toy, it'd be custom. Or Alienware... Why is Dell not learning from its own sub-business?
perplekks45 4th September 2006, 10:54 Quote
1st: On page 9:
We then decompressed and decompressed the file we had just created.
shouldn't it be decompressed and decrypted?

2nd: Nice review showing a lot of weak spots of the new XPS but I too don't understand why you're giving it a 'recommended' as it clearly underperforms for the hardware that's in it. I do understand it's a very nice PC performance-ish but there's a lot of potential wasted by Dell so I'd never recommend someone buying it even though he had like no idea of PCs.
Tim S 4th September 2006, 11:26 Quote
I'd run the wrong batch file for the gaming benchmarks - I've updated the gaming results accordingly. I think I need a smack on the side of the head.

The 2D tests are as they should be though.
Iago 4th September 2006, 11:49 Quote
Does anybody know if there's any way of getting the bare bones system in Europe? The best part of this system is the case, and with such an awesome (noise-wise) cooling system I'd be willing to overspend in getting one, even if I have to get a slightly sub-par motherboard with it. There doesn't seem to be anything comparable (looks and performance wise) to that case in the market right now.

It only seems to be available in the US site...heck, in the Spanish one there isn't even a XPS 700 available...if I wanted one, I'd have to order an entire system to UK site and get ripped with the € / GBP conversion :( .

Alternatively...can you order from Europe to the US site? The US prices aren't so high, but the UK prices are outrageous...The cheapest XPS 700 is 1375 GBP (or 2036€) but only 2270$ (or 1765€) in the US site.
rupbert 4th September 2006, 11:52 Quote
Nice case.
Paradigm Shifter 4th September 2006, 12:31 Quote
Firstly, nice review. Covered all the questions I would have asked.

Second, if Dell were the people who built the 'demo' Core 2 Duo system, C2D wouldn't look anywhere near as appealing as it had before then. It beat the AMD box by any real margin in, what, two tests? But then again, I imagine it would have the same advantage if the AMD box was built by Dell, too. I guess it all balances out.

I'd not really argue about the Recommended badge, as it's definitely aimed at gamers who aren't interested in the intricasies of building their own systems.

It's nice to have more proof that good quality RAM has that much of an impact... ;)
mclean007 4th September 2006, 13:27 Quote
Having a play with the options on the UK Dell site and, strangely enough, there isn't even an option to spec up the XPS 700 with 2x1GB 667MHz ram - you can have 4x512MB 667MHz (for a whopping £223 premium over 2x512MB 533MHz - not great value when you can pick up 2x1GB 800MHz Corsair XMS2 4-4-4-12 for £170 inc VAT from scan!) or 2x1GB 533MHz (for £94 over the 2x512MB 533 MHz).

Similarly, you can spec up the system with a 7900GS, save £246, flog the GS and bung in a 7900GTX or X1900XTX.

On the whole, if you take the basic system (min RAM, min GFX, min HDD, lose the overpriced 3 year warranty), with a Core 2 Duo E6700 for £1,657. Ebay the RAM (£40?) and GFX card (£90?), add a proper GFX card (£250-300), some decent RAM (£170) and a 2nd HDD if you want RAID0 (£50) and you've got a pretty kick ass, powerful, quiet system in a beautiful case with a genuine copy of MCE for about two grand. Only problem is the lack of overclockability, but if you're happy to run at stock, you're laughing. Perhaps when the 590 chipset is released mainstream, BIOS revisions will come along enabling OC on this board?

EDIT: also, given the difference in Dell's price for the system with an E6300 vs an E6700 is £434, you'd be much better off speccing an E6300, dropping in an E6700 for £373 from Scan and flogging the E6300 for ~£100 (they go for £121 OEM / £131 retail inc VAT new) - another £150 shaved off the price. Personally I'd stick with the E6300 for a few months anyway until the prices of the higher end parts drop, then bag a bargain upgrade.
spazmochad 4th September 2006, 14:53 Quote
The XPS laptops are great, especially when you get one for a good price. I sold my custom built/watercooled athlon 64 last sept and managed to outright buy the same spec in a laptop. Build quality and features such as the screen are excellent. Shame they've let down the desktop side of things abit here by trying to cut corners with certain parts.
DXR_13KE 4th September 2006, 15:42 Quote
the case is great, the inside is the suck.

i hope dell fixes this machine.
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