First-Look: Dell XPS 600

Written by Wil Harris

September 14, 2005 | 00:00

Tags: #7800 #geforce #sli #system #x16 #xps

Companies: #dell #nvidia

Dell aren't a name you might traditionally associate with hardcore gamers, but they've been making a play for the enthusiast market recently. Their XPS Gen 2 laptop is generally recognised as being the best 17" gaming notebook on the market - and that's something, considering the competition from Alienware and VoodooPC and the like.

We reported a while back that Dell has been the first to snap up dual x16 nForce 4 SLI boards. The XPS 600 is the first system that integrates this board, and it does so with dual 7800GTX cards. Not only that, but the 7800s sport a dual-slot cooling solution that allows for them to be overclocked further and indeed, Dell ships them clocked up out of the box.

These, we believe, are some of the first pics on the net of the guts of the XPS 600. Enjoy!

The exterior of the case is pretty nice - it certainly doesn't look like your average Dell system. The door at the front is sturdy, and the bottom of the front of the case has a number of multi-coloured LEDs embedded that emit a cool glow. At the rear are two 120mm case fans, which spin up and down dependent on heat. Apparently, the whole thing conforms to the BTX specification.

The system itself sports a novel layout. The PSU is integrated across the base of the case. Hard drives and optical sit on the case door, which swings out for easy maintenance. The major space at the rear of the case is taken up with the processor, which has an absolutely huge shroud, and is cooled by the 120mm fans at the rear of the case. There is also a 120mm fan at the front of the case as an intake. The interior, then, is absolutely jam packed.

You can see that the 7800s stretch across the full length of the case - they have some PCB added on the rear which allows them to be fastened to the front of the case, adding extra stability and security. They also have metal bars across the top of the cards which allow them to stay straight, rather than possibly flexing in transit.

The system itself is configured with a Pentium D processor (you can configure which speed you want - this one is a 840, clocked at 3.2GHz) as well as 1GB of RAM.

The XPS is a fairly major departure for Dell and at a first glance, they appear to have done a fairly decent job. We would rather it came in a funky aluminium case rather than a steel one, but then that would probably add a big chunk on to the cost - with dual 7800s, it's already fairly expensive, depending on how you configure your specific system. Once we've sorted out the initial erks with this early hardware, we'll be bringing you a full review - in the meantime, enjoy the pictures and discuss what you make of the XPS in the forums.
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