once was a time when Dell's XPS range competed with the state of the art Alienware, however the reviews for the latest machine seem to indicate that the crown has slipped.
XPS high-end systems usually had innovative designs and striking styling. When Dell bought Alienware it sent that name upstairs for its high-end models and relegated the XPS desktop line to its middle of the market products.
Looking under the bonnet shows how much things have changed. Inside there is an ordinary computer. There is a Dell-branded H57-based motherboard with 4GB of DDR3, Intel Core i5-680 CPU. There is a somewhat dull heatsink and an NVIDIA GeForce GTS 240 graphics card with 1GB of RAM. Finally there is a DVD burner and a 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 HDD.
Dell is pushing this beast as ‘the coolest gaming desktop around the block' and while this spec is mostly harmless, it is not really “cool” in the techie sense.
In PC Authority's 2D benchmarks
he Studio XPS 8100 scored respectably but they pointed out that it lacked anything to make it stand out from the pack.
It is fairly clear that as a gaming computer the XPS 8100 is let down badly by the choice of video card. The NVIDIA GeForce GTS 240 is just not up to the task of any serious gaming beyond World of Warcraft. However while Dell lets you upgrade to a GeForce GTX 260 option you need to replace the 350 Watt power supply that comes with the Studio 8100 and the outfit will not let you do that.