Desktop isn’t entirely a rare sight in households and offices, but laptops are certainly something you’re much more like to see when visiting a house or cubicle. Well, desktops are still good choices for people who don’t need to carry around their computers a lot – these things, for example, offer better bang for your buck than notebooks. Dell XPS 8700 X8700-1572BLK is an example of such a powerful yet rather affordable desktop, boasting a fast Core i7 processor, 1024GB hard drive and 8GB RAM. Let’s examine the unit a bit further and draw our conclusions after that…
Dell XPS 8700 X8700-1572BLK features one of the fastest processors currently in the market. The quad-core Intel Core i7-4790 has already a very high clock speed, 3.6GHz, but there’s also a turbo frequency up to 4.0GHz. This kind of setup brings a superior performance, this is evident in benchmark tests – CPU Mark giving this unit over 10,000 points, a feat not many processors have been able to accomplish (for your information, popular Core i5-4460 gets around 6600 points). It’s no surprise this Core i7 is good for any task, be it programming, video editing, serious multitasking or virtualization software.
The computer has 8GB DDR3-type memory installed. The configuration is two 4GB DIMMs, while two other memory slots are free. You can go all the way to 32GB by putting in four 8GB sticks (this is also confirmed from the specifications), but sticking with the default eight gigabytes is an excellent starting point.
It’s not common to spot a solid-state drive in a desktop yet. Indeed, also the Dell XPS 8700 X8700-1572BLK relies on a mechanical hard drive. It offers 1024GB storage which is obviously a good thing in case you have gargantuan files. Spindle speed seems to be 7200RPM, it’s tad better than regular 5400RPM, however in real life the difference isn’t very noticeable. Anyway, you’ll be able to put in more drives – there are two free 3.5″ bays inside. Also one mSATA interface is available, meaning you can install an SSD without removing the current drive.
Any games that would run on it?
Dell XPS 8700 X8700-1572BLK can run a bunch of games, but you shouldn’t get too excited about fancy settings in-game. The graphics engine is NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 with 1GB DDR3 memory, dedicated although still quite a weak unit (however faster than integrated Intel HD 4000). The games that require a lot from the graphics card will need eye candy turned off, Battlefield 4 would give ~35 frames per second on Full HD and low details. Grand Theft Auto 5, if you can do with 720p and low details, would give around 50 FPS.
Installing a faster graphics engine is possible, the system has a PCI-E x16 slot for full length cards.
There are a total of 10 USB ports in Dell XPS 8700 X8700-1572BLK. Six of those are USB 3.0, rest are USB 2.0. Two of the USB 3.0s are located in the front panel. In back, there are also HDMI output and DisplayPort for connecting a monitor or two – dual display setup is indeed possible.
Naturally, there’s a DVD burner in front to allow for easy transfer of data locally. The 19-in-1 media card reader might also come handy with cameras and such, you can put in an SD card there and upload files that way.
Communications include a 1000Mbps network adapter (RJ-45 port) and a 802.11 n-type WiFi 2.4GHz card with Bluetooth 4.0 support.
Dell XPS 8700 X8700-1572BLK doesn’t include a monitor, but keyboard and mouse are shipped along.
The power supply is 460W, it should accommodate a beefier graphics card or extra drive if you wanted to upgrade.
Dell XPS 8700 X8700-1572BLK is a pragmatic approach to solve a person’s computer problem: it offers very strong performance thanks to the full-blown i7 processor and 8GB memory, and there are not many people who would fill up the terabyte hard drive during the lifespan of this desktop. The unit itself doesn’t look fancy, but why would a power user really care – unless, of course, he wanted to show off the computer to his friends? One thing that might be a bit tough is gaming, there’s dedicated graphics inside but a very slow one indeed. So if you’re a non-gamer looking for a reliable workhorse, this kind of Dell should be a good answer to your needs.