Have you heard good things about the Dell XPS X8700-1863BLK desktop? Well, we have. At least the Core i7 offers excellent performance for power users. Also, I bet most won’t mind the eight gigabytes of RAM and spacious 1024GB hard drive. But this unit costs quite a lot – are they really worth your money? Below, we’ll tell you more about that…
Dell XPS X8700-1863BLK has an excellent performance thanks to the Intel Core i7-4790 processor. It’s a year-old model, with a quad-core configuration and 3.6GHz base speed. Turbo frequency increases the clock speed to nice 4.0GHz. Passmark Software lists it at the third fastest common processor, with 11000 CPU Mark points – Core i3s and i5s you often see in desktops only get something between 2500 and 7000. This processor can indeed handle any software without breaking a sweat. I bet even most power users wouldn’t need to upgrade their CPU anytime soon if they got their hands on this rig.
Memory amount is 8GB and it comes on two 4GB dual channel DDR3 chips. There are in total four memory slots and two are free. The system supports up to 32GB RAM so adding more is easy. That is, if you really require memory boost. At the current 8GB I don’t think many do.
The hard drive size is 1024GB big, something often found in high-end desktops. You can put myriads of files there (like DVD movies in low hundreds). No one is likely to run out of space on a terabyte drive, although some might find the speed unsatisfactory. So if it’s a solid-state drive you’re longing for, just get one and install it. There is space for extra mSATA SSD drive inside.
There is a dedicated graphics card in Dell XPS X8700-1863BLK. It’s called GeForce GT 720 and it’s faster than Intel HD 4600 so gaming is definitely possible. For example, Battlefield 4 should give ~25 FPS on high settings which is totally playable. Older or less requiring games than that (World of Warcraft, Team Fortress 2 etc.) are smooth as a silk, no matter how high settings and resolution you use.
Dell XPS X8700-1863BLK has 10 USB ports in total. Four of those (two USB 2.0, two USB 3.0) are in the front and the rest are located in the back (four USB 3.0s there). That’s extremely plentiful, even users with several peripherals will find a free USB 3.0 connector for every gadget of theirs.
Video ports include HDMI and DisplayPort outs. As such, dual monitors are supported. For networking there’s a Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 connector and WiFi 802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 on the Dell Wireless 1703 card.
Naturally, a DVD burner is installed on the front panel. There’s also a media card reader that supports all the common memory card types.
What other things to keep in mind?
Dell XPS X8700-1863BLK is a so-called mini tower, with 16″ height, 7.3″ width and 17.5″ depth. Inside, there’s a motherboard that allows for some expansions. In addition to the four memory slots (two free), there are in total one PCI-e x16 full length and x4 slot and two PCI-e x1 and Mini PCI-e slots. The power supply seems to be rated at 460W.
What comes to expansion bays, there are three 3.5″ bays all in all. One is already taken but adding two extra hard drives is possible. Also, as mentioned above, there’s space for one mSATA SSD. Another optical drive can be planted as well since there’s an unoccupied 5.25″ bay.
USB keyboard and laser mouse are provided with the desktop. There’s however no monitor. You must get a display separately. For some, the operating system Windows 8.1 (64-bit) might dictate what type of screen is desired. Some like touch display on Windows 8, although personally I don’t think it matters.
To put it simply, Dell XPS X8700-1863BLK is a power user’s dream. There are not many processors more capable than the i7-4790, and with 8GB RAM and a terabyte hard drive backing you up it’s really tough to find a possible bottleneck in the core components. Most (if not all) games will also run smooth on this rig, although perhaps not on maximum settings. Connections are plenty, with six USB 3.0 ports and a WiFi+Bluetooth card installed. There’s not much to complain about, but of course the price is out of reach to many. If you can however afford this Dell – and are able to find good use for its ridiculously high performance – then I’d say you have found a keeper.