Not everybody wants a laptop in the era of mobile computing; many still prefer a good old desktop. Among the reasons is better price/performance ratio: desktops offer better bang for your buck. The computer we’re taking a look at today, the Dell XPS x8900-944BLK, is indeed a powerful rig: it features a Core i5 processor, DDR4 RAM and even a dedicated graphics card…
Processing power is not something you would run out of. The processor is Intel Core i5-6400, much better than those regular Pentiums and Core i3s. The CPU in question has a quad-core setup, with a 2.7GHz clock speed that is upped to 3.3GHz with the help of turbo. If you take a look at benchmarks you’ll notice the chip gets a nice ~6500 CPU Mark score. That’s a lot, for example mainstream Core i3s in laptop computers receive ca. 3000 points in the same test.
Memory should be enough, Dell XPS x8900-944BLK has 8GB in total. It’s DDR4 type (at least in theory faster than the older DDR3), and the configuration is two 4GB sticks. One 8GB chip would be better for those wanting to upgrade, but there are still two empty slots for you to add in extra memory. The maximum RAM is 32GB.
Many people don’t like hard drives anymore; they favor modern solid-state drives. However what this Dell has is indeed a platter-based, conventional SATA 3 hard drive. It gives 1TB storage which is plenty, but the speed of 7200RPM can’t compete with SSDs in terms of performance. Fortunately, there are two free 3.5″ slots inside and even a M.2 connector in case you want to add a solid-state drive.
Dell XPS x8900-944BLK features the GeForce GTX 745 (4GB DDR3), it is one of the low-end dedicated graphics cards. You can play games alright, for example GTA 5 (normal settings 1080p) gives closer to 50 frames per second. The heavyweight Witcher 3 would run at ~25FPS played on low and 1080p. This is enough for some, however hardcore gamers want better frame rates and settings. Nothing is stopping you from upgrading the graphics card, though.
Ports and connectors
The selection of ports should be sufficient, for starters you’ll get four USB 2.0 and six USB 3.0 connectors in total. In addition, there are HDMI-out and DisplayPort in the back panel, and the graphics card has DVI-D, HDMI-out and VGA connectors (dual display is supported too). For audio, there’s the usual 6-jack setup in the back panel and microphone & headphone ports in the front.
Networking interfaces include 10/100/1000Mbps RJ-45 jack and 802.11n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card (no A/C standard, though).
DVD burner and media card reader are available in the front for those who need them.
Don’t expect that monitor comes along because it doesn’t; you need to get the display separately. Of course keyboard and mouse are included.
Windows 10 Home (64-bit) is the operating system.
Summing it up
Dell XPS x8900-944BLK is meant for power users who can put its processor and other components to good use. I don’t think any program would run slow here, considering that you’re getting a Core i5 and 8GB RAM. The hard drive might bother some, but you can always install SSD to speed things up. So if you have a knack for heavy software and some gaming, going for this kind of Dell is probably worth it.