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Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC

14 Pictures - Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC

  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC
  • Dell Studio XPS Desktop PC


January 22, 2009, 5:23 am

"...it does regularly rev up when under stress. And, though it's only for brief periods, at these times the Studio XPS gets very noisy indeed."

Well there's the deal breaker for me. I was seriously looking at this PC because of the great spec. My current machine (Vaio SZ) is noisy as hell and constantly gives me low memory pop-ups; I'd install more RAM but 2 gigs is all it can take :( .

I think I made the mistake of getting 32 bit as opposed to 64 bit. I'm actually quite amazed, I never thought I'd need a lot of memory, but here I am...


January 22, 2009, 5:32 am

I guess they can't offer anything higher than a 4850 (HD4870/GTX260) as that would compete too much with their vastly overpriced 'Gaming' XPS line...

Why not just buy a better card yourself, sit back, and enjoy all that money you just saved not paying for the 965.


January 22, 2009, 2:55 pm

@ Ohmz: Yes, the noise (and poor cooling this implies) is the one thing that prevented this Dell getting a recommended award. As to your Vaio, the memory issue is quite odd, as 2GB should be plenty for Vista to feel fairly happy. What do you use your PC for?

Also, considering Windows 7 can apparently run well enough on a netbook with 1GB of memory, waiting for this OS might solve some of your woes. That, or simply installing WinXP, which runs perfectly on my Desktop PC at home which also has only 2GB of RAM.

@ smc8788: The reasons being that upgrading to a better card (if it would even fit) would also require upgrading the 350W PSU. And since this case barely manages proper heat dissipation under stress 'as is', imagine what would happen if you added another major heat source...

But if you do upgrade the power supply and find a high-end dual-slot card that exhausts its heat out the back, it would be possible.


January 22, 2009, 4:21 pm

@ Ardjuna

Yeah I guess it wouldn't be such a great idea then I forgot most pre-built systems only use the bare minimum for PSU's. Still, upgrading to a nice PSU over the generic branded one in the Dell wouldn't hurt, and I believe the 4870 is only 0.5cm longer than the 4850, though the GTX 260 is quite a bit longer. But at this point you might as well be building a system yourself if you are upgrading the PSU, and there is still the all-important issue of cooling, which is a problem for quite a few pre-built systems as they just don't seem to have enough fans or ventilation.


January 22, 2009, 4:25 pm

I picked up one of these systems over the weekend. From order to delivery was just 4 days. I used a 15% voucher through the small business site to get a similarly configured machine (no RAID array and only 3gb RAM) with a 23" 1080p monitor for only 𧽨. That's insanely good value.

My first job was to swap out the weedy case fan for a XILENCE Red Wing 92mm Quiet Fan. As this fan is more efficient than the stock fan, it meant that the case temps where brought down significantly, causing the vacuum-like CPU fan to kick in less often. In any case, it's not really that intrusive, but it wouldn't be suitable as a HTPC.

The PSU might hold you back if you're after an all out gaming PC. It's very easy to swap out, but then the case is quite compact and I'd be worried about the heat levels in such a confined space. This is not the machine to buy if you're an enthusiast. The 4850 provides decent performance with everything (bar Crysis) at native 1080p, and it's quite plausible that you could swap it for a more powerful mid/high-end product when the next generation of GPUs appear.

Down sides? The case is on the flimsy side, but something has to give at this price. The monitor is billed as Dell's value option, but the image quality is superb, very rich colours and excellent viewing angles.

I couldn't build a PC like this with much change from �.


January 22, 2009, 4:29 pm

One more point to add.

The 4850 has a single slot cooler which vents hot air back into the case. If you were to pick up something more powerful that had a double slot cooler which vented out of the case directly, it might even bring temps down. There is definately space for a longer card with double slot cooling.

Brian ONeill

January 22, 2009, 5:44 pm

I got this machine too weeks ago, generally its a good machine, fast and great value for money.

BUT... the noise is very annoying, its not so much the noise when its doing something intensive, but in general use you get a constant whine.

Does anyone know if this whine is caused by the case fan or the heatshink fan? Or what is it?

I would considering replacing whatever is causing this noise, as it is the only downside to this system.

Note lots of xps users are complaining about the noise, see the reviews from the dell site:


PS: I installed windows 7 on my machine, and its fantastic, no problems with any drivers or software, everything works a treat. Windows 7 is the dogs.


January 22, 2009, 6:37 pm


My case fan was very noisy.

I've replaced mine with this one:


Not sure if links are allowed, apologies if they're not.

This fan has has kept the noise and the temperatures within the case down, the main CPU cooler does not kick in as often now either. I'm trying to find a silent after-market cooler, but there don't seem to be any around at the moment.


January 22, 2009, 6:49 pm

@ Brian ONeill: I did not notice a constant whine on our sample, so I'd say it's your machine. As to telling which fan it is, that's easy: just disconnect the case fan and turn the machine on for a little while (the minimum time in which you can tell if this causes the whine, as you don't want your system to overheat). Then you'll know.


January 22, 2009, 7:25 pm


There isn't much choice for LGA 1366 coolers at the moment, but if you are considering one, you can't do any better than this one:


It has an excellent CFM rating, 2 very quiet 120mm fans (19.8 dB vs. 19 dB for the case fan you bought) and is generally considered the one of the very best coolers out there. The only downside is it is very expensive for a CPU cooler. The Noctua is only compatible with the LGA 1366 socket but there are others out there which can be used on both 775 and 1366 sockets, but some of these require an additional adapter.


January 22, 2009, 7:45 pm

@ Ardjuna, I don't use my PC for anything other than the basics. I don't game or do much multimedia at all. I basically use Firefox, Snarfer and Skype or Digsby. You know, just the typical web surfing and chatting. And God help me if I want to use my Zune software! :(

Funny thing is, our old XP machine had 512MB of Ram and ran pretty smoothly, I thought WOW, 2GBs of Ram this thing will run amazing, but Vista ruined that. I'd install XP but I don't want to bother,

I'm in the market for a new PC anyways. I'm also looking at the iMac, you guys seemed to have fallen in love with it (evidenced by the EC) and I saw one in Futureshop and really liked what I saw.


January 22, 2009, 8:58 pm

smc8788 said

"It has an excellent CFM rating, 2 very quiet 120mm fans"

Strikes me that's an enormous cooler that would struggle to fit in a case like this. Not saying it won't but you'll need to measure carefully before plumping for something like that.


January 22, 2009, 9:13 pm

@ Ohmz: As I said, 2GB should be plenty for Vista, especially with the tasks you're performing. Have you tried formatting and starting over with a fresh install?

Pretty much any modern machine should be able to meet your needs when it comes to buying a new PC. As to Mac, personally I haven't tried it enough to recommend it (I'm too in love with PC games for one thing), but those who have are generally very enthusiastic and impressed.


January 22, 2009, 11:29 pm

Sorry that's just me being stupid I didn't realise how small the case was. I just had another look and took an approx. measurement and it probably won't fit, I think it's a bit too tall and the PSU is too close to the CPU socket.

It's probably not a good idea fitting a new HSF into a case this size if they have a custom one in there, unless you know it will definitely fit with a bit of room to spare. I'm not sure if you can but I would look at just replacing the fan on the heatsink if it's too loud (that is, if it uses a standard mounting bracket).


January 22, 2009, 11:38 pm

Does anyone know if this machine will be capable of editing HDV (full HD) video?

Will it run software like Adobe Premiere or other video editing software, picture in picture effects and colour filters without any problems and very smoothly?

I am thinking of getting this one with intel i7 2.93Ghz, 8GB RAM and two independent 1TB drives instead of 2 drives in RAID 0 configuration, 512 GB video card.


January 23, 2009, 12:16 am

@ Ardjuna, nope. I'm not too experienced in the whole thing. I'm kind of scared actually, I've never installed or done anything like that with an OS. Maybe I should just wait a bit until I save up for a new PC, it's bearable right now, just barely. I'd wait for Windows 7, but I'm starting school again later this year so that seems out of the equation.

As for the iMac, people seem to love it(although one of my friends is a hard core Apple hater), I really am interested in Leopard, probably wouldn't be if I were running XP, Vista does do that to you I suppose...


January 29, 2009, 2:53 pm

@ Kris: It'll run anything you can throw at it, but might not be the ideal choice for intensive video-editing due to the two-HDD limit and noise issue.

@Omhz: Vista pretty much holds your hand when installing, and there are plenty of illustrated or even video guides to doing a clean install on the net.

Of course you will need the discs, serials and such for all the software you want on your machine, and don't forget to back up important data like contacts/emails etc. You might even do so on a specially created partition.

I used to be a 'Vista hater', but must admit the OS has grown on me despite its flaws.

David Parry

February 2, 2009, 4:48 pm

Could someone please explain why the 8GB RAM option on the UK site is labelled as "Tri-Channel", whilst the 8GB RAM option on the US Dell website is labelled as "Dual-Channel".

I thought that Tri-Channel RAM had to be installed in multiples of 3. Can anyone who chose the 8GB option please confirm whether or not their RAM is running in Tri-Channel mode ?


February 3, 2009, 11:34 am

David Parry: "Could someone please explain why the 8GB RAM option on the UK site is labelled as "Tri-Channel", whilst the 8GB RAM option on the US Dell website is labelled as "Dual-Channel".

It's because the UK site is WRONG and the US site is correct. Please don't fall into the quagmire that several other UK Studio XPS 435 buyers have run into, namely thinking they are getting their 8GB of RAM running in Tri-Channel mode. It's running in DUAL CHANNEL. If going with the Dell option in anticipation of Tri-Channel operation, check the 6GB or 12GB option for DDR3 RAM. Or, you can go with the minimum ram they will give and upgrade online with better RAM in the appropriate amount to yield Tri-channel.

But to answer you question succinctly, if it's 8GB and the Dell Studio XPS, it's running in DUAL CHANNEL MODE and you are not getting the full benefits of the tri-channel architecture.

All that being said, how is the Dell Studio XPS 435MT?

To address the noise issues, the 92MM rear case fan is worthless. It's rather noisy, bringing a constant drone or a slight vibration with case interaction. One has to simply unplug the beast from the motherboard and listen to the decibels drop. Ahhhhhhh. That is, if the CPU fan is not whirring into action like it's on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans in a Porsche 956 piloted by Jacky Ickx. This fan is something to behold when it decides i7 CPU cooling is necessary. It starts slow and then builds to a 10 second crescendo, finally subsiding. The machine can work quite a while without this beast coming into play, and suddenly the heat rises, perhaps by a few programs and a tab-loaded FireFox with a few YouTube options going. Next thing you know, it's Mr. Ickx all over.

I will say that my system employs the RADION 4850 512MB as well, a heat producer for sure in this little case. It's the hottest thing by far in there. I'm wondering that if not into games, I see little reason to opt for this card. Save some heat and downgrade here as some of the lessor options actually perform fine for quality graphics. I ran an HP w2408h 24" monitor at 1920x1200 with no issues with a 3450 and 3650 card. I personally would opt for something better than the 3450 but I have to say, my monitor was doing fine with it (again, with zero games).

Im running two Samsung 640GB SATA HD running in RAID 0 with a 500GB WD external. Yep, the power supply is rated at 350-360w, but from what some of the guys say, this supply actually does fine in this machine as equipped, this from taking power usage ratings. So far, I've had no issues with my machine that are PSU related. The drives in RAID 0 have been very fast and quiet. As stated, the only noise is from that sorry case fan (which you HAVE to replace for sanity) and the occasional fire-breathing CPU fan.

The biggest surprise comes with my first exposure to VISTA 64-bit. I had been an XP Professional holdout and this is my first real taste of Vista. I have to say, although it's a resource hog and takes a while to tweak to your liking, I don't see EVER going back to XP. Vista has many qualities that are definite improvements and it runs like a dream with 6BG and up. Indeed, I actually tried to get my machine to use much over 50% of my 6GB of DDR3 Tri-Channel RAM. I ran Dreamweaver MX with six pages, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro 7, PSP Animation, Firefox with 30 tabs, IE 7 with multiple tabs, Safari with tabs, FTP, Winamp, Media player, MS Word 2007, MS Publisher, Access, Adobe Reader, Adobe Illustrator 10, etc etc. I never got over 50% usage. Indeed, I dropped my pagefile and it's running like a speedship, no issues at all.

The computer runs Vista 63 AERO like a dream and you can really customize your desktop to look just as aesthetically and functionally appealing as any MAC. I've been really impressed.

For the money, it's a hard system to beat, especially if you go the outlet route with one of the additional coupons. It's just impossible to match if going DIY. On the other hand, you'll never be able to take advantage of the amazing overclocking ability of the i7 920, which can go far beyond it's 2.66 rating. Simply put Pt 2, the DELL BIOS is an extremely limiting affair with virtually ZERO customization ability. It's one of the most bare bones BIOS options I've seen and will depress the tinkerer. I would assume Dell does not want the support hassles and issues from the many head scratchers that end up doing something of which they know not what.

You'll hear people quibble over things like the hard to reach eject button on the DVD/CD drives. You must gently push the trays back in, no big deal to me. The wired keyboard and mouse stink, nothing like the original Dell "QuietKey" keyboards of old, build like tanks. These are near junk status. So we have the fan noise, something that can be solved, the 350/360w PSU, probably ok as supplied and easy to replace if moving to some advanced configuration. And the limited BIOS options with no overclocking or advanced BIOS features. Aside from this, you have a great system that is a first for DELL. Usually they save the more cutting edge processors for their high end, big ducat machines. I cant remember them bringing this much for this little, even if in a limiting case.

Bottom line is it's a lot of machine for the money and can be made better with some tweaking in the right places. A refurbished Dell Outlet buy can be a wallet saver.

David Parry

February 3, 2009, 2:15 pm

Hi Abstrait,

Thank you for such a comprehensive reply to my post and review of the system.

Firstly, 8GB is the maximum amount of RAM that may be selected for this machine on the Dell U.K. website - I know the Dell U.S. site allows 12GB to be selected and 12 is obviously divisible by three.

Secondly if you select the 8GB option and keep the standard graphics card, a message pops up telling you that you must select the RADION 4850 512MB as the standard graphics card is not compatible with this amount of RAM.


February 3, 2009, 4:08 pm

Hi abstrait and David,

I just bought the Studio XPS with the 8Gb (Spain's website). I fell for the 8Gb tri-channel RAM... Looking closer it does say "(4x1024 + 2x2048)". I wonder, how easy would it be to go for 12MB (replacing the 4x1024 for 4x2048) in the future. Is RAM replacement a kind of plug and play process (please forgive my ignorance if it isn't)? On the other hand, since Dell's info is misleading, what would be my chances at getting Dell to give me a real trichannel RAM configuration for free? After all, it is Dell's information that's wrong "DDR3 8192 MB (4x1024 + 2x2048) trichannel" they say in my specs)...


February 3, 2009, 4:12 pm

Another thing,

I just purchased the Studio XPS (i7 940, Vista Home, 8Gb) and will wait and see about the fan noise. If I find the fan noise unbearable, will changing the fan void my warranty? Is it really as simple as removing 4 screws and the pin connector and placing a new 92mm fan in there and replacing the connector?

David Parry

February 3, 2009, 5:22 pm


If Dell's website is indeed incorrect, then surely as a gesture of goodwill they could upgrade you to 12GB RAM.

Changing the fan probably would void the warranty, but if your system developed a problem, you can easily put the original fan back in again.


February 3, 2009, 6:49 pm

First, my apologies for a plethora of typos above. I think it was 2am here.

Well, I just hopped onto the Dell UK site to see what was up and it is indeed a bit of a mess as far as the Studio XPS is concerned. I had to choose the right initial Studio XPS option, which I believe was the first one without a monitor as standard.

After that, it did indeed allow me to selection the 6GB DDR3 Tri-Channel option as seen below, along with the two 640GB HD in RAID 0 Striping. The only vid cards selection at this point was the ATI 4850 at 512MB. See system I just configured and saved below:

- Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 920 (2.66GHz, 8MB cache, 4.8GT/sec)

- Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium SP1 64Bit - English

- 1Yr XPS Premium Warranty Support - Priority Call In and Onsite Support

- Display Not Included

- 6144MB (6x1024) 1067MHz DDR3 Tri Channel

- 1.2 TB (2x 640 GB) Serial ATA (7200 Rpm) Dual HDD Raid 0 Stripe

- 512MB ATI® Radeon® 4850 Graphics card

- 16X DVD+/- RW Optical Drive (DVD & CD read and write)

- Dell Multimedia USB Keyboard Black - UK

- Dell Laser Mouse USB (6 buttons scroll) Black

Unfortunately, the price was not exactly a stellar deal and the UK outlet does not even list the Studio XPS as an option. I imagine some more time will bring better deals.

Looking quickly and going by what I've heard talking to a competent Dell US rep online, they know that the 8GB option is indeed DUAL CHANNEL. Based on this, I would think you could get a free upgrade from Dell if you noticed it right off the bat. They would have ZERO argument potential as it's simply wrongly represented on the site. So if I ordered this option, the first thing I would do is call. Why go through all the hassle of getting a system designed to run the benefits of Tri-Channel and go with only a Dual Channel configuration? The simple fact is, they misrepresented the product, stating a FALSE claim, leading you to a faulty selection. At the least, they would make this ram situation correct as it was their fault. I wouldn't wait on letting them know, however.

Second, buying more DDR3 RAM do equal 12GB is an option, indeed. But at this stage, while the error exists, it almost seems prudent to let them handle the issues. The only supreme hassle here is dealing with that ping-pong ball support to resolve. I wouldn't stop till you found the right person that would do the right thing. Of course, on another level, the Dell supplied 1067MHz RAM is surely not the fastest of options, either. It's about the slowest RAM you can find but it's all you can do if getting DELL ram.

Lastly, in talking to the US Dell guy online, and a pretty sharp one at that, he stated that replacing the 92mm case fan would NOT void the warranty (he actually sent me a link to the aftermarket fan solution). He also offered to replace it from Dell. The only problem I see here is I've read reports of people getting a second case fan, only to find it the same as the first. Meanwhile, one can opt for the Noctura or other quiet options for relatively little expense. Just make sure it moves some air. And another good option includes adding ANOTHER front case fan to bring more cool air in. There appears to be fan mount capability on the lower front. The only issue, and it's usually not a problem, is powering this fan.

In a way, the 8GB as Tri-Channel error on the Dell site, surely a configuration that US Dell knows is impossible, is bargaining power, at least until they figure it out. They actually had the same error on the US site early on in the run.

Lastly, you CAN indeed configure the 6GB if you desire. I have no idea why they don't offer the 12GB Tri-Channel option nor a more open video card configuration.



February 3, 2009, 6:59 pm

As a postscript to aprado17's fan switch question, it's about as easy as anything, almost akin to changing the proverbial light bulb. It's just four screws (or rubber inserts if wanting even more isolation), and a simple three pin connector on the motherboard. Just take care in inserting the plastic plug in the correct orientation to avoid bending pins. It's very easy and virtually plug and play.

Changing out the ram is just as easy depending on your configuration and cabling.

On another note, the stock i7 920 CPU is the overclock king, and even better deal than the 940. If you decide to upgrade and buy another case and motherboard, and maybe some better ram, using all the rest of the parts, you could fashion quite a system with a BIOS that would allow for much more performance. I don't think Dell is ever going to release a bios upgrade that will allow the end user to reach the configuration potential. We'll see. Obviously, the above option is a bit out there, especially under warranty. Amazingly enough, I've talked to a person that did this, still coming in less than he would buying ALL parts separately.

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