Gaming Power Unleashed
Many in the industry hope that the launch of Intel’s new chipsets will galvanise the PC market, and by the looks of things manufacturers are doing their part with a flurry of new systems.
Dell is always one of the first to make use of the latest Intel technologies, so it’s no surprise to see Dell release new desktop systems for both corporate and consumer markets based on the new chipsets.
What is a surprise is that Dell has produced a system designed to appeal to the hardcore gaming market. Judging from the new chassis design, Dell clearly wants to throw off its pipe and slippers image and show that it can get down and be funky.
The blue chassis is daring for a Dell machine and certainly makes the XPS stand out from its regular black systems. Particularly radical is the silver frontage behind which are flashing LEDs that light up in one of seven colours, including ruby, sapphire and amber. The case features a tool-less design for ease of upgrading and no less than five thermally controlled fans with extra venting to accommodate the high performance components. The power supply is also a hefty 460 watts
The Dimension XPS is based on the Intel 925X chipset with the ICH6-R and features integrated RAID and Gigabit Ethernet. The choice of processors will include a Pentium 4 570, (running at 3.6GHz) or for the lottery winners, a Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, running at 3.4GHz but with 2MB of Level 3 cache on top of the 512MB of Level 2 cache. The memory will be DDR2, while two FireWire and eight USB ports are standard. It’s possible to install up to three S-ATA hard disks at capacities of up to 400GB each, so power users will be able to make use of the integrated matrix RAID and have over a terabyte of data both stripped and mirrored for maximum performance and security. Users will also be able to specify removable storage in the guise of a DVD+RW drive. The graphics card will use the new PCI Express bus with a choice between the X300SE or the top of the range 256MB X800XT. Creative’s Audigy 2 sound card will be installed as standard.
In order to give owners of this enticingly over the top machine a special cosseted feeling, they will be able to enjoy a 24-hour dedicated service and support line at no extra cost.
It's no surprise but the machine won't be cheap with a system featuring a Pentium 4 540 (3.2GHz), 512MB of dual channel 533MHZ - DDR2, and a 128MB Radeon X300SE, setting you back £1,791. If you want the extra graphics power of a Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition, you'll have to pay an extra £200, while for a 3.4GHz Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition you'll have to find another £350 on top of that. We’ll be getting the Dimension XPS in for review so be sure to look out for it.