Even if the case lighting caused consternation for some, we were fans of Dell's XPS 630 gaming desktop, which delivered solid bang-for-the-buck in a sub-$2,000 PC. With this morning's announcement of the XPS 625, Dell once again sets its sights on the midrange gamer. Starting at $999, this configurable PC uses all AMD components, including an option for multiple graphics cards.
One of the highlights of this system is that of the four AMD CPUs available, all are so-called "Black Edition" chips, AMD's term for processors with unlocked clock-speed settings. That means overclockers have leeway to ramp up the clock speeds, and gain more performance for no extra cost.
Dell also advertises that the XPS 625 supports AMD's new Dragon platform, which essentially means it uses one of AMD's new Phenom II X4 quad-core processors, an ATI Radeon HD 4800-series graphics card, as well as AMD's multiple-graphics-cards-capable 790 motherboard chipset. Dragon also gets you a handful of miniapplications for managing your overclocking settings through Windows, as well as tweaking your system software for improved game performance.
Among its other specs, the XPS 625 comes standard with 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium, and you get options for up to 8GB of RAM, Blu-ray, and up to 1.5TB of hard drive space. Keep in mind that because it uses AMD's current Phenom II chips and their Socket AM2+ motherboards, the XPS 625 won't support faster DDR3 RAM, at least at launch. We have no word from Dell as to whether it intends to move to the DDR3-capable Socket AM3 motherboards when they ship early this year (according to AMD).
The XPS 625 also uses the same case as the XPS 630, a tidy, well-designed full tower system, but it has changed the case lighting. As with other Dell gaming PCs, Dell has adopted the AlienFX lighting scheme developed by its Alienware subsidiary. We've been fans of AlienFX for a year or two now, as it lets you assign case lighting schemes to system events; imagine your case lights turning blue when you get a new e-mail, for example. Hopefully this move will quell any lingering fear of the old lighting system.
Dell also tells us that the XPS 625 will be available to order today from Dell.com.