Because high-end PC owners also tend to upgrade hardware over the lifetime of a PC, the Dimension 8200's case can be opened like a clamshell, without tools. The new design aims to increase the ease with which customers can access the PC's internal components, a Dell representative said. Its predecessor, the Dimension 8100, is no longer for sale.
With the redesigned case, Dell said, people can more easily install components, such as new graphics cards or drives. In the chassis, for example, the drives rest on rails that make them easy to slide out and back in.
The company first introduced accessibility features such as these with the OptiPlex GX150, a redesign of its corporate-oriented OptiPlex desktop platform. The GX150 was introduced last fall.
Unlike the corporate-oriented OptiPlex, however, the Dimension 8200 couples Intel's fastest Pentium 4 processors with Rambus memory.
The Dimension 8200 will start at $1,199. Dell will offer a range of upgrades from there, including high-end Nvidia graphics cards, hard drives of up to 100GB and Pentium 4 chips at up to 2GHz, with prices topping $2,200.
Dell is fighting against a down market, in which the majority of consumer PCs cost around $1,000. However, the company so far has successfully gained market share, which has netted it the No. 1 spot in the worldwide market.