CNET First Look
Dell XPS 710 H2CThanks to market muscle, Dell's XPS 710 H2C delivers state-of-the-art gaming power for significantly less money than its boutique competition--and with (essentially) identical performance.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:09 >> Hi, I'm Rich Brown, senior editor for CNET.com. Today we're going to take a look at our Editor's Choice winning Dell XPS 710 H2C. So as you can see, this is a giant tower. It's one of the largest systems to come into our lab and its black color is exclusive to this system. On the front panel, you'll find the DVD burner as well as a DVD CDRW combo drive. You have room for two other optical drives and it also has the media card reader and boringly a floppy drive. Once you get inside the case, we can see what separates the XPS 710 H2C from the standard model in Dell's high end line. Now the first thing you see when we get inside this case is this massive cooling unit running down the middle. It's a combination liquid thermo electric cooling unit designed specifically by Dell for this system. It keeps the system nice and quiet because it means that Dell doesn't have to use as many fans. But it also lets Dell over clock the processor. That's pretty important because this is the first Dell shipment to ship with a warrantied over clocked CPU. They've never taken that risk before. And then Dell has also learned a lot of lessons about keeping systems nice and tidy, especially on the high end. We really like what they're doing here with the hard drive, making it nice easy to swap out. Kind of reminiscent of the Mac Pro, which is our favorite hard drive by design. You can see here there's 250 gigabyte, 10K drive for speedy access as well as a large 750-gigabyte standard speed drive. That gives you a nice, large amount of storage as well as overall fast performance. Now the system we tested did not come with Windows Vista on it. Reason, because the drivers weren't ready for the G Force 8800 GTS card to run in tandem. But when you do move to Windows Vista and you can buy it with Vista today, you'll find the 4 gigabytes of memory that comes standard with this system really helps performance. One of our only major dings with this system is that its motherboard is a little bit dated. Dell says that that helps it standardized support, but other systems have higher end motherboards that gives you a little bit of an edge in performance. Still, Dell has a major advantage over those other systems because it's a lot less expensive, by about 1000 to 1500 dollars more depending on the other vendors. That's why we gave the system Editor's Choice, even though its motherboard is a little bit old, its performance is still right near the top of the heap, and it's significantly less expensive than the competition. So I'm Rich Brown and that's the Editor's Choice winning Dell XPS 710 H2C. ^M00:02:31 [ Music ]