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Dell's new high-end XPS 600 PC breaks ground

Dell's new high-end XPS 600 PC breaks ground

Dell introduces a couple of firsts with its new XPS 600 system announced today. In addition to the usual high-end configurations, it features the first SLI-capable chipset to allow full x16 bandwidth from both PCI Express slots. That chipset, Nvidia's Nforce 4 SLI x16 (also announced today) is also the first in a Dell PC made by someone other than Intel.

You won't see an immediate benefit from the added graphics bandwidth. Even with two x16 PCI Express graphics slots, no current 3D games move that much data. We expect it won't be until 2006 that games really begin to require a larger pipe.

Also, although the move to an alternate chipset was necessary for Dell's elite XPS line to compete with the other upper-echelon SLI-capable PCs, don't get too excited about Dell looking to someone other than Intel for its motherboard tech. The chipset is still Pentium CPU compatible, so there's no Athlon in here just yet.

Earlier this year Dell announced a "Lexus lineup" of PCs scheduled to come out this fall. The XPS 600 is not one of those, although you'll note that, unlike past XPS systems, it no longer carries Dimension as part of its name.

The Dell XPS 600 should be available from Dell today. Pricing starts at $3,046. We've already put one in front of the camera. Look for our full review by the end of the week.