Dell Studio XPS sx8100-1986NBC review: Dell Studio XPS sx8100-1986NBC

Because the Dell has a Wi-Fi card and a doublewide Radeon HD 5770 graphics card, you don't get a lot of room for other upgrades--a free standard PCI slot is your only option. You can add a second hard drive, but all four RAM slots are taken, so your memory and storage options are somewhat limited as well. The Dell's connectivity options are a bit more flexible. You get a handful of USB 2.0 ports, eSATA and FireWire for external storage, S/PDIF digital audio and 7.1 analog audio outputs, and DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort video outputs on the graphics card. Short of still uncommon USB 3.0 devices, you should be able to find a port for any contemporary peripheral or accessory on the back of this system.

Juice box
Dell Studio XPS sx8100-1986NBC Average watts per hour
Off 0.72
Sleep 2.88
Idle 68.22
Load 181.28
Raw (annual kWh) 342.81384
Energy Star compliant Yes
Annual power consumption cost $38.91

Annual power consumption cost
Dell Studio XPS sx8100-1986NBC
$38.91 

Dell has earned itself a good reputation in our lab for its energy efficiency, and this desktop is no different. As you can see in our chart, it's the most efficient traditional midtower in its price range. Granted, the difference between paying $3.25 a month to power the Dell and $5.46 for the Velocity micro system isn't that meaningful financially, but we also shouldn't let the fact that Dell consumes only about 60 percent as much power as the Velocity Micro for comparable performance go unrecognized.

Dell's service and support is more or less the same as that of its major retail competition. You get 24-7 phone support, a yearlong parts and labor warranty, and a variety of support resources online and on the system itself via various diagnostic tools.

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:

Dell Studio XPS sx8100-1986NBC
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 2.67GHz Intel Core i7 860; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5770; 1TB Seagate 7,200rpm hard drive

Asus Essentio CG5290-BP007
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit; 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 920 (overclocked); 9GB 1,066 DDR3 SDRAM; 896MB GeForce GTX 260 (216 core); 1TB 7,200rpm Hitachi hard drive

Dell Studio XPS 8000
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 2.67GHz Intel Core i5 750; 8GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1,762MB Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 (216 core); 1TB Seagate 7,200rpm hard drive

Falcon Northwest Mach V Talon
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 3.3GHz Intel Core i7-860 (overclocked); 8GB 1,330MHz DDR3 SDRAM; (2) 896MB Nvidia GeForce GTX 275; 80GB Intel X-25M solid state hard drive, 1TB 7,200rpm Samsung hard drive

Velocity Micro Edge Z30
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 3.22GHz Intel Core i7-860 (overclocked); 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 896MB Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 (216 core); 1TB 7,200rpm Hitachi hard drive

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