Dell's XPS 400 forgoes raw gaming muscle for multimedia versatility. There are no dual SLI graphics options or Intel Extreme Edition processors inside the glossy white case, but the XPS 400 has dual-core Intel Pentium D 900-series processors, single or dual TV tuners, loads of hard drive configurations, and Microsoft's Media Center OS.
Matt Elliott, a technology writer for more than a decade, is a PC tester and Mac user based in New Hampshire.
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Dell's XPS 400 forgoes raw gaming muscle for multimedia versatility. Inside the glossy white case, there are nodual SLI graphics options or Intel Extreme Edition processors. What the XPS 400 has going for it is dual-core Intel Pentium D 900-series processors, single or dual TV tuners, loads of hard drive configurations, and a monitor selection that goes from a 19-inch analog LCD to a 30-inch wide-screen that more than doubles the XPS 400's $990 starting price. The XPS 400 is an Intel Viiv PC, therefore the only OS offered is Media Center. Since high-end graphics aren't needed for most Media Center tasks, we wish there were more graphics card choices other than two high-end ATI and Nvidia cards and the older GeForce 6800. The system is housed in a glossy white BTX case with a silver front bezel and black drive-bay covers. The midtower design will add a touch of class to any home office, but it's too big to fit in with your home-entertainment components. Still, the BTX design results in whisper-quiet operation. The system's chassis is also completely tool-free, making it easy to install and remove drives and expansion cards. A specialized XPS service code lets you bypass the usual long wait time and speak with an XPS-trained technician.