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Dell XPS 600

If you can live with knowing that a handful of PCs out there are still faster than yours, we recommend Dell's versatile XPS 600 for the extensive features and the good value it provides.

With the recently introduced XPS 700, Dell's XPS 600 is second fiddle in the XPS lineup but still provide lots of performance for a good price. Hard-core gamers will bemoan the lack of AMD processors, but these Intel-based performance PCs offer high-end options, including dual Nvidia SLI graphics cards, an Nvidia Nforce4 SLI x16 motherboard, and Ageia's PhysX physics accelerator. Multimedia enthusiasts can opt for the Media Center OS and a dual-tuner TV tuner card for DVR-like functionality. Pricing starts at $1,790 and quickly scales up, with high-price add-ons, such as a 24-inch LCD. Our $4,999 XPS 600 test system can't claim to be the very fastest PC when judged against its admittedly high-octane brethren, but it can plow through any 3D game or consumer-level content-creation task. A specialized XPS service code lets you bypass the usual long wait time and speak with an XPS-trained technician.

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