CNET First Look
Dell XPS 8300The Dell XPS 8300 will serve mainstream users as a higher-end do-it-all machine, but gamers and performance enthusiasts will be better off looking elsewhere.
-Hi! I'm Rich Brown, senior editor for cnet.com. Today, we're gonna take a look at the Dell XPS 8300. So, this is a $1600 Dell and it's trying to pretty much be everything to everybody. It has a Bluray drive, a fast Intel core i7 CPU, as well as a descent gaming card. For the most part, this system is a fair deal, but if you're a gamer or someone who is interested in fast performance, you can find a better deal from another vendor. Now, we do like the look of this system. It's nice and clean. The white is pretty unique. Down in the front here, you see this SD card reader. There's a Bluray burner right here, and behind this door, you'll find a USB 3.0 port as well as a couple of other USB slots. Up here in the top, you get a gadget tray along with a couple of other USB ports as well as some audio jacks. You'll find most of what you're looking for in terms of connectivity in the back of this Dell. There is digital audio output up here, an ESata port, a couple of USB ports here. You get a 7.1 audio, Ethernet, couple of more USBs, DVI, HDMI, a mini display port, and a graphics card, as well as another USB 3 port down at the bottom. The only thing that's missing is Firewire and that's easy enough to add via a USB adapter. And inside this Dell, it's a little bit messy. You can see the wires are just sort of connected without real thought to where they might go. Uh, that's probably not the worse problem, but it definitely looks a little sloppy. Here, you've got the Intel core i7-2600K and this is the second generation core i7 series also noted as a Sandy Bridge and that's a 3.4 gigahertz Quad Core CPU. The CPU is fast enough. They can handle pretty much any consumer level application out there. The only thing is that Dell doesn't overclock and you can certainly find other PCs in a surprise range that have overclocked CPUs that get you more bank for the buck in terms of performance. Then here, we've got a Radeon HD 5870 graphics card. It's fast enough. It will play most titles out there with little difficulty. The only thing is that it's an older generation AMD card and you can find a better card out there for a similar price, so we wish that may do a better job of keeping up with the time. Over here, you've got 4 memory sticks for a 8 gigs of RAM and it has a single standard 1.5 Terabyte hard drive here, a slot for 1 extra drive over here as well. This drive cage is also a little cranky and it's not really our favorite design. Finally, for motherboard expansion, you don't get room for a 2nd graphics card in this PC. Others in this price range do have that option, so that's sort of a downer. Other expandability is actually pretty limited too. You get a single 1X PCI express slot. That's it. So, overall, this is not a bad PC. It's just sort of a by the number's configuration. It's reasonably priced; it's fast enough, and for people looking for a general purpose, kind of do it all system, it'll certainly do the job. So, I'm Rich Brown, this is the Dell XPS 8300.