The Bottom Line
- Well Priced
- Includes LCD Monitor
- Some Upgrades As Expensive As Buying And Installing Your Own Parts
- Lacks Second Graphics Card Slot For CrossFire Graphicss
- Below Average Sized Hard Drive
- AMD Phenom II X4 945
- 8GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 640GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- Dell ST2210 21.5" LCD Monitor
- ATI Radeon HD 5670 Graphics Card With 1GB Memory
- HDA 7.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Eight USB 2.0, eSATA, HDMI, DVI, 19-in-1 Card Reader
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Works, McAfee Security Center
Guide Review - Dell Studio XPS 7100 Mainstream Desktop PC
Aug 11 2010 - Dell's Studio XPS 7100 basically takes the same basic chassis design and layout of the Intel based Studio XPS 8100 but instead uses an AMD based setup. This offers a more affordable alternative for those that want to have a good all-around desktop system. In my review unit, an AMD Phenom II X4 945 quad-core processor was included. This offers performance slightly below an Intel Core i5-750 processor. This will do fine in most tasks but those that want to use the system for heavy multitasking or desktop video, then the Phenom II X6 six-core processors might be a very useful upgrade. Dell includes 8GB of DDR3 memory that allows the system to run multiple applications without any noticeable slowdowns.
Storage features on the Studio XPS 7100 are fairly basic for a desktop system. The $1000 unit I looked at comes with a slightly smaller 640GB hard drive. This provides roughly two-thirds the storage capacity of the more typical one terabyte hard drive found in many similar systems. Users do have the option of upgrading to larger drives but the costs for the upgrade seem very high compared to adding a drive on your own. A dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording or CDs and DVDs. An optional Blu-ray drive is available but once again the cost is almost the same as buying and installing one yourself.
Graphics for the Dell Studio XPS 7100 comes with an ATI Radeon HD 5670 graphics card wtih 1GB of memory. This is suitable for casual PC gaming up to resolutions of around 1440x900. Those wanting to do a bit more gaming will want to upgrade the graphics. Interestingly, Dell ties the processor and graphics cards together in their customization system. Their gaming level cards come in the Vision Black configurations which all use the Phenom II X6 six-core processors.
Many of the more affordable desktops in the $1000 price range tend to have issues with graphics card upgrades. They are generally limited by a relatively low wattage power supply that can't handle the high performance cards. Dell has includes a 460 watt power supply with the Studio XPS 7100 which means the system can actually handle a Radeon HD 5870 graphics card. Those hoping to add a second lower level graphics card for a CrossFire setup will be disappointed by the lack of a second PCI-Express graphics slot.
One nice aspect of Dell's desktop systems is that many of them include a Dell branded LCD monitor included with in. In the case of this $1000 Studio XPS 7100 desktop setup, Dell includes their ST2210 21.5-inch LCD monitor with a 1920x1080 resolution capable of 1080p HD video playback. It is a decent monitor for everyday use with quick response times.