The Bottom Line
- Strong General Performance For Price
- Wide Range of Customization
- Relatively Small Power Supply
- Below Average Hard Drive Size
- Mediocre 3D Graphics Card
- Intel Core i7-860 Quad Core Desktop Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- NVIDIA GeForce GTS 240 Graphics Card With 1GB Memory
- Intel HDA 7.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Six USB 2.0, FireWire, eSATA, 19-in-1 Card Reader
- Windows 7 Home Premium, McAfee Security Center
Guide Review - Dell Studio XPS 8100 Mainstream Desktop PC
Feb 4 2010 - The Dell Studio XPS 8100 is a new middle class desktop that uses the new Intel H57 chipset along with the Intel Core i7-860 processor to provide a desktop system with a high level of performance but at a more reasonable price. This setup along with the 4GB of DDR3 memory should allow the system to do well in just about any type of application including the demanding desktop video editing.
Dell does a disservice to consumers with their default configurations on the Studio XPS 8100 when it comes to storage. The system comes base with a relatively small 500GB hard drive compared to the one terabyte sized in most similarly classed desktop systems. It also comes with a dual layer DVD burner which isn't uncommon for many desktops. The company makes up for this by offering a wide range of customization options where users can install larger drives or add extra drives in either RAID 0 or 1 arrays for performance or redundancy. Blu-ray drives are also available. All of these options do increase the cost of course.
Graphics are probably one of the weakest aspects of the Studio XPS 8100 system. The main reason for this is the relatively small 350 watt power supply that lacks much of the performance needed for the high end 3D graphics cards. The default NVIDIA GeForce GTS 240 graphics card provides a mediocre experience with support up to 1650x1080 resolutions. Those wanting higher graphics will either have to upgrade to a GTX 260 for 1920x1200 support or a Radeon HD 5770 for Direct X 11. Overall, gamers would be better served by looking at a similarly priced XPS 9000 system for better graphics options.
Another area where the Studio XPS 8100 doesn't quite live up to the XPS name is the case. While at first glance it looks more like the other XPS cases provided, closer examination will show it to be more typical sheet steel design that doesn't have the same level of fit and finish as previous generation XPS models. Dell can't be faulted too much for this as this likely helps keep the costs down for the Studio XPS 8100.
Overall, the Studio XPS 8100 is certainly an affordable option for those looking at a good general performance system if they are thinking to use it for demanding tasks such as desktop video. Gamers on the other hand will definitely want to consider other models from Dell or other companies that have better graphics options.