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Dell Studio XPS 8100 Mainstream Desktop PC

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Dell Studio XPS 8100 Mainstream Desktop PC

Dell Studio XPS 8100

©Dell

The Bottom Line

Feb 4 2010 - Dell's Studio XPS 8100 is a step between their more general purpose Studio desktop and they gaming oriented XPS 9000. It offers a strong level of performance thanks to the new less expensive H57 chipset and Core i7 processor. Dell also offers a high level of customization for users to get more or less of memory, hard drive, optical drives and video cards. The downside is that the case doesn't have the fit and finish of the 9000 model and it lacks the features to really make it a great gaming PC. Still, it is a decent general purpose PC for its price.
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Pros

  • Strong General Performance For Price
  • Wide Range of Customization

Cons

  • Relatively Small Power Supply
  • Below Average Hard Drive Size
  • Mediocre 3D Graphics Card

Description

  • 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.

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User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Can't complain, Member MarkPalaiseau

My 8100 works well. I bought it for video editing, and it is very fast and stable (Pinnacle Studio 12). Bought a couple of demanding games (COD and Crysis) to test the machine, and now my kids are addicted to the games. It's very plain for a gaming machine, but it has all the right specs. I also got it for 649 euros, or half Dell's price, by buying it on sale at a local media store (computers, TVs, etc.). Note: Don't buy through the Internet before giving your local stores a chance. The computer came with a 1 TB hard drive. I slipped in a second one for video editing.

35 out of 37 people found this helpful.

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