Dell XPS 8300 review
A stylish, compact PC, but it’s underpowered, underwhelming and overpriced next to the competition
Review Date: 5 May 2011
Reviewed By: Mike Jennings
Price when reviewed: £965 (£1,158 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Most small PC manufacturers long ago made the switch to Intel’s cutting-edge Sandy Bridge processors, but it takes a global behemoth like Dell a little longer to overhaul its lines. Finally, the popular XPS range catches up with the competition.
In an unusual step, only one Sandy Bridge chip is available – the XPS 8300 comes with the Core i7-2600. The lack of a “K” suffix indicates that it lacks the unlocked multiplier for easy overclocking, so it’s restricted to the stock speed of 3.4GHz.
Despite 8GB of DDR3 memory, the processor is lacking next to the majority we see pre-overclocked these days. The Dell’s overall benchmark score of 0.95 is perfectly fine, but if you’re looking for raw power we’ve seen plenty of faster PCs: the A-Listed Yoyotech Fi7epower 4.8, for example, runs the same processor at 4.8GHz for £1,199.
The Dell falls behind in the graphics department, too. While the ATI Radeon HD 5770 is a perfectly competent card – its frame rate of 28fps in our High quality Crysis test means most modern games will be playable at relatively demanding levels – your cash will certainly go further elsewhere. For a start, it’s a last-generation chip, and the Yoyotech includes a Radeon HD 6970 that proved three times as quick.
For the XPS 8300’s £1,159 inc VAT price tag you also get a 1TB hard disk, a Blu-ray drive, an 802.11n wireless adapter and a TV tuner. If that doesn’t fit your needs, Dell provides plenty of customisation options, albeit for a sometimes hefty fee. The RAM can be upped to 12GB for an extra £150 or to 16GB for £250. For hard disks, the single 1TB drive can be joined by a second in RAID0 for £80 more – or you could opt for a single 2TB disk and pay a massive £240 for the privilege.
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Unlock your Moto X with a "tattoo"
- Samsung continues Tizen OS push with Galaxy Gear "upgrade"
- Killing the Surface Mini hit revenues, Microsoft reveals
- How to report website overblocking and miscategorisation to ISPs
- iPad sales stall as owners "too happy to upgrade"
- Will the next Windows 8.1 update arrive next month?
- BBC Sport comes to Chromecast
- Those parental-control filters? As few as 4% are signing up
- iPhone 6's Apple logo may light up for notifications
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- Hacking the Internet of Things: from smart cars to toilets
- BlackBerry Passport release date, specs, features, and rumours: when is the new BlackBerry coming out?
- What's changing in the computing curriculum
- Teaching kids to code
- Best free translation apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone
- Five worst SMB security threats... and how to solve them
- Apple iOS vs Android vs Windows 8 – what's the best compact tablet OS?
- The 12 best tablets of 2014: what’s the best tablet on the market?
- How to free up hard disk space
- Driverless cars: could your next car be driven by a robot?
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?