Summary: Dell did a fantastic job balancing price and performance with its newly minted XPS 8700 desktop. The heart and soul of this system is Intel's 22nm Core i7 4770 processor, the second fastest Haswell chip currently available. It's flanked by 8GB of high-frequency RAM and a discrete graphics card, and with all three working in tandem, you have a multi-talented desktop that's just as comfortable pouncing on productivity chores as it is playing games, albeit you may have to...
Pros: Packs A Processing Punch:, Lightweight and Stylish:, Respectable Gaming Performance:, Lots of USB 3.0 Ports:, Price To Performance Ratio:
Cons: Where's the SSD Option?:, Ho-Hum Peripherals:
Excerpt: The Dell XPS 8700 Special Edition tries to provide you with lots of performance power, some added connectivity features, but it doesn't leave much room for future expansion or a second graphics card. It delivers in the performance category, but it's pricier than most other desktops.
Pros: Wi-Fi & Intel WiDi connectivity, Plenty of USB 3.0 ports, Blu-ray drive, Solid performance
Cons: Limited internal expansion, Pricier than similar desktops
Conclusion: Our benchmarks show that a step up from mSATA to a primary SSD is in order. Otherwise, we like the inclusion of 802.11n and WiDi, look askance at some wasted space inside the tower, and are pleased with the system's overall performance. If you opt for the XPS 8700 Special Edition, you'll likely sleep well knowing you got a fair price on a good system.
Pros: Swift performance, Smart choices in core components, Addition of Wi-Fi with Intel WiDi
Cons: No accommodation for second graphics card, Discrete sound card dropped from options list, Only one PCIe slot available
Conclusion: Aside from its mostly unnecessary abundance of RAM, the XPS 8700 Special Edition is a well-rounded performance desktop that’s a good fit as a family PC or a dorm-room power tower. It’s powerful enough to handle pretty much any task that you throw at it, from high-end media creation to high-resolution gaming. And its desktop form factor and upgradability mean it won’t have to be replaced as soon as one of the components gets too slow or fails.
Pros: Very fast, 4th-gen CPU, Dedicated sound card, Good gaming performance, Upgradable
Cons: More RAM than most will ever use, SSD cache, rather than a real solid-state drive, Not as customizable as other desktops