Dell XPS X8900-631BLK Review
The Dell XPS x8900-631BLK is a mid-range prosumer desktop PC with enough power for daily computing thanks to an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB storage and NVIDIA GT 730 2GB DDR3 graphics card and power to match.
- Sixth-generation Intel Core i5 processor
- Enough space to grow
- Somewhat Bland Design
- No Blu-Ray Drive
The Dell XPS x8900-631BLK is the latest mini-tower desktop PC from Dell with enough real estate for expandability and a true Core i5 quad-core processor. With a 6th Generation (Skylake) 2.7GHz processor and NVIDIA GT 730 2GB DDR3 graphics card, the XPS x8900 is equipped to handle most of your home productivity and multimedia tasks, like editing photos and encoding videos for your small business, and enough graphics chops for some serious gaming for budding enthusiasts.
Combined with a spacious 1TB (7,200rpm hard drive) with 8GB memory, the XPS x8900, just like our Editors’ Choice the ASUS M32CD, is a choice machine that will meet your needs and ably last for years to come.
The Dell XPS x8900-631BLK is a standard tower, with a glossy black front panel, shiny chrome accents, and a honeycomb grill for ventilation. In most respects, it looks just like last year’s model from the same line, the Dell XPS 8700. On the front of the system is a tray loading (DVD RW), along with two USB 3.0 ports and a multi-format card reader. In the system, you’ll also find some room to grow, thanks three vacant hard drive bays for expanded storage and four DIMM slots for RAM expansion.
The XPS x8900 comes with a wired keyboard and mouse but the monitor is not included in the package you’ll have to buy it separately. While many users will want to immediately switch these out for their preferred peripherals, the included keyboard and mouse are pretty good for a bundled set. The keyboard has Chiclet-style keys that offer good key travel and a comfortable typing feel, while the mouse has an ambidextrous design that will appeal to lefties.
Pre-installed on the hard drive is Windows 10, along with a handful of programs, like a 30-day trial of McAfee CB LiveSafe, MS Office Trial TOPK, MUI (OTRT13M), Addl SW, XPS, SMOD, Win10, US/CAN (XPSW10) that can be conveniently removed by installing a fresh copy of the Operating System.
On top of the tower is a recessed tray for setting a smartphone, external hard drive, or other device, and two additional USB 2.0 ports (one with power for charging your gadgets), and jacks for headphones and microphone. On the back of the tower you’ll find six additional USB ports (four USB 3.0, two USB 2.0), Gigabit Ethernet, several video outputs (DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI), and outputs for audio and Digital Surround Sound. For networking and wireless connectivity, the XPS x8900 is outfitted with a DW1801 card for 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.
Connectivity ports are plentiful and built-in Wi-Fi on board makes this machine appealing to those looking for a system with potential to grow and take up some additional hard drives and even high-power graphics card. One thing stands out in XPS x8900: expandability, but unlike most mini-towers, you don’t necessarily make tradeoffs on design and performance, or even get an ugly system in the name of expansion potential.
The combination of a Skylake 2.7GHz Intel Core i5-6400 processor, 8GB of system RAM, and NVIDIA GT 730 with 2GB DDR3 of video RAM provide the XPS x8900 with plenty of productivity horsepower and some decent gaming chops. Its PCMark 8 Conventional score of 3,148 topped our Editors’ Choice the ASUS M32CD by more than 410 points, but it is still 78 points shy of its older sibling the Dell XPS x8900, with its 16 GB of system RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 745 4GB DDR3 GPU and 1 TB storage and Windows 8, while the former comes with Windows 10 pre-installed.
The NVIDIA GT 730 isn’t a high-end graphics card, but it offers enough GPU power to satisfy all but the most demanding gamers. It managed 112.8 frames per second (fps) on our Heaven gaming test while running in medium quality mode (1,280-by-720 resolution) while its other iteration the Dell XPS x8900-8756BLK, with 16 GB RAM returned 118.4 fps, and we hope that the 32 GB iteration of the same model – Dell XPS x8900-8756BLK–will offer even better gaming scores.
As a multimedia desktop, the Dell XPS x8900 looks, from a distance, like a prosumer system that is perfect for the user who wants to dabble I graphics arts, video editing, and some serious gaming. On the same model, you’ll be spoilt of choice to choose from different configurations such as a minimum of 8GB RAM and a maximum of 32GB, a minimum of 1000GB storage and a maximum of 2256GB. If you’ve been following the desktop PC trends lately, you must have realized that manufacturers are now giving users a variety of iterations of the same model to choose from, and for that you have no excuse to complain that you landed on a system that doesn’t meet your computing needs…do you?
As a multimedia desktop, Dell’s latest release in the XPS line of desktop PCS, the Dell XPS x8900-631BLK is a mid-range prosumer system that’s perfect for users who really want to able with some bit of graphic arts and media editing while still playing some latest titles in the gaming arena. The inclusion of a 6th Gen. (Skylake) Intel Core i5-6400, enough RAM and 1TB storage that can still be upgraded and an NVIDIA GT 730 graphics card make it one of the more potent mid-tower PCS on the market, and it will continue to hold its own four or five years down the road.