Here at Hot Hardware, we are big fans of the XPS 700 series of gaming desktops. Over the last two years, they have consistently earned our coveted Editor's Choice award time and again. We thought the last incarnation of the 700-series, the XPS 730 H2C, was the best yet in the series.
It seems Dell isn't quite done with the XPS 730. Today Dell is announcing a new update to the line-up in the form of the XPS 730x.
The extra letter in the model number means an entirely updated platform from Core 2 to the new Core i7 series as well as updated video card options and some new additions to the chassis. The XPS 730x will be available with all three currently available Core i7 models, complete with a decked out Intel X58 Express chipset, tri-channel DDR3 and your choice of either Crossfire or SLI with the latest graphics chip.
Dell XPS 730x Silver Chassis With X-panel WindowWhile the XPS 730x shares the same chassis as the original XPS 730, a few extra features have been added. The chassis receives an update to its thermal monitoring system. You can view all of the vital system stats in one place from the XPS Thermal Monitor utility or drag and drop individual fan monitor widgets anywhere on your desktop. While the application runs in the background, it doesn't hog any resources as the operations are handled by a dedicated chip. These widgets let you keep track of the current RPM and power level of each fan in the system and you can even create custom power curves for the fans that respond to temperature, allowing the system to be optimized for optimal cooling for whisper quiet operation.
XPS Thermal Monitor Screenshot - Click for high res viewThe XPS' lighting system also recives an update, this time with some borrowed technology from Alienware. The XPS 730x supports the AlienFX utility which lets you control and finely tune the XPS' multi-zone, multi-color LED lighting system or disable it altogether for that 'stealth' look. Each zone can be assigned a specific color and event-driven lighting is also supported allowing you to set zone lighting to change automatically when programs are launched or mail is received.
Dell XPS 730x LED Lighting EffectsThe XPS 730x chassis also receives new "Theater Lighting" which is a set of 4 white LEDs placed strategically within the case to illuminate the interior to help you see what you're doing while you muck around under the hood. The LEDs are powered by a seperate power supply consisting of two AA batteries and they are automatically activated when the side panel is removed.
Dell XPS 730x Theater Lighting In Action - Click for high res viewThere are also new hardware options available to help flesh out your experience and stretch your credit line to its limits. Like previous XPS models, the XPS 730x is available with factory overclocked processors that recieve full warranty coverage, a perfect compliment for the H2C liquid cooling option. You can also tack on such high-end options as a Blu-ray Disc drive, RAIDed Wester Digital Velociraptor hard drives, various solid state drive configurations, tri-channel Corsair XMP DDR3 memory and even a KillerNIC gaming network adapter. Of course, going the whole nine yards with a system like this will likely cost you a pretty penny, your arms, legs and at least one of your kidneys. Such is the price we pay for shiny hardware and killer gaming performance. But hey... it plays Crysis!
Click for high res viewThe XPS 730x is set to make you drool and your wallet scream for mercy starting today. The XPS 730x has a launch-day base price of $1999 for a system powered by the Core i7 920 processor. After ticking more than a few option boxes, you can launch the price into the stratosphere with the top-end Crysis-dominating Core i7 965 factory overclocked with H2C liquid cooling.
The XPS 730x is shaping up to be another great gaming rig from Dell. Be sure to stay tuned for a full in-depth review in the coming weeks.