Dell XPS 625 Phenom II Gaming System - HotHardware

Dell XPS 625 Phenom II Gaming System

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Features and Specifications

"With the Dell XPS 625 desktop driving your gaming experience, your rivals won’t know what hit 'em. Get extreme gaming performance, cutting-edge graphics and an innovative design - all at a killer value." - Dell

  • AMD Phenom II X4 940 (3.0 GHz) Quad-Core Processor

  • Passive Copper Heatpipe CPU / Active Northbridge Cooling System

  • 4 GB DDR2-800 Memory (2 x 2 GB)

  • AMD 790FX Based Custom Motherboard

  • ATI Radeon 4850 Graphics, 512 MB, PCI Express 2.0

  • Western Digital Velociraptor 150GB, 10,000 RPM

  • Integrated 7.1 High Definition Audio (8-Channel Analog + 7.1 Optical S/PDIF)

  • Integrated Gigabit Ethernet

  • 8 x USB 2.0, 2 x Firewire 400, 1 x eSATA

  • 750W ATX Power Supply

  • Custom Dell Chassis with AlienFX Lighting System

  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium x64 Edition

At its core, the XPS 625 is a relatively straight forward gaming desktop configuration, albeit with some highly interesting bits. The most interesting tidbit is no doubt the new AMD Phenom II X4 940 processor, which is AMD's current high-end quad-core model.  When coupled together with a motherboard based on the 790FX chipset and a GPU based on the Radeon 4800 series, what Dell has effectively delivered is AMD's new "Spider" platform in a very nice chassis.

The Phenom II X4 940 processor runs at 3.0 GHz, and is a native quad-core device. The X4 940 just hit the streets about a month and a half ago, and is based on AMD's latest generation 45nm manufacturing technology. The processor is equipped with 4 x 512k (2MB) of L2 cache along with a shared pool of 6MB L3 cache, which is three times larger than the original Phenom processor. The Phenom II supports 64-bit computing, SSE3/4, independent clock speeds and voltage levels per core, and has an integrated dual-channel DDR2 memory controller. The unit runs at an 1800 MHz HyperTransport link speed and is compatible with Socket AM2+ motherboards, such as the custom Dell 790FX motherboard in the system. Oh yes. This system is also equipped with a "Black Edition" processor, which means it's completely multiplier unlocked. We'll exploit this later.


Phenom II X4 940 Specs


Radeon HD 4850 Specs

The processor is connected to 4 GB of DDR2-800 memory, which gives theoretical memory bandwidth of 12.8 GB/s, a far cry from Intel's top of the line Core i7 systems, but as the Phenom has never been exceedingly memory thirsty, we're not too concerned about this. Dell allows you to configure XPS 625 systems with up to 8 GB of memory, or you can also equip the system with overclocker-friendly Corsair Dominator DDR2 modules if you wish (our system came equipped with generic DDR2 modules).

In terms of graphics, we have ATI's mid-range Radeon HD4850 graphics card with 512 MB of memory onboard. This card currently sells for about $150 online and is expected to drop in price soon, significantly. While it's not a top of the line card, it's definitely sufficient for most modern games, and won't be a bottleneck unless you push up the resolution and/or FSAA levels. If you want a little extra oomph, Dell offers Radeon HD4870 upgrade options, including multiple cards in CrossfireX mode, if you want to go that route. No Nvidia options in sight, interestingly enough.

Our sample system was equipped with a Western Digital Velociraptor 150 GB, 10,000 RPM hard disk, which is one of the fastest SATA hard disks on the market today. Oddly though, Dell doesn't offer this through their online configurator at this time, although we would expect them to offer it soon. The system was also configured with a 16x SATA DVD-RW drive, Blu-Ray is an upgrade option if you wish.

That's pretty much the basis of the XPS625. The system has integrated audio and Ethernet, along with the expected basics of a modern system. Interestingly enough, the system came with no memory card reader by default, which we would think is a fairly trivial feature to throw in. Nevertheless, a pretty solid quad-core setup for roughly $1,500, although definitely not a mind-blowing great deal for this price tag. This isn't quite like a do-it-yourself system, though, as you'll see in the following pages.

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Nice looking case a little cramped inside!I just glanced over the reveiw but is it me or is the motherboard installed where the CPU is at the bottom!

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It is installed that way.  If you didn't notice, the system is essentually a BTX layout, down to the passive cooling.  I noticed that there is a place you can put a fan on the back panel behind the CPU.  I wonder if putting a fan there in pull format would help with the overall cooling off the system, though I'm sure a low rpm fan on the CPUs heat exchanger would help as well.

I have actually liked the way that dell machines have been looking the last few years, though I think some of that comes from Alienwares influence on their designs.

Overall, I think it is a nice looking system with only a change of cooling and a slightly lower price needed.

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Nice article!  One correction I saw though, I think this is AMD's new "Dragon" platform though since it uses the Phenom II, not the "Spider" platform.

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We have a Sun workstation at work and it has a similar looking heatsink on the CPUs.  At first I thought they were fanless but there is a fan sandwiched in the middle.  And it looks the same here.  All I can go off is the pictures but it looks like there is a wire coming out of the heat sink.  Plus it has the arrow pointing in the direction of the airflow.  If there was no fan in it, it wouldn't really matter what direction the heat sink was mounted.

Also, the fan on the motherboard looks like it's on the chipset, not the VRMs.  The VRMs should be under the heat sink right below the fan that is connected with the heat pipe.  It is too bad that they used a fan here when most other motherboards using the same chipset are fine without a fan.

As for the layout, It's just a standard ATX motherboard mounted upside down.  Lian-Li has some cases where they do the same thing.  BTX puts the CPU at the front of the motherboard right in front of the intake fan and would have the expansion slots at the bottom.

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Hmm  For 1600 you can get the same system  with 8 gigs of ram ,640 gig hdd, and two 4850's in crossfire. Right on dells site.


Actually you cant get it configured the way your test rig was configured at all.

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Also for 41549 i can get a dell studio xps 435 with a core i7, 6 gig ddr3 ram , a 24 inch widescreen monitor, and a 750 gig hdd drive.

 

So honestly its not really that good of a deal either. Its just a preference if you want amd or the faster core i7 which you can get in a dell machine for the same price or cheaper.

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I could bouch for that XPS system since i got his sister the XPS630i and is a kick@ss machine!

is the same layout and in term of reliable well i haven't had a problem since they got their driver reconfigured...

 

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