In the last half year, Dell has been busy revamping their entire desktop XPS lineup. First came the XPS 420 late last year, a premium multimedia workstation. Then Dell introduced a new mid-range gaming oriented desktop, the XPS 630 early this year. The 630 is a mid-tower sized gaming desktop styled after the flagship XPS 700 series but with more affordable components and a relatively thrifty price tag. We found the XPS 630 to be an excellent machine in our evaluation.
While these new additions to Dell's desktop XPS lineup were certainly welcome, we hadn't seen a major update to the flagship 700 series in over a year and we were beginning to wonder if Dell would ever get around to it. With the launch of NVIDIA Quad-SLI and AMD Crossfire X configurations, the XPS 720 just wasn't looking as attractive as it once was, considering it is supposed to be Dell's top-end gaming machine. An update was overdue. Today, it's obvious that the folks over at Dell haven't been taking any down-time. Instead they have been busy putting together a major update to their flagship XPS 700 series in the form of the brand new XPS 730 that we have on showcase for you here today.
|Dell XPS 730 Configuration Options |
|High-end Gaming Components|
Externally, the XPS 730 features the same monolithic profile as its predecessors but it sports the new, more aggressive grill design first seen on the XPS 630. Internally, the XPS 730 is an entirely new beast. Gone is the proprietary BTX motherboard used in past XPS 700 series machines which impeded upgrade efforts. The XPS 730's case is ESA (Enthusiast System Architecture) compatible and its powered by a standard ATX motherboard based on NVIDIA's 790i Ultra SLI chipset. The motherboard features support for DDR3 memory, 3 PCI-E x16 slots and the system has support for NVIDIA Quad-SLI as well as ATI Crossfire X technology. That's right, the XPS 730 will support both SLI and Crossfire via custom drivers, though not at the same time, providing you the option to choose from just about every graphics card configuration currently available.
Like previous XPS 700 series machines, the XPS 730 will be available in an optional H2C configuration that adds an advanced TEC assisted watercooling system as well as warranty-supported factory processor overclocking. The standard XPS 730 will be available in plain, brushed aluminum but two additional anodized aluminum color options are available for H2C configurations; Victory Red and Stealth Blue.
We got our hot little hands on a XPS 730 H2C in Victory Red for an exclusive first look. Read on for details and pictures of the unboxing and the beast itself.