Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop (5680): Performance Summary And Conclusion
Alienware rig rips up the asphalt, but you're not driving one off the lot for a grand.
You can, however, bring home an Inspiron Gaming Desktop for a reasonable price. Configurations start at $599 and never spiral out of control, even when shopping at the top of the spectrum. The system we received is the least expensive version to rock a Core i7-8700 CPU inside, making it one of the more affordable gaming PCs out there. There's plenty of room for expansion inside it's chassis as well.
The flip side to this is that sensible is not always sexy. In this case, though the Inspiron Gaming Desktop 5680 we tested is a sleek looking machine, you're also looking at a single-channel RAM configuration and the lower end version of the GeForce GTX 1060, one with 3GB of GDDR5 memory instead of 6GB. To be fair, though, the toned down component selection in this SKU is really only a concern if you're obsessing over specs rather than focusing on what this machine is capable of, which is playing games smoothly at 1080p (or higher in some cases).
What's more constricting, however, is the storage arrangement here. Dell doesn't provide any custom storage options, so you're stuck with a 128GB M.2 SATA SSD + 1TB HDD out of the box. Looking at the SSD, we're not too concerned with it being SATA—there's little difference in gaming performance, save for load times, between SATA and NVMe/PCIe—but the low capacity is a bummer. Some games are data pigs and won't even fit on a 128GB SSD (after accounting for a Windows OS footprint). We ran into that with Grand Theft Auto V, as there just wasn't enough room to install it. Instead, we had to plop it on the hard drive, which we'd rather reserve as strictly bulk storage or back-up.
So, there are some concessions with the configuration and SKU we tested, which is to be expected in the mainstream category. At the same time, there are a couple of higher end configurations available, with the top SKU offering twice as much RAM at 16GB, double the SSD storage at 256GB (while retaining the 1TB HDD), and a faster GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card. Pricing on that model runs $1,449.99 before any discounts.
As for this specific setup, it's not one that's going to set any benchmarking records. Regardless, as configured here, the Inspiron Gaming Desktop 5680 is an affordable 1080p gaming desktop that also looks great and performs quietly, which is exactly what it sets out to be.