Dell 6-Core Studio XPS 7100 Review

Article Index

Overclocking, Acoustics, & Power Consumption

So, you want to overclock your bulk OEM system, is that it? In many cases, you might as well go pound sand, because then at least you'd be doing something. The sad reality is OEM vendors often lock down their rigs with custom BIOSes that prevent Johnny Dangerously and everyone else from wreaking havoc and then dialing up tech support when things take a turn for the worse.

Overclocking the Dell Studio XPS 7100 (or Not)
Pedal To The Metal?


The Dell Studio XPS 7100 comes locked down tighter than Alcatraz, or at least that's the case if you're trying to escape the confines of stock settings and swim to overclocked shores. Poking around the BIOS reveals a barren wasteland devoid of any high-level tweaking options, and AMD's OverDrive utility wasn't able to impose its will, either.

On the plus side, AMD's Phenom II X6 architecture includes a bit of technology called Turbo CORE, which cranks up clockspeeds for you on an as-needed basis. For a full rundown on how this works, as well as the rest of AMD's Phenom II X6 architecture, take a detour over to our X6 1090T processor review right here.

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

We used SeaSonic's Power Angel Power Meter to measure the amount of watts our test system pulled from the wall. You'll find three figures below: power supply's maximum rated wattage, peak power consumption under a full CPU/GPU load, and how much the system pulled from the wall when idle (following a fresh system boot).

Unlike some of the dedicated gaming rigs we've had come through our labs, Dell's Studio won't lead to any sleepless nights for environmentalists with an sensitive conscious. Whereas some systems have pulled over 1KW from the wall, the Studio didn't even break the 300W mark, and barely sips electricity when sitting idle. Perhaps the 460W power supply isn't such a weak spot after all, though we'd still hesitate to shove a dual-GPU videocard inside.

As power consumption remained fairly low, so too did the heat this system produced. Even under load, the cooling scheme was sufficient and the fans never ramped up to anything louder than a whisper. There's potential for this system to make some noise -- the GPU's fan temporarily spins at full throttle during boot -- but it never happened during our entire testing process.

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