Performance Analysis and Conclusion
Benchmark and Performance Analysis:
The performance of the XPS 710 H2C is fitting of a system of this caliber. Although it suffers from a slight performance hit due to its usage of lower quality, standard DDR2 memory, which limits its memory bandwidth to 667MHz, the factory overclock Dell provides with this system more than makes up for it. With the exception of a few tests particularly tied to memory performance, the XPS 710 H2C was able to take the lead in the majority of our benchmarks. This was especially true in our gaming tests, arguably the most important, where it won every benchmark. Overall, we were more than genuinely impressed with the performance profile of the Dell XPS 710 H2C. In fact, overclocking this machine further than it's factory settings, was a jaw-dropping experience.
Throughout our time with the XPS 710 H2C, it displayed the high quality mannerism typical of a Dell desktop. From the second we got it out of the box, the XPS 710 H2C has been a joy to work and play with. It's also fairly quiet, so it is easy to live with too. The XPS 700 series chassis draped in glossy Midnight Black paint also drew a lot of attention. Anyone who happened to spot it would immediately inquire about the nature of the huge, shiny, black tower sitting on our desk.
The overall presentation and packaging of the system is comparable to other systems in this league and we liked the imposing look of the chassis. We also liked the H2C cooling system which we thought performed admirably while still remaining relatively quite compared to the average air cooling solution. However, we wish the video cards were also water cooled. We thought the H2C system's LED-lit, windowed housing looked great. Its too bad no one will see it since a side-panel window is not available. This is a strange oversight on Dell's part. Why light up the interior with LEDs if your not going to offer a side-panel window?
If you have your own keyboard, mouse and monitor, you can pick up a XPS 710 H2C for as low as $5035, which still isn't cheap but compared to other systems with comparable hardware specs, that is a great deal. Dell really shows off their market prowress by offering the XPS 710 H2C for hundreds less than comparable products from smaller boutique shops. At the same time, Dell's size works against them as they can't move quite as fast as the smaller shops. As a result we see the XPS 710 H2C uses older nForce 590 SLI technology, which is perhaps both a limitation in some respects but more than likely a gain in terms of overall system stability, since the nForce 590 chipset is decidedly more mature currently.
We think Dell has a solid and extremely competitive offering on their hands, with their first non-limited edition, factory overclocked system. With its great combination of performance and value, anyone in the market for an ultra high-end gaming rig should take a serious look at what the XPS 710 H2C has to offer. This system is easily worthy of our coveted Editor's Choice award.