Dell XPS 710 H2C Performance Gaming System

Specifications, Customization Options & Price

Dell offers a couple of options for customizing your XPS 710 H2C, however the core system stays the same. You'll always get a factory overclocked Intel multi-core processor (although you get to choose between the quad-core QX6700 and the dual-core X6800) cooled by the H2C system, 4GB of PC2-5300 RAM, and dual 768MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTX cards. The motherboard, case and power supply also can't be changed. For the most part, your customization options are limited to storage, peripherals and accessories, although other options are quite varied.

By default, a Dell 2007WFP 20" LCD is included with an order. Also included by default is a bundle of peripherals and accessories such as a Razer Tarantula gaming keyboard and a Razer Copperhead mouse. These and other options can be added or removed during the ordering process. All H2C systems also come with a pre-installed copy of McAfee Security Center, complete with a 15 month subscription. Our review system lacked an LCD monitor but it included a few extras like an additional 750GB hard drive and Roxio Creator Dell Edition software.

Dell recently upgraded their XPS branded notebooks with Blu-ray burners as standard equipment, so we expected it to be at least an option for the ultra high-end XPS 710 H2C. Unfortunately a Blu-ray drive isn't available for the system, at least for now. Another point worthy of note is Dell's use of 160GB Western Digital Raptors. No, that isn't a typo. Dell actually uses 160GB Raptors in their systems, even though the largest Raptors available through retail channels are only 150GB. That means you get an extra 10GB of blazing fast 10,000 RPM goodness per drive, for a total of an extra 20GB in the standard dual-Raptor RAID 0 configuration.

Dell XPS 710 H2C
System Specifications - As Reviewed
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Factory Overclocked to  3.2Ghz

2 X 768MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX - SLI Enabled

4GB Samsung Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM @ 667MHz
  - four 1 GB modules

Dell 0UY253 BTX Motherboard
  - NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition (D)
  - 7-slot full sized BTX standard (12.6" x 10.5")
  - Sigmatel 9227 7.1 HD onboard audio controller

Support NVIDIA SLI graphics cards (both at x16 mode)

CPU and GPU Liquid Cooling
Dell H2C Two Stage Hybrid Cooling System

Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit LAN Controller

Creative Labs X-Fi Xtreme Music
Integrated audio (disabled by default)

AGEIA PhysX physics accelerator (optional and extra)

Internal Connectors
1 x ATA100 channel (up to two devices)
6 x SATAII (RAID 0, 1, JBOD)
1 x FDD channel
3 x PWM controlled fan headers
2 x USB ports
1 x IEEE 1394a port

External Ports
2 x IEEE 1394a ports (1 front, 1 back)
8 x USB 2.0 ports (2 front, 6 back)
1 x 10/100/1000 Ethernet port
1 x S/P DIF out (optical)
8 x Audio ports
Video: 2 x DVI + 1 x S-Video per video card
Legacy: 2 x PS/2 ports, 1 x Serial port

Expansion Slots
2 x PCI Express x16 slot
1 x PCI Express X8 slot
1 x PCI Express x1 slot
3 x PCI

Dell XPS 700 full-BTX Aluminum Chassis
   - 2.5mm Aluminum skin
   - Tool-less drive bays and card slots
   - H2C Equipped units only available in Midnight Black
   - Front and rear LED lighting (8 colors, programmable)

Power Supply
Dell 1000W
- EPS12V, SLI, ATX2.0, SSI
  - 92mm thermally controlled fan
  - MTBF: 400,000 hours

Drive Bays
4 x 5.25" external bays
4 x 5.25" internal bays
2 x 3.5" external bays

Installed Drives:
2 X Western Digital Raptor 160 Gig (10,000RPM, RAID 0)
1 X Seagate 750 Gig (7,200 RPM)
1 X Philips DVD-ROM
1 X TSSTcorp DVD+-RW

System Fans
2 x 120mm front fans
1 x 60mm HDD fan
1 x 92mm power supply fan

Included Accessories and Extras
Razer Tarantula Gaming Keyboard
Razer Copperhead Tempest Blue Gaming Mouse
DVI to VGA Adapter
Dell XPS mouse pad
Norton Internet Security 2006 Edition (15-months)
Roxio Creator Dell Edition 2.0 Deluxe
FREE Black T-shirt printed with H2C logo
FREE Leather H2C branded binder

Warranty And Support
1 year warranty and At-Home Service
4 year warranty and At-Home Service (optional and extra)

Price: $5799.00 USD (as configured here)


While our review system priced out to $5799, with some tweaking an XPS 710 H2C can be yours for as low as $5,035. Although five thousand dollars is still a hefty amount to spend on a single computer, relative to comparable products from other vendors, the XPS 710 H2C is a bargain. A similarly configured machine from other major brand-name vendors could set you back an extra $500 to $2000. For performance at this level, the XPS 710 H2C is simply the most affordable game in town right now.

Included with the XPS 710 H2C is Dell's standard one year warranty with at-home service, upgradable up to four years. Other standard Dell options like accidental damage coverage and home installation are also available, for a price. An additional benefit is exclusively offered to XPS customers in form of access to the XPS support team. The XPS Team is made up of a group of Dell support personnel who are experienced gamers, that were hand-picked by managers and specifically trained to support XPS systems. To get exclusive XPS service when calling for warranty support, just enter the express service code located on the system chassis.

The key feature of this system and part of its namesake is Dell's H2C cooling system. However, before we dig into what "H2C" means and what it can do for you, lets get a quick air cooling alternatives primer out of the way which should help those of us, who haven't been keeping up with alternative cooling methods, to understand what makes the XPS 710 H2C system special.

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