Dell XPS Tower Special Edition (8930) Review: A Coffee Lake-Infused Sleeper Rig

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Dell XPS Tower Special Edition (8930): Cinebench And PCMark 8

Armed with a potent GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card inside, we are eager to see what kind of graphic and gaming performance the XPS Tower Special Edition is capable of. However, we are also interested in how it performs work chores. So, we'll start off our benchmarks with some standard productivity and content creation metrics before jumping into the fun stuff.

Cinebench R11.5 64-bit
Content Creation Performance

Based on Maxon Cinema 4D software, this test uses a 3D scene and polygon and texture manipulation to assess GPU and CPU performance. We ran the Main Processor Performance (CPU) test, which builds a still scene containing about 2,000 objects, for a total polygon count above the 300,000 mark. Here we're focusing strictly on software rendering on the CPU and it's heavily taxing on this one aspect of system performance, both with multi-threaded and single-threaded rendering. 

Dell XPS Tower Special Edition Cinebench

Right out of the gate we see the benefit of upgrading to a Coffee Lake processor. The Core i7-8700 CPU that sits inside the retooled XPS Tower SE brings 6 cores and 12 threads to the party, and that is especially helpful for multi-threaded chores. In Cinebench, this system scored 2.08 points in the single-threaded test and a much more impressive 15.43 points in the multi-threaded portion. That is a few points higher than last generation's Core i7-7700K (which as two fewer cores and four fewer threads), and even tops most previous generation high-end desktop (HEDT) solutions.

Overclocking would provide even better results here, except that the Core i7-8700 is working with a locked multiplier. It is the Core i7-8700K that has an unlocked multiplier, and slightly higher clocks to boot. If you take overclocking out of the equation, however, the Core i7-8700 is arguably the better buy, as there is only a 100MHz difference in the boost clock (and a 500MHz difference in the base clock, which is less important).

Futuremark PCMark 8
Simulated Application Performance

PCMark 8 simulates the workloads computers face in several different settings, including home, office and content creation. The benchmark also has a test that simulates a creative professional’s usage, as well as battery and storage tests. We ran the tests with OpenCL acceleration enabled to leverage the power of the system's GPU, CPU and storage subsystem combined.

Dell XPS Tower Special Edition PCMark 8

The XPS Tower SE's productivity prowess continues in PCMark 8, where it finished among the top systems. Part of that is due to the speedy NVMe solid state drive that inside this system. PCMark 8 seems to favor fast storage, and that is certainly to the benefit of this configuration. However, having 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM and a fast 6-core/12-thread processor also helps ensure productivity chores will not drag this system down.

Okay, that is enough about productivity performance—let's have a look at how the XPS Tower SE handles graphics and games with the visual quality settings cranked up...

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