updated 09:35 am EST, Mon November 17, 2008
Dell Studio XPS and 730x
Dell today quickly seized on Intel's Core i7 debut by launching two new systems, including one completely new line. The Studio XPS upgrades the regular Studio desktop with features friendly to gamers and high-end media with Core i7 processors and dedicated video as the baseline. They further exploit the new Intel hardware with three memory sticks that both up the minimum storage and also the available bandwidth.
A standard Studio XPS tower at $949 comes with a 2.66GHz Core i7, 3GB of DDR3 memory, and a Radeon HD 3450 for video acceleration; storage comes from a 500GB hard drive and a DVD burner. Higher-end systems come with 2.93GHz processors, 6GB of memory, and options such as a Radeon HD 4850, Blu-ray, and storage that can include up to 1.28TB in a RAID 0 stripe.
Higher-end users also have access to the XPS 730x, an upgraded version of the company's gaming-centric desktop. The systems come with faster processors and video cards as standard and get the option of factory-overclocked chips: two out of the three pre-built systems run Core i7 Extreme Edition chips boosted to 3.73GHz out of the box.
A base system at $2,599 sports a 2.93GHz processor, 3GB of memory, a 640GB hard drive, a Radeon HD 4850 for video and a Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi for audio. Besides options carried over from the Studio XPS, the XPS 730x also gets variants with liquid cooling, GeForce GTX 280 or Radeon HD 4870 X2 video, and more exotic storage that can include 2TB RAID 0+1 split across four drives or a 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor for raw performance.
Studio XPS systems are shipping first and should be available by late November, while many XPS 730x systems don't ship until early-to-mid December.