Pros The (currently) best hardware is in this box.
Cons Dell Support, Dell bloat, continual rollout delays, EXPENSIVE, Dell proprietary, Dell Support
Summary Four Large for a computer, even if it's a high-speed demon...who goes there these days? (In all fairness, the XPS 700 starts around $2K or so and goes up from there.) I don't know many of the serious folk in the gaming marketplace that buys their über rig off the shelf anymore, even from such storied houses like Alienware (now Dell) or Falcon NW. It's never been about who spends the most; it's about who builds the best for the cheapest amount of green and shopping the best component deals (thanks, Newegg).
Dell, IMO, has long lost its props in the gaming marketplace, if it really ever had any to begin with. The early XPSs were popular and fast for the period (P3s) but since those days seldom would any serious gamer consider a Dell a viable option. There's just no real street cred with a Dell.
Dell has this nasty habit of making many of its bits proprietary, particularly the mobo, which in the past has been variations of various Intel designs. The CNET article didn't say if the XPS 700 followed the same philosophy, but it wouldn't surprise me. The computer also isn't overclocked straight out the box, which CNET correctly points out is a downer since it's not clear if all of the supplied internals are up to the challenge of an overclocked CPU (which in turn gets back to the question of Dell's past proprietary habits). Moreover, that KILLER (and expensive) nVidia vid card that Dell stuffed in this box will, in six months or less, be put out to pasture with the widespread release of Windows Vista and DirectX 10. This thing may stop all over the competition now, but how will it do when the latest generation of DX10 games hit store shelves?
Dell also has this habit loading all sorts of nonsense onto their computers, such as AOHell and other useless services, most of which only goes to irritate the hardcore gamer. The CNET article doesn't mention any of that, but somehow I doubt Dell will abstain from this activity given how many of these add-ins probably PAY Dell for the priviledge of polluting their computers' hard drives and computer bootup times.
And then we get to the contentious nature of Dell Support. Just let me say it PAYS to eat out at Indian restaurants, if only to get Western ears accustomed to nuances of Bangalore tech support. Enterprise may enjoy their support with a Texas twang, but us home users...hardly ever. Moreover, Dell typically gives only a mediocre warranty term with their machines (1-yr for the XPS 700); any serious timeframe requires the buyer to pony up more of that precious green.
As I said in my title, this could be the greatest desktop on earth right now, but it IS a Dell, and any buyer considering this machine needs to be aware of the implications of purchasing from them. Considering that this rig is aiming at the heart of the gaming market, it does have A LOT of things going for it, but because it's coming from a company with past build habits like Dell has, that same buyer needs to ask his or herself whether the pitfalls are worth the immediate gratification (well, as immediate as September 25, 2006 can be).
Pros Design, Core 2 processor
Cons Availablility and Dell customer service.
Summary Ah, the mighty flagship Dell XPS 700. How many people have ordered one since Dell announced it's original availability in late May? We'll probably never know that, and it's not really that important anyhow.
On paper, and even in reviews this looks like a great machine from Dell. With the latest in technology and a good looking industrial case design, Dell has the potential for a real winner here. Unfortunately, their communication skills and customer service still stink.
Even with their new, highly touted (and criticized) blog site they can't get the right information out. The best they can come forward with is canned PR, "we don't have any information" comments, downright lies from CS and sales reps, or silence.
What's really important here is how Dell has misled its customer base since this product was made available for purchase. Now, you know there's a lot of speculation going on about the XPS 700, Intel's upcoming Core 2 Duo processors and nVidia's 590 chipset for Intel. Michael Dell himself said the XPS 700 will have the Core 2 Duo and nVidia 590 SLI for Intel, which as of the end of June wasn't ready yet. However, contrary to everything, here the product is right in this review! I know all about the NDA with Intel, and the fact that "Dell does not comment on future product releases", but what gives?
Why on earth did Dell start selling this machine when there was no availablility in the near future?
Why are they STILL offering this machine with Pentium D processors?
What is going to happen to the folks who ordered on release with now outdated expensive machines that haven't shipped yet?
Many people (including myself) have had one of these on order since late May/early June with the originally specified Pentium D processors. I'm not going to get into any more "why is my XPS 700 delayed" whining but it'd be nice to throw your impatiently waiting customers a bone here, especially when Dell's CEO and now C|Net is touting the flagship machine with Intel and nVidia's new goodies.
If my (and many others') orders "flagship" Dell machines had shipped in a normal timeframe, there'd be no problem here. However, since Dell's "flagship" product was delayed for unknown-to-us reasons (most likely nonexistent parts), and now the original orders' processor specs are no longer "flagship" worthy, what is Dell going to do about it?
I'll wager Dell's Factory Outlet is going to be flooded with XPS 700 returns if they ship out Pentium D processors in these at the price people paid for them. True, some people got in on a fantastic 42%+ off EPP deal recently and perhaps they should be the ones to get Pentiums. I'll be returning mine, unopened, should it be shipped that way.Updated
There's a long forum thread (600+ messages) that this all started at on the Dell Community Forum here:
I'm going to change my opinion on this machine once it actually ships out as Dell says it will. Dell has finally specified they will allow customers who ordered prior to 7/18 the opportunity to reconfigure to Core 2 Duo or be given a gift card.
I haven't heard of anyone being called about this yet, but if and when it does this review will change dramatically.
Pros None at this time
Cons None at this time
Summary This is for all the people who write reviews on products that you do not own. User ratings are designed for people who actually own a product and wish to write a review on the performance of that product.
If you're that disgruntled with Dell, go & buy from somewhere else.
I give this product a 9, even though I don't own this. Now do you see how much sense giving it a 2 is?
The Whambulance patrol.
"Solving your whines, so you don't have to"
"ONE BIG FLOP"on by ultramobile
Pros interesting array of features and tech
Cons reliability and customer service sucks
Summary Honestly I'm not one to believe the hype. I received my wonder system two weeks ago. I plugged it in and it worked fine. I quickly got to work installing all of my games like Quake 4 and Doom 3. Nothing happened it work fine. The second day I start it up and go through the usual battery of applications and all of a sudden the dam thing freezes. I search the tower for a reset button only to discover there was none. I restarted the thing and it froze again. Then it started over heating. I checked the back of the tower only to discover the dam cooling fan wasn't working. I called dell customer support (a joke if you ask me) and got some guy taking a heep of crap. I returned the thing to dell and they assured me it was working fine just a minor glitch. I got it home and tried to turn the thing on and it just sat there. I called dell again and they couldn't tell what was wrong. I shelled out $7000 for this thing because I wanted a hign end system that could work and play. All I got was flop. This is my second bad experience with so called performance PCs. The first being from Alienware with their Area 51 ALX now this. The best and most reliable PCs are MACs and HPs they have the tried and proven stuff I'm now looking to them for a solution.
Pros Nothing I can think of....
Cons 4000 freaking dollars
Summary Let's be serious..I can build (yeah i know, but it really is easy and fun) an equivalent (or better) for one-third or, at worst, one-half the price. $4000 is ridiculous.