Pros Power, image, overall system setup, support.
Cons As it stands, limited upgrade possibility, some rough edges.
Summary I wanted a nice gaming rig, but I didn't want to spend squillions of hours playing with delicatedly balanced drivers, endlessly scouring newegg, posting on forums for compatible parts - been there done that.
In this instance the H2C was basically manna from heaven for me. It's a pre-built, reasonably hardcore gaming rig which comes fully supported (and I buy the full 3-year pack with any computer I buy). Since it's a Dell I could also use my corporate buying leverage for best prices,
There was very little I had to do to the H2C's after I received them as they arrived fully loaded partswise with nothing else I really could add - all I did was to exchange the shipped X-Fi's with the Elite Pro version and also attached the RME Fireface audio interface to each machine. As thus configured, the Elite Pros handle the gaming audio while the Firefaces handle music.
Both the H2C's have been rock-solid in use, and have proved capable performers - I'm running both with XP and have zero complaints. I can honestly say that these machines are more reliable than some for-business hardware. I have had reson to call Dell for support on the XPS 700, but not with the H2C yet as they have been totally dependable.
The power of the H2C is undoubted but I'm still disappointed at how little that power is used in many present titles and software in general, so it doesn't always feel as fast as it should be - although the 8800GTX's contribute most noticeably to the perception of speed. Hopefully this will become less of a problem as multicore becomes the de facto way to go.
The case is a great piece of work, if distinctly hernia-inducing. If you have to put this anywhere but the ground floor, I hope you have friends or a lift. It has some rough edges especially on the front panel which given the price and the level that this system is pitched at makes it feel unnecessarily cheap, but in terms of the overall look it's like a piece of military hardware and makes virtually every other PC - even those with similar-sized cases - seem positively wimpy. Despite this the look isn't overblown and thankfully you can change the external LED lights to a tasteful shade, or turn it off altogether.
The other problem of high-performance gaming PC's is noise, and many of the boutique manufacturers seem to just hang as many (low-noise these days, but still 'dumb' in most cases) fans as they think is necessary and leave it at that. Dell's H2C system and fans do an audibly more intelligent job of cooling than other power machines I've used.
I must say that I had some reservations regarding the upgradability of the machines but I wasn't too worried about it as I will most likely pass the PC down after 2-3 years. However with Dell's recently announced upgrade path, I feel better about it and will probably take advantage of the offer, and use that opportunity to upgrade the systems to Vista.
If the front panel was better accomplished, I'd be happy to give the H2C a 9 as it is by far the best all-round home machine I've had to date. As it is I'm dropping a mark for that, because quality everywhere counts at this relatively rarified level.
Pros I'm sure it's a screaming machine, but
Cons the price as demo'ed is at least a third of what Dell really charges.
Summary I clicked and had my billfold out. Checked the option boxes used in the review. Then, saw the price meter going up and up and up. Please, CNET: Your integrity is high and giving us unvarnished truth on prices will solidify that perception.
Pros Top of the line PC...period!
Cons It took nearly 1.5 months to receive it!
Summary First of all, nearly every negative opinion on this site was made by people who don't even own the machine! They can't afford a good PC and they spend day after day on the web looking at things they would love to own but simply can't afford.
So the next best is stating that they won't buy the PC because of its poor quality and support as opposed to the real reason, not enough bills in the bank! It's not Dell's fault that your job and earning potential suck so please, keep your unfounded opinions to yourselves!
I bought the system after spending an entire weekend at my buddies testing it out. It was indeed an amazing experience, one which I wanted for myself…now! His rig consists of a quad core, over clocked CPU which maxes out at 3.46 4 GHz , 4 GB of Corsair RAM, Dual NVIDIA 8800 ultra SLI, Dual 10,000 rpm 160 GB HD, 1 Ageia graphics accelerator card, dual 24 inch Dell ultra sharp screens and Vista Ultimate. I’ve never seen graphics like that and I am an avid gamer.
The only downfall so far is that I’m still waiting on my own “tower of power” and the promised delivery date, which is tomorrow, has been pushed back to 1 week from now since they were waiting on the screen! I told them to ship the tower and send the screen later but that seems to be an issue. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas, I just can’t wait. Some people spend money on fine wine, some on travel, neither of which last more than 1 evening. The system might be expensive but the value is there and then some and you will be enjoying it for years to come.Updated
I own a small business and all we buy are Dell PC's. The only problem we ever had was with a cheap inkjet printer. After about 1/2 hour of trouble shooting, they promptly took it back and credited our account.
When dealing with Dell, we always get the preferred XPS service which, at the time anyway, was in the US only. However, I have heard bad things from their support in India, hopefully the support center will improve over time. Not a reason to disregard their products since pretty much ANY large company's service is usually below par. Nothing new there!
Pros Design & simplistic size is enough to make you wet your pants & hand over your wallet
Cons Hugely expensive, temperamental to crashing constantly, built like a Dell (i.e. badly)
Summary Let me get one thing straight early on, I like this computer (or should I say nuclear powered, kick boxing Black Mamba); in fact I so badly wanted to come and describe it as phenominal. But it just isnt.....I feel disappointed.
The H2C looks incredible, night or day. Its larger then most cars, has a specification that at least on paper causes its competitors to simply curl up in a corner and weep uncontrollably; and consumes more electricity than most major South American cities. Dell have definitely pushed out all the stops with this creation, allowing frame rates, rendering times & multiprocessing to break new records. The XPS range can finally enter into the Direct X 10, Quad-Core, MacPro world all us gamers demand.
BUT (and its a big one) H2C still fails to meet expectations let alone surpass them with a system of this price! Firstly, its built like a Dell..i.e. badly; with poor quality wiring, disk drives made from the cheapest of Chinese plastics and general fittings not up to par. Secondly, is the systems instability. I have had it for over 3 months now and I have lost count of the number of restarts, shutdowns, CTRL+ALT+DELETES I have done. Games shutdown unexpectally & BLUE SCREENS with graphics driver errors are a common sight.
But probably the biggest upset has been its performance. Yes with the Half Life's, Battlefield's and even Oblivion's of the gaming world, it has no problems. FSX is a different story with jittery frame rates at max resolution, slow responses. Playing Test Drive Unlimited is near impossible with STOP START part of the experience.
I am going on a bit but unlike other 'review' sites, I am tell the perspective of a real world user. Dont get me wrong, the H2C is a hysterically fast computer be it for video editing, current gen gaming & multiple program use. However I always thought it would be faster, free of problems......my mistake.
With Vista arriving asap and the impending launch of Direct X10 games, I hope this £6000 machine will start to impress...justify its price......even though simular power is available for 1/2 if u DIY!
Conclusion: A beautiful, fast, some may say dangerous machine only reserved for a select few. Yet with its dependance on the awful XP OS & slightly nubb real world gaming performance.....thinking twice about becoming an XPSer has become a real possibility.
"Bogus Review"on by PG98
Pros Good Machine
Cons Can't buy it at priced reviewed & equipped
Summary The review is flawed, a average person cannot buy the machined reviewed for the price indicated in the review. Totally misleading.Updated
Configuring this machine on the Dell website (just like the CNET review) yields a price of of $6069.00. This was done on February 15th.
I have no doubt this is a pretty good machine, the point being I cannot buy it at the price reviewed, which was less. When the review states it is a good value for the money, then the average person should be able to buy it for that price. When you can't - the review is misleading.Updated
I rechecked on February 15th, the machine configured on the Dell Website (same as the CNET review) yields a price of $6069.00. This is higher than the price quoted in the review. When the review purports a good value for the money - yet I cannot buy the identical machine for the price reviewed, the review is misleading to the consumer.