Dell Studio XPS 8100 Desktop Review

Well done, well designed and well equipped; the Studio XPS 8100 is very affordable. Focus on a reasonable PC for gamers.

At Dell, there are two styles of gaming machines. The first is the sleek, very nervous, tape-catching and totally unreasonable which are sold under the Alienware brand. There are also machines that are less exuberant and that do not cost a lot. These are the Studio XPS PC. We tested a representative of this range, architected around an Intel Core i5 750 and sold at less than $1275, the Studio XPS 8100. Let's see what the thing was in the belly.


It’s true that the chassis of the XPS has nothing to do with a machine that stamped Alienware. This is a mid-tower case without any provocation. It’s elegant enough. Moreover, we appreciate the front shiny black part but its mostly white mat covers the rest of the carcass. A dirty body? No doubt. But when you love it, you spoil it and then clean it. Inside, nothing to report, the assembly is very clean.

Strong internal components

As always at Dell, it is possible to configure the machine from the card. We tested a typical configuration, as proposed by the manufacturer and sold $1273 (excluding postage). The program: Intel Core i5 720 (2.66 GHz) processor, 6 GB of RAM, an ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphic card and two hard drives of 500 GB configured as RAID 0 (optimized for performance). Both discs are recognized as a single unit of 1 TB (1000 GB).

A complete package

Also welcome the ease of use offered by the configuration. When the keyboard and mouse, both wired, are more conventional, the connector is very rich. Thus, eight USB ports are sensibly located on the casing, four rears, two in front (behind the sliding door) and two above. Always on top of the body, found the microphone and headphone jacks and a memory card reader comprehensive (Smart Media, xD Picture Card, Compact Flash, Media Drive, Mini SD, MMC Mini, SD, SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick and MemoryStick Pro / Duo / Pro Duo). Nothing is forgotten. Not even the N Wi-Fi, with an additional card!

RAID 0 in all its glory

Let us return to the hard drives. The advantage of RAID 0 configuration is to offer good performance discs. In the case of the XPS, it is even question of good performances. We measured with HD Tach, an average of 212.7 MB/s read and nearly of 280 MB/s maximum (access time of 15.5 ms).

With less theoretical tests, our script of copy of file displayed a reading speed up to 195.5 MB for medium sized files (MP3 files) and 83 MB/s and 70.4 MB/s, always read, respectively for small files (pictures) and large size (DivX). In writing, the duo reached the Maxtor 92.5 MB/s writing large files and 74.4 MB/s for small files. There is therefore a platform for versatile storage, which will not wait. Hopefully, these Studio XPS 8100 will be sold in series with exact references to these drives.

Small PC but

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