Dell XPS 8930 evaluation

Dell XPS 8930 review

“The Dell XPS 8930 Tower is an unassuming desktop that simply occurs to double as a succesful, entry-level gaming PC.”

Fascinating inner design

Strong port choices

Nice gaming efficiency

Good base for growth

Has an entry-level Intel CPU

Entry-level configurations don’t have SSD

There’s been a variety of pleasure surrounding Dell’s XPS hardware in the previous few years. Whether or not it’s the XPS All-In-One or the XPS 13, they’ve been the flagship merchandise in Dell’s lineup. They deal with type and design with out sacrificing the capabilities you’d count on from a premium PC.

Additional within the background, Dell has a line of desktop towers with the XPS branding. We obtained an opportunity to evaluation the brand new XPS 8930, an all-black PC that comes with Eighth-gen Intel Core processors and a few stunning gaming functionality. Our evaluation unit got here with the four-core Core i3-8100, 8GB of RAM and, most significantly, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, for a retail worth of $1000. The XPS 8930 Tower works as an entry-level gaming PC, in addition to a easy house workstation. You possibly can, after all, transfer to a Core i5 for an additional $100, a Core i7 for an additional $250, or up even improve to a Radeon RX 580 if you’d like.

With the rising costs of GPUs, techniques like this have turn into much more enticing. However does the XPS 8930 provide you with a stable base on your future computing wants? Let’s dig in.

Secure, acquainted, and inoffensive

There’s not a lot you are able to do to a tower like this to make it stand out. Until you’ve obtained a tricked-out gaming desktop with glowing neon lights, folks usually desire these items to take a seat beneath desks the place nobody can see them.

The XPS Tower isn’t at all marketed as a gaming desktop and doesn’t appear like one.

In its latest redesign of the XPS 8930 Tower, Dell hasn’t carried out all that a lot to boost the method. It makes use of a mixture of matte and shiny finishes to create a black model of the gaming-focused, silver XPS Tower Particular Version. This new all-black model of the XPS Tower is sweet sufficient to not wish to fully conceal it behind your desk, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly nothing new.

It needs to be famous that the XPS Tower isn’t in any respect marketed as a gaming desktop – and it doesn’t appear like one both. In comparison with one thing just like the Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop, it is a way more refined case, counting on clear traces and subdued design selections. It’s not a bad-looking product, nevertheless it’s not almost as fascinating as we wished it was.

The excellent news is that the case itself feels agency and sturdy throughout all of the totally different panels and connection factors. Though the outside is plastic over a metallic chassis, you gained’t really feel a lot flex or give. On prime of that, it’s pretty small and light-weight, coming in at 22 kilos, which is lighter than the 30-pound Inspiron and even one thing just like the 33-pound Lenovo Ideacentre Y900. It’s additionally two inches shorter than the Inspiron and an inch skinnier.

The whole lot you want, after which some

The XPS contains a respectable number of ports, mixing in two USB-C ports amongst a smattering USB-A, an HDMI, Show Port, Gigabit Ethernet, Mic-in, and an SD card reader. In different phrases, there’s loads of USB to go round right here, and all the pieces else you’d want, too. USB-C is sweet to see, since increasingly more units and equipment are utilizing the newer port kind – and particularly because it was lacking on Dell’s Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop.

Dell has put a handful of the ports on the entrance for handy entry, together with the uncommon optical drive. It makes plugging in a flash drive, smartphone, or peripheral fast and simple. You gained’t ever run out of ports within the entrance or want you had extra – and that’s factor to not have to fret about.

Prepared for upgrades — simply look nearer

As is customary with mainstream market desktops, entry to your inner parts isn’t precisely apparent. However what they’ve carried out right here is a little more fascinating. In actual fact, in case you’re something like us, it may not be instantly obvious the way you even get this factor open. We ultimately discovered a refined black latch on the prime of the again of the tower, which pulled open to pop the aspect panel out. As soon as we did have it pulled open, we didn’t really feel like we may see rather more. The CPU was fully obscured and we had been instantly aggravated that Dell had chosen to maintain all the pieces so cluttered.

Dell calls its tool-less system “progressive” and we agree. We simply wouldn’t name it intuitive.

Or so we thought. Not in contrast to the aspect panel, we came upon through the official web site that the complete energy provide rack swings out to show the remainder of the parts. It’s a really totally different method of placing collectively a PC tower in smaller area — and we’ve obtained to applaud Dell for that.

Most significantly, the distinctive system allowed Dell to pack a considerable quantity of energy within the chassis — sufficient to deal with some vital upgrades.

Talking of upgrades, the CPU comes soldered on, so that you’re caught there. Nevertheless, the GPU might be simply changed. As well as, you’ve obtained entry to 2 out there slots of PCIe for growth playing cards, and two empty HDD slots. Whereas the scale of the chassis limits upgradability, there’s loads of room right here to stage up your specs down the street.

Dell calls its tool-less system “progressive,” and we agree. We simply wouldn’t name it intuitive. In spite of everything, it took us some time to even determine what we may do with it. However that doesn’t take something away from the truth that Dell made it doable to simply entry all of the essential parts with out having to interrupt out a single screwdriver.

A secret quad-core CPU

Our evaluation unit got here with the Core i3-8100, which is the primary time we’ve examined it in a full PC package deal. Regardless of what it’s possible you’ll assume, some players have been basing entry-level builds off this CPU, due to the truth that this technology’s Core i3 is now quad-core, and pretty reasonably priced. The i3-8100 is clearly positioned on the decrease finish of the spectrum, nevertheless it proved to have some muscle behind it, clocking in at three.6Ghz.

In single-core efficiency, we discovered it to beat out older desktop PCs just like the Floor Studio (Core i7-6820HQ) and the Dell Inspiron 27 (Ryzen 7 1700), however not a lot in multi-core efficiency in most comparisons. In real-time utilization, we discovered it greater than succesful for each day exercise and reasonable workloads — simply don’t count on it to edit 4K video. It must also be famous you could’t overclock the i3-8100 — what you see is what you get. It’s a CPU meant for effectivity and low power-draw, and in some methods, that’s good for what the XPS 8930 is supposed to be.

The worth is the place issues get a bit of dodgy. It’s not that the i3-8100 is a foul CPU — Dell is simply charging a bit an excessive amount of for it right here. It’s one thing that gained’t be seen in case you aren’t pushing your system to its limits, however you may discover it in efficiency of sure video games and different processor-intensive functions. In comparison with one thing like Dell’s Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop or the Asus G11DF, you’re paying only a bit additional for much less processing energy.

Tremendous quick, tremendous sluggish

Our evaluation unit got here with 256GB of NVMe SSD storage from Toshiba and a 1TB SATA onerous drive from Western Digital. The inclusion of the SSD for storage is a giant plus, however is sadly solely out there within the higher-end configurations, which is a little bit of bummer. For something beneath $1000, you’ll finish with the usual spinning, slow-as-molasses onerous drive.

The excellent news is that the SSD is loopy quick, coming in at a blazing learn pace of two.72GB per second and a a lot slower write pace of 346MB per second. The intense distinction is a bit odd, although it’s onerous to complain a few learn pace that quick. As anticipated, the onerous drive is far slower by comparability, although it’s roomy 1TB of storage is all the time good to have — simply don’t count on to drag information from it shortly.

Gaming wasn’t an afterthought

The factor most individuals will wish to find out about this comparatively cheap desktop is whether or not it might probably play video games. The reply is sure, particularly whenever you’re speaking about 1080p.

That includes the succesful Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR5, we discovered recreation efficiency to be clean, dealing with For Honor at a gentle 77 fps (frames per second) on Excessive. It even dealt with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided higher than a few of its rivals, averaging 51 fps on Excessive graphics setting, over the MSI Trident three and the Asus G11DF. In the meantime, in our 3DMark assessments, we discovered the XPS 8930 to be aggressive with the MSI Trident three, a compact gaming PC that options the identical graphics card. It’s onerous to not be impressed, contemplating the look of the chassis and the value you paid. Efficiency in Civilization VI was equally fluid, hitting 62 fps on Extremely.

Invoice Roberson/Digital Tendencies

Invoice Roberson/Digital Tendencies

It continued to outperform its rivals in Battlefield 1, the place we examined it at each Medium and Extremely graphics element in 1080p. Both method, you’re getting quite a bit out of that GTX 1060, surpassing framerates from desktops just like the Asus G11DF and MSI Trident three. Clearly, you’ll get extra from a system with a GTX 1080 — and even the Dell Inspiron 5675’s Radeon RX 580, which landed 93 fps in Battlefield 1 — however we had been fairly pleased with how nicely XPS 8930 may deal with our recreation assessments in 1080p.

We additionally took it for a spin on a 1440p show to see what number of pixels the GTX 1060 may push. The XPS 8930 was up for the problem, breezing by way of video games like Battlefield 1 and Civilization VI on Extremely, getting 60 fps or increased in 1440p.

Nevertheless, as you may see, the XPS 8930 hit a little bit of a wall once we tried working Deus Ex on Extremely mode in 1440p. It squeezed out solely 34 fps. Gaming at 1440p on the XPS 8930 might be carried out, however you’ll discover that there are limitations when it comes to what video games and graphics settings you need to use. We even tried Battlefield 1 in 4K for kicks, and the outcomes weren’t nice (round 31 fps), nevertheless it was nonetheless playable.

General, we had been stunned at nicely the XPS 8930 dealt with just about all the pieces we threw at it. Clearly, the GTX 1060 is a succesful little GPU and will final you nicely into a few recreation cycles earlier than you wish to improve. And don’t overlook, along with gaming, the high-performing graphics card means issues like 3D rendering and picture enhancing get simpler too.


The XPS 8930 comes with a fundamental 1-year hardware service, which incorporates in-home service bundled into the value. That’s not dangerous, however it’s possible you’ll wish to soar as much as one the Premium Assist plans, which vary from an additional yr as much as 4 years of help.

Our Take

The Dell XPS 8930 Tower is made for a small demographic of individuals. It’s not a devoted gaming PC, that means it doesn’t go far sufficient when it comes to customized circumstances or expandability choices. Nevertheless, it’s possibility for households who desire a shared desktop that can be utilized for work in a house workplace, in addition to nice recreation efficiency.

Is there a greater different?

You may assume constructing your personal devoted gaming rig is your greatest different, however today, excessive GPU costs make one thing just like the XPS 8930 a way more enticing provide. Nevertheless, there are some very robust alternate options that you must take a look at earlier than shopping for.

The primary is the Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop, which provides higher total worth. You will get the same package deal to the XPS 8930 for simply $750, or a considerably higher Core i7-8700 and GTX 1060 for $1000. The design shouldn’t be as understated because the XPS, nevertheless it wouldn’t look fully misplaced in a house workplace, both. The one draw back is at that configuration, you solely get the 3GB model of the GTX 1060, in addition to a smaller 128GB SSD in comparison with the XPS’s 256GB.

One other doable possibility is one thing just like the MSI Trident three, which has fairly a special kind issue, however some very comparable efficiency. It comes at an extra value, nonetheless, making the XPS 8930 a greater worth. In the meantime, the $1000 Asus G11DF isn’t precisely a looker, however delivers a extra gaming-focused package deal with the Ryzen 5 and GTX 1060 — and a few spectacular efficiency outcomes. As well as, the G11DF might be configured with the GTX 1070 and Ryzen 7 in case you so please.

How lengthy will it final?

So far as ports go, there’s a pleasant array of legacy and future-proof. As well as, there’s loads of room right here to improve, that means you could possibly begin with one thing a bit humbler, and ultimately save up sufficient nickels for some upgraded parts.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure, if you’d like or want a jack-of-all-trades. The Dell XPS Tower isn’t the perfect worth in any particular space, nevertheless it does all the pieces nicely, making it a good selection for a household PC, or anybody who desires to work onerous, play onerous on a single desktop machine.

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