Dell XPS 8930 Overview | A Secret Gaming PC?

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

Fascinating inside design

Strong port choices

Nice gaming efficiency

Good base for enlargement

Has an entry-level Intel CPU

Entry-level configurations don’t have SSD

There’s been numerous pleasure surrounding Dell’s XPS 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 concentrate on fashion 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 received 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 value of $1000. The XPS 8930 Tower works as an entry-level gaming PC, in addition to a easy house workstation. You’ll be able to, in fact, 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 need.

With the rising costs of GPUs, programs like this have change into much more engaging. 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. Except you’ve received a tricked-out gaming desktop with glowing neon lights, folks usually favor this stuff to sit down below desks the place nobody can see them.

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

In its current redesign of the XPS 8930 Tower, Dell hasn’t performed all that a lot to boost the formulation. It makes use of a mix 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 good sufficient to not wish to utterly conceal it behind your desk, but it surely’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 to be one both. In comparison with one thing just like the Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop, this can be a way more delicate case, counting on clear traces and subdued design decisions. It’s not a bad-looking product, but it surely’s not practically as fascinating as we wished it was.

The excellent news is that the case itself feels agency and sturdy throughout all of the completely different panels and connection factors. Regardless that the outside is plastic over a steel 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.

All the pieces you want, after which some

The XPS includes a first rate choice 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 every thing else you’d want, too. USB-C is good to see, since an increasing number of units and equipment are utilizing the newer port sort – 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 straightforward. 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 inside elements isn’t precisely apparent. However what they’ve performed right here is a little more fascinating. Actually, in case you’re something like us, it won’t be instantly obvious the way you even get this factor open. We finally discovered a delicate black latch on the prime of the again of the tower, which pulled open to pop the facet panel out. As soon as we did have it pulled open, we didn’t really feel like we may see way more. The CPU was utterly obscured and we had been instantly irritated that Dell had chosen to maintain every thing so cluttered.

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

Or so we thought. Not not like the facet panel, we discovered by way of the official web site that all the energy provide rack swings out to reveal the remainder of the elements. It’s a really completely different manner of placing collectively a PC tower in smaller area — and we’ve received 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. Nonetheless, the GPU may be simply changed. As well as, you’ve received entry to 2 out there slots of PCIe for enlargement playing cards, and two empty HDD slots. Whereas the dimensions 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 “revolutionary,” and we agree. We simply wouldn’t name it intuitive. In any case, it took us some time to even work out what we may do with it. However that doesn’t take something away from the truth that Dell made it potential to simply entry all of the essential elements 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 bundle. Regardless of what you might assume, some players have been basing entry-level builds off this CPU, because of the truth that this era’s Core i3 is now quad-core, and pretty inexpensive. The i3-8100 is clearly positioned on the decrease finish of the spectrum, but it surely 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 day by 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 excellent for what the XPS 8930 is supposed to be.

The value is the place issues get just a little dodgy. It’s not that the i3-8100 is a nasty 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 further 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 an enormous plus, however is sadly solely out there within the higher-end configurations, which is a little bit of bummer. For something below $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 at all times good to have — simply don’t count on to tug recordsdata from it rapidly.

Gaming wasn’t an afterthought

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

That includes the succesful Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR5, we discovered sport 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 opponents, averaging 51 fps on Excessive graphics setting, over the MSI Trident three and the Asus G11DF. In the meantime, in our 3DMark checks, 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 worth you paid. Efficiency in Civilization VI was equally fluid, hitting 62 fps on Extremely.

Dell XPS 8930 ReviewInvoice Roberson/Digital Tendencies

Invoice Roberson/Digital Tendencies

It continued to outperform its opponents in Battlefield 1, the place we examined it at each Medium and Extremely graphics element in 1080p. Both manner, you’re getting lots 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 proud of how effectively XPS 8930 may deal with our sport checks 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 means of video games like Battlefield 1 and Civilization VI on Extremely, getting 60 fps or increased in 1440p.

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

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


The XPS 8930 comes with a primary 1-year service, which incorporates in-home service bundled into the worth. That’s not unhealthy, however you might wish to leap as much as one the Premium Help plans, which vary from an additional 12 months as much as 4 years of help.

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

Is there a greater various?

You may assume constructing your personal devoted gaming rig is your finest various, however nowadays, excessive GPU costs make one thing just like the XPS 8930 a way more engaging supply. Nonetheless, there are some very robust alternate options that it is best to take a look at earlier than shopping for.

The primary is the Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop, which presents higher total worth. You may get the same bundle to the XPS 8930 for simply $750, or a considerably higher Core i7-8700 and GTX 1060 for $1000. The design isn’t as understated because the XPS, but it surely wouldn’t look utterly 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 potential choice is one thing just like the MSI Trident three, which has fairly a distinct kind issue, however some very comparable efficiency. It comes at a further price, nevertheless, 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 bundle with the Ryzen 5 and GTX 1060 — and a few spectacular efficiency outcomes. As well as, the G11DF may 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, which means you would begin with one thing a bit humbler, and finally save up sufficient nickels for some upgraded elements.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure, if you need or want a jack-of-all-trades. The Dell XPS Tower isn’t the very best worth in any particular space, but it surely does every thing effectively, making it a sensible choice for a household PC, or anybody who needs to work onerous, play onerous on a single desktop machine.

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