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Dell Studio XPS 8300 review

Kat Orphanides
25 Apr 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
889
inc VAT

This Sandy Bridge system has refreshingly different styling and some interesting features, but it's out-performed by almost every other comparable system on the market.

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Specifications

3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500K, 8GB RAM, 21.5in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Not everyone wants their PC to look like a looming black obelisk. Although Dell's Studio XPS 8300 won't be to everyone's taste, it's compact, unassuming and reasonably quiet. It's only when we opened it up that we realised how much has been sacrificed to keep the PC small. The plain metal interior looks cheap, everything is cramped and cable routing is haphazard.

Dell Studio XPS 8300 inside

There are spare drive bays for one 5 1/4in drive and two 3 1/2in disks, but there are only two spare SATA connectors. The other two are occupied by a DVD drive and 1TB hard disk, and none supports the faster SATA III standard. The motherboard's backplate provides just four USB ports, an eSATA port, six 3.5mm stereo sockets for analogue surround sound and an optical S/PDIF output. Another four USB ports and a memory card reader are built into the top and front panels. Dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi is integrated onto the motherboard.

Dell Studio XPS 8300 rear ports

The PC has 8GB of RAM in two 4GB sticks, which leaves space for another two modules. There are also two PCI-E x1 slots and one PCI-E x16 slot, but all of them are occupied. The x16 slot is taken up by the graphics card, a 1GB ATI Radeon 5770, while the two PCI-E x1 slots are occupied by a USB3 card that provides a solitary port on the back panel and a Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1200 TV tuner for viewing and recording digital TV. A media centre remote control is also supplied.

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