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Dell Studio XPS 8300 review

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.


3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500K, 8GB RAM, 21.5in 1,920×1,080 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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Basic Specifications

Rating **
Processor Intel Core i5-2500K
Processor external bus 100MHz (Sandy Bridge DMI)
Processor multiplier x33
Processor clock speed 3.3GHz
Processor socket LGA1155
Memory 8
Memory type PC3-10666
Maximum memory 32GB
Motherboard Dell 0Y2MRG
Motherboard chipset Intel Sandy Bridge


USB2 ports (front/rear) 4/5
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/1
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n (dual band)

Internal Expansion

Case midi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 2 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 2
Free memory slots 2
Free 3.5in drive bays 2

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Hitachi DeskStar (HDS721010CLA)
Interface SATA2
Total storage capacity 1,000GB


Graphics card(s) 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5770
Graphics/video ports 2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort


Sound Realtek HD Audio
Sound outputs 7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, stereo line out, mic in
Speakers none

Removable Drives

Supported memory cards SD, SDHC, CF, Memory Stick PRO Duo, MMC, RS-MMC, Micro Drive, Smart Media, xD
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size 21.5 in
Screen model Dell ST2220L
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
Screen inputs DVI, VGA, HDMI

Other Hardware

Keyboard Dell Enhanced USB Multimedia Keyboard
Mouse Dell M787C


Software included Microsoft Office Starter 2010, one year DataSafe Online Blackup 2GB, 15 months McAffee Security Centre
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £889

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