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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


This PC only comes with a 21.5in monitor, though, so you’ll have to be reasonably close to watch. It looked a little dull in side-by-side comparisons with other displays, but it was evenly lit and colours looked natural. The supplied mouse is generic but comfortable, while the keyboard lends itself to swift and efficient typing.

Dell Studio XPS 8300

With a score of 97 in our benchmarks, the Studio XPS 8300 fails to match the performance of other i5-2500K PCs we’ve tested. Although Dell has used an unlocked processor, it hasn’t been overclocked and there aren’t any overclocking options in the UEFI (BIOS) either, so you can’t do it yourself. With a graphics card that managed 24.2fps in Crysis when similarly priced PCs are getting scores of over 60fps, there’s nothing to impress us here. This is still a powerful PC that can run Call of Duty 4 with a snappy frame rate of 48.6fps, but you can do much better for your money.

Even though it’s a little cheaper than most of the i5-2500K PCs we’ve seen, we were distinctly unimpressed by the 8300’s cluttered interior and poor test scores, and we only got the price down to less than £1,000 by settling for a DVD drive, rather than Blu-ray. Even Dell’s one-year collect and return warranty is outshone by some of its rivals. We prefer the Wired2Fire Hellspawn XFire.

The PC we reviewed is based on Dell’s 123456-D00X8318 evalue code. To get our test specification, you’ll have to phone Dell to add a monitor and swap the Blu-ray re-writer for a DVD-RW drive.

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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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