We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Budget PCs Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Dell XPS 420 desktop PC

From around £529 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Dell

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

A handsome PC with strong performance, the Dell XPS 420 lacks the expandability that some high-end power desktops have.

A handsome PC with strong performance, the Dell XPS 420 lacks the expandability that some high-end power desktops have.

This cutting edge configuration of Dell's XPS 420 multimedia computer featured a top-of-the-line 3GHz Core 2 Extreme Quad QX9650 Intel CPU, but its other performance-enhancing components are strictly second-tier.

The Dell XPS 420's 3GB of memory consists of DDR2-800 running at 667MHz instead of DDR-3 running at 1066MHz, and the graphics board is nVidia's 512MB GeForce 8800 GT instead of the slightly faster 768MB 8800 Ultra employed by most top-shelf machines.

Everything is seated in a BTX motherboard featuring Intel's X38 chip set. Yes, that's BTX - one of the few we've seen. Although BTX is supposed to provide better thermal dissipation, the standard has never caught on, so you'll have to go to Dell for replacement parts.

Despite its not-quite-A+ components, the XDell XPS 420 turned in an impressive WorldBench 6 Beta real-world speed score of 126. Its gaming scores ranged between 20 and 40 frames per second slower than those of recently tested Power PCs equipped with 8800 Ultra cards. But this Dell XPS 420 has plenty of speed for effective game play.

The front of the Dell XPS 420's midsize tower case is composed of a glossy black plastic that looks great when clean, but tends to highlight fingerprints. Our test unit included several nice options: front-mounted S-Video and RCA ports with the unique Xcelerator option for hardware transcoding of video to your hard drive; a small top-mounted LCD that uses Microsoft's Sideshow secondary display technology to display Window's Vista sidebar gadgets; and Bluetooth to handle the included wireless GM952 keyboard and RM-RBB-DEL 4 mouse.

The generous software bundle includes Microsoft Works Suite 2006, Adobe Elements Studio (Premiere 4.0, Photoshop 6.0), Roxio's Easy Media Creator Premiere, and CyberLink's PowerDVD.

NEXT PAGE: expansion slots and detailed performance scores > >

Visit Business Advisor for reviews of the best IT products for your business.

Dell XPS 420 Expert Verdict »

DELL XPS420 22" SAM reviews verified by Reevoo

DELL XPS420 22" SAMScores 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 review
3GHz Core 2 Extreme QX9650
3GB DDR2-800 RAM running at 667MHz
Windows Vista Home Premium
nVidia GeForce 8800 GT graphics card
22in Dell SP2208WFP flat-panel monitor
Blu-ray/DVD drive
640GB hard drive
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 6 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Despite a few gripes, we like the Dell XPS 420, another solid desktop PC from Dell.

  • Dell XPS 630 review

    Dell XPS 630

    Dell's XPS 630 is a stylish and competitively priced mainstream gaming PC that can be souped up with extras such as an Ageia PhysX accelerator, a Blu-ray Disc drive, and up to 4GB of DDR2-800 Corsair Dominator memory.

  • Intel QX9650 'Penryn' quad-core desktop processor

    Intel QX9650 'Penryn' quad-core desktop processor

    There's a new high-end desktop chip in town - namely, the Intel QX9650, the first from Intel's new Penryn family of CPUs.

  • Mesh Platinum Pro Intel Penryn desktop PC

    Mesh Platinum Pro Intel Penryn desktop PC

    The Mesh Platinum Pro is the first full desktop PC we've seen based on Intel's Penryn chipset.

  • Dell XPS 720 power PC

    The Dell XPS 720 is one powerful system.

  • CyberPower Power Infinity Pro 'Penryn' desktop PC review

    CyberPower Power Infinity Pro 'Penryn' desktop PC

    This Penryn-based CyberPower Power Infinity Pro desktop PC packs a big punch in gaming performance, but it'll also wallop your wallet. It's currently available only in the US, but we put it through its paces to test out Intel's newest quad-core CPU.

IDG UK Sites

Sony Xperia Z3+ release date, price and specs: The Xperia Z4 for the UK

IDG UK Sites

Why Intel’s vision of the future is a future I want to live in

IDG UK Sites

10 amazing, creative uses of tech – and the brands behind them

IDG UK Sites

Jony Ive 'semi-retired' into new role: kicked upstairs as Chief Design Officer