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
PCs Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Dell XPS 630 review

From £821 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Dell

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

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.

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.

And though Dell recently integrated its XPS and Alienware development teams for future products, a spokesperson confirmed that the company will fully support current XPS notebooks and desktops (such as the high-end 730 H2C, the multimedia-themed XPS 420, and the iMac-rival One) for the remainder of what is typically a 12-month life-cycle for these products. The company declined to confirm when the first Alienware/Dell hybrid systems are likely to appear.

Our Dell XPS 630 system (the price drops without the bundled 22in Dell SP2208WFP monitor packed 3GB of RAM and Intel's 3GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6850 processor - an older quad-core chip that continues to deliver strong performance. Two speedy 160GB, 10,000rpm Western Digital Raptor hard drives configured in a RAID 0 array provide a modest 320GB storage. The system also carried dual 512MB nVidia GeForce 8800 GT graphics boards bridged as one via SLI (nVidia's Scalable Link Interface).

Dell lets you choose either Windows XP or Windows Vista as the operating system for your Dell XPS 630. Our unit, equipped with Vista Premium, earned a score of 123 on the WorldBench 6 test suite - on a par with results we've recorded for most competing desktops that use the same QX6850 CPU. To put that into perspective, consider that our current top-performing desktops posted WorldBench scores edging into the low 130s. Though Dell doesn't recommend or ship the Dell XPS 630 overclocked, you can bump up the CPU and memory speeds yourself if you know what you're doing.

The Dell XPS 630's SLI-rigged 8800 GT graphics support smooth performance by any graphically intensive PC game. For instance, the system averaged a frame rate of 162 frames per second while running Doom 3 at 1024 by 768 resolution with antialiasing turned on.

SLI configurations tend to provide their greatest benefit when powering games at higher resolutions--say, 1600 by 1200 and above. If high-resolution gaming is your thing, you might want to upgrade from the bundled 22in widescreen LCD (supporting 1680 by 1050 resolution) to a larger, more-capable monitor such as Dell's 24in E248WFP, which can natively display 1920 by 1200 pixels on screen.

The Dell XPS 630's industrial design is reminiscent of - but scaled back from - that of Dell's XPS 720 desktop. The 630's ATX case bares brushed aluminum sides and top, with a choice of black or red plastic front and back panels that feature large grilles.

The side panel easily unlatches to reveal the Dell XPS 630's well-organised interior with neat cable management, 750W power supply, and a tool-less hard-drive tray. For a case of its size, the Dell XPS 630 offers respectable expansion room, with one 5.25in drive bay available at the front (a DVD±RW drive occupies the other one). Meanwhile, several internal slots are open: two regular PCI, one PCI Express x8, and one PCI Express x1.

NEXT PAGE: chipset issues, LightFX and our expert verdict > >

Visit Digital World for the latest home-entertainment news, reviews, tips and tricks

Visit PC Advisor's Dell Spotlight for the latest news and opinion about Dell

Dell XPS 630 Expert Verdict »

DELL XPS630 DLL22" reviews verified by Reevoo

DELL XPS630 DLL22"Scores 9.9 out of 10 based on 7 reviews
Intel Core2 Quad and Core2 Extreme processors
NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI chipset
Windows Vista
up to 4GB 800MHz Dual-Channel DDR2 SDRAM Memory
up to 1TB SATA storage
DVD/CD drive (Blu-ray drive available)
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 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

Chipset concerns aside, the XPS 630 is a well-built, highly customisable midrange gaming system that delivers good performance for the price.

  • Dell XPS M1730 power laptop

    Dell XPS M1730 power laptop

    The Dell XPS M1730 is an ogre of a machine, weighing nearly 5kg. It is predominantly a gaming notebook thanks to its AGEIA PhysX Accelerator and the latest NVIDIA SLI technology.

  • Asus Ageia PhysX P1

    Asus Ageia PhysX P1

    We are approaching the third stage in the evolution of computer graphics – possibly.

  • PNY nVidia GeForce GTX 285 review

    PNY nVidia GeForce GTX 285

    By cramming the GTX 280 architecture into a smaller package, the less expensive PNY nVidia GeForce GTX 285 can be run at higher speeds without overheating.

  • Dell XPS 710 H2C Computer

    Dell XPS 710 H2C Computer

    It's very expensive, and the lack of Windows Vista as standard is bizarre, but it has just about everything you could possibly want in a PC.

  • MSI GeForce GTX 280 1024MB review

    MSI GeForce GTX 280 1024MB

    The GTX 280 graphics chip has an excellent foundation, boasting 240 steam processors, a 602MHZ core and a memory clock speed of 1.1GHz.

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Swatch launches a colourful smartwatch

IDG UK Sites

New Apple TV 2015 release date rumours: TV streaming service delayed, hand gesture interface being...