capsule review

Dell XPS 410

At a Glance
  • Dell XPS 410

    PCWorld Rating

    This well-built system packs a strong performance punch. Its expandability is limited to add-in cards or a 3.5-inch drive.

Dell XPS 410
Photograph: Chris Manners

The Dell XPS 410 provides a nice mix of robust features and solid performance, at a reasonable price. Priced at $2350 (as of July 14, 2006), our test system came equipped with Intel's 2.4-GHz Core 2 Duo E6600 processor and 2GB of DDR2-667 RAM. In our WorldBench 5 tests, the system earned a mark of 138--an impressive score for a system with so moderate a price.

This Dell also notched above-average gaming performance: Using an nVidia 7900GS-based graphics card containing 256MB of graphics RAM, the system clocked an impressive 198 frames per second in Unreal Tournament at 1280-by-1024-pixel resolution, the best score we've seen for a single-GPU system.

The XPS 410's case feels sturdy, and it's easy to open: Once you pop a latch on the top, the entire side comes off. You won't need a screwdriver to install drives or cards, since all of the drive bays and card slot covers are held in place with latches. But you won't be able to add many components. The system has only two internal hard drive bays (on our review system, twin 320GB SATA hard drives in a striped RAID setup occupied both of these) and two externally accessible drive bays (a 16X multiformat dual-layer DVD burner and a 16X DVD-ROM filled these). An externally accessible 3.5-inch drive bay is vacant, as are two PCI Express 1X and three PCI slots.

Though the system lacks internal expandability, it's riddled with external ports--six USB 2.0 ports and two FireWire ports sit on the rear, and an additional two USB 2.0 ports and one FireWire port are up front. The system can drive even a 7.1-channel surround-sound speaker system from its integrated audio.

Our review system came with the excellent Dell 2007WFP monitor, which performed well in our recent tests of 20-inch wide-screen LCDs. The monitor looked great in our movie and game tests, but objects in the murky milieu of Doom 3 were difficult to distinguish until we increased the brightness up slightly.

The XPS 410 is a well-rounded system whose strong performance and enticing price make it an appealing choice. But if you require open drive bays for future storage expansion, you'll be disappointed.

Richard Baguley

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This well-built system packs a strong performance punch. Its expandability is limited to add-in cards or a 3.5-inch drive.

    Pros

    • Powerful performer for price

    Cons

    • No space for more internal hard drives
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