CES 2007: Dell intros 3.2 GHz quad-core enthusiast PC

Las Vegas (NV) - Dell has updated its XPS enthusiast PC line with a an overclocked quad-core machine and an elaborate cooling system. The H2C Edition puts the price tag of the XPS desktop series deep into Alienware territory.

The big news of the black chassis of the XPS 710 "H2Ceramic" (H2C) Edition houses a unique, two-stage cooling system. According to Dell, a liquid-to-air heat exchanger that works like a car's radiator removes most of the heat from the processor. Then, a fluid chiller removes more heat with ceramic-based thermoelectric cooling (TEC) modules like those used in space shuttles to transfer heat from the sunny side to the cold, dark side in space. Sensor controls help prevent the formation of frost or condensation by helping to keep the processor slightly above ambient room temperature, Dell said.

The base system, which looks with the exception of certain details identical to preceding XPS 710 versions, is equipped with pretty much anything enthusiasts can ask for these days. First, there is an overclocked Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 CPU, which runs at 3.2 GHz. Dell added 4 GB of memory, two 160 GB (10,000 rpm) hard drives, two Nvidia 8800 GTX graphics cards, a 20" widescreen monitor as well as a gaming keyboard.

The entry-level price, without upgrades for example to a 30" display, is $5500. Somehow we would have expected Dell's Alienware division to come up with such an extensive cooling solution - and price.

Dell also announced some additions to its monitor lineup, which now includes a 27" widescreen WUXGA device (1920x1200 pixels) with a 6 ms response time and a 1,000:1 contrast ratio. The aluminum-encased LCD aims at enthusiast users and is priced at $1400. There is also a considerably less expensive 22" display for $330, which delivers a resolution of 1680 x 1050 pixels.