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A chat with Michael Dell: Alienware and XPS to stay separate

Dell Computer Chairman Michael Dell shows off his latest baby, the Dell XPS 700 desktop system. Wait a second... We've seen this before! This isn't new, Michael...

Dell Computer Chairman Michael Dell shows off his latest baby, the Dell XPS 700 desktop system. Wait a second... We’ve seen this before ! This isn’t new, Michael...

... Or is it? Take a good look at the system specifications? Does that say, "Core 2 Extreme processor?"

... Or is it ? Take a good look at the system specifications ? Does that say, "Core 2 Extreme processor ?"

It certainly does. Last Sunday, Dell Computer previewed its updated XPS 700, with a Conroe architecture CPU from Intel (not even announced yet), and two (2) GeForce 7900 GTX cards from Nvidia. The previous XPS 700 model used a Pentium D processor and 7800

It certainly does. Last Sunday, Dell Computer previewed its updated XPS 700, with a Conroe architecture CPU from Intel (not even announced yet), and two (2) GeForce 7900 GTX cards from Nvidia. The previous XPS 700 model used a Pentium D processor and 7800

One of the more handsome features of the XPS system is its cooler, which is a veritable refrigerator. It effectively hides the Conroe processor, thus enabling Dell to open up the case for us and take pictures, prior to Intel's announcement.

One of the more handsome features of the XPS system is its cooler, which is a veritable refrigerator. It effectively hides the Conroe processor, thus enabling Dell to open up the case for us and take pictures, prior to Intel’s announcement.

This angle gives you a clearer view of the GeForce 7900 GTX cards in the updated model, along with some improved cooling features.

This angle gives you a clearer view of the GeForce 7900 GTX cards in the updated model, along with some improved cooling features.

Here, Dell's XPS engineering manager and official hand model Rocco Ancona shows one of the cooling features he says was inspired from customer feedback on the existing XPS 700 unit: smaller rounded cables linking the data components.

Here, Dell’s XPS engineering manager and official hand model Rocco Ancona shows one of the cooling features he says was inspired from customer feedback on the existing XPS 700 unit : smaller rounded cables linking the data components.

From the front, the chassis seems to want to lean toward you like a 1960s model Thunderbird.

From the front, the chassis seems to want to lean toward you like a 1960s model Thunderbird.

The back stays true to the XPS body style, de-emphasizing the presence of fans (although they're there) and sticking to a more automotive-inspired approach.

The back stays true to the XPS body style, de-emphasizing the presence of fans (although they’re there) and sticking to a more automotive-inspired approach.

The complete display, which also features Dell's latest high-definition, widescreen LCD monitor.

The complete display, which also features Dell’s latest high-definition, widescreen LCD monitor.

The gaming and enthusiast market has become lucrative, Michael Dell explained, which is why his company can explore two approaches to it simultaneously, via his XPS division and Alienware, Dell Computer's new wholly-owned subsidiary.

The gaming and enthusiast market has become lucrative, Michael Dell explained, which is why his company can explore two approaches to it simultaneously, via his XPS division and Alienware, Dell Computer’s new wholly-owned subsidiary.

The atrium of the Gaylord Texan resort in Grapevine, Texas, home of the 2006 World Series of Video Games. On the fourth floor, in the presidential suite, Michael Dell showed off a computer whose existence even Intel wasn't ready to acknowledge.

The atrium of the Gaylord Texan resort in Grapevine, Texas, home of the 2006 World Series of Video Games. On the fourth floor, in the presidential suite, Michael Dell showed off a computer whose existence even Intel wasn’t ready to acknowledge.