Average Performance Dissected
Available across a wide range of price points, all of the 27" XPS One systems share a few characteristics in common. Unfortunately (though perhaps necessarily, given strict thermal limits), one of those things is Nvidia's GeForce GT 640M, which is soldered directly onto Dell's motherboard. If the GT 640 is entry-level by desktop standards, then we know the GT 640M must be fairly low-end by notebook standards. That means the XPS One isn't going to be a very capable gaming platform. On the bright side, though, a very fast Core i7-3770S helps with performance, particularly in platform-bound games like Skyrim and F1 2012. The result is a system able to handle medium detail settings at 1280x720.
The XPS One 27 passes our entry-level gaming minimum requirement, which is as much as we can expect from a machine that isn't really built for gaming anyway. Better still, its CPU is fast enough to rock every system we threw at it (even the gaming notebook we used as a frame of reference).
While it appears that the thermal constraints of an all-in-one chassis remain an obstacle to a truly well-balanced configuration, Dell's reliance on a 65 W quad-core processor gives us productivity and content creation performance that rivals and then exceeds the best efforts of Intel's mid-range Core i5 CPUs, which commonly show up in our budget-minded System Builder Marathon boxes.