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Dell XPS One 27: Can An All-In-One Make Us Love Windows 8?

Test System Configurations

The XPS One 27 might be a simple concept, but its combination of desktop processor and notebook graphics make it hard to pigeonhole from a comparison standpoint. The closest notebook model we’ve recently tested was an SLI-equipped Sandy Bridge-E-based behemoth—not exactly a fair fight. And that review used defunct hardware.

Test Hardware Configurations
Dell XPS Touch 27Clevo P170EMSBM $1000 PCSBM $800 PCSBM $600 PC
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3770S 3.10 GHz 4-Core8 MB L3 CacheIntel Core i5-3610QM 2.3 GHz 4-core6 MB L3 CacheIntel Core i5-3570K 3.40 GHz 4-core6 MB L3 CacheIntel Core i5-3570K 3.40 GHz 4-core6 MB L3 CacheIntel Core i5-3350P 3.10 GHz 4-Core6MB L3 Cache
GraphicsGeForce GT 640M 645 MHz, GDDR5-4000Radeon HD 7970M 850 MHz, GDDR5-48002 x "Tahiti LE" 7870 975 MHz, GDDR5-6000"Tahiti LE" 7870 975 MHz, GDDR5-6000Radeon HD 7850 860 MHz, GDDR5-4800
Memory16 GB DDR3-1333 CAS 11-11-11-2816 GB DDR3-1333 CAS 11-11-11-288 GB DDR3-1600 CAS 8-8-8-248 GB DDR3-1333 CAS 9-9-9-244 GB DDR3-1600 CAS 9-9-9-24
MotherboardAsus IPIMB-PV Intel H77 ExpressClevo P170EM Intel HM77 ExpressASRock Z77 Extreme4 Intel Z77 ExpressASRock Z77 Pro3 Intel Z77 ExpressASRock Z75 Pro3 Intel Z75 Express
Hard DriveSeagate 2 TB, 7,200 RPM 32 GB Cache Drive: MZMPC032HBCDChronos Deluxe 240 GB MLC SSDChronos Deluxe 240 GB MLC SSDSeagate 500 GB, 7,200 RPMSeagate 500 GB, 7,200 RPM
PowerProprietary Integrated Power Adapter-Antec Neo ECO 520C 520 W, 80 PLUSAntec Neo ECO 520C 520 W, 80 PLUSAntec Neo ECO 400C 400 W, 80 PLUS
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 8 Pro x64Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64
GraphicsGeForce 307.21AMD Catalyst 12.11AMD Catalyst 13.1AMD Catalyst 13.2 Beta 5AMD Catalyst 13.1
ChipsetIntel INF 9.3.0.1021Intel INF 9.2.3.1020Intel INF 9.3.0.1026Intel INF 9.3.0.1025Intel INF 9.3.0.1025

The XPS One 27’s desktop CPU must instead go up against the top two contenders from our recent System Builder Marathon. Its tiny GeForce GT 640M graphics is forced to face off with the supersized Radeon HD 7970M of recent P170EM tests. And its combination of mechanical hard drive and fast cache drive gets compared to the storage subsystems of various machines from this line-up. Though it’s not in the same league from a quality or features perspective, the $600 SBM machine represents our target for “average” performance.

3D Game Benchmarks
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Going Hunting" 90-Second Fraps Test Set 1: Medium Quality Defaults (No AA, 4x AF) Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Defaults (4x AA, 16x AF)
F1 2012Version 1.2, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 8x MSAA
Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimUpdate 1.5.26, Celedon Aethirborn Level 6, 25-Second Fraps Test Set 1: DX11, High Details No AA, 8x AF, FXAA enabled Test Set 2: DX11, Ultra Details, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA enabled
Far Cry 3V. 1.04, DirectX 11, 50-second Fraps "Amanaki Outpost" Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA, Standard ATC., SSAO Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 4x MSAA, Enhanced ATC, HDAO
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe After Effects CS6Version 11.0.0.378 x64: Create Video which includes 3 Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneosly
Adobe Photoshop CS6Version 13 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Adobe Premeire Pro CS6Version 6.0.0.0, 6.61 GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 10.4.1.10 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
Handbrake CLIVersion: 0.98: Video from Canon Eos 7D (1920x1080, 25 FPS) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
TotalCodeStudio 2.5Version: 2.5.0.10677: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, Two-Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Productivity
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.95: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Adobe Acrobat XVersion 10.0.0.396: Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encryption
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
BlenderVersion: 2.64a, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1
Visual Studio 2010Version 10.0, Compile Google Chrome, Scripted
File Compression
WinZipVersion 17.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.2: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.28: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.4.0, Benchmark Only
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.3 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version Version 2013.01.19.11, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Cryptography, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • JohnUSA
    A very important and crucial point: Touch screens are doomed to fail as users will find out soon that their arm, wrist and hand will get tired and sore soon as they keep extending their arms to use this pain producing gadget.
    Who ever invented the desktop touch monitor should be shot.
    Reply
  • fnh
    JohnUSAA very important and crucial point: Touch screens are doomed to fail as users will find out soon that their arm, wrist and hand will get tired and sore soon as they keep extending their arms to use this pain producing gadget.Who ever invented the desktop touch monitor should be shot.
    There's probably some use for a touchscreen-desktop monitor productivity-wise.

    But as a Windows 8 saviour? Hell no!
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    The alternate review is a great Value-addition to this article.
    Its important to get a informal, subjective review from a general user. Numbers are very important, but they dont tell the complete picture.

    +1 for more "Average Joe" impressions in gadget reviews.
    Reply
  • killerclick
    Touchscreens on desktops will never go mainstream. It's just a fad they're trying to push, like 3D was a few years back. People don't like to have to sit close to screens and use their arms to control them - that's why TVs have remotes. Touchscreens on desktops solve nothing and improve nothing. Sure it's more intuitive to touch something than point and click, but anyone who can't figure out pointing and clicking won't get much out of using a computer anyway.
    Touchscreens on laptops might suck less as a concept, but laptop screens suck by design because they're so small.
    Reply
  • vaughn2k
    JohnUSAA very important and crucial point: Touch screens are doomed to fail as users will find out soon that their arm, wrist and hand will get tired and sore soon as they keep extending their arms to use this pain producing gadget.Who ever invented the desktop touch monitor should be shot.I find these all-in-one touch screens helpful for kiosks, data centers, production, (kitchen - maybe :P), POS, as a replacement for other tools such as keyboards and mouse - simply for convenience. But yes, not a tool to be used for 8hours work in-front of a computer. And if you would have this for those application I mentioned, this is too damn expensive and ludicrous!
    Reply
  • ta152h
    Quick answer, no.

    Touchscreen has no place on a desktop, unless you have Felix Unger with plastic gloves touching it. It's messy, and it's hard not to feel like a retard while using it.

    This is a solution in search of a problem. I haven't heard too many complaints on the keyboard/mouse interface. I have heard plenty of complaints about Windows 8.
    Reply
  • thinslicedbread
    Every time Tom's (or any other site for that matter) posts anything about Windows 8 or touch-screen PC's you always, ALWAYS, get people who instantly denounce such products almost as if they are "of the devil himself". As a power user, or anyone who actually comes to Tom's to read "tech-y" articles - Yes, Windows 8 is probably not for you. That's fine and dandy. But I get so tired of people just instantly proclaiming Windows 8 a failure because of the changes that Microsoft has made to it. While no, it does not have a start button, anyone who has used it for more than a day can tell you that it doesn't really matter. I tap the Windows key and start typing what I want and Windows finds it for me. The start screen gives me a quick overview of important applications without having to actually OPEN the application to find the information. I love my ASUS Vivo Tablet (Windows RT), and I find myself using that more often than my laptop or desktop when I just want to look something up or read and respond to an email.

    Case in point: I set my girlfriend up with what I thought was a really nice setup. A touch screen AIO in her spare room. It had (read: HAD) Windows 7 on it. She was constantly complaining about how she hated it when it either did not register her touches or the limited gestures that I so painfully set up. She went months without even turning the damn thing on. She complained that she couldn't do anything with it because it was just too hard to get a simple task done.
    Windows 8 comes out last October and I figure I'd give it a shot and if she still didn't like it, I'd have an extra computer in my man cave for something. I can't keep her off the thing. She absolutely loves it. She loves the live tiles, how it recognizes her gestures, how easy it is to navigate. I could go on...
    What I wish people would realize is that Windows 8, while it will probably not be as widely accepted as our beloved Windows 7, it is still a pretty solid step forward. If you are a power user (myself included) you will probably never install W8 on your desktop or even your laptop. But it is a fantastic piece of software that can change how people use computers.
    Reply
  • magic couch
    On the file compression page the graphs show winRAR being faster than 7zip yet the article says 7zip is faster. Were the graphs reversed?
    Reply
  • edwuave
    instead of touch, bundle with Kinect motion control = so much win.
    Reply
  • clifftam
    It looks like a PC version of an iMac to me.
    Reply