Dell Dimension XPS: XPS Motherboard

 Motherboard Specifications
CPU Interface Socket-478
Chipset Intel 82875P (North Bridge)
Intel ICH5R (South Bridge)
Bus Speeds Fixed
AGP/PCI Speeds Fixed
Core Voltages Supported Fixed
AGP Voltages Supported Fixed
DRAM Voltages Supported Fixed
Memory Slots 4 184-pin Dual-Channel DDR DIMM Slots
2 DIMMs (2 x 512MB) installed provide 1 GB of DDR400 memory at 3-3-3-6 timings
Expansion Slots 1 AGP 8X Slot
4 PCI Slot
Onboard Graphics None — ATI 9800 XT installed
Onboard RAID Intel SATA RAID
2 x 250GB SATA Drives Installed in Raid 0 configuration
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394 Eight USB 2.0 supported through ICH5
FireWire Controller on Audigy 2
Onboard LAN 10/100
Onboard Audio None — Creative Audigy 2 5.1 Digital Audio installed
Onboard Serial ATA Two Standard SATA connectors ICH5R
Used by SATA RAID 0

The proprietary Dell XPS motherboard uses Intel's top 875P chipset, and even includes the top ICH5R South Bridge with Intel SATA RAID support. All of the current top features are certainly here, but there are no means at all to overclock or tweak the motherboard settings. This is not a surprise, as Dell has never advocated overclocking or tweaking their systems.

Dimension XPS fully supports all of the Intel chipset and CPU features, including PAT (Performance Acceleration Technology), Dual Channel DDR400 memory, and Hyper-threading. While you cannot tweak FSB or memory timings, you can be assured that these performance-enhancing features are all working properly. We checked operation of the Dell motherboard with CPU-Z, and found that both Hyper-threading and PAT were identified as working properly.

Dimension XPS, like other 875P boards, fully supports 2 pairs of Dual-Channel DDR400 memory. It is very easy to add an additional pair of Dual-Channel DDR400 memory with the easy access to the 4 DIMM slots.

Dell provides an AGP 8X slot plus 4 PCI slots on the XPS motherboard. With a space skipped between the ATI 9800 XT and the Audigy 2, there is effectively one PCI slot left for expansion. You could install 2 additional cards in a pinch. Keep in mind that the XPS is already loaded with top-end video, audio, firewire, USB ports, LAN, etc., so the need for additional expansion is minimal.

Dell Dimension XPS: XPS Chassis Dell Dimension XPS: BIOS and Overclocking


View All Comments

  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - link

    Flash is used for charts in all AnandTech reviews because it uses less bandwidth than any other option. On a site with very heavy traffic like AnandTech, bandwidth is very important. As Editors, we do not have the option to use other charting methods.

    If you still have an issue with Flash after hearing the explanation, you should send your complaints to
  • mindless1 - Saturday, November 22, 2003 - link

    I would tend to agree that this is a DELL high-end box, and the review best served to acquaint readers with Dell's current offerings, even though most of us do not want to be stuck with $3K worth of unconfigurable equipment that's so proprietary that it'll certainly cost more in the long run due to upgrade hassles.

    On the other hand, the review used flash images, which is clearly stupid. I'm opposed to flash to begin with, but could understand it IF you needed an animation for some reason, but it wasn't a case of that. Seems more like some people think they know better than the entire world or else have never heard of JPG and GIF.
  • sador - Thursday, November 20, 2003 - link

    MY biggest complaint with this article is that it gives the impression that there are no other "pre-assembled" gaming rigs out there for the money that can compete with it. What a joke! There was a dearth of competitive "pre-builts" in tha article to give a real apples-to-apples comparison. (At least as far as $$$ is concerned)

    Alienware, like it or not, had pre-config'd systems that will torch this one for less money! Calling this a high-end gaming rig is an insult to qaulity gaming rigs everywhere.

    This article did come across as "pandering" a bit to Dell. Whether that was to keep the Dell goods coming, or was sincerely to give this system a fair shake is for every reader to decide for themselves.
  • madgonad - Thursday, November 20, 2003 - link

    to #34 - I don't know how long that coupon is going to last. Since it appears to be part of the Anandtech endorsement package I would guess about 10 days.
    As you noticed in the benchmarks the Dell was beaten about the head and shoulders by systems far far less the expensive. The excuse was given that the Audigy2 card was to blame since it could not be deactivated. It wasn't mentioned that almost every other system being compared also had an Audigy2 card, making the issue moot.
    As to the reason most people have given, tech support, please do not trust anything important to Dell's tech support people. They will tell you to restore the reg or reinstall the OS. After that you get to hunt for the original box in basement to RMA it back to Dell. The onsite people will do the same.
    The straight poop is that if you come here you are not the type of consumer to buy the generic-corporate-america product which just gets by. You want a stand-out product that you have control over.
    Or put simply. If your shopping for a fast car, do you get a manual or automatic transmission?
  • cdrsft - Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - link

    Can you spell.... SELL OUT

    way to go AT
  • jc1x - Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - link

    I just did a quick browse to figure out how much it'ld have cost to setup the same system if I were to buy the components..

    300 MB + Case + PS
    500 2x HD w/ SATA
    400 P4 3.2 CPU
    200 1GB DDR 400 RAM
    460 VID - RADEON 9800XT
    270 Logitech Z680
    175 8x DVD+R/+RW
    65 AUDIGY 2
    50 XP Home
    990 16ms 20.1 in LCD

    3410 in parts vs 3049* assembled.. (diff $361)

    * 3049 = 3299 - 150 (rebate) - 100 off coupon

    So, on balance, it's a good deal on price.. performance wise, well, if you want to tweak, buy a new MB for 250 and you'ld still be below component costs.. not to mention shipping costs and the hassle of multiple support locations.
  • BlackShrike - Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - link

    Does anybody else think these comments are ridiculous? The proposed system is only good if you want tech support, a dell, or a very nice LCD. Otherwise, build your own computer. For $3300 I swear you could get the fastest and greatest cpu/motherboard combo of an AMD-51. Then 1 Gb of registered DDR 400. A sound blaster audigy 2. A beautiful surround sound system. A great 19 or 21 inch CRT (I don't like LCDs personnal preference). Then a radeon 9800 XT. A wireless mouse and keyboard. A DVD +/- RW etc and so forth. Hell all these are probably so far under $2500, plus you get the satisfaction of building it, which is quite enjoyable. Oh and why not a nice see through case with lights and cool fans. Basically, I'm saying if you want the best, BUILD IT YOURSELF! If you are lazy then quit bitching or get a Voodo/falcon northwest and lose all the flashy stuff and still pay over $4000. So good job at the review anandtech but I would NEVER buy a dell. AMD IS THE WAY TO BE! Plus all that proprietary stuff that the #5 guy was talking about was right! Man, shame on you anandtech for recommending such a system. Bad, very bad.
  • ComputerBeatnik - Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - link

    Please...that's a ton of money just to play games!!! Why not just buy an X-Box for $150? Reply
  • jc1x - Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - link

    to #33. try using the code that was provided.. it's now 3299 w/ a 150 rebate = $3149.. no it doesn't have the P4EE but it sure is much cheaper than any comparable.

    Frankly, I'll probably get one of these.. and when I feel the need to (and actually have the time), just swap the motherboard w/ something tweakable..
  • madgonad - Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - link

    I just went to the Dell website and built the XPS system as described. The regular price is in excess of Five grand when including the EE of the P4.
    Now if a couple FX51s systems equiped with the same video card and RAID were to be benchmarked, THAT would be a fair and balanced comparison. Anything else looks like a straw-man.

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