Gaming desktops have a set trend of design; one that half the time scream gaming, touting some out-of-the-world themes and eye-catching backlighting. And I’ve had more than just a dozen encounters with such in my time with the likes of Acer Predator Series and Dell’s Alienware. For this review though, we delve deep into one of Dell’s new series, the Dell 8930 Series; an attractive desktop with no-nonsense subtle design. The Dell XPS 8930-7764BLK-PUS is one of Dell’s slick desktops for users looking for an office desktop offering more pizazz in terms of power.
The XPS 8930 is a refresh of the Dell XPS 8920 that shared similar minimalistic but expandable design and reasonable prices. The main difference between these two series is the fact that Dell squeezed in Intel’s new Coffee Lake processor. On a brighter note, Dell maintained the best features of the XPS 8920 too; upgradability, compact size, and easily accessible case. Read the Dell XPS 8930-7764BLK-PUS review for a detailed breakdown.
- Simple minimalistic toned-down design
- Fast performance
- Easy to open case
- Plenty of port options
- Decent price
- Easy to upgrade and tool-less system
- High-end components-Coffee Lake Processor
- VR capable
- Loud fans
- Case is a bit small to work around
If you’re looking for a desktop that can fit your home/office desk space, blend casually with other office PCs and still game, the Dell XPS 8930-7764BLK-PUS has you covered. It combines a stunning assembly of components fit for run-to-the-mill tasks while also having the muscle to power through AAA gaming. The price point is welcoming so you won’t have to dig deep into your wallet for this baby. It’s for all intents and purposes a great choice for entry-level gaming on a budget. We easily recommend it as a no-brainer Editor’s Choice for mid-range desktops with the capacity to handle media projects, play games and everything in between.
Dell XPS 8930-7764BLK-PUS Specs
|Processor||8th Generation Intel i7-8700 6-Core 3.20 GHz Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.60 GHz)|
|Memory||8GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory,|
|Storage||1TB HDD 7200RPM SATA Drive|
|Graphics Card||Intel UHD Graphics 630|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home 64-Bit|
|Optical Drive||Available DVD-RW|
|Connectivity||802.11ac Wi-Fi/ Bluetooth v4.2|
|Measurements||14.02 x 7.09 x 15.22 inches|
|Warranty||1 Year Limited Warranty|
Design and Features
Nothing about the Dell XPS 8930-7764BLK-PUS sells it out as a gaming machine. And that’s true if shape and form are anything to go about. This all-black Dell XPS 8930 is made of a metallic minimalistic case, polished to perfection. There are backlights or neon lights, or gaming themes like those of the Acer Predator Series or other tricked out gaming PCs. If you’ve seen the Dell XPS 8920, this XPS 8930 tower desktop is its stunning duplicate. They both share a polished matte and glossy look, a customary low-key aesthetic theme Dell has used on these series. It’s a look we’ve seen before on the silver XPS Tower Special Edition, another subtle gaming desktop with subdued lines, edges and design choices.
What we loved though is that the case itself is sturdy and firm. The plastic cover that shrouds the metal frame is smooth, feels durable and doesn’t flex. Overall, the design is simple and unassuming. If you’re into inter-galactic gaming themes, the Dell XPS 8930 Tower might not be for you. Well, I’m not suggesting that it’s a bad product, but it might not pass as a nearly interesting machine as gamers might wish it to be. With that said, the Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop Series might be a gamer-friendly line-up in terms of aesthetics if a simple design is a deal breaker.
Ready for upgrades
On the bright side, the Dell XPS 8930-7764BLK-PUS is minimalistic and light making it ideal for tight desk spaces or fitting under the table. Coming in at 22 pounds (14.02 x 7.09 x 15.22 inches), it’s one desktop that won’t break your back as you lift it. The Lenovo IdeaCentre Y700 (8.13 x 19.82 x 18.85 inches, 33 pounds) is heavier in comparison. In other matters, getting access to your internal components is as important as buying them. So we were glad to note that getting under the hood for the XPS 8930 is a pretty easy task too. You don’t need a screwdriver. There’s a latch at the rear which you pull to get the side panel to pop open.
Once inside, the power supply stands in the way of other components which might be worrying for most. But before you get anxious, we found there are two separate latches at the rear to help get the power supply rack to slide away. That gives you clear access to the motherboard and other initially obscured sections of the CPU. Bottom line, the Dell XPS 8930-7764BLK-PUS is a battle-ready PC ready for upgrades within the minute. The inside is a bit crammed but it still holds some space for a few upgrades should you need to tweak a few things in the future.
There are a couple of ports both at the front and rear section of this Dell XPS 8930 desktop. For convenience sake, Dell put a couple of ports at the front. The front section sports a DVD-RW optical drive and USB ports. As a result, it makes it a cinch to plug in your flash drives, smartphone, and other devices easily. You get three USB 2.0 ports, an SD slot, headphone, and mic jack, and a future-proof USB Type-C port.
Whatever Dell couldn’t accomplish at the front, it covered at the rear through its essential pack of rear connections. The back is home to four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a single USB Type-C, HDMI, DisplayPort and Ethernet jack. Other connections that come with this Series include Bluetooth and a Killer1535 WLAN card for 802.11ac wireless. Additionally, Dell offers a one year warranty that covers the hardware service after remote diagnosis. You’ll find a manual as part of the extras delivered with the Tower desktop. It should come in hand when if you need help connecting things (ports) up.
High on Coffee (Lake).
For the Dell XPS 8930, nothing steals the show as much as the Coffee Lake processor, a processor that earned its glory for its number of cores. To be particular, our unit came with an 8th Generation Intel i7-8700 processor with 6-cores, 3.6GHz, and capacity up to 4.6GHz on Turbo. There’s a stock cooler that comes with the processor, but chances are you might need to purchase a beefier cooler to comfortably handle the extra heat produced. The Intel i7-8700 compares well to its twin i7-8700k, but the non-K is less powerful and draws less power and heat. Interestingly, if you know your way around the CPU, this shouldn’t be a problem since you can easily upgrade it to a Core i7-8700K in the future.
That aside, our unit also packs an 8GB DDR4 2666MHz memory, 1TB hard disk storage and Intel UHD 630 graphics. The 8GB memory is pretty decent for casual home use, limited gaming, and hyper-threaded work. It can handle simple tasks such as web browsing, multimedia, and video without choking. However, for it to handle a huge chunk of multitasking and intensive workloads, you might need to bump the memory up to 16GB. There is a slightly some loud fan noise especially when the system is under load. It can be annoying for some so we suggest getting a better fan. Preferably something better than the stock fan it comes with to take care of the intense noise when the CPU heats up.
On the gaming front, the Dell XPS 8930-7764BLK isn’t much of a gamer without a dedicated graphics card. It packs an Integrated Intel UHD 630 graphics card built into the motherboard. For an ideal gaming experience, we recommend adding a dedicated GPU, for instance, Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB DDR5 card. Alternatively, you can opt for our Editor’s Choice and Amazon’s Choice configuration (Dell XPS 8930 with 4GB Nvidia 1050Ti, 2TB HDD, 16GB DDR4 memory) which comes with higher end components including Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti.
New Greater Heights
Finding a great machine with a decent blend of components is not always as easy as it sounds. So we appreciate the fact that manufacturers are building prebuilt systems with the right price, components, and performance. The Dell XPS 8930-7764BLK-PUS succeeds its predecessor to become our new Editor’s Choice for ticking all the right boxes and more. We easily bestow it this honor for earning its stripes in upgradeability, compact size, easily accessible case, fast Coffee Lake processor, and graphics card.
It handles multimedia, gaming, and VR with a flair making it our Editor’s Choice for midrange general-purpose desktops. For users who can afford a little extra cash, we recommend a higher and powerful configuration. The Dell XPS 8930 Tower Desktop with 8th Gen. Intel Core i7-8700 6-Core Up To 4.60 GHz, 16GB DDR4 Memory, 2TB SATA Hard Drive, and 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti should be a perfect fit, powerful enough for most uses.