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Dell’s XPS Desktop gets a new look and liquid cooling

Enlarge / Not to scale: Old Dell XPS Desktop (left) with new XPS Desktop (right).

Dell

Dell’s XPS Desktop is ditching the cheese-grater look in favor of something sweeter. The tower PCs announced today are 42 percent larger and have a new thermal design that flattens the previous version’s bumpy, weave-like ventilation grille into a square-filled design reminiscent of waffles. The beefier chassis—which measures 27 L, compared to its predecessor’s 19 L—makes way for Intel’s latest 12th-Gen Alder Lake CPUs and Nvidia’s and AMD’s most powerful graphics cards.

The top-line CPU option is the powerful Intel Core i9-12900K—and when we say powerful, we mean it. The chip is a 125 W, overclockable, 16-core, 30-thread CPU with 30MB of cache and a 3.2 GHz clock speed that can boost to 5.2 GHz. The prior XPS Desktop came with up to an i9-11900K, which is also 125 W but with half the cores, threads, and cache, plus lower clock speeds (3.5 / 5.3 GHz).

Options for graphics go up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 or an AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT. You can add up to an incredible 128GB of DDR5-3600 RAM (across four 32GB sticks), twice the memory offered by the last-gen XPS Desktop. The PC packs up to 4TB of storage, courtesy of a 2TB SSD and 2TB HDD. Fuel for all that computing horsepower comes from a 750 W power supply.

Dell says the XPS Desktop’s new design lets you push your GPU further by enabling “improved airflow and liquid cooling options for longer sustained performance.” As you can see in the pictures above, both the new and old XPS Desktops take in cool air from the front and side and push warm air out the back. Dell didn’t clarify whether flattening the front panel does anything for PC performance, but having more space and the option to liquid-cool the CPU should help lower heat levels in the case.

Liquid cooling is limited to the CPU only, and Dell didn’t detail the specs of the CPU cooler. Shared images show a pretty standard all-in-one unit.

More space and a liquid cooler for the CPU should help thermals.
Enlarge / More space and a liquid cooler for the CPU should help thermals.

Dell

You can have up to three 120 mm fans, which are supposed to be bigger and faster than the 4,500 rpm fans offered before. Dell didn’t specify sound levels or the rpm of the new fans. Beyond helping with heat management, the bigger chassis will make upgrading the PC down the line easier, as you’ll have more space to work in.

Connection-wise, the desktop comes with an SD card reader, three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack in the front, plus four more USB-A ports, another USB-C port, a DisplayPort port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a 7.1 channel audio 6-connector stack of restackable audio ports in the back. 

Lots of ports back there.
Enlarge / Lots of ports back there.

Dell

As with Dell’s XPS laptops, the PC’s color options determine the type of materials used in the machine. The Night Sky version of the XPS Desktop has a resin front bezel, aluminum sides, and rubber feet. The Platinum Silver version uses aluminum for its bezel and sides, resin for the base, and aluminum for the feet.

Night Sky (left) and Platinum Silver (right).
Enlarge / Night Sky (left) and Platinum Silver (right).

Dell

Dell says the computer is coming “later this fall.” Considering Intel is expected to detail its 12th-Gen CPUs today, the new Dells should be ready soon. The desktops will start at $920, but we’re curious to see how much liquid cooling adds to the price.

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