Reviews

Dell XPS 27 (7760) evaluation: AIO with 4K show, plus spectacular graphics and audio

Dell’s all-in-one Optiplex vary is an efficient possibility when you’re searching for an reasonably priced desktop PC for workplace use, however there is not a a lot breadth of options and efficiency on supply.Fashions we have reviewed previously have been restricted to 24-inch shows, with modestly-performing built-in graphics and exhausting drives that may’t compete with high-end AIO techniques resembling Apple’s iMac or HP’s spectacular Z1 Workstation G3.

That did not change with the latest updates to the Optiplex vary, and it is truly the corporate’s XPS 27 vary that is setting the tempo for Dell’s AIO merchandise in the mean time. Earlier variations of the XPS 27 had been primarily aimed toward dwelling customers, however — within the US no less than — Dell’s web site lists the XPS 27 beneath the ‘for work’ class, and the efficiency on supply is actually spectacular sufficient to deal with quite a lot of professional-level graphics and multimedia purposes.

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The 27-inch XPS 27 runs on Sixth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, with as much as 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and discrete AMD graphics. The audio subsystem contains six audio system and quad-array microphones.

Photographs: Dell

Design and show

The obvious distinction between the XPS 27 and the Optiplex is, after all, the bigger 27-inch show, with the 2017 version now stepping as much as full 4K decision (three,840 x 2,160 pixels and 163.2ppi) throughout your entire vary. The display is a delight– brilliant and sharp, and with good distinction ranges that make colors look vibrant and powerful. Dell additionally states that the IPS show helps 100 p.c of the Adobe RGB color house, making it appropriate for a spread of graphics and design purposes. The Apple iMac should have an edge for video-editing work, nevertheless, due to its larger 5K decision and assist for the DCI-P3 color house used within the movie business.

The 2017 mannequin has been up to date in different methods too. Clearly responding to Microsoft’s Surface Studio, the XPS 27 features a new articulating stand that permits you to tilt the display proper again and decrease it onto the desk like a digital drawing-board. The display on our evaluation unit was touch-sensitive too, which might be helpful for on-screen graphics and illustration work, or for a point-of-sale show.

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The XPS might be tilted again to work in drawing-board mode — touchscreen fashions can be found.

Picture: Dell

The inner audio system has additionally been utterly overhauled, now boasting at least six separate audio system — 4 woofers and two tweeters — together with a pair of passive radiators to boost bass output. Dell even goals a jab straight on the Apple iMac, claiming that the XPS 27 is “thrice louder, 50% clearer, and with higher bass”. It is actually good to listen to a desktop system that may truly deal with the bass line on Queen’s One other One Bites The Mud, for instance, and the XPS 27 will work properly for shows within the workplace in addition to leisure at dwelling.

The XPS 27 additionally features a ‘quad array’ of far-field microphones, and the bundled Waves audio software program permits you to create voice profiles, resembling ‘noisy workplace’ or ‘personal name’ for webcam and softphone calls, in addition to together with a 10-band graphic equalizer for the audio system.

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The again panel removes, giving entry to RAM slots and drive bays.

Picture: Dell

These options do add to the system’s measurement and weight, although. In truth, at 17.3kg, the XPS 27 is nearly twice the burden of Apple’s iMac (9.54kg). However that basically would not matter an excessive amount of whenever you’re coping with a desktop PC that does not must journey anyplace. That is a undeniable fact that Apple has by no means appeared to understand, and lots of customers will fortunately commerce the slimline profile of the iMac for the power to regulate the peak of the display with out having to take a seat the PC on prime of a phone listing. The XPS 27 is extra upgradeable too, as you may take away your entire again panel to entry the reminiscence slots, in addition to two spare drive bays.

The XPS 27 even beats Apple at its personal sport by together with a pair of Thunderbolt three ports, whereas the iMac — which is strongly rumoured to be receiving its personal replace quickly — continues to be utilizing Thunderbolt 2. Different connectivity options embrace 5 USB three.zero ports, HDMI-out, DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet and a three.5mm audio socket. Nonetheless, it is a disgrace that this replace has misplaced the HDMI-in that was out there on earlier fashions.

Worth & efficiency

Costs for the XPS 27 vary begin at £1,699 (inc. VAT, or £1,415.83 ex. VAT, or $1,350 within the US) for a mannequin with a Core i5-6400 processor working at 2.7GHz, together with 8GB of RAM, a 1TB exhausting drive and Intel’s built-in HD 530 GPU. Nonetheless, we examined the top-of-the-range i7 mannequin, which prices £2,599 (inc. VAT, or £2,165.63 ex. VAT, or $2,850 within the US) with a quad-core Core i7-6700 working at three.4GHz (as much as four.0GHz with TurboBoost), 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a discrete AMD Radeon R9 M470X GPU with 4GB of VRAM to deal with graphics efficiency.

Dell would not present a lot in the way in which of build-to-order choices, though UK customers do get one configuration that is not out there within the US, with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. These upgrades convey the whole value to £2,999 (inc. VAT, or £2,499.17 ex. VAT).

Against this, Apple’s post-Brexit value will increase imply that the 27-inch iMac now prices £2,429 (inc. VAT, or £2,174.17 ex. VAT, or $2,499 within the US) with a extra modest Core i5 processor working at three.3GHz, 16GB of RAM, a 2TB hybrid Fusion drive and discrete Radeon R9 M395 graphics with 2GB VRAM.

The iMac does have the benefit of a higher-resolution 5K show, however by way of sheer bang-for-buck, the XPS 27 is clearly the stronger performer. It is forward on uncooked processor efficiency for multi-processor-aware apps, with the XPS 27 attaining single-core and multi-core Geekbench 4 scores of four,755 and 14,741 respectively, in comparison with four,897 and 13,387 for the iMac. Nonetheless, its actual power is graphics efficiency, with a rating of 113.6fps when working the Cinebench R15 OpenGL benchmark, in comparison with 94.5fps for the iMac. It even outdoes HP’s Xeon-powered Z1 Workstation G3, which managed 106.4fps.

Conclusions

It appears that evidently, like Apple’s iMac, the XPS 27 has now advanced from an attractively designed dwelling PC right into a professional-level graphics workstation. And whereas it won’t have the elegant design of the iMac, however it’s greater than a match by way of value and efficiency, with superior ergonomics and upgradeability that can enchantment to artistic customers — and their IT managers too.

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