Dell’s all-in-one Optiplex vary is an effective choice if you happen to’re on the lookout for an inexpensive desktop PC for workplace use, however there is not a a lot breadth of options and efficiency on supply.Fashions we have reviewed up to now have been restricted to 24-inch shows, with modestly-performing built-in graphics and arduous drives that may’t compete with high-end AIO techniques reminiscent of Apple’s iMac or HP’s spectacular Z1 Workstation G3.
That did not change with the current updates to the Optiplex vary, and it is really the corporate’s XPS 27 vary that is setting the tempo for Dell’s AIO merchandise for the time being. Earlier variations of the XPS 27 have been primarily geared toward residence customers, however — within the US at the very least — Dell’s web site lists the XPS 27 underneath the ‘for work’ class, and the efficiency on supply is actually spectacular sufficient to sort out quite a lot of professional-level graphics and multimedia purposes.
Design and show
The obvious distinction between the XPS 27 and the Optiplex is, in fact, 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 complete vary. The display is a delight– vibrant 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, nonetheless, due to its larger 5K decision and help 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 evaluate unit was touch-sensitive too, which could possibly be helpful for on-screen graphics and illustration work, or for a point-of-sale show.
The inner audio system has additionally been utterly overhauled, now boasting a minimum of six separate audio system — 4 woofers and two tweeters — together with a pair of passive radiators to reinforce 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 really deal with the bass line on Queen’s One other One Bites The Mud, for instance, and the XPS 27 will work effectively for displays within the workplace in addition to leisure at residence.
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, reminiscent of ‘noisy workplace’ or ‘non-public name’ for webcam and softphone calls, in addition to together with a 10-band graphic equalizer for the audio system.
These options do add to the system’s dimension and weight, although. In reality, at 17.3kg, the XPS 27 is nearly twice the load of Apple’s iMac (9.54kg). However that actually does not matter an excessive amount of while you’re coping with a desktop PC that does not must journey wherever. 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 sit down the PC on high of a phone listing. The XPS 27 is extra upgradeable too, as you’ll be able to take away your complete 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 — remains 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. Nevertheless, it is a disgrace that this replace has misplaced the HDMI-in that was accessible 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 arduous drive and Intel’s built-in HD 530 GPU. Nevertheless, 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 does not present a lot in the way in which of build-to-order choices, though UK customers do get one configuration that is not accessible within the US, with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. These upgrades deliver the overall worth to £2,999 (inc. VAT, or £2,499.17 ex. VAT).
In contrast, Apple’s post-Brexit worth 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 reaching 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. Nevertheless, 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.
It appears that evidently, like Apple’s iMac, the XPS 27 has now developed from an attractively designed residence 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 worth and efficiency, with superior ergonomics and upgradeability that may attraction to artistic customers — and their IT managers too.
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