My kind of gaming computer would be the Dell XPS 8940. It has all the features you’ll need to play the newest games at a steady pace—compact, it’s quiet, uncomplicated, inexpensive, and loaded with the proper parts.
You won’t buy a machine like this because you can turn every graphics parameter up to its maximum. Instead, it’s the kind of device that would look right at home in the most formal business setting while yet packing enough punch to play your favorite games after work. The Dell XPS 8940 strikes the ideal balance between work and pleasure at a time when working from home is more widespread (and essential) than ever.
Even the most expensive XPS 8940 setups, however, may seem a little underpowered when compared to rival gaming systems. Even if you pay for the expensive Blu-ray update, its storage options aren’t the best for gaming, and its disc drive feels like an afterthought. At times, I questioned whether the XPS 8940’s overt office PC appearance was a result of a lack of confidence in its own parts.
In any case, the XPS 8940 is a steadfast option for both productivity and gaming, and even while it’s not exactly inexpensive, it won’t empty your bank account like Dell’s more opulent Alienware portfolio. For gamers who fall somewhere in the middle and value aesthetics, efficiency, and desk space. It might be one of the finest gaming PCs. For additional details, see our detailed review of the Dell XPS 8940.
Dell XPS Desktop 8940
|Processor:||Up to 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10900K|
|GPU:||Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070|
|RAM:||Up to 128 GB|
|Hard Drive:||Up to 2 TB SSD + 2 TB HDD|
|Dimensions:||14.5 x 12.1 x 6.7 inches|
|Ports||USB-A, USB-C, SD card, 3.5 mm audio, Ethernet, DisplayPort, HDMI|
|Colors:||Black & White|
pros and cons
- A Compact, Silent Design
- Extendable Ports
- Quite Good Performance
- Impressive Audio
- There are no really powerful setups.
- Storage options are limited
Dell XPS 8940 Review
Design & Built
It feels a little strange to commend the Dell XPS 8940 for its aesthetic appearance. Prebuilt gaming PCs aren’t exactly conversation pieces; they frequently reside in desk crevices or even on floors. But rather than being a flaw, the XPS 8940’s unassuming design is a virtue. It’s not a boring black box, but it’s also not an overly complex work of contemporary art. It resembles a typical business PC more than anything else, thus it will fit in well practically everywhere.
The XPS 8940 is tiny yet has powerful components, to start. The entire device can fit on even the smallest desks because of its dimensions of 14.5 x 12.1 x 6.7 inches.
The sides are basically plain plastic, the rear contains a multitude of ports, and the front has an interesting crosshatch pattern that also serves as ventilation. You can choose between a black or white chassis for the system; both look good.
It’s important to note the weight of the XPS 8940, which ranges from 14 to 16 pounds depending on the components you choose. It’s impressive to obtain almost as much power from a system that’s one-third the size when you consider that Dell’s Alienware Aurora R11 may weigh more than 40 pounds.
Connectivity & Upgradability
There are numerous ports on the front and back of the Dell XPS 8940. An SD card slot, a 3.5 mm audio jack, three USB-A ports, and one USB-C port are all located on the front of the device. Three 3.5 mm audio ports, six USB-A connectors, an Ethernet port, and a power port are all located on the back. Depending on the GPU you choose, you receive different DisplayPort, HDMI connectors, and DVI ports.
What’s intriguing is that the motherboard also includes built-in DisplayPort and HDMI ports. If you ever need to troubleshoot the GPU, this might be helpful. But it’s frustrating that there aren’t any more USB-C ports. In the coming years, USB-C connectivity and charging won’t likely become any less prevalent than they already are for gadgets. The XPS 8940 can be upgraded reasonably easily, at least. To open up the chassis, all you have to do is take out a side panel and two thumb screws.
Due to the PC’s narrow shape, the space is a little confined once inside. However, you can easily replace the GPU or add more storage, and gamers and video pros will almost surely want to do so over time.
The Dell XPS 8940 plays games extremely well, especially when seen on a QHD monitor, from a quality standpoint. It falls somewhere in the middle of the prebuilt gaming PC pack from a quantitative standpoint. In other words, for the price, it functions just as it should.
For the sake of this evaluation, we contrasted the XPS 8940 with the Corsair One i200 and Dell’s own Alienware Aurora R11. Although far more expensive and powerful than the XPS 8940, the former provides a solid indication of what to expect from the XPS 8940 in comparison to a high-end gaming PC. Contrarily, the latter, like the XPS 8940, is a hybrid gaming/productivity model.
We evaluated the performance of the XPS 8940 by counting the number of frames per second that various well-known games need at both 1080p and 4K resolutions with “Ultra” graphics presets. The three machines were contrasted as follows:
In general, the XPS 8940 was about on par with the One i200 and less powerful than the Aurora R11. However, the frame rates of the XPS 8940 were respectable when taken individually. Every game significantly outperformed 30 fps at 4K and 60 fps at 1080p, which is impressive for a midrange machine. (Anything above 60 frames per second is really nice; anything below 30 frames per second might negatively impact gameplay.)
However, the One i200 comparison is particularly intriguing because the i200 is likewise a device that aspires to blur the lines between gaming and content creation. Despite having an outdated GPU, the i200 still costs $4,500, which is significantly more than the most costly XPS 8940 setup. It’s true that the One i200 is an older device, so the comparison isn’t really apples to apples. But it does show that, in terms of both performance and looks, the XPS 8940 is ideally suited to fill the gaming/productivity void.
In my personal experience, the XPS 8940 delivered perfect performance, running the newest games at 60+ frames per second in QHD. Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, Doom Eternal, Octopath Traveler, and Final Fantasy XIV were the games I used to test the system, all with the visuals set to Ultra whenever available. In every game, the gameplay seemed slick and seamless. Better still, in contrast to the Aurora R11’s jet engines, the fan didn’t get unusually loud.
Here, the SSD configuration of the XPS 8940 is my only significant gripe. You’ll most likely end up using the HDD for the majority of your games, regardless of the arrangement you choose. HDD loading times are simply no longer that quick, especially in a world of PS5s and Xbox Series Xs. You’ll have to choose between limiting your game library and manually installing new storage, neither of which is ideal for a brand-new machine.
Even though it isn’t quite as powerful as these systems can get, the Dell XPS 8940 is a capable productivity laptop. The XPS 8940 received a score of 9,019 on the Geekbench 5.3 benchmark, which gauges a system’s general performance. Higher numbers are preferable because it is an absolute values. Of course, that’s a lot less than the 11,099 of the Aurora R11, but it’s still a lot more than the average price of a pure productivity machine, which typically ranges between $4,001 and $6,001.
The Aurora R11 and the One i200 were faster at transferring files than the XPS 8940, which again fell short in this regard. The One i200 performed this at a rate of 1,026 MBps, compared to the Aurora R11’s 1,191 MBps for 256 GB of files from an external. Compared to its rivals, the XPS 8940’s maximum speed of 439 MBps is significantly slower. Obviously, how often you upload large files will determine if this is important in real-world situations.
However, in terms of quality, I had nothing to fault with the XPS 8940. I have two chat apps, two-word processors, two Windows utilities, and two instances of Chrome running with at least a dozen tabs open, some of which contain videos and music, as I write this article. This uses less than 10% of the CPU and around a third of the system’s RAM. It’s difficult to believe that I could do anything to really tax the XPS 8940 other than gaming or intensive video/animation work.
The XPS 8940 is one of the few recent systems I’ve tested that still includes a physical media drive, which is also worth mentioning. This wasn’t as helpful to me as I had hoped, possibly because so much of my media library is already digital. My Blu-ray discs weren’t loaded into the drive all that quickly, and one of them didn’t load at all. (I can only speculate as to why the XPS 8940 wouldn’t cooperate with my DVD of The Simpsons Movie in particular.) However, if you require it, the drive is available.
Like the majority of Dell computers, the XPS 8940 only comes with a few system utilities and McAfee antivirus software. System updates, cell phone connections, a DVD player, and other utilities aren’t really worth utilizing. But they’re also not worth whining about either. Oddly, the Dell Cinema app provides a one-stop shop for all your streaming services. Yet it excludes media from the system’s built-in DVD/Blu-ray player.
It’s important to note, however, that McAfee is still obtrusive and ineffective, continuously requesting more money, and does not perform any better than Windows Defender. If you don’t already have a membership, simply uninstall this one.
The Dell XPS 8940 pulled off a cunning ruse. I started to wonder why Alienware PCs had to be so noisy and big. While Alienware systems are undoubtedly more powerful than the XPS 8940, they aren’t as portable, quiet, or capable. Which would you rather display—your gaming PC or the games it can play despite the fact that neither is “cool”?
In the same price bracket, I don’t think the XPS 8940 outperforms the Corsair Vengeance i7200. However, the Vengeance i7200 is primarily a gaming system, whilst the XPS 8940 is certainly more of a mixed computer. You’ll have to choose which one appeals to you more based on how much work and how many games you have to play.