At CES, Dell unveiled the latest entry in its gaming and enthusiast XPS line. The new XPS, dubbed "Renegade," is a special limited-edition configuration that breaks the XPS mold in a number of ways. This is an ultra-high-end computer aimed and buyers for whom money is no object.
The new system sports a red flaming paint job that makes it stand out from every other Dell computer, but it's the inside components that are most interesting. The Renegade's CPU is a dual-core Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, mode 955, overclocked from the factory to a whopping 4.26GHz. The standard hard drive configuration is two 10,000 RPM 150GB Raptor drives, for which Dell has the first large volume availability. The system is cooled by the standard XPS 600 cooling system, though it will use a more powerful power supply, perhaps one from Dell's workstation line.
Most exciting is the new graphics configuration. This new limited edition XPS uses no less than four GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB graphics cards. That's right, it's quad graphics. Two of the cards are plugged into two x16 PCIe graphics slots in the nForce 4 based custom Dell motherboard, and the other two slave off those two. The GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB cards are custom made for Dell, and run at a slightly lower clock speed than standard 7800 GTX 512MB cards, but higher than the 256MB cards. The point of all this graphics power? To drive Dell's new 30" ultra hi-res LCD monitor, which sports a resolution of 2560x1600. We saw a demo of Call of Duty 2 running at this resolution, and it was amazingly sharp while still running at a good speed. Nvidia claims that with some anti-aliasing modes, because of all that graphics memory spread around, they achieve faster than 4x speedup over a single card.
We asked when the system would be available, but no exact date was given – we only know that you should be able to buy one in the first quarter. When we asked how much it would cost, Michael Dell only said, "It'll cost a lot."
One option buyers can choose to pair with this high-end system is the latest Dell 3007WFP 30-inch display. The Quad SLI graphics solution can drive the 2560x1600 display at high frame rates, even with modern, graphics intensive games such as Monolith's F.E.A.R.
Also included will be a Western Digital Raptor 150GB, 10,000RPM SATA drive and a pair of Western Digital 250GB, 7,200 RPM drives configured as either RAID 0 or 1.
Dell anticipates shipping the new XPS system by the end of January, with prices ranging from about $4,000 to 7,000 plus, depending on display and other options.