Although this system bears the same name as previous systems we have tested, the specifications are different. This XPS T500 has the same Pentium III processor as the other models, but it has a couple of tricks up its sleeve.When we set the T500 up, the colour setup guide helped out immensely, and the colour-coded connectors on the rear of the case prevented even technophobes from plugging cables into the wrong sockets.
Regarding those tricks, the Sony CD Re-writer was a nice surprise. This will let you create your own data and music CDs at 4x, and rewrite CDs at 2x. There's also the brand new 8x DVD-ROM drive from Hitachi, which plays DVD movies smoothly using just the decoding software. You are limited to watching DVDs on the 17" monitor, as there's no TV out connector on the Voodoo 3 3000 graphics card. However, the Voodoo's performance was fairly good, scoring a reputable 4579 3D Marks in our 3D Mark 99 Max graphics benchmark.
In our Sysmark 98 performance benchmark, the Dell scored 194, which is means that this PC will handle just about any software that you can throw at it. Also the 128MB RAM means that even intensive graphics applications like Photoshop will run quickly. The Harmon Kardon speakers sounded ok, but unfortunately you won't get Dolby Digital audio from your DVDs, which is a shame. Modems are standard in nearly all systems and this Dell is no exception, allowing for speedy access to the Internet. Build quality was above average, and you can rest assured that if anything does go wrong your investment is covered by a 3 year warranty.