Dell XPS 8500 case front and back pannel

Dell XPS 8500

Specification and Review

The Dell XPS 8500 was first released in 2012. Although more than five years old, this model is still a viable option for home and office use. You can even turn this PC into a gaming machine with a proper GPU upgrade.

The Dell XPS 8500 is a Mini Tower form factor computer. MiniTower is usuality the largest form factor form the business class desktops segment. Some manufacturers may also use the term Tower when they refer to this chassis. If you are looking for as system with maximum upgredability Dell XPS 8500 is a good option. Most often models in this category come with 4x PCIe slots, several drive bays and a better cooling.

Specification

ModelDell XPS 8500
Form factorMini Tower
CPU optionsIntel Gen2 & 3 i3/i5/i7;
ChipsetH77
Dedicated GPU *GeForce GTX 1650 Super
RAMDIMM DDR3-1333/1600
RAM slots4
RAM speed1600 MT/s
RAM max32 GB
USB ports(8x) USB-A 2.0; USB 3.0;
Video portsHDMI 1.2; VGA;
Other portsRJ45; S/PDIF; Mic; Headset;
Optional portsN.A.
SATA ports4
PCI slotsPCIe 3.0 x16; (x3) PCIe x1; mPCIe;
M.2 slotsN.A.
Drive bays(2x) 3.5in; (2x) 5.25in; mSATA;
PSU460 W
Weight13.8 kg (30.42 lb)
Released2012
Manuallink
Price**Check Price

* Dedicated GPU warning: Check if your particular power supply model has enough power. Additionally some PSUs don't come with an auxiliary PCIe power connector and you may need to buy a SATA to PCIe power adapter.
** As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Processor

The Dell XPS 8500 supports Gen3 Intel Core technology. The 3rd gen Intel Core CPUs have the code name Ivy Bridge. They use a 22nm manufacturing process developed by Intel. Here the maximum number of core are 6 with i7 processor. Desktops model use either the LGA 1155 or the LGA 2011 sockets and DDR3-1333 to DDR3-1600 RAM. CPUs often used with this model are Core i3 3220, Core i5 3470, and Core i7 3770.

Memory

A RAM slot (also called memory socket) is where RAM memory sticks are inserted into the computer. Most desktops will have two to four slots. This model has 4 RAM slots. This should be sufficient for anyone especially for power users who will need significant amounts of RAM.

Faster RAM speeds permit your processor to access the data stored in the RAM memory faster. This is important for the overall speed of your system. The motherboard of the Dell XPS 8500 supports RAM speeds of up to 1600 MT/s. In case you want faster RAM speeds, you will need to upgrade your system with a newer generation one.

Size of the RAM is another important parameter. It is important not to run out of RAM memory during everyday work. If this happens often, you may see significant drop in performance. For everyday work and light gaming we recommend 8GB of RAM. For everything else, go for 16GB and more. The Dell XPS 8500 supports a maximum of 32 GB of RAM.

Ports

Ports are something important that people should pay more attention to. For example, if you don't have enough USB ports, using external devices becomes problematic. Before buying, considering your use case and plann for extension ports in advance.

The Dell XPS 8500 comes with 9 USB ports in total. Having more USB ports is always better, but also pay attention to the version of those USB ports. Higher version of USBs support faster transfer speeds. Unfortunately, this model doesn't come with a USB 3.1 port. If you need a faster connection for your peripherals, like external Solid State Drive, you will need to choose another model.

DisplayPort (DP) is crucial for any desktop machine as it allows you to connect external monitors. It is unfortunate to see that the Dell XPS 8500 doesn't have one. Check out the HDMI section and make sure that you are at least getting an HDMI port - a good substitution for the DP.

HDMI port is another digital video port which allows you to connect external monitors. It has very similar capabilities to the DisplayPort with few exceptions. It is nice to see that the Dell XPS 8500 comes with one. In case your monitor supports another interface, which this model doesn't have, you can always use an adapter.

SATA slots are located on the system board and it is where HDD, SSD and Optical Disk Drives are connected. The Dell XPS 8500 comes with 460 SATA slot(s). Keep in mind that having too few SATA slots might restrict your options for connecting additional memory drives. Think about your use case and decide if the SATA slots provided by this model will be sufficient.

The M.2 SSD interface allows you to transfer data with higher speeds compared to the old SATA interface. Sometimes the M.2 interface will be 5 times faster or more. Unfortunately, the Dell XPS 8500 doesn't come with one and you will need to rely on the good old SATA.

Side note: It is good if the available M.2 slots support the PCIe/NVMe interface. Sometimes the M.2 slot will only support the inferior SATA III interface. For comparison, the SATA III has max speeds of 6Gb/s, while the PCIe 3.0 x4 can go as high as 32Gb/s!

Power Supply

Having a PSU (Power Supply Unit) with high power rating is important, especially if you are going to use components, like dedicated GPU and additional HDD, which require extra power. The Dell XPS 8500 comes with a 460 Watt PSU. Deciding if this will be enough depends on your specific requirements and use. Please also pay attention as some models might have more than one PSU option. Whenever possible, get the most powerful one as it might make future upgrades easier.

Motherboard

Dell_XPS_8500_motherboard.jpg motherboard layout

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