Dell just officially released it’s monster gaming rig, the XPS M1730. This thing is insane. For $2999 (and up) you get:
- Intel Core 2 Duo (Merom) T7700 (2.4 GHz)
- 17 inch LCD WUXGA (1920 x 1200)
- dual 512MB Nvidia GeForce 8700 graphics cards (running in SLI mode)
- 2.0 megapixel webcam, noise-cancelling earbuds (for the online gaming set)
- a dedicated “AGEIA PhysX” processor for advanced physics rendering
- secondary LCD display, funky space age exterior, running lights
not to mention all sorts of options like twin hard drives in a RAID array and a Blu Ray DVD burner. Notebook Review.com has a preliminary review that has no real surprises; the M1730 is basically an all-in-one desktop replacement and gaming rig, and is not really designed for lugging around campus or on your business flight.
I’ve been flogging the idea that desktop PCs, as a form factor, are obsolete. The trend is towards monster rigs like the M1730, or smaller machines that plug into a desktop environment loaded with external devices. I tend to favor the latter, but that imposes a fundamental performance hit (though external graphics cards can help ameliorate this). Even a beast like the M1730 is still going to be second fiddle to a true desktop gaming rig, but still has enough horsepower to satisfy the average gamer.