Dell XPS Desktop 8940 Special Edition review: The complete lineup of PCs in a small space

Josh Goldman/CNET

The Dell XPS Desktop 8940 is a great small desktop computer for a laptop person like me. like Dell Premium XPS LaptopsThe XPS desktop is attractive and compact – perfect for tight spaces. Unlike laptops, there are plenty of opportunities for upgrades to help you deal with changing needs.


  • Compact but still roomy inside
  • Lots of ingredient options
  • Good assortment of front and rear ports

You do not like

  • Basic accessories included
  • No rear USB-C ports
  • The design is not as good as XPS laptops

From basic to full download

The Dell XPS Desktop starts around $640 And the special edition with its cover “Mineral White” Starts around $980. in the UK, Desktop starting at £899 And the In Australia it is AUD 2,399However, the special edition is not currently available in those regions. Aside from the body color, the differences lie in what you can get inside of it.

The basic configuration of the standard model, for example, starts with integrated graphics but can be configured with an up to 12GB GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card or an 8GB Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card. The special edition, on the other hand, starts with a 6GB GeForce GTX 1660 Super and goes up to an 8GB GeForce RTX 3070, which I tested paired with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor. Dell now sells it with 11th generation processors up to the Core i9-11900K.

Dell XPS computer

Unscrew the thumb screws and you’ll be inside.

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You can also configure it with up to 64GB of 2933MHz memory but it supports up to 128GB. Likewise, you can get it with up to a 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD and a 2TB 7200-rpm hard drive for storage, but the open slots at the top of the case give you room to add more. Dell also offers a choice of a 360- or 500-watt power supply, and if you want to, you can top it all off with a Blu-ray burner — it’s nice to have if you’re getting it to create content or just want an easy option for backups. Standard DVD burner. When fully loaded, it comes in at just over $3000.

Exact configuration of my review system is no longer available but it is comparable to an 11th generation Core i7 processor, 32GB memory, 1TB SSD plus 2TB HDD, 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, 500W power supply and Blu Drive -ray for $2,283. Considering current graphics card prices and availability issues, this is a relatively reasonable price. At this price, it should come with a better keyboard and mouse. Maybe it’s because of my experience with XPS laptops, but pairing this system with a regular wired keyboard and mouse combo seems to be a mistake. You might think it’s not a big problem but when Apple bundles iMac with a high-quality wireless keyboard and mouseIt’s hard to ignore as it’s meant to be Dell’s premium line of PCs.

It looks good too

If you want the performance of a gaming desktop and not the look of one, the XPS is a good place to start. Although it lacks the elegance and general polish of the XPS laptop line, the front end is attractive and allows for ample airflow while also being easy to take out and clean. The rest of the chassis is sort of a basic beige box, but since it’s a magnesium alloy it’s at least lightweight at less than 20 pounds.

Dell XPS computer

There is a nice port variety on the front.

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There is quite a bit of clearance around the processor and graphics card, so the airflow from their fans isn’t restricted. The desktop remains noticeably quiet even when viewing 4K video or recording over 150 frames per second with games like Far Cry V in Full HD with high graphics settings. The 10th gen Intel processor in my system performed well, but based on the newer systems we tested with 11th gen chips, you can expect it to be faster now. Also, I tested the XPS tower using Dell UltraSharp 4K PremierColor UP2720Q Monitorwhich has proven to be a great partner in optimizing raw images and color-correcting videos.

The rear panel has plenty of connectivity options, including four USB 3.1 (Gen 1) ports, two USB 2.0 ports, 5.1 audio jacks, and the Killer E2600 Gigabit Ethernet which is a lifesaver if you need to download large video files quickly. There is no Thunderbolt 3 or 4 port, which would also come in handy for faster file transfers or running a hub to your desk. However, there is a USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 port on the front for speeds of up to 5Gbps.

Dell XPS computer

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When size matters

A small laptop has always been the best for me because I spend more time commuting and working on buses and trains than I do at home. Or at least I did until the pandemic hit, and then my years of commuting stopped. Suddenly I had a small home office for the first time in over a decade and I was working on a poorly powered laptop for my irresistible needs.

The XPS Desktop 8940 is an excellent complement to powerful notebooks like the Dell XPS line. You can configure it according to your performance needs, even if that includes video and photo editing and gaming. It’s also a solid choice if you’re looking for something small and attractive that can start with a more modest configuration and be built as your needs change. It’s flexibility you won’t get with a smaller Mac Mini or All-In-One, but it’s not so great that you’ll lose a lot of floor or desk space.