Dell's XPS systems have always been fine physical specimens, so it's no surprise to find that the XPS 625 is a well-finished alloy-clad beast. But more unexpected is Dell's use of an AMD CPU.

It wasn't that long ago that Dell didn't deign to touch AMD chips, and even recently they were firmly reserved for low-end models. Now they've found their way into the XPS performance PC range – and the results are rather mixed.

Unfortunately, this particular XPS is configured with the older 65nm Phenom X4 quad-core design in 9850 Black Edition trim. Despite an unlocked CPU multiplier, it's not awfully keen on overclocking.

The problem is, at the stock 2.5GHz frequency, its gaming performance is just about adequate. Six months from now, you could well be feeling the need to upgrade.

As for the XPS's graphics, although the ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB is good, we'd prefer the quicker 4870 chipset in 1GB form for the price point.