For £3,430 you could get Dell's XPS 730X, a super-duper gaming rig of ridiculous proportions. Or a holiday in the Caribbean, a car, a couple of diary cows perhaps or even half an hour in the company of Henry Winchester.
The Dell XPS 730X is the biggest PC we've ever seen outside of Tron, and it weighs as much as a small car. The mere act of lifting it onto a desk gave this writer's meagre arms the best workout they'd had for years. If you're very rich and considering getting in to weight lifting this is definitely the machine for you.
The styling of the case is lovely; it's an italicised version of a normal – albeit massive – computer. Into this, Dell has crammed its proprietary H2Ceramic (H2C) cooling system, which uses a mixture of peltier and water cooling to draw heat away from the overclocked Intel Core i7 965 3.2GHz CPU.
It's said to be a completely fanless solution, but the rig still made an average (but tolerable) level of noise, thanks to the Nvidia GeForce GTX280 graphics cards.
Dell has included some fairly useful utilities on top of its standard level of useless bloatware. The Alienware AFX enables customised colour schemes for the case lighting, which is handy if you're allergic to the colour blue.
In addition, there's the Dell XPS thermal monitor, which, as the name suggests, monitors your thermals. It's nice to see that they are both adjustable from within the operating system, and it adds that extra quality feel to the PC.
The XPS 730X is stuffed to the brim with quality components, too. A pair of Nvidia GTX280s sit in an SLI configuration, and they didn't have any qualms with anything we threw at them. In fact, they far exceeded the results that we've had from any other Core i7 rig.
Even so, we still can't help but wonder how many more frames per second the system would have got had it included GeForce GTX285s or even GeForce GTX295s. It's not like they couldn't have been included, given the cost of this rig, and, at time of writing, they weren't even available on the Dell upgrade path.
Dell's system is the most expensive Intel Core i7 PC we've looked at so far. But it's also the best performing system we've seen.
The solid build and high quality components will probably see you through a good five years of top-end gaming, but there are other Core i7 systems out there – such as AdvanceTec's AT-FX Skeleton – that offer a little less performance for much less money.