Product Type: Dell PC desktops
Newest Review: ... at the conclusion he had a faulty floppy drive. On challenging the support team at Dell he was then told that there were critical floppy dr... more
Dell Dimension 8100
Member Name: lankmasta
Dell Dimension 8100
Date: 10/07/01, updated on 10/07/01 (5108 review reads)
Advantages: Flexible support options, Tool free chassis, Excellent hardware configuration
Disadvantages: You might not like the look of it, Expensive at some places
Inside the Dimension 8100's black and silver minitower, Dell has built one of the best gaming performers i've seen yet. With top-notch home theater components and solid, if not exceptional, performance, this system has a lot to offer multimedia and gaming enthusiasts, as well as small businesses and families.
The Dell Dimension 8100 makes its mark as one of the best game performers i've seen, with exceptionally high scores on our Quake III Arena tests. It also blows away almost all other hard drive performance i've seen to date; the only systems that surpass it have been running Windows 2000. Unfortunately, its stellar hard disk throughput doesn't seem to translate into equally stellar everyday performance. It's clearly a fast machine, but not outstanding in its class.
Its real strength is that it comes as a very potent home-theater configuration. Smooth, stutter-free video playback is a given for this class of computer, but that's only the starting point. Dell's P991 monitor is an excellent display, and its 17.9-inch viewing area is a reasonable screen size for even letterboxed videos. The clincher, however, is the awesome audio from the ADA-885 speakers. There are 120 watts of THX-certified sound available from this five-piece system. The only thing Dell doesn't supply is the popcorn. There's also a Sony CD-RW drive on board for backing up your important data and making your own audio CDs.
Dell has switched from its dowdy beige case to a new black minitower with a silver face and matching black monitor and speakers. With the floppy, DVD, and CD-RW drives, only a single 5.25-inch accessible bay is available. A vacant 3.5-inch bay resides inside the case, which you get to by pressing a button at the bottom of the front panel. (The left-side panel slips up and away.) Three PCI slots are unfilled, though the graphics card's large heat sink makes one of them kind of a tight fit.
on 8100 is covered by a three-year warranty for parts and one year for labor through phone diagnostics and parts shipping. You can change that to three years of onsite service. Other optional plans are available that will let you extend the coverage to four or five years of onsite service or parts shipping. Toll-free support for factory-installed software and the operating system (Windows Millennium Edition or Windows 2000) is provided.
The Dimension 8100 isn't the best performer in its class, but for gamers and living room cineastes, it puts on a pretty good show.