Dell XPS Desktop 8960 Review: A Powerhouse for Work and Play Unveiled

There’s a moment we’ve all had when we’re in the throes of an intense gaming session, or lost in the labyrinth of a complex coding problem, or immersed in editing a cinematic masterpiece; that moment when our computer starts to lag. That dreaded spinning wheel of doom appears, and our hearts drop. Suddenly, our high-stakes battle, our code compilation, or our creative flow comes to a screeching halt. We sigh, we curse, we reboot, and we think: there has to be a better way.

Enter the Dell XPS Desktop 8960 – a computer that promises to not only keep pace with our high-powered demands but also to outpace them, elevating our digital experience to new heights. This powerhouse PC, the subject of our Dell XPS Desktop 8960 review: Powerful for work and play, is a beacon of hope for all who have found themselves in the throes of tech-related despair.

But this isn’t just a piece of hardware. It’s a multifaceted digital companion equipped to facilitate a spectrum of tasks, from the playfully recreational to the intensely professional. So, how does one truly evaluate such a machine’s capabilities and worth? How do we pierce through the marketing lingo and dissect its true performance? Well, fear not. Here is a breakdown of our hands-on experiences, a guide to appreciating the full breadth of what the Dell XPS Desktop 8960 has to offer. Strap in and prepare to delve into an exploration of power, performance, and practicality.

Dell XPS Desktop 8960 Review: A Powerhouse for Work and Play Unveiled

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Design: Sleek and Modern

As you unwrap the package, the Dell XPS Desktop 8960 welcomes you with a minimalist, modern design. This desktop, with its compact dimensions and unobtrusive looks, fits neatly into any workspace or gaming corner. However, don’t be fooled by its quiet elegance. Underneath this modest exterior is a beast waiting to unleash its power.

Performance: Work and Play in Harmony

Once the XPS Desktop 8960 roars to life, you will immediately experience its power. The heart of this machine is an Intel Core i7-13700K processor. Combined with an NVIDIA RTX 4080 graphics card, it makes light work of the most demanding tasks and games. Whether you’re editing videos, coding, running complex simulations, or immersing yourself in high-end gaming, this desktop PC remains unfazed.

Gaming: Ready for Action

Gaming on the Dell XPS Desktop 8960 is a treat for the senses. With an RTX 4080, expect blazing-fast frame rates, even in the most demanding titles. Playing Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K Ultra settings? You’ll average a smooth 60 FPS. Forza Horizon 5 on 4K Ultra? Expect to see a staggering 123 FPS. And, it’s not just about the speed. The graphic detail, ray tracing capabilities, and overall visual experience are genuinely breathtaking.

Benchmarking: Numbers Tell the Story

The benchmark scores tell the tale of the XPS Desktop 8960’s outstanding performance. On PCMark 10, the system scores an impressive 9,118. Its Cinebench scores, both single and multi-core, outshine even the 12th-generation Intel Core i9 CPUs. In gaming benchmarks, the 3DMark scores reach a sky-high 25,000. But the numbers don’t stop there. Even in advanced tests, such as DirectX Raytracing and Nvidia DLSS, the system’s robustness is evident.

Impressive Design and Build

The Dell XPS Desktop 8960 features a minimalistic, yet stunning design that blends in well with any modern workspace or gaming setup. Encased in a sturdy metal frame, the desktop showcases a blend of practicality and aesthetics with its neatly arranged components and effective cooling system. It is versatile enough to be placed vertically or horizontally, depending on your space requirements.

Enhanced Performance

Thanks to the Intel Core i7-13700K processor and NVIDIA’s RTX 4080 GPU, the Dell XPS Desktop 8960 delivers incredible performance. These high-performance components make it an excellent choice for demanding tasks like high-resolution video editing, 3D rendering, and playing the latest AAA games at high settings.

Expandable and Future-Proof

One of the significant advantages of the Dell XPS Desktop 8960 is its expandability. It features multiple expansion slots for additional storage or RAM, allowing you to easily upgrade the system as per your requirements. Plus, its high-end components make it a future-proof investment that’s likely to deliver great performance for years to come.

Multitasking and Productivity

Equipped with 32GB RAM, the Dell XPS Desktop 8960 ensures smooth multitasking, allowing you to run multiple applications simultaneously without a hitch. This makes it an excellent option for professionals who need to juggle various tasks at once.

Ample Storage

The desktop comes with a 1TB SSD, offering fast boot times and load speeds. This ample storage space allows you to store a vast collection of games, multimedia files, and professional data.

Connectivity Options

The Dell XPS Desktop 8960 offers a broad range of connectivity options, including USB 3.2, USB-C, Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0. It also has an HDMI port and DisplayPort for connecting multiple monitors.

VR Ready

The robust hardware specifications of the Dell XPS Desktop 8960 make it VR-ready, capable of delivering a smooth and immersive virtual reality experience.

Excellent Gaming Performance

The powerful RTX 4080 GPU provides excellent gaming performance, with the ability to run demanding games at high frame rates. In addition, the inclusion of NVIDIA’s DLSS technology ensures optimal performance even at 4K resolutions.

Quiet Operation

Despite its power, the Dell XPS Desktop 8960 operates quietly, thanks to its efficient cooling system and high-quality fans. This feature allows you to focus on your work or gaming without being distracted by excessive fan noise.

Ease of Upgrade: Future-proof Your Investment

Despite its compact size, the Dell XPS Desktop 8960 offers reasonable room for upgrades. Whether you’re an experienced PC builder or a novice, the internal layout is designed for easy accessibility. You can effortlessly swap out components, enhancing your system’s longevity. However, bear in mind that the liquid cooling solution and GPU positioning could be tricky to navigate for less experienced users.

ComponentXPS Desktop 8960Lenovo Legion Tower 5i (Gen 8)HP OMEN 45L Desktop
ProcessorIntel Core i7-13700KIntel Core i7-13700FCore i9-12900K
Graphics CardRTX 4080RTX 4070RTX 3090
PCMark 109,1188,6099,012
3DMark: Time Spy25,10817,17418,734
3DMark: Time Spy Extreme12,6678,4249,594
Geekbench 6 (Single/Multi)2,848/17,2972,745/15,969N/A
Geekbench 5 (Single/Multi)2,010/18,5522,409/11,7841,921 / 15,723
Crossmark (Overall, Productivity, Creativity/ Responsiveness)2,204/2,005/2,599/1,7862,096/1,927/2,377/1,847N/A
Cinebench (Single/Multi)2,067/24,8021,997/22,4071,894 / 23,659
Direct X Raytracing Feature Test (3DMark)82.10 FPS51.11 FPSN/A
Nvidia DLSS Feature Test (3D Mark, Performance Mode)38.56 DLSS Off/130.17 DLSS On (DLSS3 3840 X 2160)22.74 DLSS Off/83.50 DLSS On (DLSS3 3840 X 2160)N/A

From this table, we can see that the XPS Desktop 8960 generally outperforms the other two systems in most of the listed benchmarks.

Advanced Liquid Cooling System

The Dell XPS Desktop 8960 comes equipped with an advanced liquid cooling system. This setup not only ensures optimal performance during heavy-duty tasks but also prolongs the life of components by keeping them cool. Even under intense usage, the desktop maintains its cool, ensuring you get a seamless experience without any thermal throttling.

Immersive Audio Experience

The desktop also offers an immersive audio experience with its integrated high-definition audio and Waves MaxxAudio Pro. This combination delivers crystal-clear sound, enhancing your multimedia and gaming experiences. Whether you’re editing a video, watching a movie, or playing a game, you can expect exceptional sound quality.


The Dell XPS Desktop 8960 is built to be energy-efficient. It comes with a power-supply unit that meets Energy Star’s efficiency requirements, ensuring that the desktop consumes less power, reducing your energy bills, and minimizing its environmental footprint.

Tool-less Chassis

For enthusiasts who love to tinker, the Dell XPS Desktop 8960 comes with a tool-less chassis. This feature simplifies upgrades and maintenance, allowing you to easily access and replace components without the need for special tools.

Software Enhancements

The desktop also includes Dell’s proprietary software enhancements. The Dell Mobile Connect software allows seamless integration between your PC and smartphone, while the Dell Power Manager lets you customize your power management settings for optimal performance and efficiency.

Excellent Customer Support

Dell offers excellent customer support for the XPS Desktop 8960. From 24/7 phone and chat support to in-home service after remote diagnosis, you can rest assured that help is always available.

Durability and Reliability

The XPS Desktop 8960 is not just about high performance; it is also designed for durability and reliability. It goes through rigorous testing to ensure it can withstand real-world conditions, offering you a desktop that’s not just powerful but also dependable.

Pre-installed Windows 11

The XPS Desktop 8960 comes with Windows 11 pre-installed, offering a plethora of new features and improvements over previous versions, including a new start menu, snap layouts, direct access to Microsoft Teams, and more. This new OS combined with the robust hardware of the desktop makes for a fast, smooth, and efficient user experience.

Wireless and Bluetooth Capabilities

The inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 ensures you have the best in wireless and Bluetooth capabilities. Fast internet speeds, low latency, and improved connectivity are just a few benefits you get with these advanced wireless technologies.

Conclusion: Worth the Investment?

To sum it up, the Dell XPS Desktop 8960 is an impressive piece of technology. It’s a powerhouse that effortlessly straddles the worlds of work and play. Whether you’re a gaming enthusiast or a professional seeking reliable performance, this desktop offers remarkable value. Despite a few minor hiccups, this system stands tall as a worthy investment for any power user. It’s a testament to Dell’s commitment to provide high-performance, quality products that stand the test of time.


1. Is the Dell XPS Desktop 8960 suitable for gaming?

Absolutely, the desktop’s high-performance specs, including the Intel Core i7-13700K and RTX 4080, make it ideal for gaming.

2. Can I easily upgrade components on the XPS Desktop 8960?

Yes, its tool-less chassis allows for hassle-free access, making upgrades and maintenance much simpler.

3. Does the XPS Desktop 8960 come with a pre-installed operating system?

Indeed, it comes with Windows 11 pre-installed, offering a host of new features and improvements.

4. What’s special about the audio experience on the Dell XPS Desktop 8960?

The integrated high-definition audio combined with Waves MaxxAudio Pro provides a truly immersive audio experience.

5. How does the liquid cooling system in the XPS Desktop 8960 improve its performance?

The advanced liquid cooling system ensures optimal component temperatures, enhancing performance during heavy-duty tasks and prolonging component life.