With a quad-core Intel i7-6700 processor, the Dell XPS 8900 has the best-performing processor in our review. While most business desktop computers have 8GB of memory, the Dell XPS provides 16GB of installed memory. In addition, it comes with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 745 graphics card that has 4GB of RAM for processing graphics. For these reasons, the Dell XPS 8900 earns the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for the best business computer.
To find the best business computer, we looked at performance, memory and storage, connectivity, expansion potential, and support features. The most important feature is performance, which was evaluated by looking at the processor's PassMark score – an industry benchmarking score that reflects the results of thousands of user testing. The Dell XPS' processor had the highest PassMark score, which when combined with twice as much RAM as any computer, easily makes it the best business computer in the $1,000 price range.
The Dell XPS 8900 series of business computers has one of the best processors available, the Intel Core i7-6700 3.3-GHz processor. This processor has four cores. With hyper-threading, this processor has eight total threads of execution, which means that it's almost like having eight cores. The difference between a quad-core processor with hyper-threading and one without is like the difference between an eight-lane highway versus a four-lane highway – more data can pass through it. This is why the i7-6700 has a PassMark score of 11,000, which is the highest in our review. It's easily capable of multitasking without experiencing a dip in performance.
Another great performance feature is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 745 graphics card. This GPU has 4GB of memory dedicated to processing graphics. This makes the XPS 8900 a great office PC for video and graphics editing, because the graphics have their own dedicated processor and RAM.
Since the GPU processes the graphics, the CPU is free to handle all the other data processing. This provides better performance all around. Most business computers rely on the processor to execute the graphics with integrated graphics, which can limit your multitasking abilities, because graphics can hog all the processor's resources.
The XPS 8900 comes with 16GB of installed memory, which is double what the standard is for most business computers in the same price range. You can upgrade to as much as 32GB of RAM, and the motherboard can support up to 64GB. Even the least expensive computer in the XPS 8900 series has 8GB of RAM. With so much RAM, you can run the most data-intensive programs with ease, and you have a sufficient ceiling for years to come as apps increase their memory requirements.
You get a 1-TB hard drive, but you can upgrade to 2TB. For comparison, most business PCs come with a 500-GB or 1-TB hard drive. This gives you plenty of room to store all of your business' important files. Dell also includes a one-year subscription to a Dropbox account so you can back up your critical files and easily share files with your employees and clients.
The XPS tower chassis has 10 USB ports – six USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0. This gives you ample room to add external components and devices like microphones, scanners, cameras and external hard drives. However, this is on the low end. Some computers have as many as 14 USB ports. As a rule, you should have at least two or three more ports than you expect to use. It also comes with a 19-in-1 media card reader, which allows you to read a wide variety of portable storage cards.
This is one of the few business computers in our review with an HDMI port, which is the ideal port for high-definition displays and other media connections. While it also comes with the standard DisplayPort connection, the HDMI connection allows you to connect to a high-definition TV.
A minor downside to the Dell XPS 8900 is the one-year warranty. The industry standard is three years. However, you have the option to upgrade to a two-, three- or four-year warranty. Each warranty includes onsite service and remote diagnosis, which allows you to diagnose issues using tools from the Dell website. As an upgrade, you can also protect it against accidental damage from liquid spills, drops and electrical surges.
Dell provides 24/7 support every day of the year via phone, live chat and email. This is critical for a business, because it means you can always receive help if your computer goes down. You can also consult community forums to share ideas and concerns with other users. In case the hard drive fails, Dell has an asset-recovery service to help you get back all of the important files for your business.
The most important expansion feature of the tower chassis is the 460-watt power supply unit, which is among the best available for a business computer. This is important because you need a substantial power supply if you want to add more components. An underpowered component can cause the computer to overheat, which can damage parts and become a fire hazard.
In addition, the motherboard has four expansion slots and five bays for adding more components, like secondary hard drives or an upgraded sound card. This gives you a lot of flexibility to customize the computer to your business' needs.
The Dell XPS 8900 is the best business computer. It combines 1TB of storage with the most memory and the best processor. It also features a 4GB graphics processor and an HDMI port. Despite the short one-year warranty, it provides the most reliable performance for a business computer at this price range.