XPS 720 H2C is Here, Officially


I'm sure many of you out there already saw the Engadget story last week. Today, we're officially taking orders for the 720 H2C here in the United States. Customers in Europe will be able to order soon. I know that a lot of you were waiting for details of our next-generation motherboard, and this is it. The 720 H2C utilizes the same motherboard we will ship in the XPS 720. In other words, it's the one that XPS 700 users can soon upgrade to for free, and the one XPS 710 customers can purchase.

The XPS 720 board is a Dell implementation of NVIDIA's 680i chipset. If you're familiar with the 680i chipset, you already know it brings several performance enhancements, like support for processors like Intel's QX6700 and QX6800 processors that support a 1066MHz front side bus, Corsair Dominator 800MHz Enhanced Performance Profile (EPP) memory overclocked to 1066MHz.

I've seen some of you asking if the memory runs at 1066MHz native speed. No, it does not. Corsair also makes it clear in this PDF that the Dominator EPP memory runs at 800MHz native and can be overclocked to 1066MHz.In the BIOS, customers who purchase Corsair memory with their system will have two options for the memory settings. Standard runs at the native clock speed of 800MHz, while SLI/EPP will run it at the overclocked 1066MHz speed.

The XPS 720 board provides more overclocking flexibility compared to our previous gaming systems. XPS 720 customers will have the ability to overclock the CPU, the memory, and the graphics processor. The board also allows CPU and memory overclocking in the BIOS and via NVIDIA's nTune software. Through nTune, users can modify systems clocks, voltages, memory timings, fans and more. One 680i feature that the XPS 720 board does not support is NVIDIA's dual Gigabit ethernet controllers. That also means that it doesn't support NVIDIA's DualNet or FirstPacket technology capability.

Note: You can click on the attached nTune screenshot below to open a larger version of the image. 

The XPS 720 H2C ships with the following components overclocked from the factory:

  • 2.66GHz QX6700 factory overclocked to 3.46GHz
  • 2.93GHz QX6800 factory overclocked to 3.73GHz
  • Corsair 800MHz EPP memory factory overclocked to 1066MHz

The H2C part is our liquid-cooled solution that we've been shipping in the XPS 710 H2C. In case you missed it, this blog entry features a video overview of how the cooling technology works from one of the lead engineers on the product, Chuck Hood. 

The 720 H2C also ships with a 2X Blu-ray optical drive. Those of you that have seen our XPS M1710 gaming notebook might already know about our LightFX toolkit. XPS 720 customers will now have more flexibility with 16 LED colors. Game developers can use LightFX to incoroporate LEDs into gameplay to simulate things like fire, damage, and life drain.

In this video, David McClintock, the platform design engineer, talks about how the XPS 720 H2C and the 720 board were designed for overclocking. He discusses how EPP memory works, and more.

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  • Anonymous

    I am struck by one thought after reading this post. The 14,000 posts by the XPS 700 customers on the Dell Community Forum were not in vain . Dell listened and this post, Lionel, is a testament to a lot of customer hard work! Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Hey Lionel,

    I know I have been a pain in the rear end periodically banging on blu ray, 680i chipshet, and memory at 1066Mhz. Great to see that Dell has listened to voice of the customer.

     I am really hoping that Dell truly listens to the voice of the customer in Europe also, more specifically ireland:), in so far as the lack of a factory overclocked version of the system in XPS710H2C. I know, as you have mentioned in the past, possible to overclock the system on the BIOS especially when you have the H2C technology, but it really doesnt make sense not to roll out the factory overclocked chips under warranty in europe also does it? For people who dont want to go messin about with bios settings and possibly voiding warranties, its REALLY is an important factor in potentially departing from around €6000-€7000 in cash. So heres hoping that the Europe version of the XPS 720 will not be a watered down version like it has been throughout the lifetime of the XPS710H2C.

    To end this comment on a good note, I think this is the best (and most cutting edge) system Dell has rolled out a very long time. Heres hoping you dont forget loyal irish, i mean european Dell customers too! 🙂



  • Anonymous

    My brother the internet sensation!!!  Nice system!

  • Anonymous

    This looks like a machine I would buy. However, I don’t understand why there is no option for a 30″ monitor or larger when there is 3 sections for monitors? I’m assuming most people are not going to spend $6k and only get a 20″ monitor. Also why is there no hybrid or parallel drive options?  Why doesn’t the help tell you which drive is better for what instead of just sizes? Is SATA 3Gb/s at 7.2k rpm faster than SATA 1.5Gb/s 10k RPM?

  • Anonymous

    Will XPS 700 customers be able to buy the H2C liquid cooling systems…for our wonderful new MB?

    Thanks for offering this program. Dell and it’s customers have done a great service for the XPS line.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Lionel,

    Will the XPS 720 and 720 H2C be available in Australia soon also?

    Many thanks,


  • Anonymous

    Thanks awesome MoBo for  my XPS 700 i glad to see wi-fi included in the chipset…

    When will the “fixed” BIOS 1.4.0 be available for download?

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    SuriV: My apologies for not getting back to you. Got an update from the team earlier this morning—goal is to have the updated BIOS by the end of this month.

  • Anonymous

    Can anyone at Dell shed light on the “less than” decisions made for the Dell version of NVIDIA’s 680i motherboard / chipset in the new XPS 720?(http://www.nvidia.com/object/designed_by_nvidia_680i_sli.html)

     Mr Neil Hand indicated RAID 0+1 and RAID 5 in his 3/9/2007 communication; yet, that is not in the 720 H2C but is supported by Media Shield and the 680i chipset. The NVIDIA supports a faster 1333MHz FSB and SLI ready memory with EPP to 1200 MHz, not Dell’s arbitrary(?) 1066; 2 PCIe slots on NVIDIA’ s motherboard, 1 on the 720 plus an extra standard PCI slot #3 (hopefully now with correct PCI timing so a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi card might work); NVIDIA has 2 gigabit ports plus first packet and dual net not offered by Dell? Corsair offers faster “Domminator” 1GB memory chips to match the 680i SLI / EPP (http://www.corsair.com/corsair/dominator.html) and the cost is less at Newegg for the wounded version offered by Dell. How does a x64 bit customer obtain 8 GB of memory?? 

    I am simply confused by the PR statements and the end user product being a classic over-promise / under deliver scenerio yet again since the XPS 500!

  • Anonymous

    Ok, someone explain this to me:

     After seeing that the XPS 720 was out I decided I had to buy one.  I configured a system that totaled around $6400, and then got to the financing portion of the transaction.

     At that point, the sales representative ran my credit, said you were approved for the maximum credit limit of $5000, and then paused unexpectedly.  Thinking that she was wanting to tell how how I would pay, I told her, “no problem I will give you my credit card for the balance.”  She then explained that there was a problem…you have to finance the WHOLE system, or none.

    After running through various Dell representatives for over an hour, I discovered that:

    (1) Dell will not offer financing over $5000 unless you have had an account with them for over 6 months (which is truly pointless for anyone buying a brand new computer);

    (2) Dell prohibits you from paying any portion of your purchase price if you want to take advantage of their financing; and

    (3) The result of this is that Dell will not offer any financing whatsoever for the XPS 720 system, because it (even with everything possible stripped off of it) has a purchase price that exceeds $5000, and Dell won’t let you pay for any portion of that amount.

    So let me get this straight?  I want to buy the most expensive computer Dell makes, and they won’t sell it to me, even after I offered to pay a substantial portion of the purchase price?  They will, however, sell me a different, cheaper model that will make them less money?

  • Anonymous

    Awesome. I’m glad I’ve been waiting for the NVIDIA SLI drivers to come out so that the H2C will have Vista factory-installed. By the way Lionel, any idea when that will happen?

  • Anonymous

    I would love to be able to purchase the H2C for XPS 700!!!!



  • Anonymous

    Quick question that I’d like to get an answer on.  My XPS700 was shipped from Dell with a RAID 0+1 (mirror) configuration.  Obviously I’ve got a lot of data on these drives, and was wondering if the drives contained some of the array data on them, or if it was all onboard the motherboard. 

    If it is all onboard the motherboard, how will Dell work with the customer to ensure no data is lost in this upgrade process beyond just the physical upgrade itself?  Will I have to rebuild my mirrors myself?  Etc… just food for thought that i’d like to get answered.


  • Anonymous

    I would also very much like to know: Will XPS 700 customers be able to buy the H2C liquid cooling systems…for our wonderful new MB?

    This would be nice, as the H2C cooling wasn’t avaliable when i purchased my XPS 700.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Anonymous

    Iam a big xps fan, have u considered an update to the xps 710 to make the lights flash like the new 729

  • Anonymous

    Hi Lionel, I am excited about the new XPS720.

    I purchased a XPS710 in January which was once exchanged and then Dell took back the second one in April and credited me for.  Since I am a loyal Dell customer having purchased over a dozen PCs and Laptops for myself and my office, I told Dell to hold the money so I could buy another one.  Then the news leaked that the 720 was coming out.  I anxiously awaited the 720.  I do not have a need for the H2C.  I do need Vista and RAID which is available on the XPS720H2C and should be as well on the XPS720.  I am trying to find out when the air-cooled 720 will be out.  no one gives me a straight answer, having heard anywhere from this month (May 07) to 2-3 months.  Dell has had my $4400 since January and I want to order a Dell.  I also have a 10% coupon which expires May 30.  So I wish to be able to take advantage of it.

     Now, Dell has had my dollars since January interest free, and I need a PC.  Questions are:

    1.  When will the air-cooled XPS720 be available

    2.  Will Dell be willing to honor my coupon after it is expired

    3. If no to above, will Dell be willing to work with me on the price of the XPS720H2C model if I elect to purchase that instead?

    Please let me know ASAP as I would love to stay loyal to Dell.  I have been your customer since 1999.

  • Anonymous

    I have been thinking about buying an XPS 710 but this puts my plans on hold. When will there be a non-H2C version for those of us that want the motherboard and memory improvements but don’t care for liquid cooling? Will it be priced similar to the current 710?

    Between 700 users getting a free MB update and this, 710 users are in a bit of a disadvantage aren’t they?

    I don’t understand how anybody in their right mind could place an order for a new 710 machine after seeing this. A non-H2C version to replace the regular 710 is needed ASAP.

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    BPryor: My apologies that we’re giving you a problem trying to pay us $6K for a 720 H2C. I’ll have someone contact you tomorrow.

  • Anonymous

    As someone who has purchased a 710-H2C recently, when will we be offered the option to buy the motherboard upgrade?



  • Anonymous

    I meant to say perpendicular not parallel drive earlier.

  • Anonymous


    It seems that this may be a popular item, that many would like to have an answer on.

    Is the lack of an answer because there is no definitive answer yet? 


    horsted said:

    I would also very much like to know: Will XPS 700 customers be able to buy the H2C liquid cooling systems…for our wonderful new MB?

    This would be nice, as the H2C cooling wasn’t avaliable when i purchased my XPS 700.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Anonymous

    Hi…I completely stumbled on this blog by accident. Just about 4 weeks ago I purchased a 710 H2C specifically for MS FSX. So after weeks of tweaking (I was in hardware deficiency denial), I finally concluded that the bottleneck was in my hardware.

    At this point I have paid $5400 for this system only to find out it’s already maxed out on performance upgrade capability. The 590 SLI is maxed in the 710 H2C. You can’t do any more to it! There was nothing on Dell’s site and nothing mentioned by reps about the 720…had I known I would have waited 3 weeks for a far better system.

    I recieved this system the first week of May…what options do I have to exchange this system for a 720 under these circumstances? How soon will the 680i upgrade purchase be availble?

    Right now my H2C makes a great FSX slide show presentation and with no hope to upgrade the hardware for increased gaming experience I am now stuck with a really fast Internet and email system…this is foul…



  • Anonymous

    Oh yes…in reference to my question about 710 support, I’m especially concerned considering that this is my second 710 this year. Earlier this year I purchased a 710 ForumulaRed…while I didn’t expect much from it I certainly didn’t expect the 720 H2C new addition 3 weeks after my 710 H2C purchase. In the last 5 months I have purchased about $8000 worth of Dell systems for personal use.

     What sort of support can I expect on my 710 H2C exchange or motherboard upgrade?



  • Anonymous

    Hello Lionel

    I own a XPS 710 system i wondering if the lightfx tool kit will become available to XPS 700 and 710 systems

  • Anonymous

    Hello Lionel,

    Good news! Hopefully the registration programme will be up and running in no time and the XPS 700 customers can finally be placated with a mobo that delivers what it should.

    W.r.t. the cooling question from other users – I am also curious if the cooling can be upgraded or not?

    Thanks again for the update and I hope the actual replacement programme is up and running very shortly.


  • Anonymous


    Oh my! I brought my XPS700 when it first came out specifically to play games on it (note the plural of the word). Even then I was almost laughed upon for spending such extremes of cash on such a narrow-minded focus. 

     You’ve taken it even further! Maybe I should be calling you the game maniac, because what your saying sound like you are suffering from some form of technological affliction! Spending thousands on a PC for one specific game, only to find out said PC is not up to the grade ranks right up there in the stupidity stakes!

    Maybe, if Dell are kind hearted, they may want to solve your problems, but you shouldn’t rant and rave because you brought a system that can’t play your games!

  • Anonymous


    Can someone tell me what slots are available after installing both nvidia cards on the 720 H2C? I have an x1 and x8 card that i want to use and im hoping that these are available assuming that the gfx card are dual slot height.



  • Anonymous

    Hi game maniac,

     Appreciate the kind words (yeah…). Do I know you?? I’m sure there’s something trivial you complain about…it’s human nature, and it’s all subjective.

    Either way, whether this ranks #1 in the stupidity category or not, Dell obviously didn’t think so. Please note, consideration for monetary stupidity might often be victim to the subjective mindset each of us has anchored to our disposable income level. I’m fortunate enough to consider this trivial, and as such, assign it a trivial complaint. I guess if I had real problems I wouldn’t be buying an XPS…I sort of thought we were all in that category, so I didn’t expect backlash.

    Regardless, Dell has been helpful and considerate. Dell listened to what I had to say and provided an honest solution. I’m sure you’ll get your 680i mobo sometime this year as Dell has promised. In the mean time if you’re ever interested in what the XPS 720 H2C is like, just post in this blog. I’ll be more than happy to share the truth of the system with anyone interested (sincerely), especially my friend “game maniac”. 

    Thanks Lionel for all your input to this blog…DELL rocks!!!

  • Anonymous

    Game Maniac: Actually Tekhed is perfectly entitled to rant and rave on MS FSX compatibility, because the game is one of the first to be “XPS certified”.

    Microsoft is advertising this on the game’s actual website:


    And unless it changes by the time you read this, it is the top featured game on Dell’s gaming site:


    So it’s clear that MS and Dell are endorsing one another, advertising the XPS+FSX combo. I would be pretty disappointed too if I bought into this and didn’t get what was promised.

  • Anonymous

    Doh. EU customers shafted again 🙁
    EU get less options, lower spec, more expensive.

    I’ve been waiting for the 720, so I just specced up an XPS 720 H2C system on dell.co.uk, and noted these differences…

    ** Processor: No choice, no factory overclock
    EU = QX6700 processor (8MB 2.66GHz)

    US = X6800  (4MB,3.73GHz Factory overclocked)
    US = QX6700 (8MB,3.46GHz Factory overclocked)
    US = QX6800 (8MB L2 Cache,3.73GHz Factory overclocked)

    ** Operating System: EU version does not appear to include re-installation disk?
    ** Memory: Less choice, no overclock and check out the stupendous cost of the extra 2GB of memory!
    EU = 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 800MHz [2x1024MB] Memory [Included in Price]
    EU = 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 800MHz [4x1024MB] Memory [add £705.00 or £19/month1] (I’ve seen this for £250 online)

    US = 2GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz OC’d to 1066MHz-2 DIMMs [Included in Price]
    US = 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz – 4 DIMMs [add $170 or $5/month1]
    US = 4GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz OC’d to 1066MHz-4 DIMMs [add $600 or $18/month1]
    ** Additional Hard Drives: No choice – you must take the 500MB drive
    EU = 500GB (7200rpm) Serial ATA/100

    US = None  
    US = 160GB – Western Digital Raptor 10,000RPM, SATA 1.5Gb/s, 16MB Cache [add $280 or $9/month1]
    US = 320GB – Seagate 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache [add $170 or $5/month1]
    US = 500GB – Seagate 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache [add $300 or $9/month1]
    US = 750GB – Seagate 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache [add $370 or $11/month1]

    ** Optical Drive: No choice, no BluRay
    EU = 16x DVD+/-RW & 16x DVD Drives [Included in Price]

    US = Dual Drives: 48x Combo + 16x DVD+/-RW w/ dbl layer write capable [Included in Price]
    US = Single Drive: Blu-ray Disc Drive (BD/DVD/CD burner w/double layer BD write [add $310 or $9/month1]

    ** Graphics Cards: No choice
    EU = DUAL 768MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800GTX graphics cards [Included in Price]

    US = Dual 768MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX [Included in Price]
    US = Dual 768MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 Ultra [add $700 or $21/month1]

    ** Keyboard & Mouse: Limited choice, no “none” or cheap option (I don’t want another keyboard & mouse).
    US = Many choices including none

    ** Media Card Readers: No “none” option – must take the 13 in 1 reader
    EU = Internal 13-in-1 Media Card Reader
    US = Has “none” option

    ** Price
    EU = £3650
    US = $5500 (£2800) – I could save even more money in the US by removing the extra hard drive that I don’t want.

    ** Conclusion **
    I’m used to paying higher prices for almost everything here in Europe, but I object to getting a significantly less powerful system with less choice to configure to my requirements.

  • Anonymous

    on the 720, 710, and 700 with both dial height video cards installed you will have 2 PCI slots and 1 PCI Express x8 slot(on the 720 it is another x16 size slot but only x8 in speed)

  • Anonymous

    Lionel, when I check my MOB with a diag. program, it indicates a 570 board? I have an xps710 red purchased in May 2007 (sold as 590).  Second, I realize the complaints from 700 buyers, but 710 buyers were also given bad info when buying their systems and these systems are not up to par as indicated.  Am I expected to spend an additional 500.00 (just guessing on MOB upgrade price) to get the system I thought I was originally buying?  Thank you


    Mike (not so happy) 

  • Anonymous


    can I order a system from the US site using your home address for shipping? Even after adding the sost of a flight to the US the 720 will be cheaper than the prices you are quoting in the UK and as ll says above I’ll get more choice and an overcloscked system to boot!

  • Anonymous

    Hi. I just got off the phone with multiple Dell reps with the same problem another user mentioned above. Getting a Dell preferred account which can only initially come with less than the cost of a720. Multiple reps told me there was no way to use the preferred with another credit card.  Has anyone successfully talked to Dell in to some way around this?


  • Anonymous

    Hi, earlier in the forum I was discussing my problems with the XPS 710 H2C and its inability to perform in regards to Microsoft’s new flight sim FSX. In the weeks that have past, I sent the system back and purchased the XPS 720 H2C.

    My new system came equipped with the QX6800 and 4 gig of dominator memory. This new system with the 680i motherboard is a world apart from the XPS 710 H2C. Of course I had to test FSX on the new system as this would be the deciding factor whether or not I would keep it. It is well worth the money.

    As some may know, FSX is worthless if you can’t turn the settings on max. On anything less than maximum the level of realism dips below anything which may convince you of an authentic flight experience. With the 720 H2C all my settings are maxed out…on top of that I’m also using TrakerIR, so the load on the game’s autogen is intense.

    The 720 H2C is well worth the money.


  • Anonymous

    @ Tekhed

     I read your post one day too late! Looking at your earlier post, I too am looking for for a new system primarily to run FSX (also, the Blu-ray capability doesn’t hurt either). The company I work for had a deal going where I could get 21% off a Dell system, which unfortnatlye expired last night. So for over a day I pondered whether it was worth still dropping $5000 on a new system for a this game, unsure of how well it would handle FSX. Apparently according to your post, it handles it quite well. Unfortunately, I couldn’t convince myself it was justified, especially with DX10 for FSX still in work. Had I known this 24 hours sooner, I’d be counting down the days until the new system arrived on my doorstep instead of the days until either the next discount comes along or the price on the system drops.

  • Anonymous

    @ J. Paunicka


    Undoubtedly the price for this system will go down. I was impatient and after 3-weeks of not flying I was ready for my new computer.


    Honestly, this system is great. It’s what I thought I was getting from the 710 H2C. Due to life in the “real world” I was finally able to use the system starting this last Saturday, and have flown a few missions well over 3 hours long with all terrain settings on max. I could’ve cranked up AI as well but then it begins to get a little unrealistic, so I put Airlines on 80% and small aircraft on 50%. Regardless of your choice, it will run smooth.


    The only thing I found is that I had to perform a couple strange setting changes for FSX. For example, if you go in the bios and unselect “multi-core”, over clock to 3.76, the game runs perfect. Also, you can’t take advantage of SLI, for whatever reason FSX runs excruciatingly slow…operating on a single GPU creates the optimum environment. Attempting to operate on all 4 cores can cause the game to reset the whole system. Not really sure why this happens.


    Oddly, even with these setting changes FPS will often jump to 50 FPS and average in the 30’s. In all, FSX is smooth (even with my TrackIR 4) and I have never experienced any blurries or jumpy frames.


    While I NOW enjoy FSX with nothing to complain about, I think it’s obvious that the development team has a lot of inefficient code to work through. To say that a system similar to the 720 H2C is the minimum setup is a little scary to consider. I suppose all this will be a moot point in about 8 months as new chip sets hit the market this fall and prices drop for what we now consider to be “great”.


    Hope this helped.




  • Anonymous

    @ J. Paunicka

     Also, sorry to hear about your unfortunate timing. I actually did take advantage of an employee purchase plan, so I ended up under $5k (shipped). Of course that’s without Blue Ray or a monitor (had my own). I didn’t know about the purchase plan when I bought my 710 H2C, so oddly enough my 720 H2C was cheaper than the 710.  

  • Anonymous

    Three more days people! I dont know how long till we actually get the board though 🙁

  • Anonymous

    is it possible to buy a h2c liquid cooler for my 710xps