Dell is looking to take a hand in every part of your desktop PC gaming experience, hardware and software alike, with a pair of new showings at this year’s CES that cover the whole gamut of gaming-related features. Joining the heavily customizable Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop 5680 is the new Alienware Command Center, which lets you control your game library, PC lighting, and overclocking from a single dashboard.
Although Dell is one of the world’s most prolific PC manufacturers, its status in the gaming software market has been far less elevated. With the new Alienware Command Center, it is looking to capitalize on the ever-growing support for RGB backlighting on various peripherals and products, as well as taking over from some of the more specific graphics-driver and overclocking tools out there.
Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop 5680
- CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i3, i5, or i7
- Memory: Up to 64GB of DDR4
- Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1050, 1060, or 1070
- Storage: Up to 256GB SSD, 2TB HDD
- Audio: Performance 7.1 HD sound card
The most striking aspect of Dell’s understated but potentially powerful gaming desktop, the Inspiron 5680, is that it is heavily customizable. If you want to pack it with a Core i3 CPU, 8GB of memory, and an Nvidia GTX 1050 for entry-level gaming, you can do so. If you have deeper pockets and want to put in a Core i7 CPU, a GTX 1070, two terabytes of storage, and 64GB of RAM, that’s perfectly doable as well.
Whichever CPU you choose though, it will come from the latest generation, which means it will have at least four cores and potentially six if you opt for the top-tier offerings. Although the official specifications don’t mention it, we are also told that there is an option for an AMD RX 580 graphics card if you prefer to lean toward the red camp, like previous Inspiron gaming systems.
Dell goes out of its way to talk up the upgrade potential of the system, too, with four bays allowing for a total of three hard drives and two solid-state drives. It also highlights audio and network features like the onboard 7.1 sound card and support for Dell CinemaSound, alongside a connection optimizer called SmartByte, which helps prioritize video streaming to reduce lag and stuttering.
The chassis that contains all of this has a sleek, professional look rather than something gaudy and typically gamer-like, but that’s likely to appeal to Dell’s audience. It comes with plenty of front-panel ports and employs an “intelligent thermal design” to keep everything nice and cool.
The Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop 5680 is available from the official store right now, starting at $750.
New Alienware Command Center
- Supports 16.8 million colors for peripheral backlighting control
- Design individual game profiles with lighting, graphics and overclocking options
- Game library puts all of your games in one central location
- Built-in simple and efficient overclocking control
Designed to take the place of many pieces of PC software that typically cater to very specific functions, the new Alienware Command Center has an overhauled dashboard that’s cleaner and more functional than its predecessors. It collects an overclocking tool together with a backlighting manager, a unified game library, and graphics profiles within a singular piece of software.
Typically these sorts of functions are found in individual applications like graphics driver backends and specific peripheral customizers, but Dell is looking to have you utilize just one for all of them in the future. While that might make you assume that some of the functions in this general application are dulled down, Dell claims that its overclocking suite is simple but powerful, and can be leveraged by casual and advanced gamers alike. It also lays claim to support for nearly 17 million colors in its peripheral lighting management tool.
Perhaps the most useful aspect of the Command Center for those who like to game on a variety of download platforms like Steam, Origin, and Battle.net, is that it collects all of your games under one roof, making it easier to launch and customize them from a single location.
The new Alienware Command Center will be entirely free when it launches at some point during the first quarter of 2018 and will presumably support more than just Alienware desktops.
It’s unlikely to change our opinion of some of Alienware’s recent gaming systems, but it couldn’t hurt.
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