Student or not, Dell's Back to School sale has actual gaming PCs with actual GPUs

Dell XPS Desktop
(Image credit: Dell)

First, my apologies to anyone who doesn't want to be reminded about having to go back to school just yet, but Dell has listed another bunch of PC discounts in its Back to School sales push. So, if you're after a shiny new laptop to take into lectures, or a desktop PC for those 3am just-hours-before-submission-deadline essay sessions, then Dell's offering a little extra cash off its systems.

The main thing to note is there's up to $200 off if you use the relevant 'STUDENT' code at checkout, which sits on top of whatever discounts have already been applied to the machines on offer. 

For our money, the system that stands out to us is the XPS Desktop with a GTX 1660 Ti sitting inside it for $1,049.99. But that's because it's one of the few actual gaming PCs on offer this time around. Okay, there's an Alienware gaming laptop on the list, but even with $200 off that RTX 3070 notebook it's still the best part of $3,000.

XPS Desktop | GTX 1660 Ti | 16GB RAM | $1399.99
PC with graphics c...

XPS Desktop | GTX 1660 Ti | 16GB RAM | $1399.99 $1,049.99 at Dell (save $350)
It may be a last-gen GPU right now, but decent 1080p gaming performance is still hard to come buy at retail for a decent price, and you won't find a machine like this for less than this unless it's a refurb. Enter STUDENT200 at checkout for the full discount.

As well as having a GPU that's capable of delivering excellent 1080p gaming performance, the XPS Desktop also comes with an eight-core, 16-thread Intel Core i7 CPU and 16GB of dual-channel DDR4-2933 memory. You do get an SSD boot drive, in the shape of a 256GB NVMe option, but you're going to be hard pushed to fit a Windows install and Red Dead Redemption 2 on there, let alone any actual school work. But there is a 1TB hard drive for extra data storage, slow as that will be.

On the laptop front there's an AMD-powered Inspiron 15 Touch laptop, that will deliver a modicum of 720p-level gaming performance from its integrated Vega GPU cores. With the discounts applied that comes to less than $900. You do get a 512GB SSD with that one, but the memory looks to be 16GB of soldered single-channel DDR4-3200.

Though it's not exactly a gaming machine, we've got a real soft spot for Dell's gorgeous XPS 13 range, and these Tiger Lake. It's still kinda pricey, at $1,369.99, but the beautifully slimline chassis means it's the sort of notebook you can sling into a messenger bag and barely notice the weight.

That 96 EU Intel XE graphics chip inside the Intel i7 CPU also gives it some 720p-level gaming performance too. So if you fancy a little Crusader Kings III action on the downlow when you should be studying, the XPS 13 will certainly deliver.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.