The Bottom Line
Oct 7 2011 - Dell's Inspiron 620 budget desktop model pretty much offers most of what the average $500 desktop system does. This means it should work just fine for those that are looking to use their PC for the internet, productivity applications or watching media. Those hoping to do more demanding tasks or doing some gaming will be disappointed as the upgrade options are a bit limiting for both the memory and video card. Dell does include a wireless adapter standard which is convenient for attaching it to a home wireless network.
- Wireless Network Adapter Included
- Large, High Speed Hard Drive
- Limited To Just 8GB Of RAM
- Low Wattage Power Supply Restricts Video Upgrades
- No USB 3.0 or eSATA
- Intel Core i3-2100 Dual Core Desktop Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- Intel HD Graphics 2000 Integrated Graphics
- Intel HDA 5.1 Audio
- Gigibit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Eight USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 19-in-1 Card Reader
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Review - Dell Inspiron 620
Oct 7 2011 - Dell offers a wide range of configurations for their Inspiron lineup of desktop PCs. This includes some feature packed version of the Inspiron 620 that I previously looked at as well as their $500 budget minded model that I'm looking at today. This version can be found prebuilt from a number of retailers rather than being custom built and shipped from Dell.
The Inspiron 620 differs from past models because it is designed to use the new second generation Core i processors. In order to keep a budget configuration, this model uses the lowest Core i3-2100 dual core processor. This offers a substantial improvement in performance compared to the first generation Core i3 processors. In fact, this should be more than enough for the average user that is typically using their desktop for the internet, productivity and media viewing. It is only once you get into media creation such as desktop video that it will start to show its limitations. Much of this can be attributed to the 4GB of DDR3 memory though. It can be upgraded to 8GB of memory but this will mean complete removal of the two existing 2GB modules and replacing them with 4GB ones.
Storage features for the Inspiron 620 budget model are pretty typical from the average priced $500 desktop system. A one terabyte hard drive provides sufficient storage for most users applications, data and media files. While many companies have switched to green style drives to save a few dollars on the production costs, Dell has standardized their builds to all use the standard 7200rpm spin rate. This provides it with a bit more performance over the variable speed green drives. A dual layer DVD handles playback and recording of CD or DVD media. On disappointment for this latest Inspiron desktop model is the lack of new high speed external peripheral ports. It uses traditional USB 2.0 ports rather than the new high speed USB 3.0 or eSATA ports. This means to get the fastest storage upgrade, you will need to open up the case and install another internal drive.
Like the majority of low cost desktops, the Inspiron 620 relies on the integrated graphics system. With the new Intel Core i3, this is the Intel HD Graphics 2000 that is built directly onto the processor. This has many advantages over the previous Intel GMA integrated graphics but it still lacks any real 3D performance to be used for even a casual level of PC gaming. What it does bring is the ability to accelerate encoding media thanks to the QuickSync feature with compatible applications. For those that do want to use a dedicated graphics card, there is a PCI-Express x16 graphics card slot. The downside is that the power supply is a relatively low 300 watt model. This means that upgrades will be restricted to the most basic cards which are not well suited for PC gaming beyond a casual level.
It is nice to see that Dell continues to include the wireless network adapter with their low cost desktop. This is a feature that many companies don't include as a means to save a few dollars. The fact is that wireless networking is now a pretty common feature for the average home thanks to the myriad of wireless devices. This makes it much easier to hook the system into a home network without having to rely on running a wire between the router and the desktops location.