The Bottom Line
Oct 10 2011 - Gateway's DX4860-UR20P sets itself apart from other $500 desktops in a few areas but for the most part it is fairly typical. The system does comes with 6GB of memory compared to the normal 4GB. This helps it a bit with multitasking and more demanding tasks but it still isn't well suited for things like desktop video or PC gaming. The inclusion of the SATA drive tray off the front of the case makes it easy to upgrade the storage even if it doesn't offer USB 3.0 or eSATA. Just be warned that it does have a lot of software installed that impacts performance somewhat.
- 6GB Memory
- Wireless Networking
- Easy Access Hard Drive Tray
- Low Wattage Power Supply Limits Graphics Upgrades
- No USB 3.0 or eSATA Ports
- Lots of Preinstalled Software
- Intel Core i3-2100 Dual Core Desktop Processor
- 6GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- Intel HD Graphics 2000 Integrated Graphics
- Intel HDA 5.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Ten USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 16-in-1 Card Reader
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Review - Gateway DX4860-UR20P
Oct 10 2011 - The Gateway DX4860 series of desktops are designed to use the second generation Intel Core i processors. For the budget oriented DX4860-UR20P, the lowest Core i3-2100 dual core processor is used. While this doesn't offer extra cores or turbo features of the higher processor, it does offer sufficient performance for the average desktop user that primarily uses their PC for internet, productivity and media viewing. It is not well suited to demanding tasks such as desktop video editing but it is capable, just slower. Gateway does give it a bit of a boost over many competing systems by using 6GB instead of 4GB of DDR3 memory that does help improve its ability to multitasking.
Storage features of the Gateway DX4860-UR20P is pretty typical of a desktop priced around $500. There is a sizable one terabyte hard drive that should provide plenty of space for applications, data and media files. It should be noted that this hard drive is a green style drive. This means that it spins at a slower 5400rpm rate in order to help reduce the overall power consumption. The downside is that this reduces the performance of the system when booting up or loading applications compared to a traditional 7200rpm class drive. A standard dual layer DVD burner handles playback or recording of CD or DVD media. If you want to add some high speed external storage, then you will be disappointed to learn that it does not have either USB 3.0 or eSATA ports. Thankfully, Gateway has designed the DX class case with an easy access SATA drive tray that resides behind the front panel. All it takes is installing a standard SATA desktop drive into the tray to easily add more storage space.
While most of the Gateway DX product lineup comes with a dedicated graphics card, the DX4860-UR20P instead relies on the Intel HD Graphics 2000 that is built into the Core i3 processor. This is typical of most low cost desktop and isn't necessarily a bad thing. While Intel has certainly improved the features and performance of its integrated graphics, they still lack much in terms of 3D performance that they aren't suitable for 3D gaming even at a casual level. What it does provide however is the ability to accelerate media encoding when using QuickSync compatible applications. There is a PCI-Express x16 graphics card slot available for installing a graphics card. The power supply is limited to just 300 watts that will only allow the most basic of dedicated graphics cards to be installed.
One problem that has plagued many of the Acer Group's (including Gateway) PCs lately has been the software. The company likes to install a large number of applications onto the system. While storage space isn't an issue like it was before, the problem is that many of these programs are either trailware or are installed to load when it is booted. This means it takes longer than the average system to start up. It is advised that users take some time to remove any unwanted applications to help boost the boot performance.