The Bottom Line
Sep 27 2013 - The primary driving reason to get the Gateway SX2865-UR26 is the fact that it comes with a faster Core i3 processor when compared to other systems in the under $400 desktop market. It is also a compact system which is useful for people with limited space to have a PC but this comes with the downside that it will not have as much ability to be upgraded.
- Faster Core i3 Processor
- Smaller More Compact Case
- Larger Hard Drive Than Other Affordable Slim Desktops
- No USB 3.0 Ports
- Lacks Wireless Networking
- Slower DDR3 Memory
- Intel Core i3-3240 Dual Core Desktop Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 memory
- 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Dual Layer DVD Burner
- Intel HD Graphics 4000 Integrated Graphics
- Intel HDA 5.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Eight USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Reader
- Windows 8
Review - Gateway SX2865-UR26P
Sep 27 2013 - The Gateway SX2865-UR26 is in essence an update of a computer system that was originally introduced by the company several years ago when it was still producing a huge number of systems. It is the slim desktop system that offers a more compact case that can fit in more places but also has a few disadvantages in terms of upgrading due to the limited space inside.
The biggest difference between the Gateway SX2865-UR26 and other desktops that can be found for under $400 is the processor. Powering this system is the Intel Core i3-3240 dual core processor. This is the 3rd generation and not the new 4th generation but it still offers improved performance over the Pentium equipped competition thanks to the higher clock speed and the Hyper-Threading support. The only downside here is that the processor is held back some by the use of slower DDR3 memory with the typical 4GB of DDR3. It would definitely be useful to upgrade this memory to improve performance but the memory modules are particularly blocked by the optical drive which could make replacing the one module with a faster one a bit challenging.
Storage is fairly typical for most of the desktop systems in the budget class. A traditional hard drive is used and provides a nice one terabyte of storage space for applications, data and media files. The only downside here is that the system lacks any internal space for expansion which means that you have to rely on the external peripherals ports. Since this is based around an older system design, it does not feature any of the new high speed USB 3.0 ports for the fastest external storage expansion. At least it does provide more than usual in a small system with a total of eight ports. There is a standard dual layer DVD burner for playback and recording of CD and DVD media.
Another advantage of the Core i3 processor is the built-in graphics processor. It uses the Intel HD Graphics 4000 which is still not a 3D graphics powerhouse but does have at least the ability to play some older games at lower resolutions and detail levels which the other Intel budget processors tend to lack. The AMD APU processors still hold an advantage here. The Intel graphics also offers the ability to greatly accelerate media encoding when used with Quick Sync compatible applications. Now there is limited space with in the system such that a PCI-Express graphics card could be installed but the power supply is a very low 220 watt unit. This means that only the lowest level of dedicated graphics cards that don't require external power can be used and they also can only be a single width card, something that is becoming increasingly rare.
One feature that most of the competition is starting to add into their desktop systems is wireless networking. This is something that makes it extremely convenient for adding a computer into a home as many now have wireless networks for their variety of mobile devices. Gateway has opted not to include such a feature with the SX2865-UR26.
With a street price of under $400, the Gateway SX2865-UR26 certainly offers a bit more for performance and in a smaller desktop system. Its primary competitors in the market are come its parent company's Aspire AXC600 and Dell's Inspiron 660s. The Acer is more affordable but uses a slower Pentium processor and has half the hard drive space but offers a dual-band Wi-Fi network. Dell also offers a slower processor with just half the hard drive space but features a Wi-Fi network adapter and two USB 3.0 ports.