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Gateway DX4200-11 Budget Desktop PC

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Gateways DX4200-11 Budget Desktop PC

Gateway DX Series Desktop

©Gateway

The Bottom Line

Mar 16 2009 - Gateway's DX4200-11 is an example of what spectacular values can be found in desktop computers. The system is based around the AMD Phenom X4 processor. While this isn't as powerful as the Intel Core 2 Quad processors, it does provide a solid experience especially for those looking to use it for heavy multitasking or desktop video. Speaking of video, the Radeon HD integrated graphics are a definitely step up as it even allows low resolution casual PC gaming.

Pros

  • Strong Quad Core Processor
  • Relatively Strong Integrated Graphics
  • Six Gigabytes of DDR2 Memory

Cons

  • 300W Power Supply Limits Graphics Upgrade Potential
  • LabelFlash Support Not as Useful Due to Limited Media Availability
  • Could Use HDMI to DVI Cable for Better Monitor Support

Description

  • AMD Phenom X4 9550 Quad Core Desktop Processor
  • 6GB PC2-6400 DDR2 Memory
  • 750GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 18x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner With LabelFlash
  • ATI Radeon HD 3200 Integrated Graphics
  • 7.1 Audio With Stereo Speakers
  • v.92 56Kbps Modem, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Six USB 2.0, Two FireWire, 15-in-1 Card Reader
  • Vista Home Premium 64-bit, Works, Power2Go, Norton 360

Guide Review - Gateway DX4200-11 Budget Desktop PC

Mar 16 2009 - While most desktop computers are still focused on using Intel's processors, the Gateway DX4200-11 uses the AMD Phenom X4 9550. While this is the older generation processor that is bound to DDR2 memory, the performance is quite respectable. Since it is a quad core model, this gives the system an edge for those that tend to use many programs simultaneously or do intensive tasks such as desktop video. The larger than average 6GB of DDR2 memory helps out in these two areas as well.

Storage space isn't sparse on the DX4200-11 either. While many budget systems are still sporting 500GB hard drives, Gateway has packed a 750GB hard drive that provides more space for programs, data and multimedia files. The dual layer DVD burner is pretty much standard but does support writing directly to LabelFlash compatible media, provided you can find it.

Most budget desktop PCs suffer in graphics performance because of their reliance on integrated graphics processors. The Gateway DX4200-11 uses the ATI Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics processor. While this still does have limited 3D performance, the system was able to handle casual PC gaming at lower resolutions of 1024x768 with some slight frame rate loss. It also handled the various HD video streaming without any frame rate issues.

Some people may look at the Gateway DX4200-11 as a low cost gaming platform by adding in a dedicated graphics card. The system does have an x16 PCI-Express graphics slot, but the 300W power supply will greatly limit what types of graphics cards can be installed in it. One that uses less than 18A from the 12V lines is critical.

Overall, the Gateway DX4200-11 is probably best suited as a low cost platform for those looking to do digital photography or video editing.

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