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Dell Inspiron 546 Budget Desktop PC

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Dell Inspiron 546 Budget Desktop PC

Dell Inspiron 546

©Dell

The Bottom Line

Oct 22 2009 - Dell's Inspiron 546 breaks away from their typical Intel offering to bring a much more affordable desktop system to consumers that offer a wide range of customization options including eight different case colors. While there are a lot of options, some users may be disappointed by the limited graphics card options because of the lower wattage power supply. The base system also uses a lower grade AMD processor than similarly priced AMD desktops. At least Dell is willing to provide a longer security suite protection that other companies.
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Pros

  • Highly Customizable
  • Available in Eight Different Colors
  • Includes 15-month Security Software Subscription

Cons

  • Uses a Lower Grade AMD Processor Than Similar Priced AMD Desktops
  • Power Supply Limits Video Card Upgrades

Description

  • AMD Athlon II X2 215 Dual Core Desktop Processor
  • 3GB PC2-6400 DDR2 Memory
  • 500GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
  • Radeon HD 3200 Integrated Graphics
  • 5.1 Audio
  • Fast Ethernet
  • Six USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 19-in-1 Reader
  • Vista Home Premium, Works, McAfee Security Center

Guide Review - Dell Inspiron 546 Budget Desktop PC

Oct 22 2009 - Dell's Inspiron 546 is their budget desktop that uses the AMD platform. The base system for under $500 comes equipped with an AMD Athlon II X2 215 dual core desktop processor. This is a scaled down version of the Phenom processor that provides a good level of performance compared to the Intel Pentium Dual-Core processors. It would have been nice to see Dell use a higher level version of the processor like the 240 or 250 that many of their competitors are. The processor combined with the DDR2 memory should provide it with decent performance for general applications.

Base storage on the Inspiron 546 is on par with other budget desktop systems. It comes equipped with a 500GB hard drive and dual-layer DVD burner.

As with many other Dell systems, the Inspiron 546 has a wide range of customization options. This includes eight different color options (although black is the only one that does not have extra cost). Users can upgrade the processors, memory, hard drives, optical drives, video cards and peripherals that come with the system. All of these options can quickly drive up the price of the Inspiron 546 well above $500 though.

Those hoping to use the Inspiron 546 for gaming will be disappointed with the possible options. The Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics are a step up from the Intel GMA X4500 but still lacking in performance. The big problem is the low wattage power supply that restricts possible graphics card upgrades to lower grade models that don't require much extra power outside of the standard PCI-Express bus.

One nice touch from Dell is a 15-month subscription to the McAfee Security Center software. Most companies only include a 30 to 60-day trial of an anti-virus or security software suite with new computer purchases.

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