The Bottom Line
Jun 5 2012 - Gateway's FX6860-UR10P is a decent performance system for those looking at a more general task system. It offers a solid amount of performance from the Ivy Birdge processor and 12GB of memory and even comes with a decent graphics card. The problem is that it lacks many of the features from the older chipset that limit the overall potential the system can have from virtualized graphics or hard drive caching. Still, the Gateway is one of the better consumer oriented performance system for expanding thanks to its easy swap hard drive bays and now USB 3.0 ports. It even has the power supply to handle top tier graphics cards..
- Good General Performance
- High Wattage Power Supply Can Support Top Tier Graphics Upgrades
- Two Front SATA Drive Bays and USB 3.0 Ports For Easy Storage Expansion
- Older Chipset Limits Potential Features
- Slower Hard Drive
- Lots Of Preinstalled Software
- Intel Core i7-3770 Quad Core Desktop Processor
- 12GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 2TB Green Variable Speed SATA Hard Drive
- 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- AMD Radeon HD 7770 Graphics Card With 2GB Memory
- Intel HDA 7.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n
- Two USB 3.0, Ten USB 2.0, DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, 12-in-1 Card Reader
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Review - Gateway FX6860-UR10P
Jun 5 2012 - In a rush to get out a new Ivy Bridge performance desktop system, Gateway has essentially taken their previous Gateway FX6850 system based on the Sandy Bridge or 2nd generation Core i processor and replaced a few components to make it more update. This did let them get the system to market quickly but has a number of significant drawbacks.
For the processor, it uses the new Intel Core i7-3770 quad core processor. This is the highest of the new Ivy Bridge processors and gives the system a slight boost compared to the older Core i7-2700 Sandy Bridge systems but not by a significant margin. It has been paired up with 12GB of DDR3 memory which gives it very good performance for just about any type of application including desktop video editing. A small downside is that this is not the K or unlocked version of the chip. This means that it lacks the ability to be overclocked compared to some other available performance systems. Of course, the H67 mainstream chipset also has limited capabilities for overclocking even if it did had the unclocked processor.
The storage system is one of the weaker aspects for the Gateway FX6860-UR10P. It does feature a two terabyte hard drive which is very useful for those that need to store a lot of data. The downside is that the drive is one of the green variety that features a variable speed spin rate. This gives it less overall performance that similar systems that use a two terabyte drive. At least expansion is quite easy with the FX case and its two hidden easy swap bay that allow for dropping in addition SATA hard drives without having to open up the case. External expansion is also boosted with the addition of two USB 3.0 ports for high speed external storage. One feature that is absent though is the Intel Smart Response Technology due to the older H67 rather than H77 chipset. This means it can't get a quick and easy speed boost by dropping in a small solid state drive for caching. A dual layer DVD burner is standard for reading or writing to CD or DVD media.
The graphics for the Gateway FX6860-UR10P are a bit above average for a system priced around $1200. It features an AMD Radeon HD 7770 graphics card with 2GB of memory. Now, this is still a mid-ranged graphics card rather than a top tier which may not appeal greatly to gamers. The extra memory isn't hugely beneficial to games which will be restricted to 1920x1080 resolutions with modest details and no filters on more modern and demanding titles. The extra video memory is more beneficial to accelerating non-3D applications such as Adobe Photoshop. For those wanting to put in one of the top tier cards at a later date, the system does feature a more power 750 watt power supply that should be able to handle up to the new Radeon HD 7970 or GeForce GTX 680 graphics cards without issue. The one downside is that it only has a single graphics card slot meaning that a CrossFire upgrade with a second Radeon card isn't an option.
Another downside to the mainstream H67 chipset that was used in the system has to do with the Intel HD Graphics 4000 built into the Core i7-3770 processor. While the Radeon card offers much better 3D performance and general non-3D application boosts, it still trails behind the QuickSync engine that can be used for video transcoding. One of the nice features on the Z series chipsets is the virtualized graphics. This would allow the system to switch between the dedicated graphics for games and select tasks or the HD Graphics 4000 for transcoding. This could be a big feature omission for those looking to use it for video editing.
Finally, the issue of preinstalled software continues to plague Acer group systems including those from Gateway. The programs aren't necessarily a storage space problem as their once were but more of an aesthetics and performance issue. The various icons and menu bards clutter up the interface while the autoloading aspects of same can slow down the overall boot times for Windows. It is advised that users take some time to remove any unwanted applications to improve the overall system function.