The Bottom Line
Oct 3 2012 - Dell's redesign of their slim Inspiron 660s desktop offers a smaller overall footprint but has the drawback of even more limited space for internal upgrades than its predecessor. Performance and features are pretty typical of a small desktop in the $500 price range but Dell does offer a bit more flare in its color choices. Overall, it is a decent low cost small desktop but doesn't really set itself apart from its competition.
- Available In Multiple Colors
- Case Is Smaller Than Past Version
- Small Case Offers Almost No Internal Upgrades
- Limited Graphics Performance
- Intel Core i3-2120 Dual Core Desktop Processor
- 6GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- Intel HD Graphics 2000 Integrated Graphics
- Intel HDA 5.1 Audio Support
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Two USB 2.0, Six USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA,
- 10.7" x 14.8" x 4"
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, McAfee Security Center
Review - Dell Inspiron 660s
Oct 3 2012 - Like many other companies, Dell has relegated the Inspiron 660s to the more budget oriented segments of the desktop market. Most of their system configurations end up being priced under $500 including the version in this review. Those looking for performance in a small package would be directed instead to the Alienware X51. The Inspiron 660s is essentially a revised version of the Inspiron 620s but with a case that has smaller overall dimensions. This means the internals a much more cramped such that internal upgrades of memory, hard drive and even graphics are not very easy for the consumer to make.
In terms of performance, the Inspiron 660s typical uses the Intel Core i3-2120 dual core processor. This is an older processor now but Intel has only recently planned on putting out the Ivy Bridge budget processors. They have opted to paid the processor up with 6GB of DDR3 memory which provides a smooth overall experience in Windows 7. For the average user, the processor provides more than enough performance for their tasks. It really only struggles when trying to do very demanding tasks like desktop video work.
Storage features of the Inspiron 660s are pretty typical of a slim style of desktop. It uses a standard 7200rpm desktop class hard drive with one terabyte of storage space. This should provide a good deal of space for applications, data and media files. If you do require additional space, Dell has equipped the system with two USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage. The slim case design essentially prevents any internal storage upgrades. A full size desktop DVD burner handles recording and playback of CD or DVD media.
Since it uses the Sandy Bridge based Intel processor, the graphics for the Dell Inspiron 660s use the Intel HDA Graphics 2000 built into the Core i3. This allows for the system to handle most generic tasks just fine but has severe limitations when it comes to 3D graphics. This isn't really even suitable for casual PC gaming at low resolution or detail levels. What it does do however is have the ability to accelerate media encoding when used with Quick Sync compatible applications. Those do hoping to have 3D graphics or acceleration more non-3D applications, there is a PCI-Express graphics slot but it has extreme space limitations and a very low 220 watt power supply mean only the most basic of dedicated graphics cards can be installed.
At this price point, the Dell Inspiron 660s mainly faces competition from the Acer Aspire AX1930, Gateway SX2370 and the HP Pavilion Slimline s5. Acer's is a bit more affordable but has less memory, half the hard drive space and no wireless networking. Gateway has similar features but is based on the AMD A8 processor which offers bit less performance but better graphics. Finally, HP has nearly the same specifications at roughly the same overall price but in a slightly larger case dimension with more space for internal upgrades.