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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice. Usage of Windows 8 is OK for entry level users but problematic for enthusiasts
Prices on Amazon fluctuate so you need to compare with Dell direct price before buying. Shipping is quicker for Amazon.

This is a typical consumer minitower with Windows 8 installed (a regular version, not a pro version but you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $70). IMHO Windows 8 is OK for regular users, but can be problematic for power users and enthusiasts...
Published 21 months ago by kievite

versus
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The pictures were misleading- but a decent computer for the $
This is a really good computer at a good price. But the pictures are misleading. This computer does NOT come with the video card as shown in the pictures and windows 8 is not backward compatible for many of the older video cards which will almost immediately mean an upgrade. That said there is an HDMI as well as a VGI port.

The upside is the computer is...
Published 21 months ago by Jana Taylor


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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice. Usage of Windows 8 is OK for entry level users but problematic for enthusiasts, November 30, 2012
By 
kievite (Budd Lake, NJ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dell Inspiron i660-3036BK Desktop (3 GHz Intel Core i5-3330M Processor, 8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, Windows 8) Black (Personal Computers)
Prices on Amazon fluctuate so you need to compare with Dell direct price before buying. Shipping is quicker for Amazon.

This is a typical consumer minitower with Windows 8 installed (a regular version, not a pro version but you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $70). IMHO Windows 8 is OK for regular users, but can be problematic for power users and enthusiasts. So try any Windows 8 PC without touch screen in store, before you buy this model. A similar model can be bought with Windows 7 instead of Windows 8 (see model Dell Inspiron i660-6029BK). For long time Windows users Windows 7 is a safer bet. My feeling is that Windows 8 does not provide return on investment in learning a new interface for those who do not have a touch screen.

This model uses built-in Intel video. There is also a similar model with NVIDIA GT 620 (i660-4032BK). The latter is better for gamers. Does not matter for anybody else.

The tower has one free bay for an additional harddrive, but just two memory slots on the motherboard (both used by 4 GB RAM sticks). It has two USB 3.0 ports which is very important for photo-enthusiasts and for backups of your data. Large drive guarantee that you will not run out of space for a long time (although photo-enthusiasts would be better off by buying additional mirrored USB 3.0 drive or installing the second drive into computer).

Like other consumer oriented Dell machines it is very well built and piano-black looks very attractive on the table (I would say not worse then more expensive OptiPlex 9010 which would be competing Dell offering).

It has regular analog VGA port and HDMI port. So it can support two monitors configuration (you need a cable to convert HDMI to DVI for older monitors to connect the second monitor).

The PC also has a slot for SD cards, for which you often pay extra on other Dell models.

Due to Windows 8 installed booting is very fast (actually instead of full boot Windows 8 simply wakes up from hybernation to cut time). Please note that it has secure boot enabled so to create dual boot environment (I did not tried this myself) you need to disable it first. You might need the second harddrive too. Speed of browsing is limited by speed of your Internet connection. As it has i5 CPU it can perform multiple tasks simultaneously without sweating.

Windows 8 installation makes it more like consumer-oriented appliance that a traditional multi-purpose Windows machine to which line of Microsoft OSes from Windows 3.1 to Windows 7 used to belong. Now there is distinct flavor of Apple-style closed ecosystem. Which many entry-level users might like and enjoy, but which annoy power users and Pc enthusiasts. Tiles that are automatically updated on a new "full-screen" start up screen are actually pretty cute and default installation is populated with Amazon, Ebay, Weather, Finance and other tiles.

If you are a computer science student or just a hobbyist which like to tinker with OS and hardware you might be better served by a similar model with Windows 7(i660-4032BK) which actually is priced lower, or by OptiPlex 9010 which also can be bought with Windows 7 and recovery disks. The latter (OptiPlex 9010) allows hardware mirrowing of hard drives.

But for a regular consumer this is a perfect desktop which will serve 3-5 years without problems. Please note the Windows 8 provide good built-in free virus protection (Windows Defender). I would delete McAfee trial that Dell preinstall as IMHO it's useless and represents Windows insecurity tax which security companies try to force you to pay, but your mileage may vary. In any case do not pay for extension when the trial expire, as built-in protection (Windows Defender) is adequate for most consumers and for those it is inadequate Mcafee will be inadequate too. In view of complexity of modern malware you are better off using a second PC dedicated to financial and other important trasactions instead of paying AV companies for illusionary protection.

Another important thing for consumer is that recovery from virus infections can be much easier due to built in ability of Windows 8 to restore the default configuration. This is a feature of all PCs with Windows 8 installed not only this one.

Note: Keyboard supplied with the machine looks very nice and is adequate for occasional typing. If you spend long hours typing you better change it to more professional keyboard like Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. The same is true about the mouse provided with the tower.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The pictures were misleading- but a decent computer for the $, December 13, 2012
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This review is from: Dell Inspiron i660-3036BK Desktop (3 GHz Intel Core i5-3330M Processor, 8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, Windows 8) Black (Personal Computers)
This is a really good computer at a good price. But the pictures are misleading. This computer does NOT come with the video card as shown in the pictures and windows 8 is not backward compatible for many of the older video cards which will almost immediately mean an upgrade. That said there is an HDMI as well as a VGI port.

The upside is the computer is fast. Right away you'll notice a boot up speed which is impressive if you are not yet familiar with Win8.

Another issue for the tower is the build is not very expandable. Meaning there is only one port for an additional internal harddrive. There are several Dell towers which are much easier to upgrade the hardware for.

If my review were simply of Windows 8 I would tell the average user to hold off. Microsoft is doing some exciting stuff with the interface splash screen and their new metro screen and cloud logons, but for a desktop windows 7 would be the application of choice. I would, rather, suggest that if you are interested in exploring windows 8 then you should include a touch monitor or better - check out the tablets and phones that Win8 it truly designed for.

Additionally - the last upgrade from Microsoft for Win8 has been causing issues when restarting the computer. The system will not go through the restart process, but it will startup if shut down. I assume they will have a fix out shortly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good PC. Windows 8 stinks., February 9, 2013
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This review is from: Dell Inspiron i660-3036BK Desktop (3 GHz Intel Core i5-3330M Processor, 8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, Windows 8) Black (Personal Computers)
We needed to replace a PC that had a bad motherboard. After looking around, we determined this Dell as the best value to meet our needs. We've been using it for several weeks now and its fine. It had room for an additional hard drive, and it has an extra 5.25 bay for an additional optical drive. It was cheaper to purchase on Amazon instead of directly from Dell.

The only reason I have this PC 4 out of 5 stars is because of the Operating System. I have grown to really hate Windows 8. It may be great for tablets or smart phones, but stinks as a desktop OS. I ended up adding the third party apps to make this PC act like a Windows 7 PC. I've thought about purchasing and installing Windows 7, but I've been told about problems obtaining Windows 7 drivers. I think I'm going to keep it as is and just use the simulated Windows 7 OS.

If you can find this PC with Windows 7 and you're not a gamer, I would recommend getting it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Downgrading isn't an option., January 22, 2013
This review is from: Dell Inspiron i660-3036BK Desktop (3 GHz Intel Core i5-3330M Processor, 8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, Windows 8) Black (Personal Computers)
When I bought this computer and saw the specs and how much it was at best buy I thought it was a pretty good deal except for the Windows 8 Part. I thought I would be able to downgrade to Windows 7 when I got it which seems like it would be possible at the time. Well I got the computer and called dell first to make sure I was able to downgrade and the lady said that I can. So I did and as soon as I installed that Intel HD Graphics driver and restarted the computer I would get the blue screen of death and an error message IRQL_NOT_EQUAL_OR_LESS. So I called back dell and after 2 hours of support to why this happened they still couldn't fix it and the guy sent me a Windows 8 disc. So I called back the next day to get help on installing back 8 and the guy on the phone kept trying to sell me Dell Contract or whatever and wanted me to pay up 100 dollars for one time help with installing Windows 8 back. One of the agents on the phone before though told me I had premium support for 60 says after I bought the computer so I told the guy that and it took him 5 minutes to figure that out so he helped me put Windows 8 back. Overall the computer runs great if you don't want Windows 7 back ever again (not sure about Vista or XP). I hope Intel or Dell fix this issue with the driver because I don't want this to be the 3rd computer I return.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Computer, Great Price, January 28, 2013
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This review is from: Dell Inspiron i660-3036BK Desktop (3 GHz Intel Core i5-3330M Processor, 8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, Windows 8) Black (Personal Computers)
First new computer I bought in 15 years, had a bunch of used ones in between. Glad I bought this one, worth it to get the processing speed this offers. So far it exceeds my expectations. I must say that I am not a gamer so I would not know how it works for that type thing but for general use it is great!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great computer, December 6, 2012
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This review is from: Dell Inspiron i660-3036BK Desktop (3 GHz Intel Core i5-3330M Processor, 8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, Windows 8) Black (Personal Computers)
this computer has met all my expectations. very quiet and very fast. would recommend it to anyone looking for a desktop
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2.0 out of 5 stars After only having this for 18 months it started acting ..., August 12, 2014
This review is from: Dell Inspiron i660-3036BK Desktop (3 GHz Intel Core i5-3330M Processor, 8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, Windows 8) Black (Personal Computers)
After only having this for 18 months it started acting up and had to be started several times before actually booting up. Finally it just died and they THINK it's the motherboard. I've NEVER had a computer die this quickly. I Googled my problem and seems this happens QUITE often. I guess so often that when I purchased a New Motherboard from Dell and was promised overnight shipping I received an email saying it was delayed for ANOTHER WEEK on the day it was to arrive because they don't have them in stock. They are also HOPING to have it to me by next week. REALLY????? I will NEVER purchase another Dell.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dell Desktop, January 8, 2013
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This review is from: Dell Inspiron i660-3036BK Desktop (3 GHz Intel Core i5-3330M Processor, 8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, Windows 8) Black (Personal Computers)
The dell desktop works great. The software that is loaded on "Windows 8" stinks. I would go back to Vista.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great desktop set-up for a fair price, May 29, 2013
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This review is from: Dell Inspiron i660-3036BK Desktop (3 GHz Intel Core i5-3330M Processor, 8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, Windows 8) Black (Personal Computers)
For home use this Dell product is doing it's job very well ! The i660 marks the third Dell desktop model I have bought and enjoyed... which speaks to the reliability and overall value we derive from it... day in, day out! Can't speak to the gaming aspects of this product as I do not play video games and have no need for a computer that is tailored for that purpose. The sole complaint I have regarding the i660 is that it does not have a digital port connection for our monitor.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dell is a very good product, March 8, 2013
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This review is from: Dell Inspiron i660-3036BK Desktop (3 GHz Intel Core i5-3330M Processor, 8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, Windows 8) Black (Personal Computers)
This CPU is outstanding with high speed. Its a very nice and the installation is easy very soon and work perfect.
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