Most helpful positive review
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
For the price, it's an excellent value for home or first-time users.
on July 9, 2014
FIRST: The listing of USB ports is not accurate. There are only two (2) USB3.0 ports. They are on the rear. There are six (6) USB2.0 ports. Four (4) on the rear and two (2) on the front. It also comes with Windows 8.1 and some pretty nice free software and trialware installed.
Inside is a nice, big (VERY QUIET, almost silent!) cooling fan. Keep the right side of the case away from walls, etc., for ventilation and don't put anything on the back part of the top where another vent grill is located.
Regarding the two video/monitor outputs: One is VGA. The other is an HDMI port, but will support a standard 25+pin (white) DVI (Digital Video) cable for digital LCD/LED monitors without an HDMI port. All you need is a small HDMI-to-Digital adapter. Plug it into the HDMI port (works best with a short HDMI extension cable) then plug the white digital monitor cable into it. You can find an adapter online for under $4 if you're willing to wait for shipping (probably from China.) Otherwise, places like Radio Shack have them for about $30. The extension cable is also available online for a couple of bucks - it helps take the weight of the adapter and cable plug off the HDMI port, which can cause it to come loose. It also allows the PC to be moved closer to a back wall, etc.
I bought this computer for some friends and am formatting the C:\ drive to completely remove any traces of Windows8.1 (Microsoft's new "VISTA" Operating System) to install a (purchased) copy of Windows 7 PRO/64-bit. After battling with Windows8 (8.1 refused to install) and all its problems for several months with a new Dell XPS8700 i7 I bought for myself last September. My big issue was with trying to run irreplaceable 16-bit legacy software which Win8 simply will not recognize even in "compatibility modes" going back to Windows 95.
An advantage of Windows 7 PRO/64 is that Microsoft provides a free download of a fully functional XP Pro Virtual Machine that runs seamlessly within Window 7 PRO/64 to allow you to install and run older software that won't run even in Windows 7 or 8 "Compatibility Modes." DELL website has an excellent Service Tag based download section that lists exactly which drivers need to be acquired to install Windows 7 64-bit versions on this computer.
HOWEVER, I just found out the two video drivers displayed at the DELL Drivers and Downloads/Windows7 64-bit page are NOT the right ones for the DELL Inspiron Desktop (i3647-2308BK) I received from this Amazon.com listing. I had to go to www.intel.com and locate file WIN64_153322.exe for the INTEL IRIS HD 4400 Graphics in this model. It installs version 10.18.10.3412. The INTEL 4000 Series driver at DELL fails.
Although I've only been using this Inspiron 3647 for a few hours, I'm confident to recommend it to a first-time user or anyone who doesn't need a lot of processing power (editing movies, etc., could be agonizingly slow) or "bells and whistles." If you don't have 16-bit legacy software to run, I'm sure you'll be very happy with this computer. It's an excellent price for a very nice Dell PC.
Be aware, however, that expansion opportunities are for the most part non-existent. IF you install a PCI Express card (which may require expert assistance), connectors will be available at the rear. Otherwise the only thing you can do is increase RAM. Two slots are provided and mine came with a single 4GB RAM module installed. 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 12GB and 16GB configurations are supported, so your next option is installing a 4GB DDR3 DIMM 1600MHz module in the open socket. Installing an 8GB module gives you 12GB of RAM, etc. For most home users, 4GB should be fine. My XPS8700 has 12GB and I've never seen the use gauge go above about 30%. I'm still happy with the 3GB of RAM in my older, slower DELL running Windows XP.
There is no second Hard Disk Drive bay for expansion or RAID storage even though this model's BIOS/ROM could support a RAID Array.
I've owned or helped friends with a lot of computers over the past 20 years and truly believe in the DELL brand for value and support.