on July 24, 2013
What I didn't like: The keyboard is completely unimpressive. It lacks dedicated media controls and feels cheap. To be fair, it works just fine.
What I like: Out of the box, this computer is good to go. Set up is quick and default options are what I would choose myself. There is minimal bloatware. WEI is 5.2 (anchored by Desktop Graphics). This computer is very quiet. The fans are all BIG so they do not have to spin as fast. The fan on the CPU is enclosed in a cylinder which routes the warm air to a vent on the side of the case. There are TEN usb ports including two USB 3.0 ports on the back for new, fast usb disks. There are ports on the top of the case and at the top front of the case. The top front of the case is angled making it easy to 1) see the ports, and 2) plug stuff into the ports.
What I love: This computer is great for tinkerers. While the i5 3330 is a noble processor and the HD 2500 integrated graphics are fine for most, we plan to upgrade this computer. I was delighted to see how much bigger the case was on the inside than the outside. There are three 3.5" bays (one occupied) and two 5.25" bays (one occupied), so adding a BD player and a couple hard drives is trivial. There are two empty RAM slots so you can add to rather than upgrade the memory. There are four PCIe slots (one occupied by the wireless card), so you can upgrade the video to a discrete card. The power supply is standard form, so adding extra power for all those upgrades is a piece of cake.
Bonus #1: The case is illuminated. Light shines through the Gateway logo and around the edges of the front and top of the case.
Bonus #2: There is a switch on the top of the case to turn this light off.
Overall, I find this a compelling computer worthy of your consideration.
on August 18, 2013
Was looking for an i5 3rd generation machine to replace my aging XP-based 2007 Dell D530 (E8300).
I have iPads & a Nook HD+ and enough other mobile-technology. Laptops were never my thing.
Lenovo K430, Dell Inspiron and HP Envy were worthy choices with similar hardware & built-in Intel Graphics, but it all came down to price for an Intel i5. You look at the components, and barring any DOA device, you take your chances with consumer-level PCs. Yes, Gateway as part of Acer does have me concerned (support) but this unit was $100-150 less than the identical hardware found by other vendors. I've had desktops last 7+ years, but in this day, 3-4 years is more common.
This specific model was one of the replacement desktops listed in the settlement class action suit against eMachines. Many people get these free (approx value $350), and sell them I imagine. I paid about $90 more when the price dipped on Amazon. Gateway would be stupid to build a machine for a suit settlement that would result in more lawsuits, so I took my chances with the herd, so to speak - and I'm glad I did.
- Windows 8. The confusing UI switching and arguments against Metro for non-touch Desktop or Laptops are well discussed. It's at most 5% of a review. If you want the Windows 7 experience, get Start8 (recommended highly) from Stardock ($4.99), which forces Windows 8 into Classic (vs Metro) mode 90% of the time - and move on. Classic Shell is another free alternative.
- Bonus built-in Wifi / bluetooth (not useful for me)
- 2 USB 3.0 ports
- Quiet machine
- Windows 8 with this faster processor has quicker startup times (by a lot). Lot's of Win8 "delayed start up" plumbing result in an improved user experience
- Disk Drives are easy pop-out.
- 4 slot memory has 2 4GB modules & 2 free. That means upgrading to 16GB doesn't require replacing older modules.
- Hard disk. Would have preferred a WD drive to Seagate (warranty). FYI, it's Seagate 1TB ST1000DM003-1CH162 - 7200rpm.
Gateway.com doesn't mention the drive brand. This Seagate 1TB has fewer issues than the 2 or 3TB. Time will tell.
- Case 45-degree USB & audio plugs (Dell, Gateway) on the front. Time will tell if users break USB or audio output ports hitting these with their knees. Also, angled SD & USB slots will collect dust over time (duh). A dust cover would have been nice. Not the only vendor that has this angled case.
- 300W supply doesn't offer much headroom for adding devices. If you're OK with Intel 2500 graphics and maybe just want to add a 2nd drive or SSD, you should be OK. re: upgraded video cards: The (stock) Gateway power supply won't support this becoming a gaming machine.
- turn off bluetooth and wifi services if not needed.
- watch process monitor for things affecting boot times (my Epson printer driver seemed to affect it)
- run Seagate's utility "SeaTools for Windows" to monitor hard drive or test for bad sectors.
- if you dislike Windows 8 from prior experience, resist the temptation to go back to Windows 7 without first trying Stardock's Start8 ($5) - (free for 30 days eval) or Classic Shell (free).
Yes, you can twiddle the BIOS and install Win7, but think about unsupported or incompatible driver headaches, the # hours you want to spend getting this setup working and the inability to get (useful) support once your system is non-stock.
Some complained about the keyboard quality and I agree, but this was a replacement PC for me and I had a good Logitech K120 wired keyboard (recommended) and a Microsoft Optical mouse (although I think Gateway's cheap feeling mouse has a nice feel and VERY light touch).
In a perfect world, this machine with have a 128GB SSD (~$100) to boot from + 1TB conventional storage, and I might consider an SSD in a year if the drive starts to wear out or just for peace of mind.
Solid specs, solid machine
on July 25, 2013
When I was first looking at this computer I could not find a review. I received this computer for free as part of a class action lawsuit. I wanted to share what I have learned in the first few days of ownership. It will be used as the primary family computer. I am replacing a 5 year old system. This is a dramatic upgrade in terms of specs and the machine runs like it.
I don't consider myself a computer genius. I am a user that has utilized multiple computers and has an above average knowledge of computers from a user perspective.
Setup was simple and straightforward. I used a 21 in LCD TV I already owned for the monitor. I was unable to get a good picture through the HDMI cable.(But it is available as an output on the computer if you want it) The picture problem is probably due to my inability to set it up correctly. However, I get a great picture using a PC VGA cord.
It is a nice looking computer, it is basic enough to be unobtrusive but is lighted around the edges and logo to add a little flair. There is a button to turn off the lights if you want.
There are 10 total USB ports, two are USB 3.0.
The computer is quiet.
Wireless connectivity was good.
The design with the raised lip in the front that gives access to plug in headphones and mic jacks, memory card readers and 2 USB ports is nice. It is easily accessible, the easiest access I have seen on any computer. The back of the computer has another raised area that contains 2 USB ports and space to manage cords, the slightly indented lower space between these two areas is a perfect place to set an external drive.
The specs are great for the price. If to be used for a general use computer the system will allow you to do just about anything you need. It probably will not handle intense graphics but there is space for a better graphics card.
It is very upgradeable. It has easy access to everything you need and plenty of slots to upgrade the computer.
The keyboard and mouse are very basic you will likely want to replace them. I did not find them comfortable to use and there are no keys to control media or volume on the keyboard.
The specs probably won't support high end gaming, but if that is what you want you probably aren't looking at this anyway.
NON COMPUTER SYSTEM ISSUE-
WINDOWS 8 - The interface is a big change. I have used an iPad and smart phone for years. Personally I don't mind the interface and have had almost no problems with it despite using a non-touch screen. However, my wife was uncomfortable with the new feel so we installed Start8 to give it the feel of Windows 7.(there are other similar programs available) I have noticed no lag in programs due to this.
CONCLUSION - I find this to be a great general purpose system. I won't use the keyboard or the mouse, but both are inexpensive to upgrade.
on August 6, 2013
The Gateway DX4860 is a great medium range computer. I’m an average computer user and into gaming so the HD graphic card works and looks great. I have an HD monitor that looks fantastic. I did have an initial problem connecting the wireless card to my router but it was my mistake. Don’t forget to screw in the antennas to the back of the computer…LOL I thought the 802.11 card was weak and even called Gateway but when I attached the antennas as required I had 4 bars.
The computer is very fast and the I5 processor is more than enough for my needs. The 8 gigs of memory are also sufficient for average gaming and computing. I was impressed with the speed of the computer. Gateway, at least for me, has always made quality products. I highly recommend this computer for the average user (work, college, or for web surfers.). The price was certainly right also and I received the computer in 2 days as a Prime member.
Windows 8 took a while to get use to and I still haven’t completely figured it out. But for an average computer savvy individual most won’t have a problem. There are multiple videos and information on Microsoft sites and on the web to assist you with this program. I would have preferred Windows 7 though but I figured you have to eventually stay up with technology. I feel Windows will continue to complicate their programs. I can do without the apps and some will not work because of flash requirements.
Great computer for the average user without breaking the bank.
on November 11, 2013
For background purposes, my old Windows XP machine was a 3.2 GHz, dual core machine, with 4GB of 800MHz RAM, four 7200 RPM HDDs in RAID-0, and two NVIDIA GT8800 video cards in SLI mode. This was strictly a business machine: NO GAMING.
I used this computer for Photoshop, Illustrator, and video editing. This machine was really good until my projects started getting more and more complex. Finally, I had to get a new machine that would be faster but at the same time wouldn't break the bank.
I just wanted something under $500 and would be expandable. The Gateway DX4860-UR28 fit the bill. This one comes with a 1TB HDD, 8GB of 1600MHz RAM and is expandable to 16GB. The HDD cage is easily removable to change out the drive.
First thing I did was to upgrade the machine by purchasing Acronis True Image 2013, added 8GB more RAM, added a 3TB HDD for mass storage, and a Samsung 256GB SSD. I backed everything up using Acronis and transferred over to the SSD.
Can we say LIGHTNING FAST?! Wow! During testing, I used a Photoshop project of mine that was about a 1GB file. I opened it up using my old computer to see how long it would take to open. After waiting several minutes, it was about 90% complete. I got frustrated and went to the new Gateway computer and opened the same file. BOOM! It was opened, I performed a Free Transform on one of the layers, did a rotation, applied a filter, and did a save. I turned to look at the old machine. It was still in the process of opening the file!!!
How did it perform on video? When I record events, I use Full Definition video. The file is a .mts format. Whenever I played these files back on my old machine using my video editing software, it was always herky jerky. This, even though I had dual GT8800 cards in SLI.
I feared the Gateway would be far worse because it uses the Intel HD2500 onboard graphics. Everything I learned about graphics says that one must use dedicated cards with lots of memory if one wants performance. The dual GT8800's in the old machine gave me 1GB of dedicated graphics.
My fear was for naught. The videos on the Gateway played back smoothly using Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12 as well as MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 2013+.
It's clear, that the combinations of having an SSD, more RAM, quad core with Turbo Boost, and 64-Bit Windows did the trick.
For those of you who want to upgrade the RAM like I did, the only thing you have to worry about is that there are a bundle of wires that kinda cover one of the RAM slots. You will have to be careful when lifting the wires up and away from the RAM. Also, one of the RAM slots is so close to the CPU fan housing that it will not allow RAM with heatsinks on them.
I didn't end up using the keyboard that comes with this machine as I prefer a Logitech backlit keyboard. The mouse is pretty good, but was very squirrely, but that was easily taken care of in the mouse control panel.
This computer has 2 USB 3.0 ports in the back. They come in really handy if one has external storage that is USB 3.0 compatible. Fast too! There are 6 USB 2.0 ports in the back, 2 on top-back of the machine, and 2 at the top-front of the machine. Unfortunately, these 4 USB ports are angled so one has to be careful not bump them. I bought some short USB extension cords so I can connect cameras and flash drives to those rather than the ports directly.
Some day, I would like to upgrade to a dedicated video card, but the power supply on this computer is too underpowered for the card I have in mind. But so far, the effects that I use in my videos don't require GPU power for rendering.
As for Windows 8, I hate having to drill down with extra steps just to get to what was readily available in Windows XP. But like most human beings, we can adapt, and I'm getting used to using it.
Bottom Line: Great computer for the $$$.
on September 15, 2013
Replaced a dual core system and am happy with this system. Windows 8 takes a bit to get used to but system works great and have had no issues in 2 weeks so far. Out of all the systems I have had this is my 3rd Gateway and like with my 3 E-Machines I have never had any issues with and have used all until they became to outdated, but the 3 Gateway's are still in use.
Did not care for the bare bone keyboard and stuck it into a cabinet for when someone hits me up for one.
on January 16, 2014
Good computer. My two sons have been using them for a while now and we have had no issues. The onboard graphics will handle basic games but not any of the advanced games that come out so I decided to upgrade their video card and power supply. Most newer graphics cards require at last 350-400 Watt Power supply and this one comes with your standard 300 Watt Power supply. The motherboard is an Asus ipisb-vr rev 1.01.
Let me answer some questions if you go down this path:
1. I purchased the Antec Basiz BP500U 500W Power supply because it matched the dimensions of the power supply I was removing (same style and size). It fits perfectly in the case. You have to remove the 4 back screws that hold the power supply on and bend a bar back before you are able to pull the old power supply out. Seems counter intuitive but that is what you have to do. Make sure you unplug everything before you take out the power supply. Before you install the video card, power on the computer and make sure it still works.
2. Next, you need to buy a nice video card. I went with the MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti - PCI Express 3.0. - 1 GB DDR5. Not the greatest but a major improvement for games at a very reasonable price. Yes you can put a PCI Express 3.0 card in this computer. Also, there is plenty of room to put a pretty bulky card in there. It wouldn't hurt to measure in advanced though.
Here is the import part that I struggled with until I found the answer at the NVIDIA forum. If you are running Windows 8 you need to do two things in the bios before installing the card:
1. Disable UEFI secured boot
2. Launch CSM - set this to Always (under boot options)
Once you have done this you can install the card (make sure you connect power to the video card before powering the system on).
on September 12, 2013
Has everything i was looking for in a desktop and at the best price, set this thing up and running in just a couple of minutes and i was very impressed. has windows 8, some don't like that but i was able to adjust to it in less than 20 minutes, loving windows 8 more than 7 now. buy it , you want be disapointed.
I was a bit concerned about buying a Gateway. I have been using computers long enough to have seen the brand erosion of the Gateway years ago. I found that Acer had purchased Gateway and this machine in particular was rated as a best buy in several of the computer magazines.
The size is a bit daunting. I have gotten away from the monster towers of yesteryear but this is still substantially larger than the Aspire it replaces it. I am a Swiss Army knife kind of guy and I do a lot of different things on my computer so I wanted a desktop rather than another laptop. This machine has good solid middle of the road specifications. It's performance has been good and it has expansion capabilities.
When I have gotten everything working the way I want, I plan on cloning the hard drive and adding an SSD drive to improve the overall performance. Supposedly the front accessible bay has a cage but I couldn't find it on the Gateway site. I do miss having a button on the DVD drive to open and close it. The mouse is a bit cheesy and the keyboard is nothing to write home about. I do like the alt-f4 command that lets you close those darn Windows 8.1 open screens.
Gateway did a nice job on providing many USB ports and some are actually conveniently located on the top and front. In addition they top of the tower has a "tray" where you can plug in USB devices for charging. A totally useless but none the less cool lighted logo rounds out a very solid, reasonably priced desktop.
on October 31, 2013
initially i ordered a Dell Inspirion 660 through the company website.that turned into a six week nightmare that i still haven't resolved. after waiting a month and not seeing the computer i purchased this computer -- which has the exact same specs i was looking for and almost exactly the same price. it arrived just three days later, was perfectly straightforward to get running and has performed exactly as promised.