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on February 9, 2009
I picked this Gateway up as an addition to our HP gaming laptop, but didn't want do dish out another 2 grand for something top of the line.

This is a "bare-bones" gateway model. What this means is you're going to get the best performance for the buck, with little else in terms of frills. Consider this a computer you would buy if you want the power of a quad-core, a lot of RAM, and a dedicated video card without having to pay an arm and a leg for it. I walked out of the store paying just under 1100 for the tower, 22-inch HDMI monitor, and an all-in-one printer. You can't beat a deal like this in any retail store (unless you're thrifty at newegg).

Pros

-Quad Core at 2.33, 4MB L2 Cache; decent processing speed for the price

- Dedicated Nvidia GT 120 video card with HDMI output, 1G memory and dual screen capable. The GT120 benchmarked about 30 fps on Crysis with normal settings. When running on high modes on Spore, WoW, and Crysis, the frame rates dropped considerably. Expect to be able to play any retail game out now, just don't expect incredibly detailed video settings to play with.

- 64-bit Vista. As a computer junkie I've regularly hated Vista; and still do. For a casual computer user you'll like the speed and ease-of-use 64-bit vista brings. It loads a lot faster too.

- 8GB DDR2 memory; not the newest technology but we're talking about a 18% slower response time than DDR3. If you don't know what that means then I wouldn't worry about it. Multiple programs were loaded with no load times after it's initial startup.

Cons:

- The tower is huge and ugly. Weighed in at just under 40 lbs. Have fun finding space for this hog!

- No wireless ethernet card

- No second DVD drive

- Realtek HD software sound was faulty right out of the box. Required a reinstall. The same problem happened with the hard drive when it tried to install RAID. There is only one hard drive on the computer, so why is RAID trying to install itself? Logitech software wouldn't install, had to use previous versions. Some old computer perpetuals don't work on the 64-bit version, and created unknown errors with trying to rollback the drivers for 32-bit.

- 640GB seemed a bit small for a multimedia labeled computer. Uncompressed video reaches 100GB in a matter of minutes. I would have expected something at or near a terrabyte.

We're living in a recession, so good deals are more important now than ever. With the LX 6810, you get what you pay for and in this case its a good thing. Don't expect overpriced accessories to accompany this massive beast, just expect a good quality engine under the hood.
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on January 11, 2009
I just purchased this PC today and my first impression is a positive one. Best Buy had a package deal (computer, 19" monitor and a cannon 3 in 1 printer ($849.97). After setting up the computer and transfering old files to this computer I went back to Best Buy and exchanged the 19" monitor for a 22" at an additional cost of $75.00.

While I am not a gamer per se, I do lots of Photoshop CS3 editing and multitasking with other programs. For a trial run I opened 35 photos in Photoshop as well as 10 instances of Internet Explorer simultaneously, the machine didn't slow down a bit.

I have not worked with the TV tuner hook up at this time, however I will within the next several days.

Overall, I am very pleased with this computer.
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on March 22, 2009
I bought this system about four weeks ago. My biggest gripe with Gateway and most other "value" manufacturers is that they do not include regular application install disks. In fact, this particular model contained no disks whatsoever. This system has a system restore partition on the hard drive, that you can use to create your own resotration disks. However, if like most knowledgable computer users you want to do a clean install to get rid of all the bloatware that comes preinstalled, you are out of luck. I emailed Gateway customer support asking if I could obtain Windows Vista installation media and specifically telling them in the email message that I did NOT want recovery disks. They of course responded with an offer to send me the recovery disks. After going back and forth via email several times, I told the customer service rep to stop offering me things he knew I didn't want. I told him that if he can't or won't ship Windows install disks, then simply say so and stop wasting my time. Eventually he did, but only after leaving a very poor taste in my mouth.

As for the system itself, AFTER I obtained Windows install media elsewhere and did a clean install of Vista (which was not easy, since Vista does not have built-in drivers for the RAID controller), everything worked great. I primarily use this system as a media center computer, and for limited web browsing. After adding an HDHomeRun tunerSiliconDust HDHR-US HDHomeRun Networked Digital TV Tuner (White), I was able to record two HD shows while watching a third, without the system breaking a sweat.

If you are going to use this as a media center computer, you'll also want to buy a wireless keyboard and mouse. I bought a Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse combo Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Pro that works well for me.

In all, provided you don't actually need any help from Gateway, and you're happy with all of the bloatware that comes with the system (or have the experience and ability to start from scratch), then you should like this system.
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on January 4, 2010
OK, I have read all the horror stories with this machine, but the refurbished price was too good to pass up. You get a lot of machine for your money. It seems all the performance problems (random and increasingly frequent shutdowns) are related to poor heat management in the case. So, before I even turned the thing on I installed the following:

1. 1, 80mm intake fan mounted to the front of the case (sucking from the outside into the case)
2. 1, 120mm fan in the rear of the case to evacuate air from the case.
3. 1, PCI cooler card to evacuate heat from the graphics card (note that I had to remove the modem and plug the card into that slot...although there is an open slot under the graphics card, the components of the card protrude too deeply to make any use of the slot).
4. 1, hard drive cooler.

Probably overkill I know, but I had all these components laying around anyway salvaged from my last system. Note that you only have one moly plug to work with, so you will need the adaptor plugs that usually come with the fans. There is no on board plugs for fans that I have found. Installing the fans is an easy task...even if you are not use to building your own system. You could hire someone to do it, but please don't waste your money...if you own a screwdriver, you can do it!

Once the system was up and running, you will notice it is a little noisier than before you added the fans so I guess that is a downside, but it seems worth it for the stability.

A few other things to help the heat problems:

1. Change the performance rating from "performance" to "balanced." It is someplace in the control panel.
2. Flash the bios with the new one on the Gateway website. This just turns the CPU fan at maximum all the time which adds to the noise. I chose not to do this...yet. I think the case fan additions should solve the problem.
3. Clean out the computer case every couple of months. The dust buildup will insulate the components and add to the heat problems as well as shorten the life of electrolytic capacitors and the like.
4. Set the power settings to hibernate or shut down when not in use...it'll save electricity as well!

OK how does it work. It's the fastest machine I've ever owned, so I'm impressed. All my frustrations come from trying to figure out Vista (from XP). However, the machine was eligible for the Windows 7 upgrade. So I installed that with only minor hitches. Only problems I encountered was much of my old software was designed for 32 bit systems and will not work, or at least not work correctly on this 64 bit machine. Some of my old peripherals will not work either...my beloved Panasonic KX-7100 laser printer is now a 20 pound paper weight. So if you are doing the math on this system, factor in the cost of upgrading some of your old peripherals.

Working like a champ for a month now. No problem with the random shut down situation. I like the tuner card, but am not a fan of Windows Media Center. Like any new software, it's a learning curve. The front control panel is pretty useless if you have the thing sitting on the floor like I have. The pop up card reader works well and is nice for SD cards from your camera.

Upgrade wise, you are maxed out for RAM when you buy it, so no juice there. Has slots for 1 other internal hard drive and one bay for an optical drive. It has two nice front loading bays for SATA hard drives (of which I have none). It has an IDE header on the board, so you can attach two IDE drives with a ribbon cable. I'll use my old DVD writer and a 120 g hard drive from my old system. The board has one open PCI slot, but good luck using it as the graphics card components protrude too much. You might get by with a really slim card? You can however, take out the modem (does anyone still use those?) and have a nice slot for a normal size card. I chose to add a cooling card as there have been some complaints that the graphics card gets too not in graphics heavy games. As mentioned before, it has only one moly plug available, so you might need some splitters to get things configured the way you like.

>>>Update<<<

That ain't a ide drive header on the motherboard, it is a floppy drive header! I actually had a floppy drive and cable, but elected not to put it in because I have not used a floppy in years. Just thought you would like to know!
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on August 25, 2009
I bought this pc in June 2009. For the first two weeks, it was the best pc. All the sudden it started randomly rebooting every few minutes. After spending several hours for several days (and several e-mails to Gateway) the last fix we tried completely crashed the system. I had to send it back to Gateway (at my expense, which was close to $70 for packaging/shipping). About 2 weeks later I received it back minus all my files and software. It took about 3 nights of working 3-4 hours to get my files and software reloaded. It was good for about a week, now all the sudden I'm dealing with random reboots again. Not sure how Gateway will handle this one. I will be really upset if I have to send it back again and have to spend several hours reloading everything.

One more thing that is irritating is that it needs more USB ports. There are two in the front and four in the back. The speakers alone take up two ports.
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on November 17, 2009
I paid $469.00 for this computer in early October including shipping/tax. Dollar for dollar, there wasn't anything out there that came even close in terms of specs and performance.

I am very happy with my purchase. Enough so to post my comments here. I read tons of reviews on this product before buying. LOTS of people have complained both here and other sites. 90% of the problem seemed related to heat or lack of cooling (I include so-called "random" shutdowns in this category). I have avoided this problem. Thanks to the comments posted by other I probably never will. I installed 2 case fans to keep the computer cool (one 120mm and one 80mm) with a total out of pocket cost of less than $8.00. You can buy generic case fans on ebay for less than $4 each with shipping which is what I did or pay a little more through Amazon. Install was fairly easy for even a non-tech heavy guy such as myself. Weighing the cost/value of the computer even with its major but easily fixable flaw, I still think the LX6810 is an excellent value. If you don't want to open this baby up to add a cooling solution, pass on this computer because there is a darn good chance that you WILL have heating problems as dozens of posted here and other sites. I did not install the Gateway Bios update because it substantially increases noise with likely minimal reduction in heat. People have complained about how they cannot undo the BIOS update.

Consensus view seems to be that Gateway support sucks. I have no comment since I haven't dealt with customer service. However, while I haven't spoken with anyone over there, according Gateway's website, my Windows 7 upgrade hasn't even shipped yet and it is already 11/17. Slow ship is my reason for 4 stars instead of 5.

*** Update - Finally got my Windows 7 upgrade. For some reason, Gateway's upgrade requires 2 disks. Anyway, up and running.
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on September 30, 2012
I bought this in January of 2009, after my old custom built PC died on me. I wanted to build a new one, but I needed a PC that day. Getting used to Vista was a PITA, and it's incompatibility with my sound card sucked, but is not to be blamed on Gateway.

I think it has a lot of features for the money, especially at the time. The TV tuner was an extra bonus!
I used it as a daily driver for about the first year doing simple stuff, and minimal audio recording. A little after the warranty expired, I got the shut off bug. I put a new power supply and about 4 fans in. Problem solved.

I'm still using the PC as a recording center mostly now. I have a firewire interface on it, running Fruity Loops and Presonus Studio 1 to record. I often have EZ Drummer, Native Instruments Komplete suite, and a few built in samplers running, and I get no lag what-so-ever.

All-in-all it's a reliable machine with a lot of horsepower in it, just needs some air moving to keep it cool.
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on February 1, 2009
THIS is a very fast machine with TV tuner big hard drive can not beat the price. I also install wireless Pci adapter. Picks up signal 50 feet away.power supply 500 watt for gaming .
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on May 7, 2009
I have had the computer for about 3 months now and still happy with it. I have had no problems and it seems to run any program with ease. I've done a bit of gaming with it and the games play pretty smooth. I also use Pinnacle Studio 12 (which loads in about 7 sec) and it has no problem editing and creating HD movies. It is a lot of performance for the price, I just hope it runs as long as my last Gateway laptop (still running after 5 1/2 years).
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on January 22, 2009
Was looking for a desktop to edit using Vegas and Photoshop, always thought Macs were the best choice. Was going to get the 24 inch iMac, but the specs on this computer didn't justify the extra cost. I bought the 24 inch Gateway display and editing graphics seems almost effortless without the pauses. Combine this with the fact that adding a 20 dollar antennae allows me to watch television on the same screen with another window and I have no regrets choosing this over an iMac. Haven't had a problem yet, even watched movies on a 120 mHz bravia through the computer via HDMI and was finally able to tailor the sounds through the Bose Cinemate and add the bass that many complain is lacking in this sound system.
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