|Processor||1.8 GHz Phenom II X4 Quad-Core 9100E|
|RAM||4 GB DDR2|
|Hard Drive||640 GB|
|Graphics Coprocessor||ATI Radeon HD 3200|
Gateway DX4200-09 Desktop, Phenom X4 9100e 64-bit Quad-Core Processor, 4GB, 640GB, 18X DVD+/-R/RW, Keyboard and Mouse, Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit), Refurbished
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Is it time to upgrade your PC? Games now require additional graphic power. The Internet is loaded with many new entertainment features that redefine the purpose of the PC. For example, many websites offer movies for direct download or streaming. Video conference is moving fast forward with free services like Google-Chat. These need better video support. The Gateway DX4200-09 Desktop PC has 4GB memory, a large hard drive for storage, and ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics support with 256MB totally dedicated video graphic memory. Unleash your creative side with the Gateway DX4200-09 Desktop featuring AMD quad-core performance, 4 GB memory and ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics - maximum capabilities to power through intensive multimedia applications, create content, edit files and create the incredible. Let Gateway DX4200-09 Desktop PC be your gateway to new opportunities. It really pays to upgrade. If this is your first PC, you'll be amazed to find what you've been missing. Add an optional widescreen monitor and open up new windows of opportunities and infinite horizons. ATI Radeon HD 3200 with up to 256 MB Shared Video Memory 18x DVD+-R/RW Labelflash Drive with Double Layer; 8-Channel (7.1) High Definition Audio; 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN; 15-in-1 card Digital Media reader; Front ports - 2 x USB, IEEE-1394, Headphone, Microphone; Back ports - 4 x USB, IEEE-1394, 2 x PS2 ports (keyboard, mouse), Center/Sub, Rear , Side, Line-in, Microphone, RJ-11 (Modem), RJ-45, VGA, HDMI; Expansion slots - 2 x PCI (One available), PCI Express x1 (available), PCI Express x16 (available); Drive bays - 2 x 5.25 (one available), 5 x 3.5 (four available); Monitor is not included
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My main purpose for the computer is to create a central media hub for music, pictures, and video in my living room. The out of the box functionality is perfect for this, as there is an HDMI port built in! I'll be using it heavily for streaming video through hulu, boxee, and the like, and so far it is working perfectly.
640GB hard drive gets it done for now, and I finally have a place to centralize pics and music from all the laptops floating around. - Why buy an external hard drive when you can buy a whole new computer for not a ton more? And I can add a cheaper internal hard drive later.
The next great aspect, as people have posted, is that it is very upgradeable. The case has plenty of room for more hard drives, graphics cards, etc. But, out of the box, it gets it done. Unless you are doing hardcore graphics-intensive gaming, you really don't need anything above this computer.
Also a plus is Gateway's completely free Windows 7 upgrade plan. I put my serial number in the night I purchased, and it will (hopefully) be coming soon after launch! Some manufacturers were charging fees, but at least Gateway provided it for $0.
The seller sent me a new computer and it is working perfectly now. Had it upgraded a bit for gaming and very happy with it now.
I have 3 computers in use in our family of varying makes and ages. I tend to replace one when it gets to 5-6 years of age. Normally I plan and save for major purchases like a computer well in advance.
I was unable to do that this time around as my five year old computer's motherboard died unexpectedly. I take work home fairly often so waiting was not an option (nor is taking another family member's computer way an option for similar school/work issues).
Due to timing reasons, my budget was $500, no where near what I usually budget & save up for, so I did not have high expectations. I went to several stores and this is the best machine I could find for the price. I paid $470 plus sales tax. I never buy the extended warranty as my background would make it wasteful spending. I did not need a monitor, speakers, keyboard, or mouse. (You do get speakers, keyboard and mouse with this computer however I did not use them and they are not part of this review.)
This computer runs very well out of the box. Set up is easy. The on board video is typical of its kind in that it is adequate as long you do not do anything video intensive. 4 GB of RAM is the sweet spot for Windows Vista as there is very little software as of the date I am writing this that can use more. Only 2 of the 4 memory slots are used so adding RAM, if ever needed, is easy. The hard drive is large and reasonably fast (640GB @7200 RPM). The power supply is primitive and you will be replacing it if you perform any upgrades to this computer - it does not even have a standard 6 pin video card power connector!
Note: The computer case requires the left side (as you look at it from the front) be left unblocked for proper ventilation. This may be a problem for some of the furniture in use out there. Mine fit just fine fortunately.
After the computer was up and running I was then able to install my video card (ATI 4850), power supply (520 Watt), Samsung monitor, Wireless N LAN adapter, HP All-In-One printer, Saitek Eclipse keyboard and Saitek Cyborg Evo from my old dead computer without any problems. The 64 bit version of Vista home is old enough now that compatible drivers actually exist. As anyone on a budget knows, compatibility with existing hardware is a major concern when moving to a new Operating System. I was pleasently surprised with my experience, and yes I do understand that I was "lucky".
Afterwards I removed the "trial" software that ships with this computer and installed my own software comprising of Microsoft Office 2007, Symantec (Norton) End Point Protection 2008, Mechwarrior 4 with mods and a couple of online games (SWG & EQ2). Windows Vista takes some getting used to yet it actually is rather good once you learn it's quirks.
Conclusion: This computer has turned out to be a good, affordable surprise and I feel comfortable recommending it. I am giving it 5 out of 5 stars with the understanding that the power supply will need to be replaced when/if upgrading occurs. You will need a video card for graphic intensive work and gaming. If I had a larger budget I would have purchased the Gateway DX4200-11. It is the same computer as the affordable DX 4200-09 but with a faster 2.2 GHz processor. None-the-less I am happy that I was able to get such an excellent computer for the price and expect many years of use from it.
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