Dell Inspiron 3647 (i3647-3538BK) Desktop Review

July 15, 2015
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Getting a desktop in 2015 might make sense if you want better bang for your buck than a notebook can offer. Dell Inspiron 3647 (i3647-3538BK) is indeed a capable desktop, with i3 processor, 4GB memory and 1000GB hard drive offering at least decent performance for home and smaller office users. What else does it offer, and is it ultimately a valuable item at all? I’ll try to answer these questions below…

Does it work for application X?

Dell Inspiron 3647 (i3647-3538BK) has a regular processor, the 4th generation Core i3-4160. It features a dual-core design and fast 3.6GHz clock frequency. No turbo boost is available. Being a desktop model, it gets ~5000 CPU Mark points – much more than mobile Core i3s – and hence the i3-4160 is easily ready for everyday computing. You can even throw an occasional Photoshop or other heavy program at it and enjoy relatively lag-free environment, although for real power users the Core i3 in question might not cut it.

The desktop has one 4GB DDR3-1600 memory stick installed. There’s also one free slot, with the maximum memory being 16GB. Upgrading to eight gigabytes is as easy as placing another 4GB chip in. Storage consists of a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive which is good news for big files but worse for performance. Naturally, replacing it for a speedy SSD is possible, interface is SATA 6Gb/s.

How about for gaming?

Dell Inspiron 3647 (i3647-3538BK) is a cheap desktop with no dedicated graphics card. So graphics processing is responsibility of the integrated Intel HD 4400 unit. You are unlikely to get more than ~25FPS with heavy games like GTA 5 on lowest settings, but it is surely a playable frame rate count. However, if you don’t care about fancy AAA titles but prefer casual types like Sims 4 or Counter-Strike: Go, you’re in much better position. Those simpler games run fine, even with some eye candy on.

What peripherals can be connected?

There are six USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports in Dell Inspiron 3647 (i3647-3538BK). As far as I know, both USB 3.0s are in the back panel. There are also VGA and HDMI outputs for external monitors, hence dual display configuration is supported.

To transfer data to and from the desktop, you can use the tray-load DVD burner. Also the 8-in-1 media card reader can be used for certain kinds of portable devices.

Internet is accessible with Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 port or Dell 802.11b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 adapter.

Any other things to keep in mind?

Dell Inspiron 3647 (i3647-3538BK) accepts some upgrades. There are just one 3.5″ and one 5.25″ bay that are already occupied, but the system board houses free PCI-E x1 and PCI-E x16 slots. They only fit low profile units, so if you can find a smaller graphics card go ahead and place it in. You might also want to upgrade the PSU, its wattage seems to be just 220W.

The desktop doesn’t include a monitor, but it is shipped with a basic keyboard and mouse.

Summing it up

I couldn’t see any big drawbacks in Dell Inspiron 3647 (i3647-3538BK). It works fine for everyday programs, including also some entertainment in form of HD movies and light gaming. Somebody accused it of being slow, but it really depends what kind of software you’re using – of course complex types such as constant video editing or virtual machines would be too much here. As a bright side, you can always increase the memory or even add a solid-state drive to make this rig future proof & run faster. I’d recommend getting this Dell if heavy-duty programs don’t interest you.

2 thoughts on “Dell Inspiron 3647 (i3647-3538BK) Desktop Review

  1. Lee

    The standard size tower has a 300W power supply and this small form factor tower (3687) has 220W. I assume that’s because it’s smaller and doesn’t need as much power. But will that lower wattage in any way affect the speed or performance, compared to the standard size one?

    1. Tech For Pennies Post author

      The components in this i3647 model aren’t very power hungry, so including “only” a 220W power supply is justified. I verified this fact from Power Supply Calculator tool which recommends a 170W PSU to this computer. So, speaking about this exact model, there is no difference between 220W and 300W PSU, the total power this desktop uses will never be more than 170W so anything on top of that will be “wasted”, so to speak.

      Of course, if a computer has a dedicated graphics card, the situation is different and 220W PSU wouldn’t probably be enough.


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