If you want to start computing for cheap, a desktop should be a good choice for you. They generally cost less than a laptop while the performance they offer is superior to their mobile counterparts. One budget model is Dell Inspiron i3650-3111SLV, and reading all the positive user reports about it I can see there’s definitely something there. Below is my take on this subject – read it to see if the Dell rules or not!
A mid-range processor is powering the Dell Inspiron i3650-3111SLV. Name is Intel Core i3-6100, it’s a 6th generation dual-core processor from the turn of 2015/2016. The base clock speed is very high, 3.7GHz, but there is no turbo to help that clock speed to increase. With its ~5500 CPU Mark points the Core i3 is quite a cookie cutter processor – for everyday computing it’s all you need.
The 6GB memory (2 and 4GB sticks) this unit has is a happy compromise between basic 4GB and flaunting 8GB. You are good to run multiple programs at the same time or even use more demanding software such as Adobe Photoshop occasionally. Rest assured that more RAM can be put in as the motherboard has two memory slots, accommodating up to 16 gigabytes of DDR3L 1600MHz memory.
The hard drive is just what you could expect from an affordable home desktop: a one terabyte platter based drive with 7200RPM spindle speed. It will do its job to store a lot of data fine, but if you want to enjoy maximum performance something else is required. Indeed, you could upgrade to SSD, the system case contains a free 3.5″ slot. You might however need an adapter to fit 2.5″ SSD, and I’ve also heard that there are no additional SATA cables inside so they must be acquired as well.
Is this any good for gaming?
I’m afraid you’re not going to like the answer. Dell Inspiron i3650-3111SLV is not a gaming desktop, it has a mere integrated Intel HD 530 graphics card running that show. The good thing of course is, older games like League of Legends, World of Warcraft and even Minecraft do well on this machine. Lag will not happen with those games. But, if you desire to play newer titles that contain beautiful graphics the situation is different. You need to use minimum settings (and likely, also resolution) to get 30-40 frames per second on Triple A games like GTA 5 and Battlefield 4.
There is one way to fix this problem, and that is a dedicated graphics card. The motherboard surely has a PCI-e x16 slot in which you can install GeForce or Radeon card.
Does the desktop have good connectivity?
Connecting your favorite peripherals to Dell Inspiron i3650-3111SLV is not going to be an issue. In total, the computer offers six USB ports, although admittedly only two are the faster USB 3.0 type. The majority, four, are USB 2.0. If you have something like external drive, definitely plug that to USB 3.0. Mouse and keyboard you can connect to the slower USB 2.0.
The back side has HDMI-output and VGA as video ports. I have read from several reports that they support two monitors connected at the same time. The only caveat would be the poorer image quality on the monitor that is hooked up to the (old technology) VGA port.
Even though it’s a budget desktop the networking is in check! In addition to the usual Gigabit Ethernet port for cable you’ll also find wireless working. It supports the b/g/n WiFi standard and Bluetooth.
There is a tray-load DVD burner in the front panel, installed vertically. Next to it resides SD card slot which accepts memory cards. You can easily move data from many memory card supporting devices, the most common probably being digital cameras or smartphones.
Are there other noteworthy things about this?
Dell Inspiron i3650-3111SLV comes with a pre-installed Windows 10 Home, the 64-bit edition. As far as I know the original install discs don’t get shipped with it, I don’t know about rescue disc. Might be you need to create that yourself.
Included are a corded keyboard and mouse. For this price, a bundled monitor would be impossible, so remember to get the display separately!
You can not call Dell Inspiron i3650-3111SLV a powerhouse but a decent general-use desktop. Its Core i3 (6th generation!) processor contains plenty of “oomph” for day-to-day use, such as multi-tab web browsing, watching Full HD videos or doing Office stuff like Word or Excel. So yes, as a home desktop or even workstation it can suffice. But I won’t recommend the computer for gaming due to poor graphics performance. Then again the price is so low that certain drawbacks are understandable. So if you want a cheap yet definitely working desktop, look no further!