Dell Inspiron i3656-8022RED Desktop Review

February 23, 2016
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A neat-looking desktop with a hint of red, is that all Dell Inspiron i3656-8022RED is? Not really, it has AMD’s quad-core processor and 16GB RAM powering the system. But another thing is whether the desktop is really worth its price. And what you can actually use it for. I’ll let you know my views on this below.

Does it run most software?

To answer to the above question: for sure. The most essential thing that affects the performance is processor, which is AMD FX-8800P here. It’s a bit less known unit, but let me tell you it’s a quad-core model offering a 2.1GHz clock speed and 3.4GHz turbo. Comparing it to others, it’s faster than Intel Core i5-5200U – the Intel chip receives around 3500 points in CPU Mark test while the AMD gets 4520. There will be no problems whether it’s a simple Google Chrome or heavier Photoshop you’re dealing with.

In case you’re a friend of multitasking the desktop also works for you. It has 16GB memory installed which makes sure that if you want to keep dozens of browser tabs open, listen to music and still do something more, it will all be handled smooth. The RAM is installed on two 8GB sticks, and they eat the both memory slots on the board so the RAM is already capped out.

Moving to the storage section, we’ll see the desktop contains a huge, 2TB 7200RPM hard drive. If you want to use this computer as your main data storage then it is good – you can save data equivalent to four hundred DVDs here. But if you want performance, then for sure a solid-state drive is your friend. However, specifications suggest there’s no free space for one, so you need to remove the HDD first if you want to put solid-state drive here.

How about games?

The fact is, Dell Inspiron i3656-8022RED does not have a dedicated graphics engine listed on, just an integrated AMD Radeon R7. That will hurt gaming performance a big time. Playing many games is possible, but you’ll really need to keep those settings and resolution at bay. For example, Battlefield 4 is going to give you ~30 FPS if you use low settings and 1024×768 resolution. On the other hand, the lightweight Counter-Strike: Go will run at the same FPS even when settings are high and resolution Full HD.

You may install dedicated graphics if you want to – however just one card since only one PCI-e x16 (full length & height) is available. It could be you need to upgrade the PSU at the same time too (could not find the wattage sadly but believe it’s quite a low-end one).

In addition, we got a comment from reader saying also this model has a dedicated AMD Radeon R9. If this is the case, gaming performance is considerable better, and you can play most games, although the more demanding ones will require lower settings and/or resolution for playable frame rates.

What devices does it accept?

So you want to spice up Dell Inspiron i3656-8022RED with some peripherals? Sure it’s possible but the set of connections isn’t that great. There are two USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 for external devices (like printer, USB hard drive etc). In addition, two video outputs are available – VGA and HDMI – so connecting two monitors simultaneously works.

Audio ports include headphones, microphone, line-in and line-out connectors.

This thing connects to Internet with the Gigabit RJ-45 port and the built-in 802.11bgn WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 adapter.

A tray load DVD burner is available, so is a media card reader for SD, SDXC, SDHC, MMC and MMC+ formats.

Other things to keep in mind

Dell Inspiron i3656-8022RED does not include a monitor. Keyboard and mouse are however shipped with the unit.

Windows 10 Home (64-bit) is loaded on the hard drive.


Dell Inspiron i3656-8022RED is something more demanding users should appreciate. The AMD FX processor can take a lot of beating before it slows down, for example Photoshop and other heavier software are not a problem for the AMD. The 16GB RAM will also help with keeping things nice, especially multitasking should be a smooth sail. However I’m not convinced about the gaming performance as there’s a mere integrated graphics card available. So in case gaming is not your number one activity, this Dell should offer a lot for all the power users out there.

10 thoughts on “Dell Inspiron i3656-8022RED Desktop Review

  1. dc

    “The fact is, Dell Inspiron i3656-8022RED does not have a dedicated graphics engine” – Actually, it does have a dedicated AMD Radeon R9 360 OEM 2GB DDR5 card installed, so gaming is halfway decent on this PC. I own this particular DELL and it is working out quite well as an all-arounder for me, responsive, plenty of RAM and a huge HDD. I like the compact size, but don’t bother upgrading anything in this unit, like it as it is configured or move on to something else. BTW the FX 8800P is a laptop CPU, although it still does a great job in this desktop, cool and quiet drawing only 35watts.

    1. Tech For Pennies Post author

      Thanks for your comment. This particular desktop model (i3656-8022RED) seems to have Radeon R7, the processor-integrated chip, as the GPU. At least that’s what the spec sheet on says. Perhaps you were talking about the slightly different model, Dell Inspiron i3656-3355BLK, which indeed has a dedicated Radeon R9 installed?

  2. dc

    Hi there, the (RED trimmed and lighted) DELL desktop I purchased at Best Buy is the same model number:

    The FX-8800P is an AMD APU with an integrated R7 GPU, I’ve opened the case and it definitely has a dedicated AMD R9 360 OEM graphics card in the PCI-E slot. I have an LG 29″ AMD FreeSync compatible Utra-Widescreen monitor plugged directly into the back of the FreeSync ready R9 360 GPU using the DisplayPort. The graphics are fantastic, the LG is a 2560 x 1080 IPS 21:9 panel, it will easily display up to 4 split screens running multiple programs with this GPU.

    There is only one DELL Inspiron desktop available with the FX-8800P, and DELL’s website lists the AMD Radeon™ R9 360 2GB DDR5 under the “Video Card” category. I believe Amazon left this detail out of their description.

    1. Tech For Pennies Post author

      I see. Thanks for the information. I updated the review a little :)

  3. Janderson

    I have this same model I purchased at Best Buy. It does have the AMD R9 360 card as stated. I am currently running dual monitors using the graphics card and it works well. Machine runs really well as a whole. It is very quiet, compact and lightweight. I am having a strange issue of it not wanting to power fully on for some reason. I will hit the power button and it acts like it is turning on but then the screen stays dark and when I check, the box is not lit up at all and I have to hit the power button again. I will have to keep an eye on that. Other than that, it works well. My wife uses Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom easily. A little slow in Lightroom development mode, but that program is a memory hog anyway.

  4. Blake

    So i am Thinking of purchasing a less upgraded version of this PC for collage and eventually convert it too a Gaming computer after i get enough money for a few upgrades. The one I am eyeing uses a AMD A10 Processor Which looks fine and my budget for an un upgraded PC is as far below 500 as possible. My plan is to eventually upgrade to a 2-4 gb GPU add an upgraded PSU and increase it too 16 GB of RAM. But I cannot find anything on what GPUs you can put on the PC, It is by far the best stock PC in my budget I have seen But I am scared i will not be able to upgrade the GPU. The Cpu Is Saudered to the motherboard I think which sucks but should be fine but I need help figuring out if I would be able to convert it to a mid to upper mid level PC later. I know the A10 is not godly but i cannot spend more than 500 for a Base.

    1. Tech For Pennies Post author

      It takes a full length and height card, so any graphics engine should work here.

  5. Tom dodds

    I want to transfer data and programs form my older computer to the new Dell inspirion 8022red. Does this system come with a good program to help me tranfer my stuff to the new system?

    1. Tech For Pennies Post author

      Hi. There’s no program that automatically takes care of this. You still need a medium for the file transfer. My recommendation is memory card or USB stick. This Dell Inspiron supports both and your older computer supports at least USB sticks – might be there’s even a memory card reader there. Hope this helps.


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