A simple, entry-level desktop, you don’t need anything fancier eh? Here’s an idea for you: Dell Inspiron i3847-1697BK. It costs only pennies and offers a basic Pentium processor, enough system memory and a huge hard drive ready to get you started. But is it really a worthwhile buy or just a bunch of too slow components?
The processing power of this Dell isn’t very high, but what can you expect from a cheap desktop anyway? The dual-core Intel Pentium G3260 processor reaches a nice 3.3GHz clock speed although the chip doesn’t support turbo boost. And for a 2015 desktop processor it has quite a conservative CPU Mark grade, just ~3200. Anyway, you can use this unit for running most software, for serious multitasking and high-end applications I’d recommend something else, though.
The storage section is in check, you’ll receive a terabyte hard drive that is great for the price. Of course it’s just a conventional HDD (7200RPM SATA 3), but you’re always free to install a solid-state drive: there’s one 3.5″ bay available.
There are two DIMM sockets on the mainboard, another one is occupied by a 4GB RAM stick. If you fill the both slots with 8GB sticks you’ll get 16GB which is the maximum memory here.
Intel HD Graphics, have you heard that name? Well, that’s an integrated graphics engine for low-end desktops. It’s also present here, there’s no fast dedicated graphics installed. It’s entirely possible to play top-of-the-line titles such as Battlefield 4 or Grand Theft Auto 5, but don’t expect them to run with high settings and Full HD resolution. Using less eye candy is essential for ensuring playable frame rates with those newer games.
What ports and connections does it have?
Back panel offers the usual setting of ports: four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 connectors are there for hooking up peripherals. For HDTV or another kind of monitor, you can use the HDMI-out or VGA – dual displays also work.
Communications are handled by the 1000Mbps Ethernet adapter with RJ-45 port in the back. Luckily, also 802.11n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 adapter is available so you’re free to use wireless networking too.
A tray-load DVD burner is installed, and as a side note one 5.25″ bay inside the case is free for an additional drive.
The desktop sports an 8-in-1 media card reader – slip in an SD/MMC/xD card and transfer files that way.
You will not get monitor with this desktop, you must buy one separately (or use your old one). But as always, basic keyboard and mouse are included.
The operating system is, of course, pre-loaded Windows 10 Home (64-bit).
I can’t say Dell Inspiron i3847-1697BK has an excellent price-performance ratio, but it’s still something a home user or maybe student might enjoy. Any basic software such as Office stack and web browser runs no problem here, also browser-based games and older installable titles are within the desktop’s limits. You can’t use the computer for very heavy work or god forbid, serious gaming, but if you’re OK with that there shouldn’t be any unpleasant surprises should you choose to get this Dell.