Dell Inspiron i3847-5078BK Review

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September 28, 2014
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Having been following the industry for years, I can say one thing for sure: Desktops are soon thing of the past. Even laptops are sometimes seen as old school while tablet and other mobile devices’ sales continue to grow. Anyways, there are still people who appreciate a good ole desktop. So what’s for the remedy? Perhaps Dell Inspiron i3847-5078BK?

Indeed, this Dell is middle of the road desktop with main specifications of Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB DDR3 memory and 1TB hard drive. That’s nice trio even for some power users, and the reviews over Amazon suggest it can indeed handle some advanced tasks well. Let me give you my opinion about the computer below.

The core

So the processor of this Dell is Intel Core i5-4460. That tiny chip runs on four cores and clocks at 3.2GHz. It was released Q2 2014 so it’s rather new. The PassMark software, that has become the authority in deciding which CPU is fast and which is not, shows nice score of around 6700 for this processor. That’s certainly on the better side, and one can expect multitasking and other demanding stuff running smoothly on this processor for sure. In addition, the Core i5-4460 seems to offer excellent value for money. Penny pinchers rejoice.

Hard drive storage space stands at respectable 1024GB. I say it’s a lot, but on the other hand it’s very subjective thing. For most people terabyte is more than enough. It can host, for example, couple of thousand movies if you decide to store them on your hard drive locally (as opposed to using, say, Netflix). However, what the hard drivegains in space it loses in speed: It’s not a solid-state drive but the “old school” HDD running on 7200rpm. It’s not end of the world though – you will just miss, for example, very fast booting times that SSDs can offer. There is however space inside for addiditional storage (be it either traditional HDD or a newer SSD).

The RAM is 8GB DDR3 with 2x4GB chip configuration. The Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) that comes pre-installed should run well on this memory as should basically any program. So 8GB RAM is certainly enough these days. If, for some reason I can’t think of now, you need more, the maximum memory supported is 16GB. For that, however, you’d have to remove the old 4GB chips first and install double 8GB chips.

Graphics

The graphics of Dell Inspiron i3847-5078BK are handled by the Intel HD 4600. It’s an integrated graphics chip and if you know something about these things, you know they are not gaming friendly. You could play older games with eye candy turned on, but new ones with lots of 3D graphics would suck the power out of the card (and the CPU too since the graphics chip is integrated to the CPU). An upgrade to a dedicated graphics card can of course be done – there’s indeed a PCI-E slot free waiting for your extremely fast graphics card. If you do that, bear in mind you might want to upgrade the power supply too because the installed 300W one can end up being too wimpy.

With all that being said, the integrated graphics chip is nothing but good for everyday use, as long as you don’t try to play latest titles with maximum resolution. The Intel HD 4600 chip also supports dual monitors and moreover, helps to keep the total price of this Dell tolerable (which is why we still call it an example of “Tech For Pennies”).

Connections

There are 8 USB ports in total. Four USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 are in the back, and 2 USB 2.0 ports are in front. In addition to that, there’s also 8-in-1 card reader and headphone & microphone jacks in the front. For monitor connecivity, HDMI port can be found in the back as well as VGA port. You can use them for, say, dual screen setup.

Getting Internet access can be done either through WiFi or traditional wired connection. Dell Inspiron i3847-5078BK has both, wireless (with Bluetooth 4.0 support) and Gigabit Ethernet cards integrated to motherboard.

Other things to keep in mind

There’s a tray load DVD burner included. If you need another optical drive, there’s space for that too. There’s an integrated 5.1 sound card on the motherboard from which you can expect solid sounds for everyday home use. Naturally, no speakers (or monitor for that matter) are shipped with this desktop so you’d have to buy them separately. However, there’s USB optical mouse and keyboard included.

Wrapping it up

Looking at the specs of Dell Inspiron i3847-5078BK, and then looking at the price, I can say it provides value for home and office users. There’s nothing wrong with the desktop for those guys, and the price won’t hurt especially if you already have a monitor at hand. As it is, gamers won’t find too much joy from this rig due to subpar performance of the discrete graphics card, but getting an upgrade will help. All in all, and especially after taking a look at the overwhelmingly positive reviews, I can recommend this desktop for users who don’t need or want freakishly fast desktop pumped up with top notch performance and a hefty price tag.


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