Everybody knows Samsung, HP and Toshiba. But who knows Gateway? They are a less known manufacturer I admit. But still manufacture quality computers. And are able to keep their price low for whatever reason. This time, we’re focusing on the Gateway DX4885-UR1C desktop offering Core i5 level performance. We’ll tell you if this computer from a relatively unknown manufacturer would be a smart thing to buy.
As was briefly noted above, the Gateway sports an Intel Core i5 4440 processor. Its vital stats are 3.1 – 3.3GHz clock frequency and a quad-core setup. These i5 series CPUs are big brothers to common i3 processors, and offer sufficient performance for power and home users alike. In other words, somebody with need for multitasking or complex software should find this processor adequate.
Memory amount in this model is just 4GB. To be honest I’d have expected more from a desktop bearing price tag closer to five hundred bucks. However, the maximum memory is 32GB. There should be three memory slots free on the mainboard, as such upgrading the RAM should be easy.
The hard drive is 1024GB, a typical size for a modern desktop. You can host thousands of compact sized files like music and photos there. The speed at 7200RPM is also slightly better than what older 5400RPM drives can offer.
It’s possible to play some games on Gateway DX4885-UR1C. The Intel HD 4600 graphics chip can handle older games well especially if settings are kept low. Minecraft with eye candy turned to minimum should have smooth frame rates mostly. Same could be said about less demanding titles such as Sims 4, World of Warcraft and various sports games. Heavyweight games like Battlefield 4 should reach around 30FPS.
Gateway DX4885-UR1C has in total six USB ports. Two of those are USB 3.0 and are located in the rear. The rest USB 2.0s reside in front.
For video connectivity the desktop comes with VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs. In addition to plugging it into a HDTV you can also use other kinds of monitors thanks to the VGA and DP outs.
A 16x DVD burner and media card reader with SD support are installed on this Gateway.
Networking consists of Gigabit Ethernet adapter only. There’s no WiFi or Bluetooth by default – which you can of course fix by using an USB dongle or PCI card.
What else to keep in mind?
The system case has space for additional 5.25″ and 3.5″ drives. Installing a secondary hard drive or even SSD is thus possible. There are also one PCI-E x16 and two PCI-E x1 slots available. The former can be used to upgrade graphics card for enhanced gaming performance.
Relating to above, you might also want to upgrade the current 300W power supply if you install a new graphics engine inside. However, the PSU is not a standard 24-pin power supply. It has a proprietary connector with 12 pins, so you’d have to get a similar one if you wanted to replace the PSU as well.
The system comes with pre-installed Windows 8.1 (64-bit). A monitor isn’t shipped though, so you might want to get a touchscreen if you want to take full advantage of Windows 8. Basic mouse and keyboard are however bundled with the system.
There’s a bunch of Acer bloatware waiting for you when you start Windows. It can be annoying but also easy to uninstall from Control Panel.
Gateway DX4885-UR1C offers good value for the money. The Core i5 CPU won’t bog down easily, even on heavier use. The 4GB RAM is just fine, although many desktops have more – luckily it’s easier to add another 4GB chip and double the RAM. For gamers there’s enough performance if you’re happy with lightweight or pre-2013 titles. A good video connectivity of VGA, HDMI and DP ports is also one of the system’s strong sides. Network connectivity isn’t that good, though, and you have to get an USB device for wireless and Bluetooth. All in all I would recommend this desktop for somebody who doesn’t require a name brand but has the guts to go for a less known, but similarly good (or even better) budget computer.