Dells, HPs and Acers are the most popular desktops. Everybody knows them. But who knows Gateway? It’s a Californian computer hardware manufacturer who’s been in business since 1985. From what I’ve seen, they specialize in affordable desktops and laptops. Indeed, one of their latest additions to the budget desktop category is Gateway SX2885-UR10. Your doubts whether it can compete with the biggest manufacturers will be addressed below.
This desktop seems to have a great performance/price ratio. For starters, it has Intel Core i5 CPU, a processor known for its suitability for heavier use. It has four cores and 3.1GHz clock speed and in benchmarks, does a better job than slower i3s. If you’re after some extra power, having such a capable CPU is a good choice for you. For home users it might be a bit overkill, but at least the processor is extremely future-proof.
The 4GB system memory is standard in today’s desktops. In case you require more, you can expand it up to 16GB. One memory slot is free for immediate upgrade.
The hard drive of Gateway SX2885-UR10 is spacious 1TB. It also runs on 7200RPM speed, giving you a small edge over regular 5400RPM models. An optical drive which burns CDs and DVDs is also installed on this system.
The graphics performance of this desktop is somewhat better than that of most budget desktops. The Core i5 processor integrates Intel HD Graphics 4600 which boasts a slightly better performance compared to many other chips in the Intel HD family. Playing the latest games with full settings will probably not happen, but most modern games will have playable frame rates if resolution and settings are decreased to minimum. Naturally, on older or less demanding games (Tomb Raider, Dead Space, Minecraft etc.) there will be no lag even on higher settings.
Gateway SX2885-UR10 features in total 6 USB ports. Two of those are USB 3.0. Connecting the desktop to a HDTV is also possible thanks to the HDMI output found in the back.
For networking, there’s only Gigabit Ethernet adapter. To get WiFi, you must use USB gadget or install wireless PCI-E card to the the motherboard.
The computer has media card reader installed in the front, although the supported cards are not listed anywhere. I would assume at least SD card support though.
What else to keep in mind?
Package contents are the system unit, USB keyboard and USB mouse. As you see, no monitor is included. Be sure to get a touchscreen if you want to use the heavily advertised touch features Windows 8.1 (64-bit) possesses.
The dimensions of the case are 7.1″ H x 16.3″ W x 15.5″ D. It allows for some expandability. In addition to the above-mentioned RAM, you can add a dedicated graphics card because there are free PCI-e x1, PCI-e x16 and Mini PCI-e slots available. When upgrading, keep in mind the physical limitations of the computer case as well as the 220W power supply.
For some reason, Gateway can produce powerful desktops for cheaper price than their competitors. I haven’t found the catch yet, because also user reports generally tell good things about these computers. Gateway SX2885-UR10 is definitely a solid choice, a desktop that home users, power users, office workers and students would probably find very useful tool to play/work with. I don’t normally recommend the same budget computer to such wide array of users, but the great price-performance ratio of this Gateway has led me to do so!