I make my living in the Information Technology arena, with a focus on Microsoft technology. Being an IT engineer, especially one focused on the various Microsoft server platforms, is a rough gig, because Microsoft is always coming out with new technology I must learn to stay ahead; that is if I do not want to be left behind! So I am in a constant state of learning this or that new technology. Microsoft's newest server platform, Windows 2008, incorporates a plethora of new and exciting widgets and gadgets to learn, all of which, demand a lot out of hardware.
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In order to stay current, I run a small Microsoft-based network in my house. Recently I found myself in need of a fast 64-bit Quad-core processor computer with lots of Ram to run Windows 2008, as well as SQL Server 2005, and a few other resource intensive applications on. Time to buy a new PC; long gone are the days when I could put something together for less than I can buy off-the-Internet.
I looked at my two favorites, Hewlett Packard and Dell, for my new server platform, but they failed to deliver the performance I needed at the price I wanted to pay. So I looked at Gateway and the company delivered in the form of the Gateway DX4820-01 Tower Workstation.
The stylish DX4820-01 Tower Workstation shipped with a generous 750GB 7200 RPM SATA-II hard drive, Intel Core-2 Quad processor, 6GB DDR3 dual channel memory, Double-layer 18x DVD/RW drive, an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500 series video card, and Windows Vista Home Premium, 64-bit OS.
In The Box
Gateway DX4820-01 Tower Workstation computer
Quick Installation Guide
Wired Keyboard & Mouse
Computer as Configured:
•o Processor Family: Intel Core2 Quad Q8300 (2.50GHz/1.3GHz FSB/ 4MB L2 Cache)
•o Chipset: Intel G43 Express
•o Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium
•o Installed RAM: 6.0GB DDR3 SDRAM @ 1.3GHz
•o Hard Drive Capacity: 750GB SATA II 7200RPM w/DataBurst Cache
•o Graphics Card: Integrated Intel GMA X4500
•o Primary Optical Drive: 18x CD-RW/DVD Combination Drive
•o Secondary Optical Drive: None
•o Network Interface Card (NIC): Integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet
•o Media Card Reader: 10-n-1
•o Speakers: USB-powered mini speakers
Gateway designed the DX4820-01 Tower Workstation for the Home/ Home Office user and Gamers and as such there is plenty of room for expansion inside the glossy black case. For instance, there is space for a whopping (5) 3.5" hard drives as well as (2) 5.25" devices. Expansion slots include (1) standard PCI, as well as (1) PCI Express x1, and (1) PCI Express x16 slots.
There are a total of (8) USB 2.0 ports on the DX4820-01 Tower Workstation; four on the back of the unit, and two on the front bezel, and a further two on the top, yes I typed top, of the tower. Allow me to explain further. The top of the case of the DX4820-01 Tower Workstation has a funky riser (clever design actually), which leaves room for a large indentation wherein one can place a digital camera, MP3 player, cell phone, external device, or other electronic knickknack. At the rear of this intent is where the last (2) USB ports make their home. The placement makes it ideal for recharging a Smart Phone, or connecting an external device such as a MP3 player, hard drive, or DVD unit.
Back to rear of the computer; there is (1) Firewire port an RJ-45 port, as well as (2) PS-2 ports (keyboard & mouse), VGA port, a HDMI port, and finally a 56K, V92 modem that occupies one of the PCI slots. All manner of audio ports associated with the integrated 7-n-1 high-definition audio card can be found here as well. The front of the DX4820-01 Tower Workstation is reserved for (2) USB ports, and the 10-n-1 (Capacity (SDHC) Card, miniSD Card, Multimedia Card (MMC), MMCmobile, Reduced-Size Multimedia Card (RS-MMC), xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo) media card reader.
In addition to Windows Vista Home Premium, Gateway includes a 60-day trial subscription to Symantec's Norton Protection Center, which includes antivirus, inbound firewall, anti-spam, and privacy protection. Other software titles include: Microsoft Works SE, a 60-day Microsoft Office 2007, and Roxio Creator & My DVD 9.0 DE, This is in addition to a bevy of other useless, space-wasting software that I quickly removed.
Gripe: none of the media (CD's) for the included software on the computer is in the box. So if I ever need to re-install the OS, I would be out of luck. The media can be had from Gateway for a fee! Why should I have to purchase software I already own? Gateway is not the company it used to be in this regard.
I love the DX4820-01 Tower Workstation! Even thought I am not a gamer, and this computer will not be pulling Home Office, or Media Center duties I put the computer to good use as a Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition server. The OS installed fast and quietly! In fact if it weren't for the large blue power indicator light on the top of the bezel, I would not know the PC was even on, so quite are the fan and hard drive.
The DX4820-01 Tower Workstation is a good compromise between size and performance. While the design is a tower, it is small enough to fit in any standard size computer desk, but it has plenty of room to expand. The fast Intel Core-2 Quad processor and 6GB or Ram makes this PC a performance powerhouse, while the 750GB hard drive provides plenty of room for videos and photos galore.
Gripe: I highly dislike the design of the DVD mount. It is situated behind a flush mount door-that seems to be the design trend these days-with the eject button on the right side. There is also an eject button on top of the case bezel, but half the time it refuses to work! And once out, the DVD tray refuses to retract via either button 95% of the time and I have to gently nudge it until it retracts on its own! There has to be a better way.
Service and Support
Like most U.S. based computer company's Gateways' support operation is overseas. How do I know, I called Gateway support shortly after I bought the PC in order to get some information about the processor. After being kept on hold for almost 30 minutes, a man with a decidedly Indian accent came on-line and after I explained what I wanted, told me I should consult Intel. Needless to say I was not pleased.
The Gateway DX4820-01 Tower Workstation is powerful Home/ Home Office workstation that is more than adequate for Windows Vista Home Premium, and Media Center duties (HDMI out), and is fitting replacement for my pre-Windows computer that will not run Windows Sever 2008 64-bit. And did I mention that the PC will run Windows 7 seamlessly?
The DX4820-01 Tower Workstation is very affordable, checking in at just under $600.00, without monitor, is wonderfully engineered, attractive (love the glossy black finish of the case) and performs like a computer costing twice as much thanks to the Intel Core-2 Quad-core processor, 6GB of DDR3 memory, 1.3GHz Front Side Bus (FSB), and whisper quite 7200 RPM hard drive.
The Gateway DX4820-01 Tower Workstation is a high performance workhorse that will more than meets my current and future computer needs; no really. But, I might need one more computer to complete my networking plans, stay tuned.
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Amount Paid (US$): 567.99
Operating System: Other
Processor speed: over 1000
RAM: More than 256
Internal Storage: CD-RW and DVD
Hard Drive (GB): Under 4