The Gateway DX4300 is definitely being marketed as a midrange desktop, and the performance statistics are in line with that goal. That's not really meant as a put-down, either, as the performance is relatively solid and not too high or too low. The quad-core Athlon II is a great value in terms of price and performance. It's definitely not a gaming computer, but the specs are respectable enough that users could easily play relatively new games, though probably not at the highest settings.
wPrime CPU performance comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
|Desktop||Time to complete wPrime 32M
|Dell Studio Slim (Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @ 2.33GHz)||16.301s|
|Gateway SX2800-01 (Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @ 2.33GHz)||16.35s|
|HP Pavilion Slimline s5160f (Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @ 2.33GHz)||16.379s|
|HP Pavilion p6130f (AMD Phenom I X4 9750 @ 2.4GHz)||17.253s|
|Gateway DX4300 (AMD Athlon II X4 810 @ 2.3GHz)||17.752s|
PCMark05 overall general performance comparison results (higher scores mean better performance):
|Gateway DX4300 (AMD Athlon II X4 810 @ 2.3GHz)||7223 PCMarks|
|HP Pavilion Slimline s5160f (Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @ 2.33GHz)||7107 PCMarks|
|Dell Studio Slim (Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @ 2.33GHz)||6887 PCMarks|
|Gateway SX2800-01 (Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @ 2.33GHz)||6539 PCMarks|
|HP Pavilion p6130f (AMD Phenom I X4 9750 @ 2.4GHz)||6220 PCMarks|
PCMark Vantage overall general performance comparison results (higher scores mean better performance):
|Desktop||PCMark Vantage Score|
|HP Pavilion Elite m9600t (Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.66GHz)
|Alienware Area-51 790i (Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 @ 2.66GHz)||5976 PCMarks|
|HP Pavilion Elite e9120f (AMD Phenom II X4 910 @ 2.6GHz)||5801 PCMarks
|HP Pavilion Slimline s5160f (Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @ 2.33GHz)||5280 PCMarks|
|HP Pavilion p6130f (AMD Phenom I X4 9750 @ 2.4GHz)||5157 PCMarks|
|Gateway DX4300 (AMD Athlon II X4 810 @ 2.3GHz)||4667 PCMarks|
3DMark06 overall graphics performance comparison results (higher scores mean better performance):
|Gateway DX4300 (Athlon II X4 810, ATI HD4650)||5183 3DMarks|
|HP Pavilion Slimline s5160f (Core 2 Quad Q8200, NVIDIA G210)
|Dell Studio One 19 (Pentium Dual Core E5200, NVIDIA 9400)||1966 3DMarks|
|Dell Studio Slim (Core 2 Quad Q8200, ATI HD3450)||1820 3DMarks|
|Apple Mac Mini (Core 2 Duo P7350, NVIDIA 9400M)||1552 3DMarks|
|HP Pavilion p6130f (Phenom I X4 9750. NVIDIA 9100)||1222 3DMarks|
Gaming benchmark results: (Left4Dead, maximum settings)
|Resolution||Minimum framerate||Maximum framerate||Average framerate|
|1440x900||23 fps||60 fps||40.394 fps|
|1680x1050||45 fps||32.225 fps|
|1920*1080||19 fps||40 fps||29.708 fps|
Overall performance was pretty respectable, with a surprisingly strong showing in the Left4Dead gaming benchmark; even at highest setting and native high resolutions, the game was almost completely playable. The Radeon HD4650 graphics card isn't all that strong compared to some of the other options out there, but given its HD decoding and other capabilities, it's good enough for anyone who isn't a pretty big gamer.
The DX4300, with a quad-core processor and 8 gigabytes of RAM, would make a good PC for home users just getting into audio and video editing or transcoding, even HD video. The quad-core CPU can push through repetitive tasks like these without too much trouble. The high amount of system memory would come in handy in photo editors like Photoshop. Most of Gateway's recent systems have sold with 6 and 8GB of RAM; it's an easy and relatively cheap way for the computer manufacturer to differentiate themselves from the other OEMs out there. For now, they're one of the only makers to do this cheaply.
Power and Noise
With specifications like this, the DX4300 might be expected to run up the electricity bills...and it does use a fair amount of power. We found the desktop to consume 98 watts of power when just idling at the Windows desktop, after the OS had gone through all of its post-boot optimizations and processes. Putting it through its paces, however, with both CPU and GPU stressed to the max, the energy use shot up to 200 watts. Naturally, however, most people's average power draw is going to be a lot closer to that 98 watts figure than the 200 watts figure. To give an idea of how much this can affect your wallet, if you let the DX4300 idle for twelve hours a day (say, overnight) with an electricity cost of 13 cents per killowatt-hour, you'll add an extra $4.58 to your bill every month.
All in all, the Gateway DX4300 is a sharp looking midrange desktop with midrange performance and high-end features. The design choice is elegant and refined, and features like the extruded front port setup are smart engineering -- something you may not notice at first, but that you'll miss if you have to go without. The plastic front and top, while not the sturdiest construction choice are pretty scratch resistant. Performance is in line with the targeted market segment - mid-range or slightly above, with a low-end quad-core CPU, eight gigabytes of RAM and a discrete graphics card.
While there's a number of inputs available, we still would have liked to see a few more USB ports in the rear, if nothing else. Despite being pushed down in the market, Gateway has gone to great lengths to show that they're still a player in the industry, and with offerings like this, they definitely are. For less than seven hundred dollars, you can pick up up a quad-core desktop with more RAM than you'll probably need, a graphics card capable of pushing whatever pixels you'll need as long as they're not in the newest games, and useful features like the built-in charging tray and cord management area. It's a fair value with an affordable price, and it should definitely be on your list.
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