May 23, 2011
- New "Sandy Bridge" Intel CPU
- Fast performance
- Blu-ray & HDMI output
- Size of case not suitable for home theater use
- Lacking connectivity options
The Gateway DX4850-45 offers speedy performance thanks to its new Intel Core i5 and good multimedia capabilities as it has both HDMI out and a Blu-ray player. However, the connections that it offers is below average and the chassis doesn't blend well into most home entertainment settings.
The Gateway DX4850-45 measures 7.1 x 16.3 x 16.2-inches (lwh) and weighs 25-pounds, so it is categorized as a midtower PC. While it has been designed for use in a home entertainment setting, the chassis isn't the slim tower size that we usually see with these sort of computers. As a result, it most likely won't fit well into most setups. It has a sleek, black finish that looks pretty stylish, but its non-slim size is a sticking point for us.
On the inside of the case, there is room for expansion. There is a free graphics card slot (PCIe 16x) and two PCIe 1x slots open for future use. There's also room for two more additional hard drives and one front optical disc drive. There is room for RAM expansion, but unfortunately not without removing some of the already included RAM sticks.
In terms of connectivity, the Gateway DX4850-45 is a little lacking, which is a disappointment. There is VGA out, HDMI out, six USB 2.0 ports on the back, two USB 2.0 ports on the front, gigabit Ethernet and a multiformat memory card reader also on the front. There is 5.1 analog audio ports, but no digital audio or 7.1 analog audio. There's also no Firewire, eSATA or USB 3.0 ports, which leaves us wanting more, especially from a computer marketed as a multimedia machine.
The internal specifications of the Gateway DX4850-45, on the other hand, are quite pleasing. Gateway includes a "Sandy Bridge" quad-core Intel Core i5-2300 (2.8GHz) CPU, 6GB of DDR3 RAM, a 1TB 5400RPM hard drive and Intel HD 2000 integrated graphics. There is also a Blu-ray/DVD burner combo optical drive and 802.11b/g/n wireless built-in. The second-generation Intel processor allows for improved performance over other desktops without it. We really appreciated the 1TB of hard drive space, especially for storing large media files, but the 5400RPM speed is slower than we would've hoped, but now we're splitting hairs.
The quad-core CPU gives you some really great performance, especially with processor-intensive tasks like video encoding and some heavy multitasking. Playing today's 3D games with this computer is rather hit-and-miss, so we only recommend it if you're a casual gamer. Alternatively, you could upgrade the video card to something more powerful, which would give you much better 3D gaming performance.