Dell Dimension 5100 (Pentium 4 3.4GHz review: Dell Dimension 5100 (Pentium 4 3.4GHz

The system offers seven USB 2.0 ports--two on the front and five on the rear--and our custom Dell multimedia keyboard offered another two; however, you won't find a single FireWire port, which strikes us as bizarre. More bizarre: a FireWire card isn't even listed as an option. The slight software bundle includes Musicmatch Jukebox Basic and Corel Photo Album Starter Edition.

Dell's standard limited-support option could be called "extremely limited support," because it offers only a 90-day limited warranty and 90 days of tech support and onsite service (which Dell calls at-home service). An additional $275 gets you up to four years of support; you should at least spring for the 12-month plan, which will cost an extra $22. Dell's Web site offers a variety of user guides, FAQs, and forums. Phone support is available 24/7, but be prepared to wade through endless menus. As we've noted in other Dell reviews, most manuals come preinstalled on the hard drive, which makes them harder to reference in a pinch.

Application performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo's SysMark 2004 rating  
SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation rating  
SysMark 2004 office-productivity rating  

Half-Life 2 custom demo (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Half-Life 2 1,024x768 4XAA 8XAF  
Half-Life 2 1,600x1,200 4XAA 8XAF  

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations
Dell Dimension 5100
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005; 3.0GHz Intel Pentium 4 531; Intel 945G chipset; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz; ATI Radeon X300 SE; Maxtor 6L160M0 160GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA

Dell Dimension 5100C
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 3.0GHz Intel Pentium D 830; Intel 945G chipset; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; integrated Intel 950G; Maxtor 6L160M0 160GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA

Dell Dimension 9100
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 3.2GHz Intel Pentium D 840; Intel 945GP chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 6800 (PCIe); two WDC WD160JD-75HBB0 160GB Serial ATA 7,200rpm; integrated Intel 82801GR/GH SATA RAID Controller (RAID 0)

HP Pavilion d4100e
Windows XP Home SP2; 2.4GHz AMD Athlon 64 4000+; ATI Radeon RS480 (ATI Radeon X200 Xpress) chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 6800 (PCIe); Seagate ST3400832AS 400GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA

Sony VAIO VGC-RA842G
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 3.0GHz Intel Pentium D 830; Intel 945G chipset; 1GB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; Nvidia GeForce 6600 (PCIe); 250GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA

What you'll pay

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