Gateway DX210 series
Gateway's budget DX210 series features mainstream Intel Pentium 4 processors and comes in two preconfigured models, each of which offers a slight degree of customization. The Gateway DX210S starts at $500 and includes a Pentium 4 524 processor, 512MB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, and integrated ATI Xpress 200 graphics. For $790, the DX210X model features a Pentium 4 631 processor and twice the memory and hard drive capacity of the DX210S, plus a 17-inch LCD. Both models feature an attractive midtower case with a BTX design for quiet operation. Though Windows XP Home is the default operating system for each model, you can upgrade to the Media Center OS and add a TV tuner card. Both models are competitively priced and address two of our chief concerns with the DX200 we reviewed in December 2005: it used an outdated chipset and offered few opportunities for expansion. Though the DX210 series' ATI Xpress 200 chipset isn't cutting-edge, it's superior to the DX200's Intel 915G chipset, and with an x16 PCI Express slot, it's also upgradable.