Aside from 3D power and HD video capability, the two PCs are roughly the same. Gateway has faster, and more, hard drive configuration options that range from a single 320GB 7,200rpm drive to two quick 150GB 10,000rpm drives, which we usually see in more expensive high-end gaming PCs. That option and the higher-end graphics card certainly give the DX420X more performance potential than the HP. You'll find that the two also have a number of other specifications in common, from wireless networking adapters to TV tuners, media card readers, and wireless keyboards and mice. All of those options are roughly equivalent in price between the two vendors, as well.
Gateway's tech support for the DX420X isn't that different from the rest of the industry. The system comes with a standard one-year parts-and-labor warranty. Toll-free phone support is available 24/7, and Gateway's Web site has a wealth of system-specific help material. What you won't find is a remote tech feature like Dell, HP, and Gateway's own eMachines line all have. Instead of letting a tech take control of your PC remotely to fix a problem for you, you'll still have to get him or her to walk you through it.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6600; Intel P965 Express chipset; 1,024MB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7900 GT; (2) 250GB Hitachi 7,200rpm Serial ATA hard drives
HP Pavilion m7690n Media Center TV PC
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6400; Intel P965 Express chipset; 2,048MB 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT; (2) 250GB Seagate 7,200rpm Serial ATA hard drives
Shuttle XPC P2 3700g
Windows XP Media Center SP2; 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6700; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 664MHz; (2) 256MB ATI Radeon X1950; Western Digital 150GB 10,000rpm Serial ATA hard drives
Systemax Venture C2D
Windows XP Home SP2; 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6300; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 256MB ATI Radeon X1600; 320GB Western Digital 7,200rpm Serial ATA hard drive