Gateway FX7020 review: Gateway FX7020

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.8
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0
  • Service and support: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Capable gaming performance in most current PC titles; TV tuner provides some multimedia oomph.

The Bad 400-watt power supply might limit your 3D card upgrade path down the road.

The Bottom Line Gateway's FX7020 matches an AMD quad-core CPU and a fast Nvidia graphics card to make a compelling gaming PC, with some basic multimedia features to boot. Upgraders looking for a deal might wish Gateway had added a beefier power supply, but as is, this is a fine PC for its price.

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Update: This review has been changed since it originally posted. It was originally written from the perspective that this system was SLI-capable. Instead, it has only a single 16x PCI Express graphics card slot. The rating and the text have changed accordingly.

Gateway's FX7020 desktop is not the first we've seen with a quad-core CPU and a price tag about $1,000. It's distinct, though, because not only does it have a quad-core CPU, but thanks to recent developments in 3D graphics cards, it's also representative of a new desktop PC we expect to see a lot of this year: one that's reasonably priced, and also a capable gamer. It also boasts some basic multimedia capability thanks to its TV tuner. It's not overly upgrade-friendly because of its smallish 400-watt power supply, but for its price and its gaming capability, we recommend this desktop to anyone looking to play the latest PC games. If you're inclined toward aftermarket upgrading, you should hold out for a more tinker-friendly system.

If you read our review of AMD's new Phenom 9600 quad-core processor, you might think we would be disappointed to see that chip in the FX7020. But as we wrote in that review, if AMD-based PCs can compete on price with their Intel-based shelfmates, the Phenom starts to look more attractive. That's certainly the case with the FX7020. Of the other mainstream PC vendors, only HP currently offers Phenom, by way of its Pavilion 9100-series. Configured to match the Gateway FX7020, the Pavilion came in over $300 more expensive. Shop for a similarly configured Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600-based desktop, and expect to pay $500 or more than the cost of the FX7020.

  Gateway FX7020 Uberclok Ion
Price $1,099 $1,999
CPU 2.3GHz AMD Phenom 9600 3.2Ghz Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
Memory 3GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM 2GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Graphics 512MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT 512MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
Hard drives 500GB, 7,200 rpm 500GB, 7,200rpm
Optical drive dual-layer DVD burner dual-layer DVD burner, DVD-ROM drive
Networking Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium Windows Vista Home Premium
TV Tuner Integrated ATSC/NTSC tuner NA

For our testing, we matched the Gateway with a system that's a bit more capable, but also a bit more expensive. We're still waiting to get our hands on that aforementioned HP system, and we're also limited to systems on which we've been able to run our new gaming benchmarks. We didn't expect the Gateway to surpass the Uberclok Ion we paired it with, especially as the latter features an overclocked Intel quad-core chip. But consider that the FX7020 costs $900 less than the Ion, and the Gateway system ends up making a fair account of itself.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Uberclok Ion
138 
Dell XPS 420
173 
Gateway FX7020
197 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Uberclok Ion
126 
Dell XPS 420
169 
Gateway FX7020
182 

Multimedia multitasking (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Uberclok Ion
473 
Gateway FX7020
671 
Dell XPS 420
804 

CineBench
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs  
Rendering single CPU  
Uberclok Ion
11,481 
3,773 
Dell XPS 420
8,343 
2,408 
Gateway FX7020
6,827 
1,821 

As expected, the Gateway fell behind several pricier, Intel-powered competitors on our application tests. Its second-place finish on the multimedia multitasking test, a bright spot, is likely due to its 3GB of RAM. The others had only 2GB. Don't expect the Gateway, then, to blow you out of your chair with the speed at which it transcodes your MP3 collection, but for the price, it's most certainly not bad.

Unreal Tournament 3 (frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,920x1,080  
1,280x1,024  
Uberclok Ion
92.4 
142.7 
Gateway FX7020
82 
117 

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Where to Buy

Gateway FX7020

Part Number: FX7020 Released: Jan 7, 2008
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jan 7, 2008
  • Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
  • OS Provided Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Video Memory 512 MB GDDR3 SDRAM
  • Color Jet black
  • Monitor Type None.