As expected, the SX2801-01e keeps up in our head-to-head performance tests with four competing systems and even manages to defeat the lowly HP Pavilion Slimline s5510y and the marginally more respectable Dell Inspiron i560-2050NBK in both single-application tests. The SX2840-01e's faster processor and clever Core i3 chip give it a hefty advantage for multicore and multitasking workloads, but the gap is small enough so you won't notice unless you're running media-editing software such as Adobe Premiere or the newest version of Photoshop.
In addition to the HDMI video port, the system has a flexible set of connectivity options. On the front of the PC are five USB 2.0 ports, a media card reader, audio jacks, and a vertical-loading DVD burner; however, Gateway neglected to include the Mini-FireWire jack that came stock on previous models. Around back, you get four more USB ports, an Ethernet jack, an eSATA port, a set of 7.1 audio inputs, an optical S/PDIF audio input, and VGA video out. Despite its lack of FireWire, that's a competitive set of ports, especially on a PC in this price range.
The inside of the SX2800-01e also offers plenty of room to make upgrades, although the slim tower requires half-height expansion cards for the 16x PCI Express and the 1x PCI Express card slots to upgrade. All four of the Gateway's RAM slots are occupied, and they are awkwardly located behind the large drive bay, but at least you can upgrade them with larger memory sticks with a bit effort.
|Gateway SX2801-01e||Average watts per hour|
|Raw (annual kWh)||169.12932|
|Energy Star compliant||No|
|Annual power consumption cost||$19.20|
The Gateway uses a reasonable amount of power for a budget Windows desktop and still manages to be more energy efficient than the Gateway SX2840-01 is at $19.20 to operate per year. Nevertheless, neither systems meet the requirements for Energy Star certification, and we look to Gateway to someday give Apple competition in power efficiency.
Gateway gives you one year of parts and labor coverage for the SX2801-01e, along with 24-7 toll-free phone service and a variety of help resources available online. The system itself also comes with a few diagnostic apps to help you monitor the status of various components yourself.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
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Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.7GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core E5400; 4GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 32MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip; 500GB 7,200 rpm Western Digital hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.8GHz Pentium Dual-Core E5500; 6MB 800MHZ DDR3 SDRAM; 32MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip; 1TB, 7,200 rpm hard drive
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