One big problem is that it's an Acer made system (they bought Gateway a few years ago). Acer has been locked in a fierce competition with HP to see who can make the world's worst computers ever since HP bought Compaq during the dot com boom.
Just a quick example. Bought a similar system for a HTPC, and maybe disaster recovery system in the event my main one dies. The thing will absolutely not boot up when using the built-in HDMI unless my TV is turned on 5-10 seconds before I hit the power button. I recently added a passively cooled video card, and now it works like pretty much any other computer. All this system really needs to do is boot up, and run XBMC, maybe run a web browser for when I want to watch Red vs. Blue episodes, and it can't even really do that reliably.
If it's between this system and a Mac Mini, you might want to look at the Mac Mini. Especially if you want a silent running system that doesn't take up a lot of space. Let's put it this way, one way or the other, you WILL pay for a computer. You can either pay more up front in cash, or you can pay in installments of frustration for the duration of the time you own the system. Your choice.
I need a new computer for the living room and so a quiet one would certainly be appreciated. Right now I have a Dell 8400 and the fans are so loud. Dell has been very good and has been to my house many times and replaced them - but it's still noisy.
I have been looking at a Gateway SX2840-01. It certainly has a good review on CNET and I like the specs.
Mostly I use it for surfing the internet, playing Pogo on line, working with my digital photos and I have good speakers so I listen to music and a movie once in a while.
Gateway specs: Intel Core i3 530/2.93 GHz, RAM, 6 GB / 8 GB (max), Windows 7 home , Graphics GMA X45 integrated, GeForce 9400M, dual layer DVD burner, Networking, Gigabit Ethernet.
The only negative reported is "No wireless networking and relative power hog compared with the Mac Mini."
The living room is the main computer in the house so it is wired, 2 other computers connect wirelessly.
Does anyone see any problems or extra hardware I will need to get this computer up and running?
Thanks for your input.