Gateway DX4822-01 review: Gateway DX4822-01

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The Good Unique case accommodates external hard drives and a media card reader; large hard drive; a lot of room for expansion; wide variety of connections.

The Bad Competing PCs offer faster performance but fewer features; poor power efficiency.

The Bottom Line The Gateway DX-4822-01 makes a convincing pitch with the performance numbers and features to earn its place in your home, but if you're not tied to the midtower design, the older Gateway SX2800-01 offers faster speeds and the option to set it up as a media center PC.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
  • Support 7

Editors' note: This review is part of our 2009 Retail Laptop and Desktop Holiday Roundup, which covers specific fixed configurations of popular systems found in retail stores.

Although we weren't fans of Gateway's midrange Gateway DX4300-03, the $520 DX4822-01 makes a more convincing argument with budget-minded features like a spacious hard drive and 6GB of memory that offer a decent value for consumers on a budget. If you're shopping for a living room PC, consider the Gateway SX2800-01 that earned our Editors' Choice award for best all-around performance in a compact slim tower design. Still, the Gateway DX4822-01 is still a very capable midtower system for users with light duty needs.

The DX4822-01's tower is ostensibly a mirror image of the DX4300-03 with a glossy black simplicity that should integrate easily into a variety of office or home settings. The top of the front panel has a media card reader that protrudes at a slightly upward angle, making it easier to access while the tower is on the floor. You also get two USB ports and a nonslip resting bay up top for external hard drives and other peripherals.

  Gateway DX4822-01 Asus Essentio CM5570-AP003
Price $520 $480
CPU 2.6GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5300 2.6GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5300
Memory 6GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM 6GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Graphics 32MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip 32MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip
Hard drives 1TB, 7,200rpm 750GB, 7,200rpm
Optical drive dual-layer DVD burner dual-layer DVD burner
Networking 10/100/Gigabit Ethernet LAN 10/100/Gigabit Ethernet LAN
Operating system Windows 7 Premium 64-bit Windows 7 Premium 64-bit

The DX4822-01 shares many of the same components as the Asus Essentio CM5570-AP003. In fact, with the exception of the extra storage space you get with the Gateway, they're essentially the same system and compare similarly in the performance scores you see below.

On the other hand, the Gateway SX2800-01 offers a different value proposition at roughly the same cost. In terms of core components, the biggest different between the two is the SX2800-01's Cord 2 Quad CPU that offsets its clock speed in our benchmark tests compared with the DX4822-01. The speed benefits can make a convincing argument for the SX2800-01, especially if you plan on rendering or encoding larger media files with software that takes advantage of all four cores. However, since heavy media editing isn't typically a concern for budget-minded shoppers, you can probably get away with the Gateway's performance in more basic programs.

Our tests indicate that the Gateway holds its ground among the other systems in our mainstream retail PC roundup. As expected, the DX4822-01 is easily outpaced by the SX2800-01 except for the iTunes test that takes single-core clock speed into consideration. Otherwise, the PCs in this price range are almost alarmingly close in performance.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs  
Rendering single CPU  
Gateway SX2800-01
Asus Essentio CM5570-AP003
HP Pavilion Slimline s5220y
Gateway DX4822-01
Dell Inspiron i545s-1476N

The Gateway offers many more connections and ports on both sides of the tower. The front of the HP gives you a vertical-loading dual-layer DVD burner, a single media card reader, two USB ports, and a headphone jack. Around its back are four more USB ports, 5.1 analog audio outputs, an Ethernet jack, a VGA connection, a 56k modem, and a pair of PS/2 ports for the mouse and keyboard. Sounds fairly robust on paper, but the Gateway gives you all the above ports in addition to Mini-FireWire, eSATA, HDMI video out, eight USB ports, digital audio out, and a pair of PS/2 ports. Gateway also gives you a VGA video output as well as an HDMI port for connecting to a variety of displays including HDTVs.

Although it doesn't have the wireless networking and TV tuning capabilities of its higher-end brand siblings, you still get ample room inside this Gateway for upgrades. There's room for a standard 16x PCI Express slot for an aftermarket graphics card, a pair of 1x PCI Express slots, and a 1x PCI Express slot. While we don't really advocate upgrading lower-end PCs (better to spend more money up front), the four slots you do get are sufficient to add a lower-end 3D card for basic gaming or HD video playback, as well as wireless networking.

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