CNET First Look
Gateway FX6831-01Don't let the Gateway FX6831-01's case distract you from the fact that this is a fast, aggressively priced gaming PC with some standout features. We wouldn't recommend this system to a generalist consumer or those with discriminating opinions about hardware...
>>Rich Brown: Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET.com. Today we're going to take a look at the Gateway FX6831-01. So, this is a $1299 gaming desktop and is probably one of the better deals out there we've seen in terms of mid-range performance PCs. You can see from the case that Gateway definitely has PC gamers in mind, it sort of has kind of an armored design to the front panel and there's case lighting all around here, we'll show that in a minute, coming out of all of the vents on the side. And all those features make this maybe a polarizing PC to bring in your home if you're going to put it on prominent display but it's not so offensive and some people might actually like it. Now the exterior of the case actually has some pretty cool features. There's a DVD drive there, nothing that special. But behind the panel here there's a couple of removable hard drive base. We've seen this kind of base on a couple of different PCs and with a design that we're really in favor of. You can see the tray comes right out, let's you hot swap hard drives and there's no boot drive access so you don't have to worry about pulling out the operating system drive externally and shutting your system down. But this feature is a great way to backup data, to add new media drives or whatever else you want in the system and it's really pretty convenient and you can see there's this lip up here that has a media card reader and a couple USB ports, that's a feature that's common on Gateway desktops and we're fans. There's a button here that let's you do an automatic slideshow from a media stick that you plug in via USB if it has any photos on it. Up top here there's a gadget tray with a couple USB slots for charging and data transfers. There's also a hibernate button as well as an automated data backup button. Now the ports in the back of the system are pretty up to date and Gateway has got a good reputation for doing that on all of its desktops. You get a bunch of USB ports, a couple of eSATA inputs, as well as Firewire digital audio and analog audio. Down here on the graphics card, you've got two DVI slots as well as a single HDMI port and a single display port. Because this is a Radeon HD5850 card, it will support up to three monitors at one time. Now, the nest of wires here shows that Gateway hasn't quite mastered the art of gaming PC design. That said, we'll cut it some slack, this is actually a pretty good deal for what you get. And we've mentioned the ATI Radeon HD5850 card, that'll let you play pretty much any game out there at pretty high resolutions and full image quality. There's an Intel Core i7-860 CPU here that's a quad courtship that's pretty fast. Also, 8 gigs of RAM and a 1.5 gig hard drive inside. Now, there's room for one more hard drive and you get a couple PISA Express graphics slots but that's really about all you get. So, clearly the design of this PC won't be for everybody, but we found that some of the best games and hardware you can get for its price. So, I'm Rich Brown, this is the Gateway FX6831-01.