Gateway GT5670 Review

by Kevin O'Brien Reads (18,266)

The Gateway GT5670 is a new budget desktop aimed directly at home users. This desktop is sold in retail stores like BestBuy, Circuit City, and Office Depot, which is generally easier for families to purchase, instead of ordering online directly from Gateway. Offering features such as the AMD Phenom Triple-Core processor, a DVD burner, 3GB of RAM, and 320GB hard drive, users won’t feel they are skimping on parts when they purchase this low cost machine.

Specifications

Our review model had the following specifications:

  • Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit, SP1)
  • AMD Phenom 8400 Triple-Core Processor 2.1GHz (3MB L3 Cache, 3600Mhz Bus)
  • NVIDIA 6150SE Integrated Graphics with up to 128MB shared memory
  • 3GB DDR2 Memory (2 x 1GB, 2 x 512MB, up to 4GB)
  • 320GB 7200rpm Western Digital Hard Drive
  • 8-Channel (7.1) Integrated High Definition Audio
  • DVD Burner 18X Max with LabelFlash
  • 15-1 Media Card Reader
  • 56k PCI Data/Fax Modem
  • USB Powered Stereo Speakers
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 15.6″ x 7.2″ x 16.10″
  • Weight: 23.4lbs
  • 300W Power Supply
  • 1 Year Parts and Labor Limited Warranty
  • Price as configured: $549

Build and Design

The design of the Gateway GT5670 is very basic, offering what you would expect from a budget desktop. The layout is very user friendly, with every feature on the front clearly labeled for easy access. Users will also find a hidden expansion bay, which has the headphone/microphone jacks, as well as a slot that users can plug in an external hard drive.

 

Build quality is average for a desktop, with generous use of plastic and thinly stamped metal. While I don’t think the case would stand up very well to someone sitting on it, it shouldn’t fall apart over the lifespan of the computer. One durability concern is the rear motherboard connections, which don’t have much bracing, and have quite a bit of flex when connecting or disconnecting cables.

Upgrades and Expansion

This desktop case offers a good amount of expansion in almost every category. The case has unused internal and external drive bays, open motherboard expansion slots, and even room for the installation of a dedicated graphics card.

The full list of items that could be upgraded or added to the desktop are listed below:

  • One 5.25” external drive bay (DVD-Burner, Blu-Ray Drive, etc)
  • One 3.5” internal drive bay (additional hard drive)
  • One 16x PCI-e expansion slot (Video Card)
  • Two 1x PCI-e expansion slots (Sound card, TV-Tuner, etc)

Keyboard and Mouse

The keyboard and mouse that Gateway included with this desktop are very basic. The keyboard interface is the older (almost extinct) PS2 format, while the mouse is thankfully USB.

The keyboard has a few shortcut keys, including volume and media controls, Home and Search keys, calculator shortcut, and a sleep button. The keyboard also features a lightly padded palm rest, which keeps your wrists feeling good even after hours of typing.

The optical mouse has a tall ergonomic shape that is very comfortable to hold. It offers a clickable scroll wheel, and two buttons.

Performance

System performance was on the low side, even compared to power-friendly systems. Most of this could be attributed to the lack of a dedicated graphics card. Luckily for the end user, this upgrade is fairly cheap, and very easy to install at a later point in time. Startup and shutdown times were excellent, and all basic applications opened without lag. While minor video encoding would be possible (compressing a movie to view on an iPod), I don’t know if I would buy this machine specifically for that duty. Modern games are also out of the question unless the end-user decides to install a graphics card.

wPrime is a program that forces the processor to do recursive mathematical calculations, the advantage of this program is that it is multi-threaded and can use both processor cores at once, thereby giving more accurate benchmarking measurements than Super Pi. (Lower numbers mean better performance.)

Desktop / CPU wPrime 32M time
Gateway GT5670 (AMD Phenom @ 2.1GHz) 27.65s
Lenovo ThinkStation S10 ( Core 2 Extreme QX6850 @ 3GHz ) 13.869s
Lenovo ThinkCentre M57 ( Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 3GHz ) 25.879s

 

PCMark05 overall performance comparison results (higher scores mean better performance):

Desktop PCMark05 Score
Gateway GT5670 (AMD Phenom, NVIDIA 6150SE) 4,593 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkStation S10 ( Core 2 Extreme QX6850, NVIDIA FX4600 ) 9,999 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkCentre M57 ( Core 2 Duo E8400, Intel X3100 ) 5,275 PCMarks

 

3DMark06 gaming performance comparison results (higher scores mean better performance):

Desktop 3DMark06 Score
Gateway GT5670 (AMD Phenom, NVIDIA 6150SE)
403 3DMarks
Lenovo ThinkStation S10 ( Core 2 Extreme QX6850, NVIDIA FX4600 ) 10,327 3DMarks
Lenovo ThinkCentre M57 ( Core 2 Duo E8400, Intel X3100 ) 240 3DMarks

HdTune

 

Ports and Features

Port selection was decent, although I really would have enjoyed seeing a Firewire port. The card reader is a very nice touch, which cuts out one item most people need to buy if they use a digital camera. Overall for most average users the setup should be more than adequate.

  • 6 USB Ports (4 rear, 2 front)
  • 2 PS2 Ports (Keyboard and Mouse)
  • 1 10/100 LAN
  • 15 in 1 Media Card Reader
  • 8.1 Audio Jacks Rear, Headphone and Microphone Jacks Front
  • 56k Data/Fax
  • Gateway Portable Media Drive Bay

Front:

 

Rear:

Heat and Noise

The Gateway GT5670 has a very low heat and noise output under normal and not-so-normal use. Ninety-five percent of the time, the fans stay at a very slow pace, constantly pushing a mild warm breeze out of the back of the case. About five percent of the time, when you’re stressing the computer (running benchmarks for example) you can hear the CPU fan gracefully speed up if you listen carefully. Most users would never even notice the increase in fan speed.

The only concern I had with system noise came from the hard drive, which was abnormally loud. The case lacked any rubber mounts for the drive, so all noise from the drive is easily passed into the case itself. If you are searching for files, or encoding video, it really sounds like the computer is “crunching numbers”.

Heat output is very low, with the output temperature from the exhaust fan being a few degrees above room temperature. While the room temperature was 22 degrees Celsius, the case output was 26C at idle, or 29C under full load.

Internal system temperatures were also managed very well, even with the very slow and quiet fans inside the case.

Idle

CPU Cores: 29C

Motherboard Sensor: 40C

Case Exhaust: 26C

Full Load

CPU Cores: 49C

Motherboard Sensor: 42C

Case Exhaust: 29C

Speakers and Audio

Gateway included very basic USB powered stereo speakers with the GT5670 desktop. They are on par with notebook speakers you might find on a high-end gaming notebook. They have good high and midrange audio, with a hint of bass. Mild distortion was heard playing the speakers at full volume, but overall they were decent for freebie speakers.

Power consumption

As far as power-friendly desktops go, the Gateway GT5670 runs middle of the pack. At idle the computer uses 78 watts of electricity, and under a full CPU load ramps up to 130 watts. During an 8-hour work day, the computer used 0.87 kWh of electricity. In our area where each kWh costs 11.6 cents, this machine adds 10.1 cents per day onto our electric bill.

Conclusion

For a budget desktop, the Gateway GT5670 is average in terms of speed, and offers many areas that can be upgraded or expanded. System performance is more than adequate for most home users, and with the installation of a relatively inexpensive graphics card, you could increase gaming performance to levels many times over.

Pros

  • Operated very cool and quiet
  • Lower power consumption
  • Lots of expansion possibilities

Cons

  • Noisy hard drive


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