A Workstation Powerful Enough to Run a Server OS with Aplomb
Sep 10, 2009
Pros: Great value; Quad Intel processor; 8GB of DDR3 Ram, 8 USB Ports, AMD-V Virtualization Support
Cons: None so far...the DVD door is a small gripe.
The Bottom Line:
The Gateway DX4300-01 Tower Workstation is a high performance workhorse that will more than meets my current and future computer needs; no really.
I make my living in the Information Technology arena, with a focus on Microsoft technology. Being an IT engineer, especially one focused on the various Microsoft server platforms, is a rough gig, because Microsoft is always coming out with new technology I must learn to stay ahead; that is if I do not want to be left behind! So I am in a constant state of learning this or that new technology. Microsoft's newest server platform, Windows 2008, incorporates a plethora of new and exciting widgets and gadgets to learn, all of which, demand a lot out of hardware.
In order to stay current, I run a small Microsoft-based network in my house. Recently I found myself in need of a fast 64-bit Quad-core processor computer with lots of Ram to run Windows 2008 R2 64-Bit and Hyper-V. This server would serve as my Virtualization platform so I needed a processor able to support Virtualization at the processor/bus level so it was time to buy a new PC; long gone are the days when I could put something together for less than I can buy off-the-Internet.
I looked at my two favorites hard ware providers, Hewlett Packard and Dell, for my new server platform, but they failed to deliver the performance I needed at the price I wanted to pay. So I looked at Gateway and the company delivered in the form of the Gateway DX4300-01 Tower Workstation.
The stylish DX4300-01 Tower Workstation shipped with a generous 1.0TB 7200 RPM SATA-II hard drive, AMD Phenom X4 Quad-Core64-bitprocessor/w AMD-V, 8GB DDR3 dual channel memory, Double-layer 18x DVD/RW drive, ATI Radeon HD 4650 Graphics video card w/digital and analog ports & 1MB discrete video memory, and Windows Vista Home Premium, 64-bit OS.
The Computer In The Box
Gateway DX4300-01 Tower Workstation computerQuick Installation GuideUSB SpeakersWired Keyboard & MousePower Cord Computer as Configured: •o Processor Family:AMD Phenom X4 Quad-Core64-bitprocessor/w AMD-V (2.60GHz/512K x 4MB L2 Cache) •o Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit •o Installed RAM: 8.0GB DDR3 SDRAM @ 1.3GHz •o Hard Drive Capacity: 1.0TB SATA II 7200RPM w/DataBurst Cache •o Graphics Card:ATI Radeon HD 4650 Graphics video card w/digital and analog ports & 1MB discrete video memory •o Primary Optical Drive: 18x CD-RW/DVD Combination Drive •o Secondary Optical Drive: None •o Network Interface Card (NIC):Integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet •o Wireless: 801.11 b/g •o Media Card Reader: 10-n-1 •o Speakers: USB-powered mini speakers
Like the DX4820-01 Tower Workstation I reviewed earlier this month, Gateway designed the DX4300-01 Tower Workstation for the Home/ Home Office userand Gamers and as such there is plenty of room for expansion inside the glossy black case. For instance, there is space for a whopping (5) 3.5" hard drives as well as (2) 5.25" devices. Expansion slots include (1) standard PCI, as well as (1) PCI Express x1, and (1) PCI Express x16 slots.
As a matter of fat the two desktops are almost identical; the big difference is the processor, hard drive space, and video cards on-board. And while the DX4820-01 Tower Workstation comes equipped with 6GB of DDR3 Ram, the DX4300-01 Tower Workstation pack is 8GB of DDR3 Ram a great graphics card with a digital video port. All of this amped-up performance for a reasonable $100.00 more in our hard earned cash.
The DX4300-01 Tower Workstation ships with a total of (8) USB 2.0 ports on the; four on the back of the unit, and two on the front bezel, and a further two on the top, yes I typed top, of the tower. Allow me to explain further. The top of the case of the DX4300-01 Tower Workstation has a funky riser (clever design actually), which leaves room for a large indentation wherein one can place a digital camera, MP3 player, cell phone, external device, or other electronic knickknack. At the rear of this intent is where the last (2) USB ports make their home. The placement makes it ideal for recharging a Smart Phone, or connecting an external device such as a MP3 player, hard drive, or DVD unit.
Back to rear of the computer; there is (1) Firewire port an RJ-45 port, as well as (2) PS-2 ports (keyboard & mouse), VGA port, a HDMI port, and finally a 56K, V92 modem that occupies one of the PCI slots. All manner of audio ports associated with the integrated 7-n-1 high-definition audio card can be found here as well. The front of the DX4820-01 Tower Workstation is reserved for (2) USB ports, and the 10-n-1 (Capacity (SDHC) Card, miniSD Card, Multimedia Card (MMC), MMCmobile, Reduced-Size Multimedia Card (RS-MMC), xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo) media card reader.
Software In addition to Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit OS, Gateway includes a 60-day trial subscription to Symantec's Norton Protection Center, which includes antivirus, inbound firewall, anti-spam, and privacy protection. Other software titles include: Microsoft Works SE, a 60-day trial of Microsoft Office 2007, and Roxio Creator & My DVD 9.0 DE, This is in addition to a bevy of other useless, space-wasting software that I quickly removed.
Gripe: none of the media (CD's) for the included software on the computer is in the box. So if I ever need to re-install the OS, I would be out of luck. The media can be had from Gateway for a fee! Why should I have to purchase software I already own? Gateway is not the company it used to be in this regard.
I have to say I am liking my new DX4300-01 Tower Workstation! As I stated at the outset this powerful machine was bought with the sole purpose of running Windows Server 2008 Enterprise EditionR2 64-Bit. The Operating System (OS) installed fast and quietly! In fact if it weren't for the large blue power indicator light on the top of the bezel, I would not know the PC was even on, so quite are the fan and hard drive.
And once the OS was installed and updated I installed Hyper-V (the virtualization engine that ships with Windows Server 2008 Enterprise EditionR2) and brought it on-line. And as I type the first virtual server (a domain controller for my little Windows 2008 network) is being installed on the computer!
The DX4300-01 Tower Workstation is agood compromise between size and performance. While the design is a tower, it is small enough to fit in any standard size computer desk, but it has plenty of room to expand. The fast AMD Phenom X4 Quad-Core64-bitprocessor and 8GB of DDR3 Ram makes this PC a performance powerhouse, while the spacious 1.0TB hard drive provides plenty of room for videos, photos, and or virtual computers galore.
Gripe:(same grip I had with the DX4820-same case after all)): I highly dislike the design of the DVD mount. It is situated behind a flush mount door-that seems to be the design trend these days-with the eject button on the right side. There is also an eject button on top of the case bezel, but half the time it refuses to work! And once out, the DVD tray refuses to retract via either button 95% of the time and I have to gently nudge it until it retracts on its own! There has to be a better way.
The Gateway DX4300-01 Tower Workstation is powerful Home/ Home Office workstation that is more than adequate for Windows Vista Home Premium, and Media Center duties (HDMI out), and is fitting replacement for my pre-Windows computer that will not run Windows Sever 2008 R2 64-bit. And did I mention that the PC will run Windows 7 seamlessly?
The DX4300-01 Tower Workstation is affordable, checking in at just over $700.00, including tax, but without monitor. The computer is wonderfully engineered, attractive (love the glossy black finish of the case) and performs like a computer costing twice as much thanks to the AMD Quad-core processor 64-Bit, 8GB of DDR3 memory, and whisper quite 1.0TB 7200 RPM hard drive.
The Gateway DX4300-01 Tower Workstation is a high performance workhorse that will more than meets my current and future computer needs; no really. Now I can virtualize (I envision at least (4) virtual server on this baby), test out new software platform, and finally retire some of my older servers!
Amount Paid (US$): 759.00 Operating System: Windows Processor: Other Processor speed: over 1000 RAM: More than 256 Internal Storage: DVD Hard Drive (GB): Over 50
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