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Gateway Goes Gaming: FX530XT Review

Conclusion

The base price of $4,000 appears very reasonable for a completely loaded system with a $700 monitor, $1000 processor, two $200 hard drives, and two $400 graphics cards. The remaining ~35% covers everything from the motherboard and RAM to software and a service contract. Any of us might actually charge more to build a similar system, if we had the time - and that takes us to the reason why so many knowledgeable buyers are willing to pay someone else to build their systems: time.

The FX530XT was an absolute pleasure to use, and nothing this good escapes the attention of our staff members. When video enthusiast and TG Daily Senior Editor Humphrey Cheung learned of its disposition, he had to take a turn with it. His assessment? "It freakin' rocks. If you do video editing and rendering, four cores is godly."

Concerning Gateway's space-saving speaker "upgrade", staff hardware tester Shelton Romhanyi comments: "monitor speakers were clear and worked well for being a monitor add-on; 3D audio function worked fairly well." He also liked the keyboard and mouse, but was especially fond of the 24" widescreen display.

Probably the most annoying thing about the FX530XT is the confusing name: it certainly doesn't contain an inferior Athlon FX processor or (horrors) an old FX graphics card, let alone the ancient Pentium 530 processor. Naming annoyances may not discourage most buyers, but getting your redneck in-laws to believe that this really is a superior system might prove a little difficult!

Overall, the Gateway FX530XT might be one of the better system choices for moderately-wealthy, self-assured performance enthusiasts. That is, until someone presents us an even faster dual-8800GTX system to compare...

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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.