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Gateway Goes Gaming: FX530XT Review

Introduction

The greatest win in the battle of "geeks versus nerds" has taken place, as the world's best PC gamers receive the professional athlete treatment! Far from the "dying breed" that nerdy console fans believe them to be, flagship "uber geek" performance systems have become mandatory promotional tools for the PC industry. But as the likes Dell and HP try to buy their way into gamers' hearts through acquisition of "gaming computer" brands, Gateway has chosen the simplest, most direct path to gaming fame: building better computers!

This might seem a ballsy move for a company that only a few years ago gave up its high-end market in a downscale "affordable PC" marketing move that nearly killed the brand. Still, anyone who's been around computers long enough will remember the days when top-end Gateway 2000 systems were the rule rather than the exception. The company certainly has the experience, so let's consider what it now brings to the table.

Gateway FX530XT Base Configuration
Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor QX6700 (2.66 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB, 2x4 MB cache)
ChipsetIntel 975X chipset with DDR2 and Intel Core Duo support
Memory2048 MB PC5300 dual-channel DDR2 667 MHz SDRAM (2-1024 MB modules)
Hard Drive300 GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA hard drive w/ Raid 0 16 MB Cache (two 150 GB hard drives)
Floppy Drive9-in-1 media card reader.
Optical Drive16x Double-Layer Multi-Format DVD Writer (DVD±/R±RW/CD-R/RW) and 48x/32x/48x CD-RW/DVD combo drive
Case
Controller7-bay BTX tower case
Expansion Slots(3) PCI expansion slots, (1) PCI-E x4 expansion slot, (1) PCI-E x16 expansion slot
External Ports(6) USB 2.0 (2 front, 4 rear), (3) IEEE 1394 Firewire (2 front, 1 rear), audio ports and (2) PS/2
VideoDual Card ATI Radeon X1950 CrossFire solution w/512 MB GDDR4 memory DVI w/HDCP, VGA (via adapter) & TV-Out
NetworkIntegrated Intel 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) Ethernet
Integrated AudioIntegrated Intel 7.1 High Definition audio
PCI Multimedia Card 156K PCI data/fax modem
Software
Operating SystemGenuine Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit)
Additional SoftwareAdobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 and Google Toolbar
Standard SoftwareNapster Trial Subscription
Peripherals
MonitorGateway 24" Widescreen HD Performance LCD Display
Keyboard and MouseGateway Elite Multimedia Keyboard and Soft-touch USB optical wheel mouse
SpeakersLogitech X-230 2.1 32 watt Speakers
Services
Internet Service ProviderSix months America Online Internet access

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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.