While many hardcore gamers and hardware enthusiasts will tell you it's better to build your own rig, some still opt for a bespoke model from a recognized brand name. These are often associated with higher premiums, but also with comprehensive customer support and guarantees for the entire system, as well as the peace of mind that you will not have to deal with problems that can arise piece by piece during assembly.
Today we're taking a look at one of two new high-end Gateway FX gaming desktops, or "gaming supercomputers" as Gateway likes to call them. The FX6831-01 and -03 are based on the original FX6800-05 released in late 2008 and are still available for purchase on the company's website. However, the hardware on this original model is showing its age and the price hasn't dropped accordingly, so these new models bring the product line back up to speed.
The 03 model on our test bench today has an Intel Core i7 860 processor with 2.8 GHz (up to 3.46 GHz with Turbo Boost), a whopping 16 GB DDR3 memory, a 1.5 TB SATA Hard drive with 7200 rpm and an ATI Radeon HD 5850 graphics card with 1 GB of onboard memory. The cheaper Model 01 is almost identical, but ships with half the system memory and doesn't have the Blu-ray drive, saving you $ 400.
Both systems are equipped with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, have the same housing design and come with similar peripherals and accessories. This includes a gateway keyboard and mouse, a power cord, a DVI-to-VGA adapter, a CrossFire bridge, a warranty, Windows 7 installation documentation and a quick start guide for setup.
At around $ 1,650, the Gateway FX6831-03 is aimed at those looking for a very powerful gaming system that doesn't cost an arm or a leg. It's more of a "budget" system in the larger arena of gaming rigs that can cost you up to $ 5,000, but its hardware should be able to deliver enough power to handle any game that Throw them at it with little effort. Read on as we put this system through its paces and explore its functions inside and out.