Gateway Select 1000 SB

Gateway Select 1000 SB – Product Information

Eric Grevstad

HOC RATING 12345678

** Configuration: Win 98, 1GHz AMD Athlon processor, 128MB of SDRAM, 20GB hard disk, 40x CD-ROM drive, 10/100Mbps PCI Ethernet adapter, 32MB AGP graphics adapter, 19-inch monitor ** List Price’ $2,599 ** Manufacturer: Gateway, 8OD-GATEWAY, www.gateway.com

DIET BOOKS WILL TELL YOU IT’S OK TO have a scoop of ice cream if you don’t bury it with nuts and hot fudge. The same advice applied to PC performance yields Gateway’s Select 1000 SB: If you’re a business operator who craves the fastest available processor, this AMD Athlon desktop delivers 1GHz speed at an affordable price by dropping the DVD movie- and gameworthy graphics and sound components of the consumer Select line.

The SB gives you plenty of home office aptitude for $2,599, including an Ethernet network adapter and Microsoft Office 2000 Small Business Edition–plus the potentially lifesaving Norton AntiVirus and GoBack utilities–as well as Windows 98. The bright, big-bezeled EV910 19-inch monitor is a welcome step up from 17-inch or smaller screens, though its control dial is tricky to master.

Using the CD-ROM drive to install software, we weren’t tempted to watch DVD flicks (though for backup’s sake, we’d spend an extra $199 to add a CD-RW drive). Both the standard 128MB of memory and 20GB hard disk are ample, though some PC workstations can top the Select’s maximum RAM capacity of 384MB.

Few, however, can top its horsepower–the 1GHz Athlon simply screams, launching programs before you’re ready for them and recalculating 10,000-cell Excel worksheets and charts as quickly as you can tap the Enter key. You’ll enjoy it, but you frankly won’t make good use of it unless your job involves mostly graphic design or video editing. For everyday office and Internet applications, a thriftier 700MHz or 750MHz system is plenty.

The SB takes all work and no play one step too far by lacking even a basic sound card and speakers (an extra $40 for Gateway’s cheapest card/speaker combo will let you play audio CDs as background music or listen to the news from CNN.com). But overall, Gateway’s white box is a winner.

A A fast business box without consumer gewgaws

B 1GHz is overkill; no audio at all

RATINGS

HOME OFFICE COMPUTING rates products on a scale of 1 to 10–with few 9’s or 10’s–based on value, performance, innovation (medals go to rare standouts in these areas), ease of use, and suitability for home offices. The A and B symbols indicate pros and cons.

Rating: 8

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