durch wrote:Yes this will play DVDs just fine.
No it will not play Blu-Rays (you need a blu-ray drive, it doesn't have one).
As to the energy efficiency, it is all but guaranteed to have a low efficiency, low quality power supply unit running around 70% efficiency (many power supplies can be bought that run at over 80% efficiency, meaning they waste around 35% less energy)
No this thing will not run modern 3D games.
Can you upgrade to a new video card to play them? Kind of. You could get a low end video card (i.e. 9500GT) to play some of the modern games, but it wouldn't play high end games. To upgrade to a good video card, you'd need a better PSU. And if you're replacing the power supply and graphics, why not just build a decent computer instead of upgrading this hunk of junk?
No a 1.8GHz quad core will not run as fast or faster than a 3.6GHz dual core. Few applications use all four cores, and the ones that do don't use them at full efficiency. You're waaaaay better off with a 3.6GHz dual core.
To those saying this is a great deal, I disagree. It's not terrible, but look, you can build the same low quality machine yourself for the same price and actually put a decent CPU in it. Proof: (all specs chosen to match the specs in this woot computer, they are NOT recommended as this woot has junk parts)
$40 - cheap 780G motherboard like this one
$40 - generic case with generic 300W PSU
$40 - 2x2GB generic DDR2 800 memory (probably faster than the RAM in this machine, as I would assume it's DDR2 667 or 533)
$59 - 640GB 16MB cache hard drive (after taking 10% off with promo code EMCHDD10B)
$29 - 22x DVD burner
$10 - All-in-one card reader (such a worthless thing to have as any decent camera plugs in via usb too)
$10 - 56k modem (honestly, who is still on dialup and why?)
$10 - mouse and keyboard
$6 - speakers
$244 Total for everything except CPU
Now this build doesn't have the AMD X4 9100e because it's no longer being produced and is very hard to find. They stopped producing it to make way for the Phenom II CPU's that are actually decent. Not only are the original Phenoms bad, but the 9100e is arguably the worst of all of them. If you were to add to this build with a CPU, the X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz for $60 would be the best choice.
So with the X2 240, you'd have a total cost of $304, just slightly more than this Gateway. However, any intelligent person would drop the worthless 56k modem and media card reader saving $20, dropping the price to $284, saving you $1 for the same low quality parts that Gateway, HP, Dell, etc love to use. And that $284 would include a much faster CPU (2.8GHz versus 1.8GHz, not to mention the Regor is faster clock for clock than the older 9100e). Yes the Regor is a dual core versus the quad core 9100e, but so few applications use all four cores that the Regor will actually be noticeably faster.
By building it yourself, you also have access to the BIOS allowing you to overclock the CPU, HT Link and memory giving you a significant performance boost. Can't do that with a Gateway.
The only real advantage to buying this refurb instead of buying the same junk parts yourself is that it comes with a copy of Windows. For us college students, we get legal copies for free through the MSDNAA, but if you didn't have a copy of Windows lying around then this would be an advantage.
What you should do is build it yourself with quality parts instead of junk parts. I just wanted to show everyone that this is not some unbelievable deal, it's a mediocre deal for the novice and/or lazy.
On this and every other post that mentioned how "useless" the 4 cores are, and that everyone should want 2 faster cores instead, there's some flawed reasoning there.
Firstly, yes, there's a lot of software that won't take advantage of all 4 cores. However there is a lot of software that will. Nearly any software that's "multi-threaded" will work faster on a quad-core processor. A lot of software was modified to work on multiple threads back when dual-cores started becoming standard, and with even more than 4 cores on the horizon, you can bet that'll continue to happen.
Secondly, more cores equals better, generally, no matter what software you run. When you have multiple cores, the workload of all the pieces of software you're running at the same time gets split up between them. Anyone who's gone from using a single-core processor to a dual-core will tell you that they noticed a general increase in speed, as starting up two applications at the same time no longer sent their PC to a crawl. There will be the same noticeable difference with a quad-core. The total software load is split up among 4 cores instead of just 2.
Some crude math:
- Suppose a machine is running 4 pieces of single-threaded software.
- On a dual-core 2.6GHz machine, that would mean 2 cores, each at 2.6GHz, to run 4 processes. Which makes for about 1.3GHz to devote to each process.
- Then suppose a 4-core machine at 1.8GHz. Each of the 4 processes gets its own core and none need to share, meaning 1.8GHz for each process.
Yes, it's crude, but in practice this is basically how it works out. You do need to be wary of the clock speed tradeoff, especially if your machine is to be used for a single specific processing task (ie. video editing, 3D modeling, etc), rather than multitasking.
However, for a regular home PC that has 10 web browsers open, an email program, Photoshop, Media Player, YouTube, etc, 4 heads are usually better than one or two, even if it's running a slower clock speed (GHz). The load will be balanced out nicely, which will more often than not out-perform the faster single- or dual- core.
Have you been eating that sandwich again?