From hardware price spikes to tech priorities for small businesses and onto remote-working plans, here's the charts that matter from the past month in news. ...
Caption by: Charles McLellan
Gateway has recently re-emerged in the UK as Acer's business-to-business brand and now offers a range of SME- and enterprise-focused notebooks, desktops, monitors, servers and storage via a chain of resellers. We've been looking at the DT70, a tower-format desktop PC powered by the latest Intel CPUs (Core i3/i5/i7) with integrated HD Graphics and DDR3 memory support.
The DT70 is a understated-looking desktop measuring 18cm wide by 44cm deep by 35.2cm high. It's mostly black, with an orange strip on the front housing the power button. At the top there's a raised panel housing four USB 2.0 ports and a pair of audio jacks (microphone, headphone). The side panel is easily removed by undoing a couple of screws at the back, and the internal components are sensibly and tidily arranged. Overall it's a functional and businesslike design.
Our review unit ran Intel's 3.2GHz Core i5-650, which has 4MB of Level 2 cache and includes HD Graphics as part of the CPU package. Core i3 and i7 processors are also available for the DT series. Four DIMM slots support up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM, although our review sample had 4GB (2x2GB). The operating system on our DT70 was Windows 7 Professional, but you can get Home Premium, XP Professional (SP3), Linux (Linpus) or FreeDOS.
There are two externally accessible 5.25in. bays at the front of the machine, one of which was occupied by a multi-format DVD rewriter on our sample. There's also a pair of front-facing 3.5in. bays, both empty in our unit. Inside, facing towards the open side panel, are a further four 3.5in. bays, one of which housed a fast (7,200rpm) 320GB SATA 2 (3Gbps) Seagate hard drive. If you install further drives, the Intel controller supports RAID configurations 0, 1, 5 and 10 for extra performance and data security. All drive bays use a convenient slide-out housing, labelled clearly in green.
The DT70 has a tidy internal layout, with easily accessible drive bays
There are four expansion slots: one PCI Express 2.0 x16, one PCIE 2.0 x1 and two 5V PCI 2.3 slots — all empty in our review unit. The backplane provides the following ports: six USB 2.0, serial, parallel, two PS/2 (keyboard, mouse), Ethernet (RJ-45), VGA and DVI. There's also a trio of audio connectors to service the on-board Realtek HD audio.
There are only two fans inside the DT70: one for the 300W PSU and one for the processor. In use, the machine ran impressively quietly.
Performance & power consumption
The DT70's Windows Experience Index (WEI) is 4.9 (out of 7.9), the WEI score corresponding to the lowest component rating, which in this case is for Graphics (Desktop performance for Windows Aero). The remaining component scores are all very respectable: 5.2 for Gaming graphics (3D business and gaming graphics performance); 5.5 for Memory (RAM); 5.9 for Primary hard disk (Disk transfer rate); and 6.9 for Processor (Calculations per second).
We also ran Passmark Software's Performance Test 7.0 and compared the results with online scores for desktops with the same CPU/graphics/OS platform. The DT70's overall Passmark Rating of 1,179 compares favourably to a 'class average' of 1,168 for similarly-specified systems in Passmark's database. As with WEI, the strongest subsystem is the processor (CPU Mark of 2,800 versus 2,616) and the weakest is 2D graphics (2D Graphics Mark of 359 versus 459). Overall, the DT70 is a decent performer.
Power consumption is becoming as important a consideration for business buyers as performance these days, and Gateway duly stresses the energy efficiency of the DT series. We examined the system's power consumption when idle and under load using a Voltcraft VC940 Plus multimeter and got the following average figures: 29.2W idling at the Windows 7 desktop; 48.3W running Performance Test 7.0. This quite impressive for a desktop system that performs pretty well too. The system meets Energy Star 5.0 requirements.
Gateway's DT70 is a well-designed business desktop with good physical accessibility, and excellent manageability and security thanks to Intel AMT 5.0 and TPM 1.2 support. It's energy efficient, quiet in operation and powerful enough to handle mainstream business tasks without breaking stride.
Caption by: Charles McLellan