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October 13, 2023

Gateway FX6800-01E Motherboard Review

With a hot new Intel Core i7 quad-core processor beating inside, this inky-black-and-orange machine impressed us with its computational fortitude. But it lost points with messy trialware, cheap construction and some frustrating crashes.

The Gateway FX6800-01e's case hints at gaming, with a mix of sleek paneling and orange accents that make it look more like a hotrod than a value system. The front CD bays are tucked behind clearly labeled paneling, and the included media card reader pops up and down out of the chassis.

Inside, the FX6800-01e sports a pair of externally accessible hard-drive sleds that let you add up to two more SATA drives without opening the side door, a nice feature in a value PC. Gateway also includes a roomy 750GB SATA II drive.

Performance is top-notch for a budget system, with the Intel Core i7 processor delivering impressively quick scores in our productivity tests (37 seconds to run Adobe Photoshop and 37 seconds to render a video clip using Windows Movie Maker). The Gateway FX6800-01E also easily beats the Dell Inspiron E6410, an Editor's Choice winner with a slower Core 2 Quad processor, in our World in Conflict gaming test.

Gateway backs the FX6800-01e with a one year parts-and-labor warranty. Phone support is available toll-free, 24-7. The company's Web site has lots of useful information on upgrading and maintaining the system. A set of recovery discs is provided to reinstall the OS and drivers. One nit: Gateway preinstalls Vista 64-bit, even though the FX6800-01e has only 3GB of memory; the benefits of 64-bit aren't likely to be felt until you upgrade to 4GB or more.