While some of us prefer to avoid the big brands, Dell does stock a decent range of regularly updated gaming and home office PCs -- the latest of which is the Inspiron 620.
While not as high-end as some desktops, the Dell Inspiron 620 packs an Intel Core i5 2300 CPU with all four cores humming along at 2.8GHz. You also get 6GB of RAM, and thanks to Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit you can actually access it all. The specs are enough to handle most applications and the 620 scored a very respectable 7,713 in PCMark Vantage.
If you are after a machine that can run double duty with some light gaming, the Dell has you sorted as it sports an NVIDIA GeForce GT 420 GPU. While not hardcore-gaming-worthy, it did score 2,350 in 3DMark Vantage and will happily run less intensive titles such as Portal 2 or StarCraft 2.
Storage is handled by a single 1.5TB HDD, and a Blu-ray drive is also included. The covered front IO port hides two USB connections as well as audio and microphone sockets and an SD card reader. Round the back you get another six USB ports, though sadly these are all USB 2.0. You also get three analogue audio outputs, a LAN port and an HDMI and VGA connection for the unused Intel graphics chip. The GT 420 GPU features DVI and HDMI outputs as well as a legacy VGA connector just in case.
The 620 is fairly quiet under normal operation; even under heavy load it doesn’t get any noisier, though it does seem to make an audible high-pitched whine. The case is available in a range of front plate colours and includes a top recess that's a good spot to store your flash drives or keys. There is an air vent round the entire front that is unfiltered, so you will need to periodically clean the fans and heat sinks if you environment is particularly dusty. Available from Dell, retailing from $799.APC rating: 7/10