Alienware desktops like the Area-51 and Aurora are powerful and pretty cool looking. However, some people don't want a flashy looking chassis while others just can't pay a premium price to play Mass Effect Andromeda, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Tekken 7 at reliable frame rates. For those folks, Dell is rolling out the Inspiron Gaming desktop, the first tower in Dell's new gaming lineup. With a starting price of $599, the system is sure to pique many budget-conscious gamers' interest.
At first glance, you wouldn't be shocked if you found the Inspiron Gaming squirrelled discreetly away in someone's office. The 30.1 pound, 18.1 x 8.5 x 17.2-inch chassis is made of gray anodized aluminum with black plastic vents positioned along the sides on a slant that's funky, yet still business friendly. You can show off the system's gamer aesthetics by enabling the optional polar blue LED lighting that will emanate from between the vents. Since this isn't an Alienware, that ethereal blue light is your only color option.
But like most things in life, it's the inside that counts and the Inspiron Gaming desktop is rocking some formidable specs. Instead of using Intel chips, the system will be powered by a choice of AMD processors, from the 7th-gen quad-core AMD A10-9700 APU on the low end to the more-powerful 3.8-GHz AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU on the high end. Ryzen processors will feature SenseMI XFR technology, which will optimize clock speeds, task routing and power consumption for better performance and responsiveness.
For graphics cards, you have a choice between an AMD Radeon RX 560 GPU with 2GB of VRAM or a faster, Radeon RX 580. Or you can go the Nvidia route and get a GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB of VRAM. If you want a sizeable power boost, the tower can be outfitted with dual GPUs. And in case you're wondering, that does mean that the Inspiron Gaming is VR-ready.
Memory configurations start at 4GB, maxing out at 32GB DDR4 memory with OS options of Windows 10 or Ubuntu. Dell's offering a good amount of storage options running the gamut from a 3.5-inch 500GB hard drive to a 256GB M.2 SSD. Keep in mind that the tower has five additional bays, so you can upgrade to your heart's content. If you're worried about cooling, the Inspiron Gaming will offer air and liquid solutions.
The Inspiron Gaming desktop is definitely a feast for the eyes, but I'm more excited to see how an AMD system will stand up to the rigors of testing and gaming we have in store. Stay tuned for an upcoming review.