Gateway Select 700 review
The Select 700's large white case is more impressive than the components it houses, despite its big-name backing.
The Gateway has a couple of impressive components.
The first is a hard disk that's both fast and large, thanks to its 19.1Gb capacity and 7,200rpm speed. The other, a DVD drive, can spin disks at a fast 12-speed, matched by a decent 40-speed CD-ROM rating. But the Gateway's audio capabilities are under par. Its Creative Sound Blaster 128 is no match for the hardware-assisted effects of Creative's more expensive Sound Blaster Live! cards. The two-piece Creative speaker set is competent. It offers distortion-free playback at high volume, but it's outclassed by the Diamond Pro Media 4030 set of the competing Atlas system. A standard 56K modem caters for Internet access.
The EV700 monitor is smart and, though it doesn't produce the sharpest of images, it does a decent job at the optimal resolution of 1024x768 at 85Hz. You can't go far wrong with the mouse - a Microsoft IntelliMouse - and the keyboard has a firm and responsive feel. The power button on the case is sensibly located, but strangely there's no reset button - still a necessity for the occasional inevitable crash.
Opening the Gateway's tower case may be straightforward, but upgrading's far from easy, thanks to the mess of cables and array of fans. These keep the Athlon processor cool to lessen the chances of it breaking down, but have the side-effect of obstructing access to the motherboard. Three PCI slots are waiting for use, as well as two slots for additional memory.
By supplying an nVidia TNT2 graphics card, rather than a GeForce 256-based card, Gateway has limited the performance of this 700MHz Athlon. It fared well in 2D, but lagged a little in 3D, scoring only 2822 in 3DMark 2000.
With a 700MHz Athlon under the hood, the Gateway can't help being powerful, but other components are lacklustre. It also lacks any extras such as removable media or a printer that might have made the package better value. A lightweight.