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Dell Inspiron Desktop Computer (Intel Pentium Dual Core G6950 500GB/6GB)

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by PowerReviews
Dell Inspiron Desktop Computer (Intel Pentium Dual Core G6950 500GB/6GB)

(based on 1 review)

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Reviewed by 1 customer

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Lightweight, Powerful; The Almost Perfect Multimedia PC


from Aurora, IL

See all my reviews

Comments about Dell Inspiron Desktop Computer (Intel Pentium Dual Core G6950 500GB/6GB):

Bottom-Line: I am mostly happy—so far—with my choice of the ***Dell Inspiron 580s.*** The slim-line desktop performs well, but the HDMI issue is vexing and disappointing.

As I was putting together my new multimedia entertainment systems, it dawned on me that I might want a nice powerful multimedia computer to go along with it.  I have developed a habit of late of getting my C D’s from the library, ripping them and storing the MP3’s on a centralized server.  Most I play through my computer and portable MP3 player, but now I wanted to be able to play them through my newly acquired *Denon AVR-2310ci* Audio/Visual receiver. 

At the end of my search I settled on the ***Dell Inspiron 580s ***with an *Intel Pentium G6950 Dual-Core CPU @ 2.80GHz* and the aforementioned HDMI port and *Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.* 

**The Inspiron 580s**

The ***Inspiron 580s*** is the slimed down little brother of the larger *Inspiron 580* mid-tower computer, and as such has limited upgrade potential.  The chassis is large enough to ship with a 500GB SATA 2 7200rpm drive, and 4GB of DDR3 RAM (expandable to 16GB), (6) USB ports, 16x DVD+/- RW drive, 11-n-1 media card bay, (4) PCI-e expansion slots, 7.1 surround sound audio, RJ-45 (Networking) port, and an HDMI output port. 

The sleek black unit houses a 2.80GHz *Pentium G6950 CPU *with 3MB SmartCache on a 1333MHz FSB.  The small footprint ***Inspiron 580s*** has only (2) USB 2.0 ports in the front of the unit, which is standard practice even on larger desktops, but (4) in the rear of the unit. 

And both the 16x DVD drive and media car reader sit behind hinged door; the overall effect is clean, uncluttered unit with only hard drive and power lights to show that its even functioning.  Did I mention it’s quiet and slipped effortlessly into the 4.5” x 17” slot I made for it in my home entertainment system cabinet?

On the rear of the ***Inspiron 580s***’s chassis, Dell placed four USB ports bring the total up to (6). The computer also offers 7.1-channel surround sound, a gigabit Ethernet port, a VGA port, and an HDMI port, but interestingly (and somewhat disappointing) enough lacks DVI port, users who lack HDMI display support will have to settle for plain ole VGA.

**HDMI Audio Issues **

For the most part I like my new ***Dell Inspiron 580s*****. ** The unit is mostly a winner for me.  The size and weight were exactly what I needed them to be and the ***Inspiron 580s*** performs quite well thanks in large part to the ultra-fast *Intel Pentium G6950 Dual-Core CPU*, 4GB of DDR3 Dual-Channel RAM, and 7200rpm 500GB hard drive under the hood.  This means that the slim-line runs *Windows 7 Home Premium *really, really fast. 

However, there is a vexing issue with the HDMI driver set that shipped with the PC, and the issue is not limited to the ***Inspiron 580s.  ***I bought the ***Inspiron 580s ***in large part because of the HDMI port which I connected to my A/V receiver in order to output video and audio.  There are no issues with the video output, it’s stunning as expected, but the audio is off and on.  Let me explain.

When I initially turn on the ***Inspiron 580s,*** or wake it from sleep, I can hear the Windows 7 audio.  Open *Windows Home Media Center* and the audio remains; chose an album to play and the first track plays, but fast forward: no audio!  Go back: no audio.  If I let the album play naturally—meaning no skipping ahead, or back—the audio also remains.  Once gone the audio only returns after I cycle through the speaker choices on my A/V receiver.  This has happened time and again even after I switched HDMI ports on the A/V receiver. 

So naturally I went to Google for a solution only to find that my experience was by no means unique; there are numerous forum threads pages long devoted to this issue and there does not seem to be a solid answer to the dilemma.  I have downloaded the latest drivers Intel HD video drivers, uninstalled and reinstalled the *Real-Tek* driver set (the HD audio drivers are theirs), all to no avail.

**Note:** this issue seems to be limited to Windows PC’s only and to Windows 7 RTM only; Windows XP and Windows Vista users do not seem suffer from the same vexing malady.         

**My Viewpoint**

HDMI audio issues aside, I am satisfied—so far—with my choice of the ***Dell Inspiron 580s***.  The desktop is a performance winner, especially when mated with *Windows 7 Home Premium*.  I like the increased processing power, increased storage, and increased memory this unit brings to the multi-media table. 

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