Dell Inspiron 660 review

£480
Price when reviewed

Dell has been selling mass-produced desktop PCs for years, so you’d think some of this experience might rub off on its low-cost PCs. Alas, with flimsy build quality and a tacky-looking reflective plastic frontage, its Inspiron 660 feels cheap and poorly made.

Open it up, though, and your opinion may begin to change. At first, you’ll be struck by the amount of internal space there is, which is particularly impressive considering how small the case is. This spaciousness is achieved by a small, two-bay drive cage, which houses a 1TB WD hard disk, that sits at the bottom right of the interior, leaving enough space for easy access to the system’s main components.

Dell Inspiron 660

You may also be impressed with the upgrade capacity. With one free RAM, a pair of SATA/300 spare, and three available PCI x1 ports, the Inspiron’s board is very upgrade-friendly for its price.

Unfortunately, this PC comes unstuck when it comes to performance. Its Ivy Bridge, Core i5-3340 CPU and 4GB of RAM looks plenty; however, since Dell supplies the memory as a single stick of DDR3, the controller is forced to run in single-channel mode, resulting in sluggish performance. The Inspiron 660 gained an Overall score of 0.76 in our Real World Benchmarks, significantly lower than the CCL Elite Kestrel IV, which also has a Core i5 CPU.

Dell Inspiron 660

Graphics performance is even less notable: it has a discrete card – an Nvidia GeForce GT 620 – but don’t imagine you’ll achieve high frame rates when gaming. It managed a sputtering 21fps at Medium quality and a risible 9fps at High quality in our Crysis test, results barely quicker than systems relying solely on the most recent version of Intel’s integrated graphics.

Despite decent upgradability, then, the Dell’s all-round lack of performance knocks down its scores significantly. It may be cheap, but the PC Specialist Infinity X offers superior performance and even better upgradability for a premium of only £20.

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr next day on-site

Basic specifications

RAM capacity 4.00GB

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 3.10GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 3.30GHz

Motherboard

Motherboard Dell MIB75R/MH_SG
PCI-E x16 slots free 0
PCI-E x16 slots total 1
PCI-E x1 slots free 3
PCI-E x1 slots total 3
Internal SATA connectors 2

Memory

Memory type DDR3

Graphics card

Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce GT 620

Hard disk

Hard disk Western Digital WD10EZEX
Capacity 1.00TB
Spindle speed 7,200RPM

Drives

Optical disc technology DVD writer

Monitor

HDMI inputs 1

Case

Chassis Inspiron Desktop 660 MT : BTX Base
Dimensions 184 x 439 x 358mm (WDH)

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 2
3.5mm audio jacks 1

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 6

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 8

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 50W
Peak power consumption 95W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 57fps
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.76
Responsiveness score 0.73
Media score 0.83
Multitasking score 0.73

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