It's tough for a dyed-in-the-wool PC gamer to admit out loud, but the days of building your own PC to save money might be over. It's really hard to build a warranty or exchange guarantee into your home-brewed rig.
It's still a rewarding and incredible experience, but if you just want to dive headfirst into the world of PC gaming, computers like the Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop are available at better prices than buying the individual components and assembling them.
The Inspiron 5675 specifically is built around AMD's new Ryzen family of processors. There are versions available with Rzyen 3 1200, Ryzen 5 1400, and Ryzen 7 1700X chips, and all but one model runs Radeon 500 series graphics cards. The top-end model trades out red for green, tucking a GeForce GTX 1060 into the chassis.
Here is the Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: 3.2GHz AMD Ryzen 5 1400 (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 3.4GHz)
Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 570 (4GB GDDR5 VRAM)
RAM: 8GB DDR4 (2400MHz)
Storage: 1TB HDD (7200 rpm)
Optical drive: Dual-Layer DVD-R
Ports (front): 2 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 1 USB Type-C, 1 Audio Combo Jack, 1 Card Reader
Ports (rear): 2 USB 2.0, 4 USB 3.1 Type-A, P/S2 port, HDMI out, audio port, Ethernet port
Connectivity: 802.11ac (2x2) + Bluetooth 4.1, Gigabit Ethernet
Weight: 30.27 lbs (13.74 Kg)
Size: 8.50 x 17.23 x 18.07 inches (21.6cm x 43.75cm x 45.88cm W x D x H)
Price and availability
The entry level Inspiron Gaming Desktop starts at $599 USD (£899) and goes as high as $1,199 (£1,369/$1,999AU) Weirdly, the $849 US version we tested is the lowest available version in Australia, coming in at $1499AU. There key discrepancy between the Australian offerings and what's available in the US and UK is they start with an AMD Ryzen 5 1400 processor.
Its closest Intel-based analog, price-wise, is the Lenovo IdeaCentre Y700. It's a tough one-to-one comparison. The closest equivalent Lenovo runs a last-gen Intel Core i7 and GTX 1050 Ti 4GB, and costs $150 less than the Dell, in spite of having more RAM and an SSD.
While you can customize your Inspiron Gaming Desktop upon ordering it, only the drive can be upgraded with one option; $100 for the 256GB M2 SSD boot drive and 1TB storage. It's absolutely worth the money if you plan on purchasing this computer.
Frustratingly, though, the 8GB of RAM is the only thing available in the model we tested. If you want to upgrade the RAM – which is expandable to 32GB, you need to order up a higher configuration at $1,199 or £1,399 or higher. Meanwhile, Australia gets left out with a maximum memory capacity of 8GB no matter how you upgrade.
It’s extremely unfortunate Dell doesn't give the option to have them toss a couple extra sticks in before it ships the PC your way.
Dell didn't just build a computer and expect you never to crack into it and tinker around. The case is a snap to get inside, requiring the removal of two Philips-head screws on the back. Once removed, the cover comes off effortlessly. There's no feeling around for latches, or trying to figure out if there's some special trick to removing it.
Once inside, there's plenty of room to move around, and well positioned cable management raceways keep everything neat and tidy. It's great Dell allows such easy access into its computer, because you'll want to upgrade what's there, but more on that later.
On the outside, the Inspiron 5675 looks everything the part of a gaming PC. It takes some serious design cues from Dell's Alienware line, with a futuristic and sleek case that glows with a cool blue light through metal mesh and diagonally-set grating along its bottom half. All that mesh makes the case airy, letting it run extremely quiet. Never once did the fan noise get above a low hum.
The amount of ports on the Inspiron is definitely one of its strongest features. There are just as many USB ports on the front and the back, it's almost hard to believe. And there's even a USB Type-C hanging out on the Inspiron's face with its older siblings.
Better yet, the majority of the ports are USB 3.0 or better, so multiple high-speed transfer devices can be hooked up at once. If you've every played USB musical chairs with your devices, it's a welcome addition.
3DMark: Sky Diver: 23,423; Fire Strike: 10,086; Time Spy: 3,873
Cinebench CPU: 684 points; Graphics: 84 fps
GeekBench: 3,520 (single-core); 11,417 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3,709 points
Total War: Warhammer (1080p, Ultra): 62 fps; (1080p, Low): 127 fps
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (1080p, Ultra): 12 fps; (1080p, Low): 72 fps
As flashy as the styling is, when it comes to performance, the Inspiron is a sheep in wolf's clothing. The 4GB graphics card is just enough to get by with most modern games, and the CPU scores leave a lot to be desired for serious gamers. Older games will appreciate the 4GB Radeon, but even something as old as Grand Theft Auto V isn't going to run at max graphics, even at 1080p.
We played quite a bit of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, not particularly tasking, and had the settings turned down to medium to maintain a good frame rate. In our Deus Ex: Mankind Divided test, the Inspiron 5675 could just squeak out 12 fps at Ultra settings, while achieving a much more desirable frame rate at low.
Where the Inspiron falters the most is in its puny 8GB of RAM, and much more damaging to performance, its lack of a solid-state drive in all but the top models.
After having been spoiled on SSDs, we found booting up from a hard drive, even a 7200RPM hard drive, a painful process. If you're used to the boot speed of an SSD, you'll probably have a twinge of panic during boot when computer freezes on a black screen for several seconds.
The hard drive and relatively low amount of RAM also affect loading times for games. Total War: Warhammer's load times are absolutely terrible running on the Inspiron 5675. You're going to want to keep your phone nearby so you can browse the web and check your messages while you wait for battles.
The same problem plagues PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. The load times are nearly unbearable, which affected our enjoyment of the game. After all, when you lose a match you really just want to jump into a new one while your blood is still boiling.
The Inspiron Gaming Desktop is a handsome computer that runs extremely quiet. Even under load, in a hot office, the fans never got out of control. The ease at which the inside of the computer can be accessed is also a convenient feature. It feels good when a company trusts its customers enough to root around inside their computers. All those USB ports are also great for anyone with more devices than they know what to do with.
Unfortunately, for what should be a competent, mid-range PC is totally crippled by its hard drive and not enough RAM. It's such a weird decision to skimp on RAM, especially since most gaming laptops, which normally need to cut corners to keep costs within reason, routinely come with 16GB. The fact the RAM can't be upgraded upon purchase is also a huge bummer.
If you like the looks of the Inspiron Gaming Desktop, and you want the best mid-range bang for your buck, the version we tested is going to disappoint. You’ll definitely want to go for an SSD upgrade and a configuration with more RAM.
The top-end Inspiron Gaming Desktop, with an Nvidia 1060 6GB, the same Ryzen processor in the Chillblast Fusion Spectrum, along with a 256GB SSD, is the version to get. But at $849, even with all its lovely USB ports and stylish case, the Dell’s first Inspiron Gaming Desktop fails to inspire.