Gateway raises the Profile for all-in-one desktop PCs

Gateway raises the Profile for all-in-one desktop PCs

Gateway's Profile PC has sleek

By Michael Cheek

GCN Staff

Except for the Apple iMac, CPU-in-the-monitor designs for desktop computers have generally drawn few takers. But Gateway Inc.'s all-in-one Profile might change that.

Gateway has done a lot right'at least on the design front. It needs to tweak the Profile's guts to jack up performance.

You might think of the Profile as a desktop notebook. It resembles a thickened flat-panel monitor with a crisp, bright, 15-inch active-matrix display that has 1,024- by 768-pixel resolution. Along the left side of the monitor is a 3.5-inch floppy drive, and along the right is a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive. The base incorporates two speakers.



In back, Gateway has integrated a 10/100-Mbps network interface, a 56-Kbps modem, serial and parallel interfaces, VGA out, sound, two Universal Serial Bus ports and two Type II PC Card slots.

Inside you find 64M of RAM, expandable to 256M, and a 4.3G or 6.4G internal hard drive'enough for most office tasks. The Profile's 4M graphics accelerator does an adequate job, too.

Too slow

But one insurmountable drawback is the processor: a 400-MHz K6-2 from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif. Most CPUs with AMD chips perform without any compatibility issues, but I have to take this one to task for its lack of power.





Box Score''''
Profile

All-in-one desktop PC


Gateway Inc.;

North Sioux City, S.D.;

tel. 605-232-2000

www.gateway.com/promotion/profile/htm

Price: $2,299



+ Sleek, smart design

+ Mostly standard desktop PC and notebook components

' Disappointing performance



Usability A

Features and configuration A-

Benchmark performance D

ZD's Business Winstone 99 11.7

About 17% better than a 233-MHz Pentium MMX



The overall grade comprises scores for three things: usability (40 percent), features and configuration (30 percent), and performance (30 percent). The lab used ZD's Winstone 99 Version 1.1. The baseline for 10.0 Winstone units is a 233-MHz Pentium MMX. For benchmark information, go to www.gcn.com/gcnlab/benchmark.




The Profile basically combines notebook components with a desktop LCD, so its performance should be measured not against a desktop system but against a notebook PC.

I recently examined a Gateway Solo 3150 that had a 366-MHz Intel mobile Pentium II [GCN, July 12, Page 1]. Despite the slower processor, it outperformed the Profile's K6-2 by a factor of two.

On the Ziff-Davis Business Operation's CPUmark 99 benchmark, which measures processor performance, the Profile scored 18.2. The Solo scored 34.1. The lack of Level 2 cache in the Profile's K6-2 processor might have contributed to the low CPU score.

On ZD's Winstone 99 Version 1.1 benchmark, the Solo outpaced the Profile by almost 31 percent. Winstone 99 measures overall system performance by running scripts with real-world applications.

In the current sub-$1,000 PC market, the Profile seems pricey at $2,299 except that it has a $1,000-plus flat-panel monitor and an elegant design. Compared with prices for notebooks, however, $2,299 isn't so out of line. The Profile might win over buyers if its price drops below $2,000.

Gateway ought to build a Profile with an Intel Celeron or mobile Pentium II processor. Or perhaps AMD will boost the Level 2 cache, or Gateway might consider shifting to AMD's more powerful Athlon processor. It would be worth the effort. Even considering the low initial performance, the Profile design seems like a winner for cramped desks.



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