These new DX420 boxes from Gateway
aren't going to be breathing down Alienware
's neck anytime soon, but the prices sure aren't bad for what you get, and the units shouldn't do too bad of a job as a media hub or for a bit of casual fragging. Starting at $599, the desktops all feature Core 2 Duo processors, WMCE '05, Viiv 1.6 chipsets, 9-in-1 media readers, DVD burners and plenty of expansion slots. For the base unit you get a 1.86GHz E6300 chip, 512MB of RAM, a 160GB 7200 RPM HDD and a 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 7300LE graphics card. Luckily, Gateway lets you outfit one of these with most of the relevant trimmings, including 4GB of RAM, a 256MB GeForce 7600GS graphics card, dual 750GB drives and a TV tuner, with a bit of room left for expansions of your own. Gateway should be shipping these now, though you'll have to wait until October 19th to get one of those 750 giggers.