Dell Dimension 5100
- BTX form factor, great airflow
- Nothing of note
The fast CPU provided the best application performance in the review, and the new BTX case really does cool the entire system efficiently, although our model had no way for us to control the fan speed.
Price$ 2,378.20 (AUD)
The 5100 we tested gave us our first glimpse of what a BTX form factor system will look like. And, so far, it looks good.
Dell is always among the first vendors to implement new technology into its systems and the BTX form factor, which has been devised by Intel, is a design that essentially "flips" the location of the motherboard and its components. All components are now installed from the right-hand side of the case, instead of the left (as in the ATX form factor), and a BTX motherboard has its CPU socket towards the front of the board so that it resides directly in front of the case's air intake. And the air intake on the 5100 sure is big!
In addition to cooling the CPU, the airflow from this intake passes over the hard drive bay to keep your drives cool, and the directed airflow also passes over the graphics card before it exits via the rear vent. Dell has installed a large and powerful fan for this cooling task and it pretty much leaves no chance for this system to fail due to a heat-related issue.
The base of the 5100 range of systems is an Intel 945G chipset-based motherboard, which has a PCIe graphics slot and four memory slots. It does not come with FireWire as standard and it lacks legacy ports, which is not a problem unless you have parallel or serial devices that you want to use with it. While you can use Dell's Web site or phone ordering service to customise your component configuration, the PC we tested had a 3.4GHz Pentium 4 550 CPU with 512MB of DDR2 RAM and an 80GB Serial ATA hard drive. It also had a modest ATI Radeon X300 graphics card, a double-layer DVD burner and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive. This setup costs approximately $2000 without a monitor. In our tests, the machine produced reliable and quick results, which can be attributed to its 3.4GHz CPU clock speed. If you are interested in gaming, the mainstream Radeon X300 graphics card should be replaced by a more powerful one, such as the GeForce 6800. This will give you much better performance when playing highly detailed games such as Doom 3 and FarCry.
Join the newsletter!
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G
WD My Passport™ SSD
Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar
LiTMUS LAB Dakota Side Table
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen)
Apple Watch Series 6
Toys for Boys
Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System
ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14
WD_BLACK™ SN850 NVMe™ SSD
Theragun PRO Percussive Therapy Device
Sony Playstation 5
Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker
Fujiflim Instax Square SQ1
Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush
Garmin vívofit® jr. 2
MSI Modern 14
Lego Mindstorms Robot Inventor
Fender Fullerton Ukele
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch
SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String
MSI GE66 Dragonshield Limited Edition
Dickie Toy Remote Control Mega Crane Set
Kindle Paperwhite eReader (10th Gen)
Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player
New line-up targeted at designers, creators, and professionals
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo Watch review: A masterclass in imitation
- 2 Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- 3 Google Pixel 4a review: The Goldilocks Google phone
- 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G review: Wrong Number
- 5 LG NANO99 NanoCell 8K TV review: Prestige at a price
Latest News Articles
- Apple unveils new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini with its M1 chip
- Apple makes bold claims about its M1 chip for Macs
- Apple's One More Thing Mac event: What just happened?
- PC sales soar, Apple has a big quarter
- Macworld's October digital magazine: Apple's new 27-inch iMac reviewed
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- iPhone 12 Pro review: The iPhone that’s future proof
- Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- Oppo Watch review: A masterclass in imitation
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?