Dell Dimension 4550
by Joel Jacobson
A well rounded desktop choice is the Dell Dimension 4550
Looking for a mid-range, high performance desktop? The Dell Dimension 4550 is one to focus in on. Its price range is around $1000-$1500, which makes it an incredible value for the money.
This system has one of the better case designs, especially for making repairs or doing any upgrades. Located at the top and bottom of the case are two large oval buttons. Press them and the PC opens like a giant clam, giving you easy access to all the components. There are levers and latches that are marked in easy to spot green to allow you to remove components quickly without touching a screwdriver.
With 120GB hard drive; you’ll have plenty of storage space on your Dell Dimension 4550. It also has a 128MB ATI Radeon 9700 TX graphics board and delivers solid frame rates in 3D graphics tests. It’s also equipped with a 2.67GHz Pentium 4 processor which was increased from 256MB to 512MB of RAM. It also has a 16X DVD-ROM drive and a speedy 48X CD-RW drive.
The monitor on the Dell Dimension 4550 is a monster at 19” and is a flat screen. If gaming or photo editing is something you enjoy, this monitor can deliver the goods with crisp text and pleasing colors that are quite bright and clear. It makes watching DVD’s on the large monitor very cool.
The Dell Dimension 4550 has pretty good sound. It has a Harmon Kardon HK-395 sound system with a hefty subwoofer and two small satellite speakers. It’s a bit flat on the trebles and weak bass. For all you audiophiles out there, you may want to look into a higher end set. For casual use, it does the job.
Prepackaged software on the Dell Dimension 4550 includes Microsoft Works Suite. Upgrading to Microsoft Office Small Business will cost about $135. Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition is the operating system.
Broadband is now finding its way into more and more homes. An Ethernet card now comes standard on the Dell Dimension 4550 and other mainstream Dell desktops are equipped with it. It is integrated into the motherboard so it doesn’t occupy any of the for PCI slots, leaving more room for expansion. It also includes one AGP slot.
As do most Dell systems, the Dell Dimension 4550 has great documentation, including a setup poster and manual specifically designed for the 4550. It’s got a ton of illustrations and very thorough on adding components and troubleshooting.
Mr. Jacobson is a freelance writer, web designer, and product design engineer. He's an avid fisherman who loves to northern and musky fish. He and his wife recently adopted two infant girls from Russia, and that keeps them quite busy.