Dell Inspiroin 660s Budget Desktop PC Review

Slim Tower Desktop PC for Those With a Budget

Dell Inspiron 660s Small Desktop PC
Inspiron 660s. ©Dell

Dell has distconitued production of the older Inspiron 660s in favor of their newer Small and Micro Inspiron desktop systems. If you are looking for either a small or a low cost desktop system, check out my Best Small Form Factor PCs and Best Desktops Under $400 lists for systems that are currently available.

The Bottom Line

Sep 25 2013 - Dell's Inspiron 660s may not use the latest technologies but the budget class systems tend to be older designs.

Even with this being the case, Dell's offering has one huge advantage over the competition, USB 3.0 ports. These make the system more beneficial to buyers because of easy high speed peripheral expansion and upgrades. This is a pretty big deal as well because this is a very compact system that has extremely limited internal upgrade options.

Pros

  • USB 3.0 Ports
  • Wireless Networking
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Case Design Prevents Internal Upgrades
  • Smaller Hard Drive

Description

  • Intel Pentium G2030 Dual Core Desktop Processor
  • 4GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
  • 500GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • Dual Layer DVD Burner
  • Intel HD Graphics 2500 Integrated Graphics
  • Intel HDA 5.1 Audio
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
  • Two USB 3.0, Six USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 8-in-1 Card Reader
  • 10.7" x 14.8" x 4"
  • Windows 8

Review - Dell Inspiron 660s Budget

Sep 25 2013 - Dell has changed around their goals for their slim Inspiron desktop models from the past. Rather than being extremely feature rich desktops, they are instead focused on those looking for an affordable desktop computer system.

The system remains unchanged externally from what I looked at last year.

There are multiple versions of the Inspiron 660s available for purchase and the primary difference is in the processor. This version uses the Intel Pentium G2030 dual core processor. This is based upon the Intel Ivy Bridge processor core similar to the more expensive version that uses the Core i3-3240.

The main difference here is that it lacks the Hyper-Threading support and has a lower clock speed. Even without those features, the system still provides more than enough performance for the average user that primarily uses the PC for browsing the web, streaming media, email and productivity software. The processor is matched up with 4GB of DDR3 memory which is typical for the sub-$400 price range. It can be upgraded but due to the layout of the internal case parts it can be quite difficult to do.

Storage is provided by a standard hard drive. While past models have shipped with larger one terabyte drives, this budget oriented model comes with just a 500GB drive. This provides it with just half the storage for applications, data and media files compared to some of its competitors. The big advantage that Dell has is the inclusion of two USB 3.0 ports on the rear of the system. This allows it to use the latest high speed external hard drives if you need to add storage. No other system in this price range offers these ports. There is a dual layer DVD burner included for playback and recording of CD or DVD media.

The graphics are handled by the Intel HD Graphics 2500 that is built into the Pentium processor.

This is certainly not suitable at all for 3D applications such as gaming even in older titles at lower resolutions. What it does offer in exchange is the ability to accelerate encoding of media with Quick Sync compatible applications. It still isn't quite as fast as those with the Core i3 processors and the higher HD Graphics 4000. Those hoping to add in a dedicated graphics card will be disappointing again by the lack of space within the system for adding in expansion cards. Even if you could squeeze a card within the system, it only has a 220 watt power supply which prevents all but the most basic cards from being installed.

Even though the Dell Inspiron 660s may not have a lot of internal space, the system does include a Wi-Fi networking adapter. This is a very nice feature to have in such a small system as it allows it to easily connect into a home wireless networking. It also allows this compact system to be placed into a home theater system which may not have easily accessible wiring.

Pricing is also an advantage that Dell has over its competition. Since the Inspiron 660s has been on the market some time, Dell has a nice parts inventory which means they can offer greater price discounts. This configuration can be found for under $350 which makes it slightly more affordable than its primary competitors. The closest in price is the Acer Aspire AXC600 which has nearly identical features. It does come with a dual-band Wi-Fi for support of the 5GHz spectrum but it does not have any USB 3.0 ports. The other compact budget system is the Gateway SX2865 which does cost more but features a more powerful Intel Core i3 processor and a full terabyte of storage space but it lacks Wi-Fi and USB 3.0 ports.