While we certainly don't expect a $1500 gaming PC to perform like a $3000 one, the FX6803 has some issues that give us pause. The system's messy internal wiring screams "mass-produced PC." Although that's not necessarily a deal breaker, the system performed certain tasks well below the level it should, given the hardware inside.
With the indentation and compartment on top of the chassis, along with a host of USB and eSATA ports, Gateway seems to gear this system towards customers who use lots of external storage devices, going so far as to include two bays for connecting internal hard drives. Along with the system's Core i7 processor, this system might be of interest to media creation pros who swap out hard drives with regularity. However, since the two internal bays accessible through the panel do no support hot swaps, the appeal is somewhat limited (especially since the system's long boot adds that much more time to the swap process).
In terms of gaming, however, the FX6803 delivered on a level commiserate or slightly above what we expected. It was able to run all our test titles at or near maximum settings and still deliver smooth gameplay, and Gateway deserves credit in that respect. Among gamers, the Tier I PC manufacturers have a bit of a reputation for being utterly clueless when it comes to 3D gaming, but the FX6803 provides a very satisfying gaming experience for a mid-range system.
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