The Dell Inspiron 530/1142 comes with an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor and 4GB of DDR2-667 memory, making it ideal for those who like to run multiple apps simultaneously or make heavy use of programs that can take advantage of those extra cores, such as Adobe Photoshop or 3D Studio.

However, quad-core processors always suffer a little in WorldBench 6 tests, thanks to their comparatively low clock speeds (in this case 2.4GHz) when compared to dual-core equivalents. So, if you’re not doing a lot of multitasking, you won’t see much benefit from the Dell Inspiron 530/1142's quad-core chip.

And one area users of the Dell Inspiron 530/1142 certainly won’t gain anything is gaming. While some recent titles can harness the power of additional CPU cores, an excellent processor is no use in games without a decent graphics card.

The Dell Inspiron 530/1142’s Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics controller is rather outdated and comes with only 256MB of RAM, so we wouldn’t recommend this system to serious gamers. You could play Fear or something similar if you keep the resolution low, but modern games at anything but the very lowest settings are out of the question. Gamers should look elsewhere – the CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT offers far better performance and costs less.

Chart ranking: budget desktop PCs (August issue)

  1. Arbico Elite 8070EX
  2. Mesh Elite Q9300 Pro
  3. CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT
  4. Eclipse Elite i85n98GTX
  5. Dell Inspiron 530/1142

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