The Zoostorm 2-5406 Advanced PC sits at the foot of the chart, but it's got one feature that sets it apart from the rest: a quad-core Intel Core 2 Q6600 processor. This should give you a considerable speed boost when using multithreaded software.
Currently, however, there isn't a great deal of multithreaded software available. We're assured these should be trickling onto the market shortly but, in the meantime, you're left with a PC that struggles to live up to its theoretical power on current software. The Zoostorm 2-5406 Advanced PC's WorldBench 6 real-world speed score of 94 isn't disastrous, but it is the lowest in the chart, trailing the Best Buy Eclipse Evolution i685n88s by 14 points.
As a general PC, the Zoostorm 2-5406 Advanced PC is pretty solid, if slightly left behind by the other machines in an impressive budget PCs chart. The Zoostorm 2-5406 Advanced PC's GeForce 8600 GTS card is decent - but no match for the 8800 GTS - while the 19in GNR flat-panel is adequate. The Zoostorm 2-5406 Advanced PC's 400GB hard drive is the largest in the chart, however, and the Zoostorm 2-5406 Advanced PC's Philips speakers are better than those found on the other budget models.
The Zoostorm 2-5406 Advanced PC won't cause much excitement. However, if you're looking to buy a quad-core PC on a budget, the Zoostorm 2-5406 Advanced PC is far and away the most affordable version yet.
Chart ranking: budget PCs October 07 issue