In the cut-throat world of the sub-£500 PC, a fierce commitment to the latest components is needed if a machine is to propel itself out of the pack. The Advent DT1308, however, finds itself struggling to keep up with its fastest rivals.
If you already have a monitor, the £400 price tag (£430 in the shops) may seem quite appetising. However, if you’re having to spend around £100 on a screen, this essentially puts it into the same bracket as our sub-£500 systems.
All along the line, the Advent DT1308 is slightly behind the curve. The 2.9GHz Intel Core i5-2310 may have seemed a bold choice a few months ago. But now, viewed against a barrage of i5-2500K machines, it lacks a little bite.
Its cause isn’t helped by the provision of just 3GB of Samsung PC3-10600U DDR3 memory – 4GB is now standard at this price point.
The WorldBench score of 136 is still rather good though – that quad-core processor with Turbo Boost makes it quite capable of romping through most of today’s Windows applications.
You don’t expect strong graphics for this price, and the Advent DT1308 is suitably average – its Intel HD 2000 controller limps to a score of just 16fps in FEAR, while struggling to 11fps in Crysis at its lowest settings. You won’t be wanting to use this PC for gaming, but then very few at the price can.
The 1TB Western Digital hard drive is impressively expansive, while a Samsung DVD writer can makes DVD-R discs at speeds of up to 22x.
The casing looks quite brash, with the vibrant glowing power button grabbing the attention. Inside, though, it’s rather cramped. The huge cooling system inside takes up plenty of room, and the awkwardly positioned power cables make it hard to access the two memory slots.
The Medionpc MS-7728 motherboard isn’t the easiest to expand, and there are only two spare bays available (one 3.5in and one 5.25in).
The 350W FSP power supply unit (PSU) may be small, but should offer enough for the Advent DT1308’s modest needs. The complement of six USB ports includes two (both front-mounted) of the USB 3.0 persuasion.
Video outputs cover VGA and HDMI, but no DVI. Windows 7 Home Premium is the pre-installed operating system, and the ample software bundle includes MS Office 2010 Starter.