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PC Nextday Zoostorm 64-4303 review

Alan Lu
18 Mar 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
650
inc VAT

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Specifications

2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300, 4.000000 RAM, 22in 1,680x1,050 display, Windows Vista Home Premium

PC Nextday's Zoostorm 64-4303 is one of only two PCs in this entire Labs to come with a set of 5.1 surround-sound speakers.

You'll need to position the Edifier M1550 speakers carefully for the best sound and they don't have as much bass as we'd like, but they're useful for watching movies and playing games.

The 64-4303 is one of the fastest £650 PCs for gaming, thanks to its Nvidia GeForce 9800GT graphics card. It produced over 40fps in Call of Duty 4, but you'll need to adjust the graphics settings for smooth gameplay in Crysis at the monitor's native resolution.

Like PC Specialist's Apollo Q830 GT, the Zoostorm 64-4303 has a Core 2 Quad Q8300 processor and 4GB of RAM. It fared well in our tests, but the £650 Eclipse and Mesh PCs were faster with their Phenom II processors.

You can't add any more memory, but 4GB should be more than enough for a while. You'd need to upgrade to 64-bit Windows to use the entire 4GB anyway, as the pre-installed 32-bit version can only access 3.5GB at most.

The Zoostorm 64-4303 has fewer spare expansion slots and internal storage bays than some PCs here, but it should be sufficient for most people. There are five empty 3?in bays, but just one spare 5?in drive bay. There are two PCI slots and one PCI Express x1 slot, but the graphics card blocks access to the x1 slot.

We weren't expecting to see the best-quality monitors included with PCs at this price, but we were nevertheless disappointed with the AMW display. It may be large at 22in, and the glossy finish might make images look vibrant, but the backlight is uneven, so parts of the screen look darker than others. Thanks to relatively narrow viewing angles, the colour accuracy suffers even more if you're not looking at it square on.

Apart from the quality of the monitor, this is a good PC. It even comes with an onsite warranty, which is convenient if any hardware should fail. Mesh's 920 Nero is narrowly the better deal, but the Zoostorm 64-4303 is a good choice (along with the Eclipse) for games.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Quad Q8300
Processor external bus333MHz (1,333MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplierx7.5
Processor clock speed2.5GHz
Processor socketLGA775
Level 1 cache4x 32KB
Level 2 cache2,048KB
Memory4.000000
Memory typePC2-6400
Maximum memory4GB
MotherboardFoxconn G31MX
Motherboard chipsetIntel G31 + ICH7
Power consumption standby7W
Power consumption idle95W
Power consumption active170W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone
Other portsnone

Internal Expansion

Casemini PC
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports2
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Hitachi Deskstar P7K500 HDP725050GLA360
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity500GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)512MB Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, TV out

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC662
Sound outputs5.1 line out
SpeakersEdifier M1550 5.1

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive modelSony NEC Optiarc AD-5200S
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size22 in
Screen modelAMW X2210WDS
Native resolution1,680x1,050
Response time5ms
Screen inputsDVI, VGA

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardMicrosoft Basic Keyboard 1.0A
MouseMicrosoft Basic Optical Mouse 1.0A

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionrestore partition

Buying Information

Warrantyone year onsite
Price£650
Detailswww.pcnextday.co.uk

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