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PC Specialist Apollo Q830 GT 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 64-bit

PC Specialist's Apollo Q830 GT may have a quad-core processor, but we can't help feeling disappointed by the specification.

Extras such a TV tuner card and a memory card reader are a nice bonus, but they're neither expensive nor difficult to add to a PC after you've bought it.

They certainly don't make up for a fairly poor set of benchmark results. The Apollo Q830GT was outperformed by several of the £500 systems in our memory-intensive image manipulation tests and also our games benchmarks. The culprit is the pedestrian Nvidia GeForce 9400 GT graphics card, which couldn't even manage 10fps in Call of Duty 4.

The company appears to have made this compromise to bundle a decent monitor - a 22in Edge10 W223. It's bright and looks good from most angles, although its reproduction of dark tones isn't as clear as that of the 20in Iiyama that comes with Mesh's Matrix II 920 Nero. This is down to poorer contrast.

The Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 processor is very capable when it comes to optimised, multithreaded applications such as video processing, but it simply lacks the speed and power of the AMD Phenom II X4 920 processors in the £650 Mesh and Eclipse PCs. What's more, its relatively slow clock speed of 2.5GHz means that it doesn't perform as well as faster dual-core processors for non-optimised tasks.

Performance in our video transcoding and decoding tests was good, so with its TV tuner, large monitor and HDMI output this PC could serve well as a media centre. PC Specialist's choice of case isn't a bad one - the side panel has a quick-release mechanism, so no screwdriver is needed - but it was fairly average in terms of fan noise. Free delivery and a year's internet security subscription are nice bonuses, but they don't stop this PC looking bad when compared with the faster systems that are available for the same price. The collect-and-return warranty goes some way to redeeming the shortfall, but ultimately there are better PC bundles here.

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 cache4,096KB
Memory4.000000
Memory typePC2-6400
Maximum memory4GB
MotherboardAsus P5N73-AM
Motherboard chipsetNvidia GeForce 7050 + nForce 610i
Power consumption standby5W
Power consumption idle76W
Power consumption active110W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone
Other portsantenna in

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports2
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays3

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Barracuda (ST3500820AS)
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity500GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)512MB Nvidia GeForce 9400 GT
Graphics/video portsHDMI, DVI, VGA

Sound

SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Sound outputs7.1 line out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsCF, SD, MMC, Memory Stick, MicroDrive, SmartMedia
Optical drive modelHL-DT-ST GH22LS30
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size22 in
Screen modelEdge 10 W223
Native resolution1,680x1,050
Response time5ms
Screen inputsDVI, VGA, line in

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardLogitech Internet 350 Keyboard
MouseLogitech M-UAE96

Software

Software includedCyberLink PowerDirector DE, Norton Internet Security 2007, Cerel Snapfire Plus SE 1.2, Nero 7, Power DVD 7
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£650
Detailswww.pcspecialist.co.uk

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