Currently, most of our award-winning PCs have AMD processors, but here Medion opted for an Intel chip.
The Core 2 Duo E7400 has a clock speed of 2.8GHz and a frontside bus of 1,066MHz. The Akoya’s performance can’t match that of Mesh’s Nero 9950HD (below), which has an AMD Phenom X4 9950. The Akoya was quicker in our image-editing test, but lost out to the Phenom’s four processing cores in our video-encoding test.
The ATI Radeon HD 4650 graphics card isn’t as powerful as the HD 4830 in CyberPower’s Gamer Infinity Yin. The HD 4650 failed to run both our Crysis and Call of Duty 4 tests at playable frame rates. We had to reduce Crysis to a resolution of 1,280×1,024 at medium quality with no anti-aliasing to achieve a playable 28.2fps.
Thankfully, the rest of the Medion’s components are more impressive: its 1TB hard disk offers a huge amount of storage for music, photos and video files. All that storage space should come in handy, as a TV tuner is also included. This will receive Freeview and analogue TV signals, and works with Media Center’s excellent programme guide. However, it’s only a single tuner, so you can’t watch one programme while recording another.
This PC’s expansion potential is limited, but not drastically so. There’s a pair of empty drive bays – one 3½in and one 5¼in – for adding extra drives. The motherboard offers empty PCI-Express 1x and PCI slots, but the messy wiring inside will need some attention before you can add more expansion cards.
The low-profile Intel cooler is fairly noisy, making the whole PC a little on the loud side. Power consumption was impressive, though, with an idle load of 55W rising to 104W at peak. This is less than Mesh’s Nero 9950HD. Medion hasn’t included a monitor but the Akoya does come with a keyboard, mouse and a wireless Media Center remote. The keyboard is feels spongy and the keys lack travel. The budget desktop sets from Logitech, one of which comes with the Nero 9950HD, are more comfortable to use.
The Akoya’s price looks reasonable, but better-value PCs are available. The Gamer Infinity Yin doesn’t have a TV tuner or a large hard disk, but includes a decent monitor, better graphics card and quicker processor for £549. The updated Mesh Nero is also tempting at £499, but only if you don’t play games, as this PC only has an integrated graphics chipset. However, its bundled 22in monitor means it offers much better value for non-gamers. With better packages available, the Akoya is worth buying only if you’re looking for a power-efficient PC to go with an existing monitor.