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Dell Inspiron 545/8707 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 499.99
inc VAT

If you're not into gaming, the Inspiron 545/8707's quiet nature may appeal, but there are better deals available.

Specifications

2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200, 4.000000 RAM, 18.5in 1,366×768 display, Windows Vista Home Premium

PC World

The Inspiron 545/8707 has a neat, stylish case with flip-down panels that hide the drive bays.

The front ports, which include a multi-format media card reader, are also tucked away behind a panel. We weren’t overly impressed with the build quality, though. Press the power button too hard, for example, and it gets stuck.

Dell has opted for an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200, which at 2.33GHz is a slightly slower version of the 2.66GHz quad-core processor in Arbico’s PC. In our 2D benchmarks, the Inspiron 545/8707 fared reasonably well, coming second overall. However, the limited power of Intel’s integrated graphics mean it’s not suited to gaming or other 3D-intensive tasks, and both Call of Duty 4 and Crysis failed to run. This is disappointing at this price, and we’d expect a dedicated graphics card.

A total of 4GB of RAM is installed, but as Dell has installed the 32-bit version of Vista Home Premium, only 3.5GB can be used.

Dell supplies a relatively small 19in LG W1943SB monitor. Thanks to an evenly lit display and well-saturated colours, it stood up well against the competition, but its small screen means the native resolution is just 1,366×768. It’s an analogue-only model, so it has just a VGA input, which matches the PC’s sole VGA output.

There’s plenty of room inside the case and the fans are extremely quiet. However, the vertically mounted hard disk doesn’t make the best use of the space available, leaving just two spare drive bays (a 3?in and a 5?in bay). That said, most users are unlikely to want to upgrade from the 500GB disk and DVD writer that come as standard.

The Dell-branded keyboard is well built, but the keys sit a little too deep. Depending on your typing style, you may find that your thumbs knock the edge of the keyboard when using the bottom row.

It’s good to see a fast processor in such a quiet PC, but the reliance on integrated graphics is disappointing at this price. Mesh’s Matrix II TT is a much better buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200
Processor external bus 333MHz (1,333MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplier x7
Processor clock speed 2.33GHz
Processor socket LGA775
Level 1 cache 4x 64KB
Level 2 cache 2x 2,048KB
Memory 4.000000
Memory type PC2-6400
Maximum memory 8GB
Motherboard Dell 0N826N
Power consumption standby 2W
Power consumption idle 47W
Power consumption active 83W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support none
Other ports none

Internal Expansion

Case midi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports 2
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 1

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Hitachi Deskstar P7K500 HDP725050GLA360
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 500GB
Spindle speed 7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s) Intel GMA 3100
Graphics/video ports VGA

Sound

Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Sound outputs 7.1 line out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards CF, SD, SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, MicroDrive, Smart Media, xD
Optical drive model Optiarc AD-7200S
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM

Display

Viewable size 18.5 in
Screen model LG W1943SB
Native resolution 1,366×768
Response time 5ms
Screen inputs VGA

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Dell SK-8185
Mouse Dell Optical Scroll Mouse

Software

Software included Roxio Creator DE, Microsoft Works 9
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore option restore partition

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £500
Details www.pcworld.co.uk

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