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Advent SQ9204 review

Alan Lu
22 Dec 2009
Advent SQ9204
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
380
inc VAT

Advent's SQ9204 is quick and comes with some useful extras, but its small hard disk and noisiness make it poor value compared to the competition.

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Specifications

2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300, 4.000000 RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

At just £380, Advent's SQ9204 is one of the cheapest PCs we've reviewed, and looks great value. There's a lot to like about it. For a start, it has a one-year onsite warranty, so if anything goes wrong it should be easy to get it fixed. There's also built-in WiFi, but it's a little disappointing that only 802.11g is supported, not the faster 802.11n standard.

The 2.5GHz Core 2 Quad Q8300 processor and 4GB of RAM are a potent combination, and helped the SQ9204 to speed through our 2D benchmarks, coming near the top of the table in almost all our tests. The installed 64-bit edition of Windows 7 Home Premium means you can take advantage of all 4GB of memory.

The onboard Intel GMA 3100 graphics chip isn't up to even light gaming and wouldn't run our games benchmarks. It will also struggle to play HD Blu-ray movies. Fortunately, there's a free PCI Express x16 slot, so you could add a dedicated graphics card later.

The 320GB hard disk should be big enough for all your files and documents, but it's a little stingy at this price. There's space in the case for four more hard disks, but with only one spare Molex connector on the power supply, you can realistically fit only one extra disk.

One irritant is the constant whine from the noisy processor cooler. Even when the computer is idle the noise is distracting, athough it's tolerable when the SQ9204 is stowed underneath a desk. Putting the case on the floor makes sense, as the front headphone and microphone ports are mounted on the top of the computer, rather than on the front.

We'd recommend buying a new keyboard and mouse, too. The mouse is acceptable, but the spongy keyboard is uncomfortable to type on and feels cheap.

Considering its price the SQ9204 isn't bad value, especially considering its fast processor, but you can get more for the same price if you hunt around.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Quad Q8300
Processor external bus333MHz (1,333MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplierx7
Processor clock speed2.5GHz
Processor socketLGA775
Level 1 cache4x 32KB
Level 2 cache2x 2,048KB
Memory4.000000
Memory typePC2-6400
Maximum memory4GB
MotherboardFoxconn G31MX-K
Motherboard chipsetIntel G31
Power consumption standby7W
Power consumption idle59W
Power consumption active90W

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 support802.11b/g
Other portsnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports3
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays4

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Western Digital Caviar Blue 320GB
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity320GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Intel GMA 3100
Graphics/video portsVGA

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC662
Sound outputs5.1 line out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, MMCplus, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, MicroDrive, xD
Optical drive modelLG GH40F
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Screen modelN/A
Native resolutionN/A
Response timeN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardAdvent SWT1200
MouseAdvent Optical Wheel Mouse USB GP-M3000

Software

Software includedMicrosoft Works 9 SE
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition

Buying Information

Warrantyone year onsite
Price£380
Supplierhttp://www.pcworld.co.uk
Detailswww.advent.co.uk

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