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Advent Firefly FP9004 review

Advent Firefly FP9004
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £320
inc VAT

It's a good-looking little PC, but its aging motherboard only has a basic range of ports and outputs.


2.6GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core E5300, 2.000000 RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

Advent’s Firefly FP9004 is a very smart-looking PC, with we think looks considerably more expensive than it is. This mini-tower has a white LED strip that runs straight down the centre of the fascia. LED lighting usually looks tacky, but this succeeds in being stylish. The power and reset switches are on the top of the case at the front, making them easy to reach if you place the Firefly beneath your desk.

Advent describe the Firefly as a Space-saving PC, and though it’s considerably chunkier than some nettops (like the Asus Eee Box EB1012, below), it’s compact for a fully fledged PC. It’s unobtrusive when it comes to noise too, making only the slightest of whirring sounds when running our benchmarks.

Despite its small dimensions, there’s space inside for adding expansion cards. These have to be half-height cards, but you can get TV tuners, graphics cards and wireless network adaptors that will fit. This means you can expand the capabilities of your PC without a mess of external devices.

There are two USB ports on the front, and a further four on the back. The selection of other ports is fairly limited, with only a VGA output for the integrated graphics chipset, a basic 5.1 surround sound audio output, 10/100 Ethernet and a pair of PS/2 connectors.

The DVD writer is hidden beneath a flap to keep everything neat and tidy, below it is a memory card reader with support for all the usual formats, except xD cards. Inside is a reasonably sized 320GB hard disk for storing your files. Unsurprisingly, this comes with Windows 7 Home Premium installed. There’s no space to add additional drives, and both SATA ports are in use too.

Its Intel Pentium Dual Core E5300 processor runs at 2.6GHz. It’s showing its age, with an overall score of just 71, but this is still many times quicker than any nettop. The Foxconn G31S motherboard only has a single DDR2 slot, with a 2GB memory module installed. This is the maximum module size that can be fitted to this board, so it’s impossible to upgrade the memory later. It’s enough for most tasks, but you’ll have problems if you want to edit any quantity of HD video.

We tried playing back Blu-ray quality HD video on the Firefly. It managed it smoothly, but there’s no video acceleration on offer from the Intel GMA 3100 chipset, and so it used the vast majority of the available processing power. If you want to regularly watch HD video, we’d recommend a PC with a more modern graphics chipset.

Its relatively old motherboard technology makes the Firefly look old fashioned next to Ion based nettops like the Asus EB1012 – which has HD video acceleration plus far more ports and an HDMI output. On the other hand it isn’t much more expensive, and it’s far more powerful in applications. If size isn’t an issue then you can get a far more powerful PC for around £400. However, if you want decent application performance from a compact PC then the stylish Firefly is still a good buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Pentium Dual Core E5300
Processor external bus 200MHz (800MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplier x13
Processor clock speed 2.6GHz
Processor socket LGA775
Level 1 cache 2x 128KB
Level 2 cache 2048KB
Memory 2.000000
Memory type DDR2
Maximum memory 2GB
Motherboard Foxconn G31S
Motherboard chipset Intel G31


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11n
Other ports VGA

Internal Expansion

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

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Western Digital Caviar SE (WD3200AAJS)
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 320GB
Spindle speed 7,200rpm


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


Sound Intel HD Audio
Sound outputs 5.1 line out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards CF, SD, SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Duo
Optical drive model HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GH40F
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Screen model N/A
Native resolution N/A
Response time N/A
Screen inputs N/A

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Advent SWT1200
Mouse Advent GP-M3000


Software included N/A
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Operating system restore option restore disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB or customer carry in
Price £320

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