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PC Nextday Zoostorm 72-4301 Core i3 Advanced HD PC review

PC Nextday Zoostorm 72-4301 Core i3 Advanced HD PC
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £700
inc VAT

The Zoostorm 72-4301 just doesn't do enough to justify its price when there are much more powerful PCs available for the same money.


3.067GHz Intel Core i3-540, 4.000000 RAM, 19in 1,440×900 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Intel’s Core i3 processors provide plenty of computing power for a relatively low price, making them a great choice for a mid-priced PC system. PC Nextday’s Zoostorm 72-4301, at £700, uses just such a processor, and should have been a balanced PC that could handle most computing needs. Unfortunately, it was quickly obvious that some odd choices have been made with the system’s specification.

Instead of a dedicated graphics card, the 72-4301 relies on the Core i3’s graphics processor, which is integrated onto the chip itself. It may be a clever technical arrangement, which helps keep power consumption down, but it’s not particularly powerful. Although fine for everyday office tasks, or even for a bit of photo or video editing, this system simply can’t handle 3D games. It managed a meagre 8.4fps in CoD4 and crawled through Crysis at 3.1fps.

Gaming isn’t important to everyone, though, and this PC has some great multimedia features. Most conspicuous are its pair of disc drives – one DVD RW and one Blu-ray – so you could watch a movie while burning a CD, or make direct disc-to-disc copies. However, this PC not ideally suited for Blu-ray playback. Although the integrated graphics can handle Blu-ray quality HD video, the 19in widescreen monitor has a maximum resolution of just 1,440×900 – so it can’t display the full detail of HD video. The monitor is bright and evenly backlit, thankfully, but it doesn’t have a wide range of viewing angles.

The microATX-sized case looks drab, but is compact and sturdy. There’s some room for expansion but not a great deal, with just one free 3 1/2in bay. The large 750GB hard disk is welcome, but not hugely impressive. The Intel DH55TC motherboard has just one PCI and one PCI-E x16 slot, plus two PCI-E x1 slots, one of which will be blocked if you install a graphics card. The motherboard already has VGA, DVI and HDMI outputs, so you can connect it to an HDTV or add a second monitor.

For audio output, there are just the standard three rear 3.5mm audio ports, supporting 5.1 surround sound using the motherboard’s Intel HD audio processor. There are no S/PDIF digital outputs provided, which is disappointing on a modern PC. There are six USB ports on the back and another two at the front.

The Core i3-540 is the faster of the two available chips, running at 3.06GHz. It did well in our usual benchmark tests, with an overall score of 106. There’s 4GB of RAM fitted, which is plenty for most purposes.

This system suffers from lack of a clear purpose – as it’s too expensive for an office workstation, but its monitor and graphics chipset are underspecified for either multimedia or gaming purposes. Last month Yoyotech’s outstanding Warbird i650 showed you can get a far better equipped for £700. The Zoostorm 72-4301 just doesn’t do enough to justify its price.

Basic Specifications

Rating **
Processor Intel Core i3-540
Processor external bus 133MHz (2.0GB/s Direct Media Interface)
Processor multiplier x23
Processor clock speed 3.067GHz
Processor socket LGA1156
Level 1 cache 2x 64KB
Level 2 cache 2x 256KB
Memory 4.000000
Memory type PC3-10600
Maximum memory 16GB
Motherboard Intel DH55TC
Motherboard chipset Intel H55


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support none
Other ports none

Internal Expansion

Case midi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 2 (2)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports 3
Free memory slots 2
Free 3.5in drive bays 5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Western Digital Caviar (WD7500AADS-00M2B0)
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 750GB
Spindle speed 7200rpm


Graphics card(s) none


Sound Intel HD Audio
Sound outputs 5.1 line out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards none
Optical drive model ATAPI iHoS104, TSST SH-S223C
Optical drive type(s) BD-ROM + DVD+/-RW +/-DL, DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size 19 in
Screen model Acer V193w
Native resolution 1,440×900
Response time 5ms
Screen inputs VGA

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Genius KB-06XE
Mouse Genius Netscroll 120


Software included Cyberlink PowerDVD 8.0
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £700

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