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Advent Centurion CBE1401 review

Advent Centurion CBE1401
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £699
inc VAT

A well-designed case and quiet water-cooling can't make up for the poor choice of motherboard, and it's much too expensive.


3.4GHz AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition, 4.000000 RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Advent’s Centurion CBE1401 is a gaming PC with an overclocked, water-cooled Phenom II X2 processor and an ATI Radeon HD 5750 graphics card. The water-cooling allows an increase in the CPU’s speed from 3.1GHz to 3.4GHz, though it could probably be pushed further still with a little tweaking in the BIOS. It also greatly reduces the amount of noise, and even sitting right next to the Centurion you’re only aware of a low whisper.

The dual-core Phenom is actually a rather cheap CPU, especially considering this PC’s price. It scored well in our image editing test, with Advent’s overclocking significantly boosting single-core performance, but fell down on the video encoding test, which favours triple- and quad-core CPUs. An overall score of 92 doesn’t compare very well with the scores from the recent PCs we’ve reviewed around the £700 mark.

Thankfully, the HD 5750 is one of our current favourite cards, and produces respectable scores in our gaming benchmarks. The ability to play Crysis at over 30fps means that this PC will take on any modern PC game at high resolutions and detail settings, and should last a couple of years before you need to consider upgrading.

The Centurion has a bold design, and although we’d prefer not to have the large, illuminated AMD and Advent logos. We did appreciate the protruding top panel with its large, backlit power button and memory card slots. Behind this sits a rubber tray, an ideal place to leave any external hard drives, alongside another panel that houses four USB ports, an eSATA port and audio jacks.

The left side of the case has a window with a vent built into it. To reduce noise further, Advent has covered over this vent with a clear sheet on the inside. We’d question why Advent decided on having a window in the first place. While most of the large cables in the case have been tidily bundled, there are still many unsightly smaller wires criss-crossing the case.

Except for the water-cooling system, there’s little of interest inside the case. The motherboard is a dated model, with two PS/2 ports and a parallel port instead of the more modern eSATA, FireWire and digital audio outputs. The lack of spare PCI slots is incredible, and Advent’s decision to fill one of the available slots with a wireless card beggars belief. Serious online gamers wouldn’t be seen dead using a Wi-Fi connection, which has much more latency than a wired connection, and the slot would have been better off filled with a decent sound card.

In the end, the Centurion CBE1401 is simply far too expensive: it doesn’t come with a monitor or speakers, and yet it costs the same as our Best Buy Yoyotech Warbird i650cs. That PC scored far higher in our benchmarks, has a better selection of ports along with 7.1 surround sound and a 22in monitor.

Basic Specifications

Rating **
Processor AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition
Processor external bus 200MHz (1.6GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplier x17
Processor clock speed 3.4GHz
Processor socket AM3
Level 1 cache 256KB
Level 2 cache 1,024KB
Memory 4.000000
Memory type DDR3
Maximum memory 8GB
Motherboard Foxconn A7VMX-K
Motherboard chipset AMD 780V


USB2 ports (front/rear) 4/4
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 1/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
Other ports none

Internal Expansion

Case tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 1
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 3

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Western Digital Caviar Green (WD500AADS-00M2B0)
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 750GB
Spindle speed 7,200rpm


Graphics card(s) 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5750
Graphics/video ports 2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort


Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Sound outputs stereo line out, mic in, line in
Speakers N/A

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, CompactFlash, MicroDrive, SmartMedia
Optical drive model HL-DT-ST GH41N
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM


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 Microsoft Works 9 SE
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £699

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