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Advent DT1308 review

Kat Orphanides
7 Oct 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
400
inc VAT

A cheap, no-frills PC with some upgrade potential

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Specifications

2.9GHz Intel Core i5-2310, 3GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Advent's DT1308 is a fairly powerful no-frills PC base unit, available for £400 from PC World. Like many Advent PCs, it's built the opposite way round to most computers, with the case opening on the right-hand side as you face the front panel. Inside, the motherboard's upside down, too, and all the rear ports are at the bottom rather than the top of the case. This makes it trickier to find the ports when the PC is on the floor, but the computer is compact and quiet enough that you shouldn’t mind it sitting on your desk.

There's not much room inside the case, and it's made to feel all the more cramped by a massive funnel that vents warm air from the processor cooler through a perforated case panel. There are two RAM slots, which are occupied by one 2GB and one 1GB module, but each slot can take modules of up to 16GB capacity. Although the supplied 3GB is lower than the 4GB we're used to seeing, we ran into no problems running Windows, and if you want the extra gigabyte you'll be able to swap the 1GB module for a 2GB for around £10. The PC has the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium installed, so you'll be able to take advantage of the extra RAM.

Advent DT1308

There's reasonable scope for other upgrades, too, with the motherboard's two PCI-E x1 and single PCI-E x16 slots all vacant. If you want to add a graphics card to replace the modest integrated graphics, your options will be limited by the 350W power supply and the absence of an 8- or 6-pin PCI Express power connector. There are cards available which don’t need auxiliary power and can still play modern games, such as AMD's Radeon HD 6670, and you could always fit a Molex-to-PCI Express power adaptor to the two free Molex plugs. If you install a double-slot card, it'll block one of the PCI-E x1 slots.

The motherboard has just four SATA ports - all of them SATA2 - but only two are in use by the DVD writer and hard disk. By happy coincidence, there are two free bays - one 3 1/2in and one 5 1/4in - to go with the vacant ports. The supplied 1TB hard disk provides plenty of space to be going on with, though.

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