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Aria Gladiator Inspire 3300 review

Barry de la Rosa
23 Dec 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
420
inc VAT

For undemanding users on a budget, this is a great-value choice

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Specifications

2.5GHz AMD A4-3300, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Aria surprised us by offering a PC bundle for under our £500 budget, and yet one that included a 1TB hard disk. It's managed this by using a cheaper AMD Llano processor, which, like Intel's Core processors, combines a graphics chip with the CPU. You also get a Full HD 22in monitor, and it's the only PC this month to come with a memory card reader, which supports a wide variety of formats.

Aria Gladiator Inspire 3300

AMD's A4-3300 isn’t competitive with PCs costing £500, though. In our multimedia benchmarks, it did reasonably well in the single-threaded image-editing test, scoring a respectable 51, but scores of 29 and 20 in the video and multi-tasking brought its overall score down to 28. The Gladiator Inspire 3300 will be fine running one application, such as a document editor, but the more applications you open, the more it will slow down.

The slow processor should also influence our gaming benchmarks, but surprisingly the Gladiator Inspire 3300 managed to beat PCs equipped with its faster cousin, the AMD A8-3850. It's only a couple of frames per second faster, though, so it won’t play the latest 3D games, even with reduced graphical settings. It'll also decode HD video content.

Aria has chosen a 22in, CCFL-backlit AOC F22+ monitor but doesn't include a DVI cable in the box. This means you'll have to use the analogue VGA connection or buy your own DVI lead. Although it's not as bright and lacks the contrast of more expensive LED-backlit monitors, we found colours vibrant. You can save £90 by buying the PC without the monitor, which is almost enough to buy the excellent Philips 221V2SB.

Aria Gladiator Inspire 3300

A basic CIT keyboard and mouse set is included. The keys are bouncy and rattle a bit, but there's plenty of travel in them, while the mouse has a comfortable shape and a ratcheting action on the wheel that provides good feedback.

Although the Gladiator Inspire 3300 comes with a generous 1TB hard disk, there's not a lot of room for expansion. The smaller case means that, instead of having a hard drive enclosure with the bays laid out horizontally, instead there's a single plate on which disks are mounted vertically on their sides. This not only means that there's room for only one more disk, but there's little room for expansion cards.

Aria Gladiator Inspire 3300

We tried fitting an AMD Radeon HD 6770 - a mid-range graphics card, and certainly not the largest around - and found it didn't fit in the space between the hard disk and the motherboard. Even if you moved the disk to the other slot, it would still be in the way, so your only alternative would be a half-height card, which would seriously limit your choices.

Of course, not everyone wants to play games, and if you're just looking for a decent budget PC, the Gladiator Inspire 3300 is a good choice. Its 1TB hard disk is a bargain at this price, but its performance isn't on par with most other desktop PCs so you'll be limited in what you can do with it - watching movies and web browsing is fine, but video editing will be slow work.

For a more balanced PC, the Palicomp Hyper Flame gives you good performance in both Windows and games and has plenty of room for expansion. However the Gladiator Inspire 3300 is great value, so it wins our Budget Buy award.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorAMD A4-3300
Processor external bus100MHz (HyperTransport)
Processor multiplierx25
Processor clock speed2.5GHz
Processor socketSocket FM1
Memory4
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardGigabyte GA-A55M-S2V
Motherboard chipsetAMD A75

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)3/4
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casetower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)2 (2)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots1
Free 3.5in drive bays1

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Barracuda Green 5900.3
InterfaceSATA2
Total storage capacity1,000GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)AMD Radeon HD 6410D
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI

Sound

SoundRealtek HD Audio
Sound outputs5.1 line out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsSDHC, microSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro Duo, CF, xD, M2
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size22 in
Screen modelAOC F22+
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsVGA, DVI

Other Hardware

KeyboardCIT KBMS-001
MouseCIT KBMS-001

Software

Software includedMicrosoft Office Starter 2010
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£420
Detailswww.aria.co.uk

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