This budget PC isn’t much to look at but makes all the right moves when it comes to performance
3.4GHz AMD A10-5700, 8GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 8
Medion is a well-recognised name when it comes to getting inexpensive but surprisingly powerful PCs into big-brand stores and supermarkets. The Medion Akoya E4057 D isn’t much to look at, but with this quad-core system’s price of just £349, it’s definitely attracted our attention.
The PC has one of AMD’s latest Trinity processors, the 3.4GHz quad-core A10-5700, which includes an integrated AMD Radeon HD 7660D graphics processor. Although you’re not going to get performance to rival an Intel Core i5 out of this processor, it’s powerful enough for the vast majority of uses, while the its integrated graphics do a remarkably good job when it comes to games.
In our application benchmarks, the processor produced an overall score of 58 – that’s absolutely fine for any kind of program, from video editing to spreadsheets. The processor’s four cores mean that the A10 has plenty of potential for smooth multi-tasking, too, while 8GB of RAM means that it won’t struggle when confronted with large images or video files.
512MB of that memory is used by the graphics processor. We’re used to AMD Vision on-chip graphics being very capable and this system proves that in our 3D gaming tests. While it can’t handle Dirt Showdown at a full 1,920×1,080 resolution and Ultra quality, dropping the settings to 1,280×720 and High quality produced a fantastic frame rate of 42.9fps. Even at 1080p, keeping the resolution at high quality meant that we got a playable 27.9fps. You’ll be able to quite happily play 3D games on this system, if you’re prepared to make a few compromises when it comes to graphical quality (that said they’ll still look better than current consoles).
If you later decide you want or need more GPU power, then there’s room to add a dedicated graphics card thanks to a vacant PCI-E x16 slot. The 450W power supply should be able to handle all but the most insanely power-hungry graphics cards, too. There are also two PCI-E x1 slots, which you can use to add expansion cards such as sound cards, TV tuners and wireless adaptors. There are two memory slots, both of them currently occupied by 1,600MHz 4GB DDR3 modules, and four SATA ports, of which two are in use.
The motherboard itself – a Medion own-brand model – is a bit of an oddity in all its classic green-PCB glory. The case isn’t particularly spacious, and its interior looks and feels cheap and unfinished, but we didn’t encounter any sharp edges. There’s an ugly bundle of cables leading from the PSU, which are bunched up in the middle, but a black plastic cowling direcs the warm air outflow from the CPU cooler to a vent in the case’s side panel.
There aren’t any case fans, although there’s space to mount them, but the system didn’t get too warm or make a great deal of noise. There are only two 5 1/4in drive bays and two 3 1/2in bays. One of each is occupied, by a DVD-RW and a 1TB hard disk respectively. The scarcity of bays is unlikely to be a problem for the vast majority of owners, and there are only two free SATA ports anyway.
|Processor external bus||100MHz (HyperTransport)|
|Processor clock speed||3.4GHz|
|Motherboard chipset||AMD A55|
|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|
|PCI-E x1 slots (free)||2 (2)|
|PCI-E x16 slots (free)||1 (1)|
|Free Serial ATA ports||2|
|Free memory slots||0|
|Free 3.5in drive bays||1|
|Hard disk model(s)||Seagate Barracuda (ST1000DM003-9YN162)|
|Total storage capacity||1,024GB|
|Graphics card(s)||512MB AMD Radeon HD 7660D|
|Graphics/video ports||VGA, HDMI|
|Sound||Realtek HD Audio|
|Sound outputs||7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, stereo out, mic in|
|Supported memory cards||SD, Memory Stick, MMC, xD|
|Optical drive type(s)||DVD+/-RW +/-DL|
|Software included||CyberLink Media Suite|
|Operating system||Windows 8|
|Operating system restore option||restore disc|