Advent computers in PC world - any good? Help please!

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This Advent computer any good from PC World - Are advent any good? I am
after something that can play games to a standard level and then do
general work on, some digital photos etc.. Any reviews of the system
anywhere I can read? Is this graphics card any good for games?
The spec for the computer is as follow for599

Intel Pentium D 820 Processor

2=2E8GHz, 800MHz FSB, 2MB Cache

Microsoft Windows XP Media Center


250GB Hard Disk Drive

Multi-Format Dual Layer DVD RW Drive

512MB nVidia Geforce 7300GS Graphics

Built-in TV Tuner + Remote Control

8-In-1 Media Card Reader

17" TFT Flat Panel Monitor

Any other suggestions - paying on finance is another attraction for
this deal.=20

Thanks for help=20


Re: Advent computers in PC world - any good? Help please!

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The advert is fairly devoid of interesting information.

In terms of surface features, I'd probably prefer a 7600GT video card.
But that would only be for gaming purposes. For the rest of your
applications, the 7300GS is fine. (The 512MB of graphics memory is
a waste, and even 128MB or 256MB would do just as well.)

The advert doesn't state what motherboard is used, what power
supply etc. (If the motherboard had a decent pedigree, it may
even be overclockable. If you bought a HP, Gateway, Dell, chances
are the BIOS would not have a lot of features. When smaller operations
build PCs, sometimes you get a decent BIOS by accident.)

For optical drives, I like to read reviews and get some idea of
media compatibility, as some drives stink in that regard. has reviews and a user forum, where you can get
some info, but it only helps if you know what brand and model
number of drive you are getting.

The computer case looks kinda small in the advert, and while from
a "furniture" perspective that is good, it also means expansion
or cooling improvements might be harder to achieve after the fact.
I prefer to see a full sized case, so any deficiencies can be
corrected later.

For the 17" monitor, I prefer to see those in person. If I go to
one of my local "big box" electronics stores, and look at the
monitors, about 85% of the monitors aren't fit for human
consumption. I expect a clear display, as I don't like to
squint to see text. At your average store, they don't even show
text on the display models, for fear the customers will discover
just how bad they are. Stores play movies on the screens, because
that gives a false perception that the screen quality is wonderful.
Movies fool the eye into accepting even the worst monitor. Text
on the other hand, is a much better test. (When I'm in a store,
I try to make the movie go away on the display aisle, and bring up
the Windows desktop, as that gives some idea of what they look
like. Some stores make this "customer test" easier to do than
others, and I bought my current LCD from the big box that
lets the customers play.)

If you have to buy systems like this, sight unseen, I would want
a "right of refusal", like a 30 day no-questions-asked money
back guarantee. If the screen is just dreadful, then you could
crate the thing up and send it back.

The 1GB of system memory should be adequate for most regular
usage. My gaming PC has 1GB in it and so far that has been fine.

Buying prebuilt computers is a lot like buying stereos was
years ago - you didn't know who really made the guts, the
brand was just a name they slapped on it. That is why there
is some value in having more details about what you are
getting. For example, an otherwise fine machine might be
compromised by a $15 el-cheapo power supply, and likely
just outside the warranty period, the power supply dies on
you. And that is why standards in the industry are so important -
as long as the power supply is a standard ATX type, you can
buy a replacement (say a $50 supply) and get the thing
running again. Having a full sized case makes working
inside it a lot easier, and lots of standard components
(and a real Windows install CD)  makes cleaning up a mess
later, easier.


Re: Advent computers in PC world - any good? Help please!

Many thanks Paul for your time to respond, your help is of great use.

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