NEC Powermate C9500-2401
- Intel Core 2 Quad 6600 CPU is perfect for multitasking, 1TB of storage, small stature
- Its RAID 0 array isn't the most secure solution for an office PC; it doesn't have a FireWire port, nor a media card reader; it doesn't ship with a monitor, the hard drives don't have any cooling
The NEC Powermate C9500-2401 is small and suitable for users who want a decent PC with plenty of storage. However, its RAID 0 array isn't entirely appropriate for office use; we'd prefer it if NEC would halve the capacity and offer a mirrored array for security. It also lack a few useful features, such as a FireWire port and a media card reader, and the price doesn't include a monitor. These omissions, and the RAID 0 array, are the reason for our low rating.
Price$ 2,199.00 (AUD)
Neat and simple, yet armed with a quad-core CPU and 1TB of hard drive space, the NEC Powermate C9500-2401 is aimed at small office and home office users who want a small, inconspicuous PC on which to store plenty of data.
The NEC Powermate C9500-2401 is not a flashy system, but it does have decent components supporting the quad-core CPU and 1TB hard drive array. It has 2GB of RAM, a GeForce 8500GT-based graphics card, a DVD burner, but it ships with Windows XP instead of Windows Vista. However, Vista is an ordered if you so desire. Because of this, we couldn't run WorldBench 6, and instead used the older WorldBench 5 benchmark suite. It performed admirably in this benchmark, scoring 99, and it also produced solid times in our MP3 encoding tests.
The 1TB of storage is made up of two 500GB Seagate hard drives, which are united in a RAID 0 array. Unfortunately, this array produced a relatively slow transfer rate of 35MBps during our tests when we were hoping for a result somewhere in the forties. Furthermore, this array doesn't provide redundancy for the data that will be stored on it, which is risky for a PC that's aimed at office workers. We'd rather see NEC adopt a RAID 1 (mirrored) array, to give business users peace of mind
Its graphics score was low, but not bad for a machine aimed at business users. In 3DMark06, the machine scored 2302. However, it should be able to run a few older game titles without any major problems. For example, running F.E.A.R. at a resolution of 1024x768 and without any anti-aliasing, returned a rate of around 40 frames per second, which is smooth enough for enjoyable game play. Because it's a DirectX 10-based card, it's also a good match for Windows Vista.
Physically, the Powermate stands less than 40cm tall, sits less than 40cm deep and it houses a microATX-sized motherboard. This board has one PCI Express graphics slot, in which the aforementioned GeForce 8500 GT sits, yet it also has two PCI slots and one PCI Express x1 slot free for expansion. So there's room to install a FireWire card or an internal wireless adapter, for example. NEC has installed a large shroud over the CPU fan, which directs a steady supply of cool air from a vent in the side panel onto the CPU.
The hard drives are installed at the front of the case, vertically, but unfortunately, they aren't cooled as there isn't room for a front-mounted case fan. Because they are in a RAID 0 array, it's worth getting a large external hard drive for data backups; or, another internal hard drive can be installed in one of the case's two free 3.5in internal drive bays. There are six SATA II ports on the motherboard, and there's one free SATA power cable on the power supply.
On the front panel, NEC has included two USB ports, as well as microphone and headphone jacks, but a media card reader has been overlooked. On the rear panel, there are five more USB ports, as well as a gigabit Ethernet port, a parallel port, and DVI and VGA ports. It's a fairly bare panel actually, and it doesn't even have PS/2 ports. It also lacks FireWire, so digital camcorder users will have to add a FireWire card if they want to transfer video taken at conferences or other events.
For its $2100 price tag, the PC is supplied with a relatively comfortable keyboard and mouse, but not with a monitor. As such, it's a fairly expensive system when compared to others we've looked at, but it's worth considering primarily because of its small stature. It also ran quietly during our tests. NEC has pre-loaded all the software that's required to run DVDs, burn discs and back up data to disc.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Pausing on the PC death march
- Asus PCs running Windows 7 slam into boot failure after recommended patch
- Samsung's Raspberry Pi-like Artik 10 priced higher at $149.99
- Top 7 ways to create a successful data science team
- Google's CEO just called the next wave in computing, and it's not VR
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCDevOps Software Configuration ManagerACT
- CCChange Manager - SAP FinanceNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (IT Application/.Net) 160523/AP/254Asia
- CCSenior Network Engineer - NV1ACT
- CCSoftware Engineer (Client facing) - Publisher SolutionsNSW
- FTSoftware DeveloperSA
- CCSenior Systems AnalystSA
- CCICT Contracts and Procurement SpecialistACT
- CCSenior BA - Enterprise DataNSW
- CCService Desk analystSA
- CCJunior / Mid Level Java Developer - Developing Restful Microservice SolutionsVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectVIC
- CCContract Programmer (HTML/JAVA/SQL) 160525/P/013Asia
- CCBig Data DeveloperWA
- CCBusiness Analyst, AdviceNSW
- CCAnalyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle/SQL*PLUS) 160519/AP/432Asia
- CCSnr Technical System Engineer (IBM/Oracle/SQL) 160524/STSE/vmtAsia
- FTSenior Network Engineer - Australian Systems Integrator - Immediate interviewNSW
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- FTOPEN_ASAP_Network Security AdministratorACT
- FTAgile Implementation LeadNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst, Service Performance, RetailNSW
- CCApplication System EngineerACT
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTTechnical LeadNSW