PLUS Atlas AM2 4000
- Well priced
- Performance a little lacking
All up, this isn't the fastest machine we've seen, but it's well priced and well put-together. It would suit a gamer or video editor.
Price$ 3,399.00 (AUD)
AMD's new AM2 platform provides the foundation of this stealth designed system from Plus Corporation. It's powered by an Athlon 64 X2 4400+ CPU, which gives it enough grunt to run performance taxing rendering, encoding and gaming functions, and is paired with 2GB of DDR2 667MHz memory.
Plus Corporation has used an Antec P-180 case to house the components; it provides easy access to two hard drive bays, which can each hold a total of four drives. Only one drive is installed in this machine - a 300GB Maxtor Diamond Max 10 - so there is plenty of room for expansion, and both bays can be cooled by 12cm fans. The power supply is located in the base of the case, instead of the top, and is modular, so you can remove any unused power cables to reduce cable clutter. Plus Corporation has done an admiral job keeping the cables tied out of the way of the machine's airflow and has ensured the machine is well ventilated by enabling rear and top-mounted case fans to extract warm air.
The machine's performance was a bit below our expectations in World Bench 5, where it scored 113, and was also slightly slower in the MP3 encoding test, where it took 1m57s to convert 53 minutes worth of music to 192Kbps MP3s. Its hard disk performance, however, was stellar: the 300GB Maxtor copied data from one location on the drive to another at 27.25MB per second. For gaming, the machine comes with a GeForce 7900GT-based graphics card, and this scored 65 frames per second in Quake 4 with a resolution of 1280x1024 and 4x AA (antialiasing) enabled.
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I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
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