Altech Computers Sputnik No.2
- DVI output for onboard graphics, media card reader
- Noisy operation, no dedicated graphics card
The Altech Sputnik X2 is a good budget PC, or a good starting point for upgrading to a more powerful configuration in the future. We're disappointed at the lack of even a cheap graphics card, but the DVI output of the ASRock motherboard at least offers a digital output. We found it to be a little noisy for such a bare system, but overall it offers fairly good value.
Price$ 949.00 (AUD)
The Altech Sputnik X2 is an Intel Core 2 Duo-based system for users on a budget. It's a relatively plain PC, but it includes good core components and plenty of upgrade room for future expansion. It scored well in our tests, considering its price and configuration and will suffice for basic, everyday computing needs.
Built on an ASRock 945G-DVI micro-ATX motherboard, this system runs with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 CPU, 512MB of DDR2 RAM and integrated graphics. With a PCI Express slot available, four memory slots (for up to 4GB of RAM) and available space for an additional three hard drives, this system has plenty of room for expansion.
We tested the Sputnik X2 using WorldBench 5, where it achieved a score of 104. This is indicative of the components' performance which are sufficient for running most common software applications available today but adding more RAM, up to 1GB, will improve the performance of this machine significantly.
A single 80GB 7200rpm hard drive comes with the system, and will hold enough data for basic users to get by. However, a further three hard drive bays are available in the case, and the motherboard can support another three SATA drives, so adding more storage is possible. The onboard graphics chip is sufficient for doing word processing, Web browsing and all other general tasks, but if games are on the agenda then purchasing a dedicated graphics card is the best solution. This motherboard comes with a special DVI output card for its integrated graphics chip, where most onboard graphics chips only support VGA (D-sub). This is good for users with monitors that support the higher quality DVI connection, which many modern screens do. If gaming is important, the Asrock motherboard has one PCI Express x16 slot for the addition of a single dedicated graphics card.
Also installed is a media card reader supporting Compact Flash I/II,MD, SD, MS/MS Duo/MS Pro/MS Pro Duo,SM,RS-MMC and xD media cards, which is useful for transferring photos from a digital camera to the PC. This is easily accessible from the front panel, where a pair of USB 2.0 and audio ports can also be reached.
Despite the minimal hardware configuration, this system gives off a lot of noise. Apart from the CPU cooler, a small 80mm fan extracts air from the rear of the case. Both of these fans spin fast and loud, and since the case has no fan-mounts for any larger fans, not much can be done to reduce the noise. The CPU is fed cool air directly from the side of the case, thanks to a shroud running from a grill in the side panel. There is minimal cable clutter to impede the airflow through the case due to the minimal hardware and tied-off cables.
All up, the Sputnik is a good budget PC that performed quite well despite its minimal configuration. It's a solid platform to start with if you want to buy an inexpensive dual-core machine with a view to expand it in the future if your needs outgrow its capabilities.
Join the newsletter!
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Toys for Boys
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Internet Security
Tivoli PAL BT
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Smart Security Premium
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Technology is revolutionising the way we do things and that includes in the kitchen where a wealth of must-have gadgets and appliances are the making life easier for home cooks.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Moto G6 review: A solid mid-tier effort with few compromises
- 5 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
Latest News Articles
- Apple finally updates Mac mini with new quad- and 6-core CPUs, space gray case
- MSI releases Trident X Series
- MSI teams up with Sony for the upcoming Venom movie
- ASUS announces Intel Mehlow workstation products
- ASUS bring VivoMini PC to Australia
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Oppo R17 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Google Pixel 3 XL review: Ghost in the machine
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies