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 newsletter!
Bringing VR out of office and study spaces will serve to help it attract the new audiences it needs to continue growing
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- 2 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 3 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 4 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- CES 2018: Everything Announced By ASUS
- CES 2018: Everything Announced By Dell
- CES 2018: Intel Reveals VR-Ready ‘Hades Canyon’ NUC
- iMac Pro first look: Apple’s most powerful Mac is a multiprocessing beast
- macOS High Sierra ‘root’ security issue allows admin access to your Mac—but there's a fix
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Everything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: Comparing The Google Home’s Assistant To Amazon Echo’s Alexa
- Hands On: Pitting the Apple HomePod against the Sonos One
- MWC 2018: Everything You Need To Know
- 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
- CCScrum MasterVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst - Start JUNE 18QLD
- FT.Net DeveloperACT
- FTIT Technical Support Executive - Level 1/2Other
- CCSAP DevelopersNSW
- FTHosting/Virtualisation ArchitectACT
- FTSenior Infrastructure EngineerOther
- FTRecruitment CoordinatorOther
- CCJava DeveloperWA
- CCScrum Master - Online DigitalVIC
- TPTechnical Business AnalystQLD
- FTSenior AX Developer / Team LeadOther
- TPLinux Automation EngineerQLD
- FTData AnalystOther
- FTIT Program ManagerOther
- FTWeb DeveloperQLD
- FTDesktop Support AnalystOther
- FTProject Manager - InfrastructureACT
- FTNetwork Engineer (Permanent Opportunity)QLD
- FTSenior SQL Server DBANSW
- CCInfrastructure System Specialist - BrisbaneVIC
- FT1st Level Technical SupportVIC
- FTSecurity EngineerNSW
- FTProject ManagerOther