PC West Elite
- Good bundle for the price.
- Not the best graphics for playing the newest games.
For $1455, this machine is a well-performing and well-featured solution for a first-time PC buyer.
Price$ 1,455.00 (AUD)
PC West's first submission to the PC World Test Centre is a solid dual-core PC that would suit a home or business user with basic computing needs.
The PC West Elite is based on a Gigabyte GA-M51GM-S2G motherboard, which houses an AM2 socket-based AMD Athlon 64 3800+ X2 CPU. Paired with 1GB of DDR2 memory, the machine reached a healthy score of 97 in PC WorldBench 5. The time it took to complete the multitasking test faired particularly well against other dual-core systems we have seen in its class. This is despite the machine's integrated graphics, which use up part of the system's memory resources.
The integrated graphics are based on NVIDIA's GeForce 6100 chipset. For playing the latest games, this chipset will not be of much use (its score of 184 in 3DMark2006 is very low), but it may be capable of running some older games. For everyday tasks such as using the Internet and viewing photos, this chipset will suffice. If you use memory-hungry applications or do a lot of heavy multitasking, then adding more RAM or getting a dedicated graphics card is a good idea. The Gigabyte motherboard does have a vacant PCI Express graphics slot, making the system ripe for upgrading.
A feature that may cater more to the home user's delights than the business user is Compro's DVBT-300 digital TV tuner. It has the ability to decode high definition and standard definition TV signals, and is a good performer for the most part. Its software has plenty of features for watching and recording shows and Compro appears to update this software frequently, so keep an eye on its Web site for the latest version.
To store TV recordings, the Elite has a 250GB Western Digital IDE hard drive. While we would have preferred to see a SATA drive instead of an IDE one, the installed drive performed well in our transfer tests, where it averaged a data transfer rate of 23MBps (megabytes per second).
The installed LG dual-layer DVD burner is capable of burning to LightScribe DVDs. If you have LightScribe discs at your disposal, once you burn your data you can flip the disc over and burn an image or write directly onto the label. It looks more professional than using a pen, but does take a long time to accomplish.
Rounding out the configuration of the system are a 17in Acer LCD monitor, which has a native resolution of 1280x1024, and a memory card reader. This reader adds to the user-friendliness of the system, along with front-loading USB 2.0, FireWire and audio ports, which PC West has painstakingly enabled. The mid-tower case of the system has plenty of space for more drives, but the motherboard may be the limiting factor when it comes to upgrading. It's only a micro-ATX motherboard, which means it is shorter than a full-size ATX motherboard, and its two PCI slots are already taken up by a modem (if you use broadband then this can be omitted) and the aforementioned TV tuner card. Four SATA ports and two DIMM slots are free for upgrading.
The machine does come with a decent hardware bundle for its sub-$1500 price tag. The included extras are a Logitech webcam, a 1GB USB storage key, a set of Logitech R-20 speakers and your choice of a Brother MFC-115 or a Canon Pixma MP150 multifunction device. These make the Elite ready-to-use as soon as you take it home and should appeal to those of you who want a complete solution without having to shop around for individual components.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 2 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 5 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
Latest News Articles
- NVIDIA Supercharges Rendering Performance with AI
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- Intel's modular Compute Card puts a PC in your pocket
- Dell’s Inspiron 27 7000 is the first Ryzen All-in-One PC, and it's upgradable too
- Nvidia's new generation of powerful GeForce GTX Battlebox PCs finally embraces AMD
PCW Evaluation Team
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
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.
- Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- GAMOSPHERE: Your August Roundup of Gaming News
- 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
- CCFunctional Consultant (SAP IS-U)Other
- FTL&D Instructional DesignerNSW
- FTIT Technical Support Executive - OnsiteOther
- FTProcess SpecialistOther
- FTGraph DB Specialist | 6mth ContractOther
- CCCorporate Strategy AnalystNSW
- FTIT Development Team LeadNSW
- CCSuccess Factors Report WriterVIC
- FTJava Developers wanted (Banking/ Finance experience ideal)VIC
- FTChange ManagerOther
- CCNetIQ Development OR Netiq Access ManagerNSW
- CCDigital Reporting AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Developer - C#, .NETVIC
- FTMajor Incident ManagerVIC
- FT.Net Developer - SitecoreQLD
- CCProcess Improvement Manager (Black Belt)NSW
- CCSenior Developer - C#, .NETVIC
- FTTechnical Consultant - ApplicationsOther
- FTFull Stack . NET DeveloperNSW
- CCAutomation Testing ConsultantNSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Software Support/Project CoordinatorQLD
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- CCDeveloper - KofaxQLD
- CCSenior Change ManagerNSW
- TPRe-released - ICT Procurement Planner and Contract SpecialistQLD