Advent DT1308 review

Price when reviewed

Intel’s Core i5 processors have found a profitable niche in the market thanks to a fine balance of price and performance, but we’ve not yet seen one of these mid-range chips in a system as cheap as Advent’s £399 DT1308.

The chip in question, the 2.9GHz Core i5-2310, is one of Intel’s lower-end, more limited Core i5 models. It’s quad-core, but there’s no Hyper-Threading, and Turbo Boost only scales up the 2.9GHz core clock to 3GHz ,with all four cores engaged, or 3.2GHz when one core is being used.

You also get 6MB of L3 cache – 2MB less than you’ll find in a Core i7, and the integrated graphics have been reigned in. Instead of the Intel HD 3000, you get Intel HD 2000. It’s a less powerful GPU, with a score of 25fps in our Low-quality benchmark and its failure to play 1080p video smoothly testament to its limited abilities.

Advent DT1308 - guts

Still, the application benchmark score of 0.84 is fine, with enough power on tap to run most applications. And the rest of the specification is decent for this price with 3GB of RAM, a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Green hard disk and DVD writer.

As you might expect of a PC at such a low price point, the chassis isn’t quite the epitome of style or build quality. The glossy black plastic looks generic and feels cheap, and the thin metal used to build the rest of the enclosure feels lightweight.

Pop off the side panel and you’ll find that, aesthetics aside, the Advent is built around the same chassis as the Medion Akoya P5704. That means an unusual layout: the motherboard is on the opposite side of the chassis to where we’re used to seeing it, and the processor, its heatsink and attendant plastic funnel are at the bottom of the chassis instead of the top.

Towards the front of the system are two hard disk bays. One is occupied by the hard disk and, while the second is vacant, installing a second drive will be tricky – the cables running from power switch to motherboard intrude on its space.

Elsewhere, upgrade potential is equally limited, with the system’s pair of DIMM sockets fully occupied, only one free PCI Express x16 slot and a pair of spare PCI Express x1 sockets available for upgrades. There is an empty 5.25in bay, but the PSU will need to be removed before it can be filled with, say, a Blu-ray drive.

Advent DT1308

A mess of interior cabling sprouting from the top-mounted power supply doesn’t help matters. As with the Medion, little effort has been made here to keep the interior neat, with a bundle of cables barely tied together and left to hang in the middle of the machine.

But with a PC this cheap you have to take the rough with the smooth, and there are many reasons to like this simple Advent machine. The lack of graphics card and modest processor cooler mean the Advent is very quiet when idle and barely any louder when stressed, and it runs extremely cool. An idle temperature of 51˚C and a stress-tested maximum of 67˚C is nothing to worry about. The modest specification also resulted in idle and peak power draws of 69W and 114W.

That, combined with the £399 price tag, means the DT1308 is well worth a look. It has its problems, but the Core i5 processor makes it a capable base unit for little more cash than the average nettop – and something of a bargain.


Warranty1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity1,000GB
RAM capacity3.00GB


CPU familyIntel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency2.90GHz
Processor socketLGA 1155


Conventional PCI slots free0
Conventional PCI slots total0
PCI-E x16 slots free1
PCI-E x16 slots total1
PCI-E x8 slots free0
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free1
PCI-E x1 slots total1
Internal SATA connectors5
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free2
Memory sockets total4

Graphics card

Graphics cardIntel HD 2000
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingLow
Graphics chipsetIntel HD 2000
Graphics card RAM512MB
DVI-I outputs1
HDMI outputs1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
DisplayPort outputs0
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Hard disk usable capacity931GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Spindle speed7,200RPM
Cache size32MB


Optical disc technologyDVD writer


Case formatFull tower
Dimensions186 x 394 x 380mm (WDH)

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays1

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)4
PS/2 mouse portyes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
3.5mm audio jacks6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports2
Front panel memory card readeryes

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption69W
Peak power consumption114W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings25fps
3D performance settingLow
Overall Real World Benchmark score0.84
Responsiveness score0.86
Media score0.86
Multitasking score0.80

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