RM Desktop 310 review
RM has been providing desktop PCs to the education sector for years. They’re renowned for their durability and reliability, but not for their performance, so how does this high-end version of the RM Desktop 310 stand up?
RM is currently moving to a new desktop chassis over the one we’re looking at here, but we’re assured that the new casing will provide the same durability and practical design as the current version. Anyone who has to let young people loose on a PC will appreciate features such as the graffiti-resistant shell and front fascia, or the extra strong button construction, apparently tested to 11kg. The chassis also accommodates RM’s Padlock Cable Trap to prevent keyboard and mouse theft, a security screw option to prevent component theft and a desktop clamp option to prevent the PC being easily stolen – all nice touches.
The 310 houses a second-generation 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-2600 processor, along with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 500GB hard drive. RM has also opted for an entry-level Nvidia GeForce dedicated graphics card, instead of relying on the integrated graphics available. This is a wise decision, though we might quibble that it would have been an even wiser move if RM had moved further up the Nvidia product line.
Similarly, the mid-range Western Digital Caviar Blue hard disk is a little underwhelming for media work. The benchmark score of 0.96 is nothing to be ashamed of, though, and the 310 should run most applications with ease, although the GPU lacks DirectX 11 support and may struggle with professional 3D applications.
The 310 also lacks USB 3 support, along with the other technologies offered by the Ivy Bridge systems on test. However, there are two accessible USB 2 ports at the front, along with four more at the rear, plus an HDMI output and Gigabit Ethernet. There’s also room for internal expansion, with space for another hard disk or optical drive, not to mention more RAM.
With Windows 7 Professional and Nero Multimedia Suite 10 Essentials pre-installed, plus a good-quality keyboard and mouse combo, the RM Desktop 310 has all the essentials covered. Unfortunately, it lacks the graphics performance and future-proofing offered by rival systems. There may be better ways to use your budget.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|CPU family||Intel Core i7|
|CPU nominal frequency||3.40GHz|
|Graphics card||Nvidia GeForce G210|
|Hard disk usable capacity||465GB|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows 7|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.96|