VeryPC Broadleaf review

Price when reviewed

VeryPC has spent the last five years producing environmentally friendly computers, but its latest machine, the Broadleaf, is being touted as its greenest PC yet. Paradoxically, it also claims to pack enough power to sate the demands of the most intensive applications.

It’s laden with certificates and logos to back up the boasts. It has a PVC, BFR and Halogen-free chassis and a “Class Leader” award from DEFRA’s sustainable development initiative. There’s an 89% efficient PSU, which helps it to run 55% more efficiently than the standards required for Energy Star 5. And the entire system’s construction, transportation and running costs have been entirely carbon offset – with VeryPC adding an extra 20% onto this figure for good measure.

Marketing speak aside, the attention to detail has certainly paid off when it comes to power consumption. Despite the Broadleaf’s quad-core CPU it drew just 33W when idle, rising to 76W when the Core 2 Quad Q9550s was pelting through our benchmarks. It may not be the lowest power consumption we’ve seen from a VeryPC – the tiny Fulwood media centre drew just 17W in idle and 27W at peak – but it’s a great deal lower than the average quad-core desktop system.

That quad-core CPU means the Broadleaf can hold its own against much bigger and hungrier systems. Despite a lower TDP than most quad-core CPUs – an impressive 65W – the core clock speed of 2.83GHz powered the VeryPC to an overall score of 1.69 in our suite of application benchmarks.

Away from performance, the remaining components are tempting. The 320GB hard disk and 4GB of RAM will be ample for multitasking, and the integrated Intel GMA X4500 graphics aren’t a hindrance to office-based tasks.

All this is packed into an excellent, small form-factor chassis. It has a matte black finish and sports attractive curves, with a green-tinged power button, two USB ports and a slot-loading DVD drive decorating the front. The rear is well-appointed, too, with six more USB ports, a Gigabit Ethernet socket, a pair of DVI-I outputs and an eSATA port for expanding the storage capacity.

VeryPC Broadleaf

The Broadleaf is also a highly versatile system. A removable platform beneath the lid holds the slot-loading optical drive and Western Digital Scorpio Black 2.5in hard disk, with a space for a second hard disk if necessary. The CPU sits beneath a stock Intel low-profile heatsink and the pair of DIMM slots, while full, are easily accessible. In fact, once several untidy cables are moved aside, it’s easy to upgrade every one of the Broadleaf’s main components.

Other corporate systems offer a little more help to the average IT manager, though: the ThinkCentre M58 boasted an ingenious folding design, and the Gateway D10G was tool-free throughout. The VeryPC is accessible, but it’s certainly not the last word in upgradeability if you have a whole fleet of PCs to service.

At £686 exc VAT, the Broadleaf is also a little dearer than similarly specified business PCs, but that’s the price you pay for its small size and low power draw. That price also includes VeryPC’s five year warranty, which is more generous than most competitors can offer.

This review specification is available on request, but if you don’t need the quad-core CPU, cheaper Broadleaf models are available, including one with an Intel Pentium Dual Core E5300 and 2GB RAM for just £449 exc VAT, and another with a Core 2 Duo E8400 and 3GB RAM for £549 exc VAT. Depending on your business applications, both could be valid cost-cutting alternatives, and their power draw will be even lower.

It may be more expensive than some business rivals, then, but the Broadleaf is one of VeryPC’s most economical efforts yet. It’s attractive, versatile, and environmentally conscious without compromising on power, and there are models to suit a variety of needs. It may not quite have the polish of the big guns of the business world, but its strengths lie in equally important areas.


Warranty5 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity320
RAM capacity292.00GB
Screen sizeN/A


CPU familyIntel Core 2 Quad
CPU nominal frequency2.83GHz
CPU overclocked frequencyN/A
Processor socketLGA 775
HSF (heatsink-fan)Intel low profile cooler


Conventional PCI slots free0
Conventional PCI slots total0
PCI-E x16 slots free0
PCI-E x16 slots total0
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 connectors2
Internal SAS connectors1
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors0
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR2
Memory sockets free0
Memory sockets total2

Graphics card

Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingN/A
Graphics chipsetIntel GMA X4500HD
Graphics card RAM256MB
DVI-I outputs2
HDMI outputs0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0
Number of graphics cardsN/A

Hard disk

Hard disk usable capacity292GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Cache size16MB
Hard disk 2 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 2 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 formatted capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 spindle speedN/A
Hard disk 2 cache sizeN/A
Hard disk 3 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 4 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacityN/A


Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical disk 2 make and modelN/A
Optical disk 3 make and modelN/A


Monitor make and modelN/A
Resolution screen horizontalN/A
Resolution screen verticalN/A
ResolutionN/A x N/A
Pixel response timeN/A
Contrast ratioN/A
Screen brightnessN/A
DVI inputsN/A
HDMI inputsN/A
VGA inputsN/A
DisplayPort inputsN/A

Additional Peripherals

Speaker typeN/A
Sound cardN/A


Case formatMini ITX
Dimensions220 x 215 x 114mm (WDH)

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays0

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)8
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portno
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
3.5mm audio jacks5

Front ports

Front panel USB ports2
Front panel memory card readerno

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardN/A

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodRecovery disc
Software suppliedPecaboo

Noise and power

Idle power consumption33W
Peak power consumption76W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score1.37
Office application benchmark score1.94
2D graphics application benchmark score1.40
Encoding application benchmark score2.05
Multitasking application benchmark score1.69
3D performance (crysis) low settingsN/A
3D performance settingN/A

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