PC Specialist MPC-2100 review

14 Jul 2011

A fine advert for Intel's Sandy Bridge processor and a great choice for schools on the lookout for bang-per-buck

Price when reviewed 
479
5

PC Specialist builds computers to specifications provided by the customer, and caters for the consumer, business and education sectors. The MPC-2100 is geared towards the last of those three.

Our review sample included a dual-core 3.1GHz Intel Core i3-2100 processor, 4GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive and DVD writer. That’s identical to the CCL PCPro-003, and although neither company knew what the other was supplying, it shows that this mix of components is the hot spot for value and performance right now.

It should be no surprise that both performed similarly in our benchmarks, with the MPC-2100 returning a 0.78 score - this is a very versatile machine.

PC Specialist MPC-2100

Schools can customise the machine’s specification, for example changing the processor or amount of RAM, and adding peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard, speakers and monitors. The warranty runs for a laudable three years, but unlike the CCL this doesn’t include on-site support.

However, PC Specialist says it can collect machines the next business day, and the warranty can be upgraded. The price above includes Windows 7 Professional, although schools can order the machine without an operating system for £319 exc VAT.

The MPC-2100 has a squat design and is solidly built, with its case composed of metal and hard plastic. It feels solid, robust and well equipped for the rigours of classroom use. The chassis measures 112 x 230 x 246mm (WDH) and can be used in a vertical or flat position.

The front panel is home to a usefully large power button, the DVD writer, three USB 2 ports, and headphone and microphone sockets. There’s also a card reader with dedicated slots for Memory Stick, SD/MMC, xD, Compact Flash and microSD cards. The only notable omission is support for SDXC cards.

Details

Price ex VAT £399
Price inc VAT £479
Overall rating 5
Performance 6
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 5

Warranty

Warranty 3 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 500GB
RAM capacity 4.00GB

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i3
CPU nominal frequency 3.10GHz

Memory

Memory type DDR3

Graphics card

Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics
DVI-I outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Optical drive DVD writer

Case

Case format Desktop
Dimensions 112 x 230 x 246mm (WDH)

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 7
eSATA ports 1

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard N/A

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7