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Advent DT1308 review


Not the best built PC ever, but a rock-bottom price and Core i5 performance make for a tempting purchase

Review Date: 22 Sep 2011

Reviewed By: Mike Jennings

Price when reviewed: £333 (£400 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
2 stars out of 6

Value for Money
6 stars out of 6

4 stars out of 6

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.

Author: Mike Jennings

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User comments

Not that cheap ...

...when you can get a Dell Vostro with a better processor delivered to your door for £390

By jmiii on 22 Sep 2011

Does that come with keyboard and mouse

By curiousclive on 22 Sep 2011


It does

By jmiii on 22 Sep 2011

Dell Vostro £390 delivered??

could I have the details of this Vostro - as I can't work out how you can get one with the same RAM and Harddrive for less than over £500 including VAT and Del.

By MDSmith71 on 22 Sep 2011

By jmiii on 22 Sep 2011

thanks for the link...

but still very confused. Yes the base model is £299 +VAT but if I up the RAM and the Harddrive to be at least the same as above, from 320gb HDD and 2gb to 4GB (no 3Gb option) and 1TB hardrive then the cost is £550 inc VAT. So I get a slightly faster CPU but at £150 more.

By MDSmith71 on 22 Sep 2011

thanks for the link...

but still very confused. Yes the base model is £299 +VAT but if I up the RAM and the Harddrive to be at least the same as above, from 320gb HDD and 2gb to 4GB (no 3Gb option) and 1TB hardrive then the cost is £550 inc VAT. So I get a slightly faster CPU but at £150 more.

By MDSmith71 on 22 Sep 2011


Buy a 1GB of RAM from Crucial for £7 and another 750GB hard disk for about £35. I didn't say the spec of the Dell was the same at the Advent. I simply pointed out that it wasn't that cheap. You can decide which machine you would rather own or supply to your clients. I'd choose the Dell.

By jmiii on 22 Sep 2011

Dell Vostro 460

Compared to the Advent, the Dell doesn't represent better value for money. Given that the faster CPU in the Dell retails for only £8 more than the i5-2310 in the Advent, you wouldn't expect Dell to compromise so much on the other core specifications.

By Duggie on 23 Sep 2011

Advent Vs Dell

The reall issue here is that the Vostro is Dell's Business-orientated desktop whilst the Advent is aimed at home users. Yes you could upgrade the internal components of the Dell but that would be ignoring the whole point of the review, which was to supply a Core i5 desktop for £400 inc VAT.

By MDSmith71 on 23 Sep 2011


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By linaadd on 3 Oct 2011

Where can I get one?

Sorry if I am being a bit thick but where can I get one of these PC's. I checked the PC world website but it is not available? Reviewed less than 2 months ago and its not available? Is their an alternative advent for similar spec / money?


By doncasterrunner on 14 Nov 2011

Did this computer ever exist?

Still looking for this computer.

Nothing on Advents website. How long does PC Pro expect review PC's to be available after the review?

By doncasterrunner on 15 Nov 2011

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