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Advent SQ9204 review

Advent SQ9204
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £380
inc VAT

Advent's SQ9204 is quick and comes with some useful extras, but its small hard disk and noisiness make it poor value compared to the competition.


2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300, 4.000000 RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

At just £380, Advent’s SQ9204 is one of the cheapest PCs we’ve reviewed, and looks great value. There’s a lot to like about it. For a start, it has a one-year onsite warranty, so if anything goes wrong it should be easy to get it fixed. There’s also built-in WiFi, but it’s a little disappointing that only 802.11g is supported, not the faster 802.11n standard.

The 2.5GHz Core 2 Quad Q8300 processor and 4GB of RAM are a potent combination, and helped the SQ9204 to speed through our 2D benchmarks, coming near the top of the table in almost all our tests. The installed 64-bit edition of Windows 7 Home Premium means you can take advantage of all 4GB of memory.

The onboard Intel GMA 3100 graphics chip isn’t up to even light gaming and wouldn’t run our games benchmarks. It will also struggle to play HD Blu-ray movies. Fortunately, there’s a free PCI Express x16 slot, so you could add a dedicated graphics card later.

The 320GB hard disk should be big enough for all your files and documents, but it’s a little stingy at this price. There’s space in the case for four more hard disks, but with only one spare Molex connector on the power supply, you can realistically fit only one extra disk.

One irritant is the constant whine from the noisy processor cooler. Even when the computer is idle the noise is distracting, athough it’s tolerable when the SQ9204 is stowed underneath a desk. Putting the case on the floor makes sense, as the front headphone and microphone ports are mounted on the top of the computer, rather than on the front.

We’d recommend buying a new keyboard and mouse, too. The mouse is acceptable, but the spongy keyboard is uncomfortable to type on and feels cheap.

Considering its price the SQ9204 isn’t bad value, especially considering its fast processor, but you can get more for the same price if you hunt around.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300
Processor external bus 333MHz (1,333MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplier x7
Processor clock speed 2.5GHz
Processor socket LGA775
Level 1 cache 4x 32KB
Level 2 cache 2x 2,048KB
Memory 4.000000
Memory type PC2-6400
Maximum memory 4GB
Motherboard Foxconn G31MX-K
Motherboard chipset Intel G31
Power consumption standby 7W
Power consumption idle 59W
Power consumption active 90W


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g
Other ports none

Internal Expansion

Case midi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports 3
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 4

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Western Digital Caviar Blue 320GB
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 320GB
Spindle speed 7,200rpm


Graphics card(s) Intel GMA 3100
Graphics/video ports VGA


Sound Realtek ALC662
Sound outputs 5.1 line out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC, MMCplus, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, MicroDrive, xD
Optical drive model LG GH40F
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Screen model N/A
Native resolution N/A
Response time N/A
Screen inputs N/A

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Advent SWT1200
Mouse Advent Optical Wheel Mouse USB GP-M3000


Software included Microsoft Works 9 SE
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition

Buying Information

Warranty one year onsite
Price £380

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