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Advent Centurion CQ9204 review

Advent Centurion CQ9204
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £650
inc VAT

Unless you're absolutely smitten with the look of Advent's Centurion, there are far better value PCs available.


2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300, 6.000000 RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Advent’s Centurion is a gaming PC aimed at those on a budget. It doesn’t come with a monitor, but does come with a keyboard and mouse. It looks more expensive than its £650 price would suggest, due to the casings transparent side panel and its unusually-shaped design with red strip lighting. Unfortunately, the beauty is only skin deep and the Centurion falls behind where it matters most.

The Centurion is the first PC we’ve seen with Nvidia’s GeForce GT230 graphics card. Even though it has an impressive 1.5GB of graphics memory, its performance in our demanding 3D benchmarks was disappointing for a PC at this price. It managed a playable, but unremarkable 27.8fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. It struggled with our graphically intense Crysis test, managing just 12.6fps. The Centurion can play current 3D titles, but it will struggle with the very latest games unless you reduce detail settings and the resolution.

We were more impressed by the Centurion’s performance in our Windows application benchmarks. It’s fitted with a huge 6GB of RAM and a Core 2 Quad Q8300 processor. It scored 90 overall in our tests and it should be able to cope with demanding tasks for some time to come. Its huge amounts of memory make it well suited to HD video editing. However, there are PCs at this price equipped the far quicker Core i5-750 processor.

Although the Centurion is eye-catching, it’s also noisy. It’s loud enough to be annoying in a quiet room, so you’ll want to stow it under your desk. We were also disappointed by the quality of the included peripherals. Both gamers and typists alike will find the keyboard far spongier than is ideal. Although the basic two-button optical mouse works well enough, gamers would have appreciated a model with side buttons or more accurate tracking.

One benefit of the Centurion’s design is the number of expansion options available. If the huge 1TB hard disk isn’t enough storage, there are five spare 3.5in bays for adding more disks. There are also two empty 5.25in bays for extra optical drives, alongside the usual DVD writer. All this should be more than enough for anyone.

If you actually want to use all the available drive bays, you’ll have to add a PCI card with more SATA ports, but the three available SATA ports on the motherboard should suffice for most. There are two spare PCI slots and two empty PCI Express x1 slots, although one of the PCI slots is pressed up against the graphics card slot so it’s not usable. You won’t need to add a wireless networking adapter though, as an 802.11b/g one is already fitted.

The Centurion’s isn’t fatally flawed in any respect, but it’s simply too expensive at £650. Mesh’s similarly priced Matrix II 925 HD is far better value. It doesn’t have as many expansion options as the Centurion, but it is far quicker in games, has similar Windows performance and comes with both a Blu-ray drive and monitor.

Basic Specifications

Rating **
Processor Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300
Processor external bus 333MHz (1,333MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplier x7.5
Processor clock speed 2.5GHz
Processor socket LGA775
Level 1 cache 4x 32KB
Level 2 cache 2x 2,048KB
Memory 6.000000
Memory type PC2-6400
Maximum memory 16GB
Motherboard Foxcoon P43AL
Motherboard chipset Intel P45
Power consumption standby 7W
Power consumption idle 90W
Power consumption active 150W


USB2 ports (front/rear) 4/6
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 1/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11a/b/g
Other ports none

Internal Expansion

Case midi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 2 (2)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 3
Free memory slots 1
Free 3.5in drive bays 5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 1,000GB
Spindle speed 5,400rpm


Graphics card(s) 1.5TB Nvidia GeForce GT230
Graphics/video ports HDMI, DVI, VGA


Sound Realtek ALC888S
Sound outputs 7.1 line out, coaxial S/PDIF 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 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return or customer carry-in
Price £650

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