There are four memory slots in total, two free and two occupied by a pair of 512MB modules. The whole kit and caboodle is powered by an Athlon 64 3700+, offering bags of power for all media tasks, and is more than capable of playing high definition content smoothly.
The supplied display is a 17in VX715 from ViewSonic. Design wise it matches the system and is a smart looking affair with a very solid stand. Cable management round the back is impressive as you can feed the wires under a cover. Colours are pleasingly rich and solid via the DVI connection and there’s a VGA input as well.
As ever the MCE 2005 remote receiver is a large external USB device and the MCE remote supplied is the standard one. It’s well laid out and back-lit, though a tad plasticky. The keyboard and mouse are both solid Microsoft affairs but the mouse was a little on the small side for my liking.
In terms of extra software, there’s little to get excited about – Cyberlink PowerDVD is included though Media Center 2005 will provide the interface most of the time. Hitman Contracts is included and it’s a decent, if now dated, game.
The Evesham is literally a great little system. While the conventional case means that you may not want it in your lounge it’s ironically noticeably quieter in that environment than the recently reviewed Shuttle, which looks wise is more geared to lifestyle living. It lacks neat features of the HP such as a removable hard disk drive and a LightScribe DVD Writer, but then it’s significantly faster for games and is supplied with a monitor, essentially blowing the HP out of the water for value for money.
If this were just a regular PC, that was compact, quiet and capable of playing games it would have a lot going for it. Considering it’s a DVB equipped MCE 2005 system as well, it’s impossible not to recommend the Axis 64 X700.
Score in detail