The software bundle consists of Microsoft Works 8.5, Roxio Easy Media Creator 9, and, a seven-day trial of BullGuard anti-virus software. This is in line with what you would expect from systems at this price range.
To test the system we ran our usual set of benchmarks consisting of Spodemark 2D and 3D, Sysmark 2004 SE, and, PCMark06. Unfortunately, as this is the first Vista PC on which we’ve run any of these benchmarks, we did come across a few compatibility issues. Some of these issues we were able to iron out, others we simply didn’t have time to investigate fully due to the limited amount of time we had with the evaluation system.
VirtualDub, which we use in SpodeMark2D, was the first casualty and it didn’t work at all. This meant that the multi-tasking results for all our tests couldn’t be completed. The second to fall was SYSmark 2004, which doesn’t support Vista. Thankfully all our 3D game tests ran without any problems, which bodes well for gamers. For comparison i used our reference Core 2 Duo E6400 system.
The single most overwhelmingly obvious thing about our testing was how woefully inadequate 1GB of RAM is when running Vista. The constant whirring and grinding of the hard disk as it struggled to keep up with virtual memory transactions was enough to test the patience of a saint. Adding in a 1GB USB memory stick – to utilise Vista’s ReadyBoost technology – didn’t help our benchmark results however subjectively it did seem to reduce the constant hard disk access.
Memory issues aside, performance was on a par with what you would expect for a system of this specification. Unfortunately, the ability of these components to keep up with the latest games – particularly the graphics card , which isn’t DirectX 10 compatible, may be questionable. However, if you want a better gaming experience you’re going to have to fork out the extra money for a fully fledged gaming system.
On the surface, Evesham has produced a good all-round system that does a fine job of showing off Vista’s multimedia capabilities. However, it’s partially let down by average peripherals and simply not enough RAM.