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If you are a frequent reader of and my articles, you surely have to realize by now how much this review differs from the others you have read. The system that is being benchmarked is not the top of the line and the numbers you are getting are not the best you have seen. The reasoning behind this is very simple however – the Duron 1.3 GHz processor is aimed at a low cost market of computers. But, just because the computers are low cost, does not mean they can not perform well enough to play the latest games or run the latest development software.

The gaming benchmarks show a decline in scores that is due mainly due to the choice in video card. Had a GeForce 3 or Ti500 been paired with the Duron 1.3 GHz processor and ECS K7S5A motherboard the scores would have been much improved. Keeping costs low was the main concern, this time, and using a $400 video card just wasn’t what we were looking for. The $62 GF2 MX200 card gives us frame rates and scores that are much more than playable – but won’t bring you any bragging rights either.

The productivity scores show a similar result, but to a lesser degree. The video card is much less the bottleneck in the Office and Productivity tests and the Duron 1.3 GHz system is much more able to keep pace with the big dogs that we are used to. The Winstone and the Sysmark scores show that the low-cost system is slower (no getting that by you!) but not by a very significant amount.

As I mentioned throughout the article, upgrading the graphics card would have the most improvement on the system tests as whole. However, doing so will change the outlook and reasoning behind the testing of the system. In fact, you could nearly double the price of the computer by choosing a Ti500 card!

No hardcore gamer will set this on their ‘Dream Machine’ list and will probably not use it for their primary machine. But a second machine for themselves, a parent or friend that isn’t going to be gaming all the time may be more than happy with a system built around the Duron 1.3 GHz processor for under $500. It would also make a great file server for a network or dedicated game server. There are endless uses for a great valued system like this.

Thanks for reading this review, and remember to send me your comments!

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