Packard Bell’s x5620uk uses an older and, importantly, cheaper CPU to deliver relatively good value for money and a very respectable result in our speed tests.

Packard Bell’s x5620uk is very different to the rest of the PCs in our chart in a number of ways. Its older Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 processor isn’t often seen on these pages now, but it delivers relatively good value for money and enables the Packard Bell to beat all but the fastest of the AMD-powered competition in WorldBench 6, with a very respectable score of 107 points.

Graphics performance is less impressive, however. You might expect to find a decent amount of graphics power given the green nVidia sticker on the front of the case. But Packard Bell doesn’t supply a true discrete graphics card; the x5620uk instead relies on the graphics-processing unit built into the motherboard.

This integrated setup delivers enough power to give you all the fancy graphics effects you want in Windows, but not enough to play 3D games. In our easier Crysis test the Packard Bell x5620uk managed only 1fps; unsurprisingly, it failed the more gruelling one. It even struggled with the relatively elderly Fear, managing just 3fps.

A single PCI Express x16 slot is available on the motherboard, however, so you can easily add a graphics card if you decide that gaming is important. But be warned: Packard Bell includes a lowly 250W power supply with the x5620uk, which would probably require upgrading first.

The Packard Bell x5620uk's own-brand monitor is an 18.5in widescreen model with a screen resolution of 1366x768. Excel fans won’t be happy with its coarse 0.3mm pixel pitch, although the large dot-pitch can make text a little more readable than on higher-resolution monitors.

Despite these drawbacks, the Packard Bell x5620uk has a lot going for it. The custom-design case looks much better than the off-the-shelf models used by other vendors and incorporates a memory card reader and four front-facing USB ports. The machine also has a simple setup routine and a generous software bundle that includes a full version of Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Chart ranking: Budget desktop PCs (issue 176)

  1. CyberPower Ultra Athenna Elite
  2. Arbico Phenom 5570HD
  3. Chillblast Fusion Blizzard
  4. Packard Bell x5620uk
  5. RL Supplies Modula 9010

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