Top 10 budget desktop PCs

Aimed at the value conscious consumer, these budget desktops will tackle your computing needs -- without breaking the bank

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Micro Express MicroFlex 82B
MicroFlex 82B Review, by Nick Mediati, PC World August 26, 2008

Rating:

rating_icon_3_stars.gif

CPU: Core 2 Duo E8400; CPU speed: 3000GHz; Graphics adapter: Nvidia GeForce 8800GT; Monitor: No; Hard drive size: 250GB; WorldBench rating: Superior   

Pros:
Excellent performance for the price
Quite expandable

Cons:
Documentation could be more detailed

Bottom Line: The MicroFlex 82B has limited storage, but provides plenty of horsepower without draining your savings.

REVIEW:
A powerful, fully equipped value-oriented system, the MicroFlex 82B sports a 3-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU, 2GB of memory, a 250GB Serial ATA hard drive, and Windows Vista Business. Unlike many budget PCs, the MicroFlex 82B ships with a dedicated graphics card--an nVidia GeForce 8800GT that carries 512MB of video memory. Thanks to its speedy processor and dedicated graphics, the MicroFlex 82B achieved a WorldBench 6 score of 117. While that doesn't quite reach high-end gaming PC territory, it makes this machine ideal for everyday computing tasks and even some gaming, too.

Our test unit's $699 price (as of February 1, 2010) included the cost of a 17-inch Samsung 740BX display. The bundled Microsoft keyboard and mouse are about what you would expect from a budget system: good but not extraordinary. Despite its generic-looking case, the MicroFlex 82B has plenty of features to like, such as a total of eight USB ports, gigabit ethernet, and S/PDIF digital audio input. In addition, the 82B supports up to 7.1 surround sound.

The MicroFlex 82B is very expandable too, with a total of two PCI and five PCI Express slot (four of which are open), plus a good number of open drive bays. This is one budget PC with plenty of growing room. I also found the system to be reasonably quiet.

The documentation left something to be desired, though. Though the PC comes with documentation for various pieces of the system, there is no user's guide for the entire package. A hardware installation guide provides instructions for installing or replacing certain components, but the instructions are somewhat lacking in detail.

All things considered, however, the MicroFlex 82B does enough right for it to be a very good option for anyone needing a budget PC.

This story, "Top 10 budget desktop PCs" was originally published by PCWorld.

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