by February 1, 2000 0 comments

Compaq Deskpro EC series

Desktop PC, 433 MHz Celeron. Rs 39,990
Features: Onboard sound; supports both PCI and ISA slots; comes with an AGP display card. 
Pros: Well designed; good graphics performance. 
Cons: Network card and CD-ROM drive are optional; slightly over-priced.

Source: Compaq India, 92 Industrial Suburb, II Stage, Yeshwantpur,
Bangalore 560022. 
Tel: 80-3374785 
Fax: 3374601 
E-mail: narasimhan.tupil@compaq.com  

The latest Deskpro PC from Compaq now comes in a mini-tower cabinet instead of the earlier desktop models. The range is aimed at corporate users. We tested the Deskpro EC based on a 433 MHz Celeron processor on a ZX motherboard. 

All regular interfaces such as two USB, serial, PS/2 ports, a Joystick/Midi, and parallel ports are integrated onto the motherboard. Sound is onboard, with a Sound Blaster Audio PCI 128 from Creative. The cabinet”s internals have been designed well, keeping proper ventilation in mind. The PC comes with a 14″ Compaq monitor. 

The machine has three PCI slots, which are more than enough for adding additional cards such as a network card. It also has an EISA slot if you still have any of the older cards lying around. The DIMM slots for RAM are limited to two. 

We tested the PC for common business applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and databases. With its original configuration of 32 MB RAM, it scored 12.2 on the Business Winstone99 benchmark. This is good enough if you want to use your PC only for checking e-mail and for browsing the Web. If you want to do anything more, an additional 32 MB RAM is recommended. In our test, 32 MB more RAM gave a 31 percent jump in performance. However, Compaq charges Rs 4,500 more for the additional RAM. 

The PC doesn”t ship with a CD-ROM drive and a network card, which are essential elements for any corporate PC today. Buying them from Compaq will cost you an extra Rs 4,500 and Rs 4,000 respectively. 

The PC comes with an ATI 3D RAGE Pro Turbo AGP display card, which is essentially a good gaming card. But 32 MB of RAM will not get you far with gaming either.

Overall, an average performer that”s slightly over-priced. It could definitely do better on the specs.

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