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Optima WorkPro 7000T review: Optima WorkPro 7000T

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The Good Excellent value. 17-inch LCD monitor included. 10-in-1 card reader. Firewire ports included. 8-channel high-definition integrated audio. GeForce 6100 graphics chip is low-end, but superior to Intel integrated graphics. Three year onsite warranty.

The Bad Memory card reader located in the machine’s only 3.5-inch drive bay. Sparse software bundle.

The Bottom Line For those after a sub-AU$1500 PC, the Optima WorkPro 7000T offers the best bang-for-buck we’ve seen so far. Highly recommended.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

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Design
Externally, the Optima WorkPro 7000T is quite similar to Dell's competing budget offering, the Dimension 3100.  It uses a black and silver colour scheme, and includes a similar array of front ports. First up is the 10-in-1 card reader, which is sure to please photography enthusiasts. There's also a selection of front ports, and while the Dimension 3100 only includes two USB 2.0 ports and a headphone jack, Optima's offering meets this challenge while including a Firewire port as well.

Reach around to the back of the machine and you'll encounter an additional four USB 2.0 ports, an extra Firewire port and 8-channel audio outputs.

Unfortunately, like the 3100, the 7000T's memory card reader sits in the system's only 3.5-inch drive bay, so floppy drive users must either miss out on the card reader or purchase an external drive.

Features
Whereas Dell chose to adopt an Intel processor, Optima has sided with AMD, dropping an Athlon 64 3200+ into the 7000T. Note that the Athlon 64 3200+ is single-core as opposed to dual-core, so it may struggle with multi-tasking and system-intensive applications. There's also 512MB of DDR400 memory and a 160GB hard drive (the same capacity as that included with the 3100).

Optima's integrated sound and graphics solutions -- 8-channel Intel High Definition Audio and an Nvidia GeForce 6100 graphics chip -- are far from high-end, but they trump those included with the Dimension 3100. Further, Optima even includes a 17-inch LCD monitor with the package, as well as a keyboard and an optical mouse. This is an amazing feat when you consider its sub-AU$1500 price tag.

Unfortunately, Optima's generosity doesn't extend to the system's software bundle, as the only freebie buyer's receive is a copy of MS Works Suite 2006.

Rounding out the feature-set is a dual-layer DVD writer, a 56K modem and a 10/100 Ethernet port.

Performance
The Optima WorkPro 7000T met our performance expectations given its price tag. In our tests, its SYSMark 2004 SE score was virtually identical to the Dell Dimension 3100, making it perfectly suited to basic office productivity tasks and some multimedia applications such as DVD viewing.

BAPCo SYSmark 2004 SE performance rating
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

161 158

Its 3DMark06 score was almost three times that of the Dell Dimension 3100. That's not saying much though -- in absolute terms, 181 is a low score and doesn't make the system worthy for use as a gaming machine.

3DMark2006 performance rating
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

66 181

The 7000T comes with a three year onsite warranty, which is better than Dell's one year offer. Warranty service requests can be made on the Optima website or by phone, and Optima will cover any courier costs incurred to return the machine for repairs.

For those after a sub-AU$1500 PC, the Optima WorkPro 7000T offers the best bang-for-buck we've seen so far. Highly recommended.

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