PowerSpec T470 - Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86 GHz review: PowerSpec T470 - Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86 GHz

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

The Good Two DVD burners, one with LightScribe.

The Bad Underpowered for its price; cramped interior is difficult to upgrade.

The Bottom Line WinBook's PowerSpec T470 would have been easy to recommend two months ago. In the new Vista-powered world of desktops, you've got to give a little more. Faster systems that cost as much or even less than this one make WinBook's latest mainstream offering look dated.

5.1 Overall
  • Design 5
  • Features 5
  • Performance 5
  • Support 6

By itself, WinBook's new PowerSpec T470 looks like a strong-enough machine for Windows Vista Home Premium. If it came in around $800 or so, we'd be happy with its overall price performance, too. The problem is that at $999, it's too close in price to the faster Dell Dimension E521. The PowerSpec T470 will handle Windows Vista without trouble, but Dell and other vendors have much better deals.

You'll find a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 CPU at the heart of the PowerSpec T470. That entry-level chip in Intel's dual-core line is exactly the type of processor we'd expect to find in a $1,000 PC two months ago, but based on new PCs we've seen since the launch of Windows Vista, desktops are beginning to offer more CPU for your dollar. And unfortunately for WinBook, it hasn't kept up. The $1,029 Dell Dimension E521 we reviewed came with a 2.6GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+. And an $860 iBuypower Value 640 showed up with a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo E6400. It's certainly true that raw clock speed matters less than it used to in performance testing, but the benefits of Dell's faster chip were still apparent on CNET Labs' benchmark tests, and we can't ignore the results.

Multimedia multitasking test
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
In seconds  

Adobe Photoshop CS2 image-processing test
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
In seconds  

Apple iTunes encoding test
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
In seconds  

(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering Multiple CPUs  
Rendering Single CPU  
Dell Dimension E521
iBuyPower Value 640
Shuttle XPC X200M

Quake 4 performance (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,024x768 (4X AA, 8x AF)  

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

Our iTunes test showed the biggest gap between the WinBook and the Dell. The PowerSpec T470 lagged behind the Dimension E521 by almost a full minute in MP3 encoding time. Our CineBench test also shows that the Dell is faster in video encoding, as well. We wouldn't recommend either of these PCs for intensive digital-media editing or gaming, but for day-to-day tasks such as resizing photos, ripping and converting CDs, and editing home movies, the Dell Dimension E521 is a better choice than the PowerSpec T470. You should also note the iBuyPower on these charts. It beat the WinBook on all but our Photoshop test (likely because the WinBook system has twice the RAM), and the iBuyPower costs about $150 less.

If you're not worried about performance and instead want strong features, it's more of a toss-up, but we'd still take the Dell. Both come with Windows Vista Home Premium, accompanied by 2GB of 533Mhz DDR2 SDRAM. Both also have a low-end 3D graphics card that's adequate only for gaming. The PowerSpec has a slight edge in its optical drive capabilities. Where the Dell has a DVD burner and a DVD/CD-RW combo drive, the WinBook has two DVD burners, one with LightScribe for putting an image on the face of your discs. We think the Dell's larger 320GB hard drive is more useful, however, and for hard disk storage, the WinBook's 300GB drive falls just short.

Best Desktops for 2020

All best desktops

More Best Products

All best products