The Bottom Line
- Very Slim Case Design
- Low Cost For Base System
- Uses Older DDR2 Memory
- Integrated Graphics
- Limited Expansion Capabilities
- Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 Dual Core Processor
- 4GB PC2-6400 DDR2
- 500GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- Intel GMA X4500HD Integrated Graphics
- Intel HDA 5.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Six USB 2.0, DVI, VGA
- 12" x 2.5" x 10.75"
- Windows 7 Home Premium
Guide Review - Systemax Venture H422i Slim Desktop PC
Mar 11 2010 - The first thing that most people will note about the Systemax Venture H422i is how slim it is. At just two and a half inches wide, it is one of the slimmest small form factor desktops on the market that still uses desktop components. If the standard black color is too dull, buyer's also have the option of white, red or blue faceplates at no additional cost.
Even with the extremely thin profile of the Venture H422i, Systemax has managed to use standard desktop components for added performance compared to many similar profile systems using laptop parts. The test unit came with an Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 dual core processor that provided decent performance that certainly is better than a laptop based processor but falls short of higher grade Core 2 processors or the new Core i3. The system also uses slower DDR2 memory rather than the newer and faster DDR3 which holds back the system.
Storage is one of the few parts on the Venture H422i that does use a laptop component. The thin profile of the case doesn't provide enough space for a traditional desktop optical drive. As a result, it uses a slower thin profile laptop DVD burner. The hard drive still uses a traditional desktop drive that provide a decent 500GB of storage space. The default $499 version comes with a paltry 160GB of storage space that is well below what most similarly priced small form factor desktops use when they use standard desktop drives.
To keep the costs and size of the Venture H422i down, Systemax has elected to use an integrated Intel GMA X4500HD graphics processor instead of a dedicated one. This limits the overall graphics capabilities of the system. It has enough performance to handle high definition video streams but it does not even have enough performance for even casual 3D games. Gamers, even casual ones, will want to look at larger and more robust small form factor systems.
The big problem with the Venture H422i is the lack of expansion possibilities. The system only features six USB 2.0 ports and lacks any other peripheral ports or expansion slots. This means that there is no way to add anything other than USB peripherals and if you have too many, you will need a USB hub as well. Most slim PCs while thicker at least have half-height expansion cards slots and either FireWire or eSATA for additional peripheral support.
The version of the Venture H422i test has a listed price of $640. At this price point, consumers have many other options out there that offer a greater level of performance and post-purchase upgrade options that make the Venture H422i a less than desirable option. The base $499 model is certainly functional and a decent choice for those wanting a basic desktop PC that doesn't take up much space. Still, be sure to check out similarly priced systems first.