A budget computer with the latest 'AMD Trinity' processor technology
We are used to seeing PCs with the latest technology costing a lot of money, but increasing numbers of budget PCs are coming equipped with the newest processors which is a welcome trend. Medion's Akoya MD8369 costs just £350 from Aldi supermarkets and while it doesn't include a monitor, it does come with one of AMD's latest ‘Trinity' series processors, a quad-core A8 5500.
Paired with 4GB of memory, this processor made short work of our benchmarks. The computer is just about fast enough for playing 3D games too, although you'll have to settle for less detailed graphics and lower the resolution of your monitor to get smooth, playable graphics. Despite all this impressive performance, the MD8369 was surprisingly quiet.
Removing the sidepanel reveals the secret behind this computer's almost noiseless performance – there aren't any case fans fitted which is unusual. This shouldn't pose a problem in most circumstances, but this makes it difficult to add a powerful graphics card in the future since these upgrades require extra cooling.
There are mounting points for installing a single rear case fan, but the tight, cluttered confines of the interior will make installation tricky and may impede the flow of air around any graphics card. Even if cooling wasn't an issue, the cramped interior makes fitting any graphics card a fiddly process, never mind powerful models which tend to be extra chunky.
Other internal upgrade options are also limited. There are just two expansion card slots for adding a peripheral such as a TV tuner, but you won't need to add Wifi or a memory card reader as these are already built-in. There's space for one more internal hard disk and one more optical drive, but you'll have to pick which one you want - there's just one SATA port on the motherboard for connecting another storage device.
It will be less bother to connect a USB peripheral instead. There are three USB3 and five USB2 ports in total. Medion has also built in a docking connector for its own range of external hard disks, which simply slot into a tray on top of the PC with no extra cables required. These disks aren't currently any more expensive than standard USB external hard disks, so they may be worth getting if you value the neatness of Medion's own brand disks.
Oddly, Medion has included some old-fashioned PS/2 and serial ports alongside the modern USB3 connectors. These might be handy if you're still hanging on to older peripherals. The chunky two-button USB mouse included with the PC is comfortable to use, but touch typists intent on working on lots of documents will want to replace the spongy USB keyboard.
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A fast, cheap PC but it's not suited for gamers or people who like to upgrade and tinker
Cheap; Fast performance; Wifi and USB3 built-in
Limited expansion options
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