The Leader Visionary 3310 and the TI Deluxe 540 opposite have surprisingly similar specifications. Both, for example, use the 3.06GHz Intel Core i3-540 processor along with 4GB of Kingston 1333MHz RAM as their core components. Storage is also the same, with Leader opting for a Western Digital 1TB drive where the TI selects a Seagate. They even have the exact same LG optical drive.
The difference is mainly in graphics: the TI brings a powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 to the table, while the Leader system sticks with the integrated graphics that come standard onboard its Intel DH55TC motherboard. That - and the 22in monitor included in the TI package - is the main reason behind the $400 price difference.
There's no doubt that the Leader is a more compact system. It uses a neat little mini-tower setup that fits all the essentials into a tiny space. As you can see from our system cutaway, there's not much room left for any upgrades, but this isn't designed as an enthusiast system. Still, if you wanted to add a small-form-factor graphics card, there's just enough space.
There's no 700W power supply here, but there's really no need for one - 300W copes with the demands of these components just fine.
Along with the case, you'll get a set of futuristic-looking Fumax speakers and a Microsoft Wireless Desktop 1000 - an excellent basic set of peripherals. It's a shame there's no monitor, but it makes sense to exclude one, too.
The Core i3 processor, as with the TI system, is a 3.06GHz Core i3-540, but here, the performance results are very different. The TI System is overclocked to give a benchmark score of 2.32 in our Real World application suite, whereas the Leader system, left at stock, rates 1.81 in our benchmarks. Both these results are above the scores we recorded in our CPU Megatest.
It's around the performance you'd expect from previous generation's high-end Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad processors, and it's ample for an entry level or mid-range system.
The TI outperforms the Leader in games, as well as in productivity applications - integrated graphics have only limited gaming capability, and in our Crysis test, the Leader Visionary struggled in every way: even on low settings, it would scrape only an unplayable 22fps for Crysis.
In other areas, the Visionary shows less of a deficit. The multi-card reader on the front is a welcome addition for home users with a variety of devices, and there's a total of nine USB ports that should prove plenty for most home or business users. It may not have the FireWire and eSATA of the TI Deluxe, but how many people need those, especially in an entry level system?
The Leader Visionary is, despite everything we've noted above, a decent entry-level system, and it would make a perfectly suitable business desktop for small to medium business. It's only because we have an overclocked, gaming-enhanced I3-based system to hand, in the form of the TI Deluxe, that the Visionary looks mediocre.
After all, it performs better than expected and it has enough grunt to perform productivity and graphics tasks without drama, even if it's not capable of high-end gaming. There's little upgrading potential, and it's only got minimal features, but if you're after a basic desktop, you could do far worse.