PC Specialist Vanquish 650Ti review
This powerful PC has a great range of hardware, fast boot speeds and excellent overall performance but its graphics card isn’t the best you’ll find in systems at this price
Review Date: 26 Oct 2012
Price when reviewed: £799
Reviewed By: Kat Orphanides
PC Specialist's first Windows 8 PC has bang-up-to-date hardware, with an Intel Core i5-3570K processor that's been overclocked to 4.4GHz, the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti graphics card and an SSD for super-fast boot speeds.
The PC looks rather snazzy on the outside, thanks to the tasteful blue details on the front of its Cooler Master case. Inside, it's less attractive, with plain grey metal that doesn't have any sharp edges but lacks the pleasing finishes found in more expensive cases. Nonetheless, it's well-designed and fairly dust-proof, even though there's a wide grille in the side panel. The case's sound proofing is less effective, although it does help cut out some of the disconcerting whining from the CPU cooler. There's only a single case fan installed at the rear, with space for two more at the front and sides of the PC's case.
The 450W power supply is a generic model, which is fine for the PC's current components but we wouldn’t trust to power any significant graphics card upgrades. The PC has both a 128GB SSD drive that ensures fast boot speeds and a 1TB hard disk for extra storage. There's also a Blu-ray drive and a multi-format memory card reader that handles all the popular card formats and provides an extra USB port on the front - there are two more USB ports on the front panel alongside the 3.5mm headphone and mic ports.
Even with so many storage options, there's plenty of room for expansion inside the case, with three free 3 1/2in bays and two empty 5 1/4in bays. On the motherboard, although both of the SATA3 ports and one of the SATA2 ports are in use, there are still three free SATA2 ports. There are also three vacant PCI slots, as well as one accessible PCI-E x1 slot (the other is blocked by the graphics card) and a spare PCI-E x16 slot that actually runs at x4 speed.
Two of the Asus P8Z77-V LX motherboard's four memory slots are in use, each containing a 4GB module running at 1,600MHz. 8GB of RAM is plenty for Windows 8, and the motherboard can take up to 32GB if you need more. At the back of the motherboard you'll find two USB3 ports, four USB2 ports, a PS/2 port, Gigabit Ethernet, an optical S/PDIF port for digital audio and 5.1 analogue audio outputs.
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