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OP3 Europa review

Tom Morgan
31 Dec 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
550
inc VAT

Plenty of connectivity options and a high-quality monitor, but performance isn't as good as other £550 PCs.

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Specifications

3.8GHz AMD Phenom II X2 560, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Unlike most of the PCs we've seen recently, which have Intel Core i3 processors, the Europa uses an AMD chip. OP3 has taken full advantage of the Phenom II X2 560 and its unlocked multiplier by overclocking the processor to 3.8GHz. This is 500MHz faster than the standard clock speed: a healthy increase for an AMD chip.

In our benchmarks, performance was reasonable but, despite the overclock, it was still only as fast as a Core i3 processor running at its standard clock speed. It's fast enough for most applications, but it will struggle with multi-threaded programs where a quad-core processor will cope better.

OP3 Europa

Instead of using the motherboard’s integrated graphics, the Europa has a Radeon HD 5570 dedicated graphics card. It’s a dual-slot card that has a massive heat sink to avoid the need for a cooling fan. The silent operation is great for keeping noise levels down, but performance isn't wonderful. It managed 17fps in Call of Duty 4, so most games should be playable with a few detail and resolution tweaks.

Overclocking the processor creates more heat, so the CPU cooler has been upgraded to a large tower-style heat sink. Oddly, it's been installed facing downwards, which blows hot air back inside the case. An 80mm exhaust fan will help keep temperatures down, but it's been fitted to a 120mm fan mount; a larger fan would be more efficient and quieter.

If you plan on upgrading the graphics card, or any other part of the Europa, it’s important to contact OP3 before opening the case. You'll void the three-year warranty if you break the sticker on the side panel without permission. It’s worth going through this small hassle, as the warranty covers both parts and labour for all three years.

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