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OP3 Jupiter review

Barry de la Rosa
17 Sep 2010
OP3 Jupiter
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
550
inc VAT

Although it can play games out of the box and comes with a generous 1TB of storage, the 19in monitor lets it down.

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Specifications

2.93GHz Intel Core i3-530, 4GB RAM, 18.5in 1,366x768 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

This month we welcome another new supplier to our PC tests: OP3 was recommended to us by Asus, which supplies the motherboard and the ATI Radeon HD 5570 graphics card in the Jupiter. It also comes fitted with an Intel Core i3-530 processor and a generous 1TB hard disk.

Strangely, the monitor is an Acer 18.5in model which has a paltry 1,366x768 native resolution. We expect to see a 22in monitor as standard these days, even on budget PCs, and Full HD is quickly becoming the norm. The X193HQL has vibrant colours, but its backlight is uneven and a bit dull, and contrast suffers as a result. It only has a VGA input, so you can't connect a secondary device, such as a games console.

Driving the monitor is an Asus-branded ATI Radeon HD 5570. This mid-range card is fairly powerful, scoring 28.5fps in our Call of Duty 4 test but only 14.4fps in the more demanding Crysis test. This means it's capable of running most modern games, although you'll have to turn graphics settings down to get playable frame rates. Games optimised for online play, such as World of Warcraft, should look fine.

OP3 Jupiter

There's one downside: the fan that cools the graphics chip is small, and therefore noisy. In fact, this PC is noticeably louder than similarly price PCs from other manufacturers when playing games and the small fan spins at its maximum speed.

Like many budget PCs, the Jupiter is fitted with an Intel Core i3-530 running at its stock speed of 2.9GHz. It scored 105 overall in our Windows benchmarks, which means it's capable of running most applications without a problem and only heavy video-encoding or 3D rendering will slow it down. A 1TB hard disk means you'll not run out of storage space for a long time.

A sticker on the side panel tells you that your warranty is void if you open the case, but OP3 tells us that permission is given to those who give the company a quick call, to verify that the upgrade is viable and that you're competent to perform it. The Jupiter's tower case is slightly smaller than usual, and only has a couple of free drive bays (one 3.5in external bay houses the multi-card reader), but there are four free SATA headers, two free DIMM slots and free PCI and PCI-Ex1 slots.

While the small display is disappointing, the keyboard and mouse set exceeded our expectations, at least in appearance. It's a wireless set that shares a dongle, so only one USB port is used up. The keyboard includes a numberpad, and has plenty of shortcut keys and multimedia playback buttons, but its keys are spongy and lack feedback. The mouse is simple, with only two buttons and a rubberised wheel with a ratcheted action.

Despite the small monitor, OP3 has managed to deliver a PC that has enough power for Windows applications and can also play most games. However, the poor-quality monitor lets it down. You can get the Jupiter without the small monitor for £490, and spend the rest on a better monitor, but there are far better value PCs available at this price.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core i3-530
Processor external bus133MHz (2.4GHz DMI)
Processor multiplierx22
Processor clock speed2.93GHz
Processor socketLGA1156
Level 1 cache2x 64KB
Level 2 cache2x 256KB
Memory4
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardAsustek P7H55-M
Motherboard chipsetIntel H55

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)3/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone
Other portsnone

Internal Expansion

Casetower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)2 (2)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays1

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung SpinPoint F3 HD103SJ
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity1,000GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Asus EAH5570
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI, HDMI

Sound

SoundRealtek HD Audio
Sound outputs5.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, CF, xD, microSD, Memory Stick Micro (M2)
Optical drive modelOptiarc AD-7260S
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size18.5 in
Screen modelAcer X193HQL
Native resolution1,366x768
Response time5ms
Screen inputsVGA

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardLogitech Wireless Desktop MK300
MouseLogitech Wireless Optical Mouse

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantythree years RTB (first year collect and return)
Price£550
Detailswww.op3.co.uk

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