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Eclipse Matrix A10 R7-250 review

Richard Easton
2 Jul 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
500
inc VAT

A fantastic processor and dedicated graphics makes this a great £500 system

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 3.8GHz AMD A10-7700K (overclocked), RAM: 8GB, Front USB ports : 2x USB2, Rear USB ports: 2x USB3, 2x USB2, Total storage: 1TB Seagate Barracuda hard disk, Display: 22in AOC E2250SWDNK, Operating system: Windows 8.1

AMD CPUs can be a great way to build a budget PC, as Eclipse shows with the Matrix A10 R7-250, taking advantage of a clever trick to provide excellent gaming and application performance at a great price.

The clever trick comes down to using dual graphics mode to combine the AMD A10-7700K Black Edition's integrated GPU with the AMD R7 250 graphics card. With dual graphics off, the system managed 61.4fps in Dirt Showdown at 1,280x720, 4xAA and High quality; it got 24.4fps running at 1,920x1,080 with Ultra quality graphics. With dual graphics turned on, we got 66.4fps at 1,280x1,080, but 36.6fps at 1,920x1,080, making the game playable at these settings. We could even run Crysis 3, although we had to drop quality settings to make it smooth.

Decent games performance is matched by great application performance. Eclipse has overclocked the CPU from 3.4GHz to 3.8GHz. This meant that the CPU ran quickly through our benchmarks, scoring 68 overall. This makes this PC faster than a high-end laptop and capable of dealing with any task. Running multiple or multi-threaded applications is easy, too, thanks to the four cores, which helped this PC score 68 overall.

Eclipse Matrix A10 R7-250 interior

The motherboard is an ASUS A88XM-A, which is one of the better ones we’ve seen in a budget PC. It has four memory slots, two of which are occupied with 4GB 1,333MHz RAM in dual channel configuration to give a total of 8GB. You can upgrade up to a maximum of 32GB, although the 8GB installed will most likely be enough for most people.

There is also a generous six SATA3 ports, two of which are occupied by the 1TB HDD and DVD-RW drive. Having free SATA3 ports will be particularly useful if you wish to add in an SSD at a later date and want to take advantage of faster data transfer rates.

There is also a PCI-E x16 slot, which is used for the Powercolor 2GB Radeon R7 250 graphics card. The graphics card also obstructs a PCI-E x1 slot, which is rendered unusable. Below that is a PCI slot.

The motherboard’s rear connections include two USB3, two USB2, PS/2 keyboard and mouse, Gigabit Ethernet and three 3.5mm connections, which can be used to support up to eight channel audio. On the front of the case you’ll find two more USB2 connections and headphone and microphone jacks.

Eclipse Matrix A10 R7-250 rear

The system comes housed in an Antec VSK-3000 case, which is plain but unobtrusive due to its matt black design. On the back of the case is a 90mm exhaust fan, which is quiet and there’s the option to install a front fan if you need the added ventilation. You also have just over 310mm of space in which to fit a larger graphics card. The 500W Alpine PSU should be fine for any graphics card you'll want to fit. The case also provides two 5¼in bays, one of which is occupied by the DVD-RW drive, and two 3½in drives, with one taken by the HDD.

Eclipse supplies a 22in AOC e2250swnk monitor, which we’ve often seen included with budget systems due to its reasonable price and good performance. We were glad to see it here again, as its contrast ratio of 854:1 is very respectable. However, it might not be the best choice if colour accuracy is important, such as for image editing, as it only produces 89.2 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut. This is still good enough for gaming and most uses, however, and is what you would expect from a display at this price. The design of the AOC is also attractively understated and viewing angles were good with a tilt adjustable stand.

This display only has DVI and VGA inputs, so it's trickier to use the monitor to connect a second digital device, such as games console or Blu-ray player.

Eclipse Matrix A10 R7-250 front

A Microsoft Wired Optical Desktop 400 keyboard and mouse set is provided. This set is rather functional and plain, and certainly not one of our favourites. The keyboard has very little travel to its keys and they are a bit too springy for our tastes. We would be tempted to swap this out, although the mouse was comfortable.

The Eclipse Matrix A10 R7-250 was a good all-round performer, which benefitted from AMD Dual Graphics for gaming performance. However, the Palicomp AMD Kaveri Evolution system just edged this PC and won our Best Buy award.

Core specs
ProcessorQuad-core 3.8GHz AMD A10-7700K (overclocked)
Processor socketFM2+
RAM8GB
Memory typePC3-10666
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardASUS A88XM-A
Motherboard chipsetAMD A88X
Ports and expansion
Front USB ports2x USB2
Rear USB ports2x USB3, 2x USB2
Other portsPS/2
Networking10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet
Case typeMidi tower
Case size HxWxD365x173x393mm
PCI (free)1 (1)
PCIe x1 (free)1 (0)
PCIe x16 (free)1 (0)
Serial ATA (free)6x SATA3 (4)
Memory slots (free)4 (2)
Drive bays 2 1/2" (free)0
Drive bays 3 1/2" (free)2 (1)
Drive bays 5 1/4" (free)2 (1)
Storage
Total storage1TB Seagate Barracuda hard disk
Memory card readerNone
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL
Graphics
Graphics card2GB AMD Radeon R7 250
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI, HDMI
Sound
Sound cardRealtek ALC887
Sound card outputs7.1 line out, stereo line out, mic in
SpeakersNone
Display
Display22in AOC E2250SWDNK
Native resolution1,920x1,080
InputsDVI, VGA
Other hardware
KeyboardMicrosoft Wired Keyboard 400
MouseMicrosoft Basic Optical Mouse
ExtrasNone
Software
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionWindows disc
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Price including delivery (inc VAT)£500
Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)£400
Supplierwww.eclipse-computers.com
Detailswww.eclipse-computers.com
Part CodeEclipse Matrix A10 R7-250

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