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Gladiator Warbird 800 Intel Gaming Bundle review

Michael Passingham
10 Oct 2014
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
700
inc VAT

An excellent graphics card and a good Intel Core i5 processor combine to make the Gladiator Warbird 800 a very capable gaming PC

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Specifications

"Processor: Quad-core 3.5GHz Intel Core i5-4590, RAM: 8GB , Front USB ports : 1x USB2, 1xUSB3, Rear USB ports: 4x USB2, 2x USB3, Total storage: 2TB hard disk, Graphics card: 3GB XFX Radeon R9 280 Double Dissipation Edition, Display: 24in Asus VE247H
, Operating system: Windows 8.1"

With a 3GB XFX Radeon R9 280 Double Dissipation Edition graphics card on board, there's no doubt that Gladiator's Warbird 800 is a gaming machine, even if it sacrifices a little in other areas to keep the price down. It comes in a Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-01 mid-tower case, making it a compact enough PC so that you won't have to worry too much about desk or floor space. Despite being a budget case, the SPEC-01 has a distinctive design with red LEDs in the front intake fan, as well as red highlights at the top of the chassis.

While the single intake fan is quiet, the same can't be said of the stock Intel processor fan, which whirrs with a high-pitched buzz even when the machine is idle. If your PC is buried under a desk you won't have to bear it, but if you like your PC to sit at eye-level then you will hear it constantly, which is a shame.

With the high-end graphics card on board, Gladiator has chosen a non-overclocked Haswell-generation quad-core Intel Core i5-4590 running at a base clock speed of 3.3GHz, Turbo Boosting to 3.7GHz when thermal conditions allow for it. The processor is paired with 8GB of Corsair Ballistix RAM. Despite these modest numbers, it's a quick machine. While it was slightly below par in our single-core performance-testing image processing test - scoring 98 - it handled multitasking well, managing 110, and it's hard to imagine Gladiator squeezing any more performance out of it without ratcheting up the price.

Gaming performance is where this system truly - and unsurprisingly - shines. The XFX Radeon R9 280 Double Dissipation Edition graphics card represents the height of mid-range gaming power. With 3GB of DDR5 memory on board, this is a chip you'd expect to be able to handle the latest games with aplomb, and continue to do so for several years to come. This came to bear in our benchmarking tests. In Dirt Showdown, set to Ultra settings with 4x anti aliasing in Full-HD resolution, the Gladiator Warbird 800 tore through the benchmark with an average frame rate of 90.7fps.

The hugely demanding Crysis 3 was even more impressive; we saw an average frame rate of 45.7fps at High settings in this case, never dipping below 29fps. This means you can keep your settings at High on the majority of games on the market at the moment without fear of patchy performance.

While the 2TB Seagate Barracuda hard disk is a good performer with a high capacity, no SSD has been fitted. This would have been hugely beneficial for both application and game performance. The mechanical disk doesn't even have any SSD cache, which is a shame. This is one area where you will have to spend a little extra when configuring your purchase if you want the best performance.

The Warbird 800 has a Gigabyte GA-B85M-D3H motherboard, which leaves plenty of room for expansion. There are four DDR3 RAM slots, only two of which are occupied, so you could feasibly double your RAM at home yourself. The large size of the graphics card sitting in the PCI-E x16 slot means one of the PCI slots is completely blocked off, while the second is in a very tight position into which not all components will fit. There's also a PCI-E x16 running at x4 at the bottom of the board, which is still easily accessible.

The bundled 24in Asus VE247H monitor isn't particularly handsome, nor is its performance anything of its TN panel impressive in terms of image quality, but with a 1,112:1 contrast ratio and the ability to display 90 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut, it's perfectly adequate for most uses, and its 2ms response time means gaming performance should be more than acceptable. The bundled Gigabyte keyboard and mouse are very poor, with the keyboard in particular very hard to type on thanks to a stiff keys. You'll want to upgrade these either yourself or by altering your order on the Gladiator website.

The Gladiator Warbird 800 Intel Gaming Bundle is a desktop system centred around its powerful graphics card. This does mean some areas, including storage, monitor and peripherals, are left every-so-slightly wanting. However, thanks to a great motherboard and a high-capacity 500W power supply, making your own aftermarket modifications will be easy, making this PC a good starting point for future modifications. For most people, the well-balanced Chillblast Fusion Obelisk is a better all-round system.

Core specs
ProcessorQuad-core 3.5GHz Intel Core i5-4590
Processor socketFCLGA1150
RAM8GB
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardGigabyte GA-B85M-D3H
Motherboard chipsetIntel B85
Ports and expansion
Front USB ports1x USB2, 1xUSB3
Rear USB ports4x USB2, 2x USB3
Other ports2x PS2
NetworkingGigabit Ethernet
Case typeMid-tower
Case size HxWxD479x200x430mm
PCI (free)2 (1)
PCIe x1 (free)0
PCIe x16 (free)2 (1 - running at x4)
Serial ATA (free)4x SATA3 (2), 2x SATA2 (2)
Memory slots (free)4 (2)
Drive bays 2 1/2" (free)4 (3)
Drive bays 3 1/2" (free)4(3)
Drive bays 5 1/4" (free)2 (1)
Storage
Total storage2TB hard disk
Memory card readerNone
Optical drive type24x DVD writer
Graphics
Graphics card3GB XFX Radeon R9 280 Double Dissipation Edition
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, 2x Mini DisplayPort, 1x HDMI
Sound
Sound cardRealtek ALC892
Sound card outputs7.1 line out, headphone, microphone
SpeakersNone
Display
Display24in Asus VE247H
Native resolution1,920x1,080
InputsDVI, HDMI, VGA
Other hardware
KeyboardGigabyte KM5300
MouseGigabyte KM5300
ExtrasNone
Software
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionRestore partition
Buying information
WarrantyFour-years RTB including labour, one-year parts
Price including delivery (inc VAT)£700
Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)£585
Supplierwww.gladiatorpc.co.uk
Detailswww.gladiatorpc.co.uk
Part CodeWarbird 800 Intel Gaming Bundle

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