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Eclipse Matrix i85a465 review

13 Feb 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
500
inc VAT

An all round performer, if a bit short on storage. There aren't many glitches in it.

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Specifications

Overclocked gaming PCs usually don't come cheap, but this affordable machine from Eclipse is sold with an Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 boosted to 3.8GHz, significantly more than its standard 3.16GHz speed.

The Matrix managed to beat every other PC here in our 2D (general) benchmark tests, achieving the highest scores in the image editing, audio and video encoding elements.

The Eclipse is no slouch in games, either. The Radeon HD4650 512MB graphics card managed a playable 24.5 frames per second in Call of Duty 2 at our demanding settings (1280x1024 resolution with 4x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering). You can expect it to cope with most games at the 1440x900 resolution of the bundled Hannspree M191W monitor. Even so, this isn't a top-end gaming PC, and would struggle a bit with the most demanding games, such as Crysis. The graphics card has an HDMI output, taking the hassle out of connecting the Matrix to a modern TV.

On the outside, the Matrix i85a465 is a rather bland-looking PC. The exterior of the case has no remarkable features except a cheap plastic cover hiding the front audio and USB ports. The monitor is something of an acquired taste, with industrial-looking metal standoffs at the sides and a basic pair of speakers incorporated below.

At least the Matrix's chassis provides ample room for expansion, with six USB ports on the rear, another two at the front, an eSATA port for fast external storage, and three PCI and two PCI-E slots free inside for upgrades. Unusually, the motherboard has six memory slots and can take both the cheaper DDR2 and faster DDR3 RAM. Memory is something you might well want to upgrade later, with only 2GB supplied. The hard disk has an even more miserly capacity of 250GB.

These let down what's otherwise a great PC. Buying pre-overclocked means you get more performance without the hassle of doing it yourself. The Eclipse is a good choice for work, media and video editing, and OK for a bit of gaming too.

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