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Eclipse Andromeda AP92n98GTX review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 650
inc VAT

Specifications

2.8GHz AMD Phenom II X4 920, 4.000000 RAM, 19in 1,440×900 display, Windows Vista Home Premium

Eclipse Computers

AMD’s new Phenom II X4 920 processor impressed us in last month’s components Labs, and we were surprised to see such a powerful processor in a PC that costs just £650.

Eclipse’s Andromeda AP92n98GTX was easily the fastest £650 PC here and was near the top of the table in all our benchmarks, speeding past many of the £800 PCs.

This was aided by the Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX+ graphics card. It sailed through our Call of Duty 4 test with more than 50fps. Although 23.4fps in our Crysis benchmark isn’t amazing, our demanding graphics settings are mainly responsible. Turn off anti-aliasing and the game becomes playable.

There’s plenty of room in the case for extra storage and peripherals, with six empty 3?in hard disk bays and three spare 5?in optical drive bays. The two PCI Express x1 slots are blocked by the graphics card, but the four PCI slots make up for their inaccessibility.

Annoyingly, the cables and connectors are glued in place to prevent them becoming dislodged in transit. Although well-intentioned, this makes upgrading tricky as you have to scrape off the glue before you can remove and add components. The first component you’ll want to upgrade is the rear case fan, which makes an annoying high-pitched sound. Without it, the system would be quiet.

A more significant problem is the monitor. Hannspree’s 19in XM-S New York is smaller than most monitors in this category, and has a lower resolution of 1,440×900 compared with the 1,680×1,050 pixels of the 20in and 22in monitors here. Its industrial black and silver design is distinctive, and its image quality isn’t bad. Images look very bright, but this makes photos look oversaturated.

If you can live with the monitor and you don’t mind replacing a fan, the Andromeda AP92n98GTX is a great PC for games. Otherwise, Mesh’s Matrix II 920 Nero is a better choice thanks to its superior monitor.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor AMD Phenom II X4 920
Processor external bus 200MHz (1.8GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplier x14
Processor clock speed 2.8GHz
Processor socket AM2+
Level 1 cache 4x 64KB
Level 2 cache 4x 512KB
Memory 4.000000
Memory type PC2-6400
Maximum memory 8GB
Motherboard Asus M2N68
Motherboard chipset Nvidia Nforce 630a
Power consumption standby 3W
Power consumption idle 90W
Power consumption active 145W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support none
Other ports none

Internal Expansion

Case midi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 2 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 2
Free memory slots 2
Free 3.5in drive bays 6

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Samsung SpinPoint F1 HD502IJ
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 500GB
Spindle speed 7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s) 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX+
Graphics/video ports 2x DVI, TV out

Sound

Sound VIA HD Audio
Sound outputs 7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards none
Optical drive model Samsung SH-S223F
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size 19 in
Screen model Hannspree XM-S New York
Native resolution 1,440×900
Response time 5ms
Screen inputs DVI, VGA

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Microsoft Basic Keyboard 1.0A
Mouse Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse 1.0A

Software

Software included none
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £650
Details www.eclipsecomputers.com

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