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Eclipse Matrix A255R487 review

Kat Orphanides
13 Oct 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
500
inc VAT

The A255R487 has a good specification, but its monitor is mediocre and its flimsy case should be avoided.

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Specifications

3.1GHz AMD Phenom II X2 550, 4.000000 RAM, 19in 1,440x900 display, Windows Vista Home Premium

Eclipse's Matrix A255R487 has a good specification for its price.

Its dual-core Phenom II X2 550 is a fairly powerful processor, as each of its cores runs at a heady 3.1GHz. This made it particularly quick in our image-editing test, plus it performed well in our other benchmarks.

Unfortunately, the A255R487's appeal is tarnished by a cheap, flimsy case that does nothing to dampen the constant whining hum coming from inside it. The case became very warm to the touch when the PC had been on for less than an hour, despite remaining largely idle. This can partly be explained by the absence of a rear fan to help remove the hot air from the internals. Oddly, the Matrix is very power-hungry, drawing 162W when idle - more than twice the power we'd expect.

We were more impressed by what we found inside the case. The 512MB ATI Radeon 4870 graphics card performed brilliantly in Crysis and Call of Duty 4. The MSI K9A2 Neo-F motherboard has a gap beneath the PCI-E x16 slot, so the double-height graphics card didn't block any other expansion slots. The board has two PCI slots, one PCI-E x1 slot and a PCI-E x4 slot, none of which is used, so there's plenty of upgrade potential. There are only four SATA ports, but two of these are free. There are lots of spare 3?in and 5?in drive bays, although they're very basic metal frames with no rails, caddies or vibration damping. Disappointingly, the Matrix comes with a measly 250GB disk.

The 19in widescreen Hyundai BlueH H95W monitor isn't great, either. Its maximum brightness makes whites look dull and greyish, and viewing angles are tight. The Microsoft Basic keyboard and mouse set are adequate, despite slightly spongy keys.

The A255R487 may be fairly well specified, but the bargain-basement monitor limits its appeal. The biggest problem is the noisy and poorly cooled case, which feels flimsy: an LED light bar in the front panel came loose during our testing. CCL's CCL-CS1009 performed better in most of our tests, has a larger hard disk and a much better case.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorAMD Phenom II X2 550
Processor external bus200MHz (2GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplierx15.5
Processor clock speed3.1GHz
Processor socketAM3
Level 1 cache2x 128KB
Level 2 cache2x 512KB
Memory4.000000
Memory typePC2-6400
Maximum memory8GB
MotherboardMSI K9A2 Neo-F
Motherboard chipsetAMD 770 + ATI SB600
Power consumption standby4W
Power consumption idle162W
Power consumption active270W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/4
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

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports2
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Maxtor DiamondMax 23 STM3250318AS
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity250GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)512MB ATI Radeon 4870
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, TV out

Sound

Sound outputs7.1 line out, stereo line out, mic out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive modelTSST SH-S223B
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size19 in
Screen modelBlue-H H95W
Native resolution1,440x900
Response time5ms
Screen inputsDVI, VGA

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardMicrosoft Wired Keyboard 400 v1.0
MouseMicrosoft Basic Optical Mouse 1.0A

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£500
Detailswww.eclipsecomputers.com

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