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PC Specialist Fusion 945 review

Kat Orphanides
13 Oct 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
649
inc VAT

Despite a reasonable specification, the Fusion 945 doesn't have the power, or the features required, to really stand out.

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Specifications

3GHz AMD Phenom II X4 945, 4.000000 RAM, 22in 1,680x1,050 display, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit + Windows 7 Upgrade

PC Specialist's Fusion 945 isn't particularly fast by current standards, especially not at this price.

Its AMD Phenom II X4 945 is hardly slow, but doesn't compare well against the Intel Core i5 PCs that are available at the same price. The Fusion 945 is a fast PC and would have been in the running for an award if we'd seen it a few months ago. However, by opting for a cheaper processor, PC Specialist can afford to spend a bit more on the other components. Among the best of these is the monitor. The Acer 22 W is an excellent 22in widescreen display, with accurate colours and wide viewing angles.

The Fusion 945's case is sturdy, reasonably attractive and adequately cooled. It doesn't do much in terms of sound damping, but the fans don't make a great deal of noise. The Asus M4A78 motherboard has three free PCI slots and one free PCI-E x1; a second is blocked off by the graphics card, a 512MB ATI Radeon 4670. This isn't up to graphically intensive games such as Crysis without compromising on settings such as anti-aliasing, but it managed to run the less demanding Call of Duty 4 at a whisker under 30fps. If gaming is a priority, there are better-equipped PCs at this price, such as Mesh's Matrix II 925 HD.

The 750GB hard disk provides plenty of storage. The memory card reader can handle all the usual digital camera formats except xD and brings the total number of front USB ports up to three. There are six at the back, along with an eSATA port, plus serial and parallel ports, which could be useful if you need support for old hardware. The keyboard and mouse - a wired Logitech set - are comfortable to use.

The collect-and-return warranty saves you the cost of sending the PC back to PC Specialist if a fault develops within 12 months. Unfortunately, despite this and the large 22in monitor, the Fusion 945's specification pales next to Mesh's Blu-ray-equipped Matrix II 925 HD and is totally outclassed in terms of power by the sheer might of the Core i5 PCs. RL Supplies' Modula Performa is a better choice if you want great performance, particularly if you're prepared to add extra RAM.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorAMD Phenom II X4 945
Processor external bus200MHz (2GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplierx15
Processor clock speed3GHz
Processor socketAM3
Level 1 cache4x 128KB
Level 2 cache4x 512KB
Memory4.000000
Memory typePC2-6400
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardAsus M4A78
Motherboard chipsetNvidia nForce 720a
Power consumption standby3W
Power consumption idle76W
Power consumption active142W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)3/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
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 ports3
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays2

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Western Digital Caviar (WD7500AADS-00L5B1)
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity750GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)512MB ATI Radeon 4670
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, TV out

Sound

SoundVia VT1708S
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, stereo out, mic in
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsSD, SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick, CompactFlash, MicroDrive, SmartMedia
Optical drive modelHL-DT-ST GH22NS40
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size22 in
Screen modelAcer 22 W
Native resolution1,680x1,050
Response time5ms
Screen inputsDVI, VGA

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardLogitech Deluxe 250 Keyboard
MouseLogitech M-UAE96

Software

Software includedNero Burning Suite 7, Cyberlink PowerDVD 7
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium 64-bit + Windows 7 Upgrade
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£649
Detailswww.pcspecialist.co.uk

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