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Eclipse Solar Crossfire i575R487 review

Kat Orphanides
13 Oct 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
650
inc VAT

The Solar Crossfire is a good-value gaming system, but the cheap case and monitor are outclassed by the rest of the PC.

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Specifications

2.66GHz Intel Core i5-750, 4.000000 RAM, 19in 1,366x768 display, Windows Vista Home Premium

Eclipse's Solar Crossfire i575R487 is a powerful computer, with benchmark scores that rival those of PCs costing £150 more. This is thanks to a combination of an Intel Core i5 750 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 512MB ATI Radeon 4870 graphics card.

Unfortunately, these components didn't leave room in the budget for much other high-quality kit. Our biggest problem with this approach is that the monitor tends to suffer, and Eclipse has provided a cheap-looking and small 19in Hyundai BlueH H95W monitor. Its relatively low resolution of 1,366x768 doesn't give much room on the desktop to keep multiple windows open. Image quality is reasonable, though, and it has a DVI interface.

The Crossfire's case feels flimsy and became warm to the touch after being left on for a couple of hours. There are no case fans at all, yet the PC is noisy even when idle. It's power-hungry when idle, too, consuming 140W.

Inside the case, things look better. There's space on the Asrock P55M Pro motherboard for a second HD 4870 graphics card in CrossFire mode. The PCI-E x1 slot is blocked, but there's a free PCI slot. Memory can be upgraded to 16GB, but you'll need to install a 64-bit operating system to take advantage of more than around 3.5GB. Two free SATA ports and five spare 3?in drive bays mean that there's plenty of room to add storage to bolster the slightly meagre 500GB hard disk. If you want external storage, there are two front USB port and eight rear ports. Two of the rear USB ports also double as eSATA ports.

The mouse and keyboard - a Microsoft Basic set - are adequate, despite somewhat spongy keys. Unfortunately for Eclipse, the poor-quality case and monitor are both at odds with the powerful core components, and leave the Solar Crossfire feeling unbalanced. If you already have a good monitor, mouse and keyboard, however, the PC is worth buying on its own for £550, despite the flimsy case.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core i5-750
Processor external bus133MHz (2,400MHz QuickPath Interconnect)
Processor multiplierx24
Processor clock speed2.66GHz
Processor socketLGA1156
Level 1 cache4x 64KB
Level 2 cache4x 256KB
Memory4.000000
Memory typePC3-10600
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardAsrock P55M Pro
Motherboard chipsetIntel P55
Power consumption standby3W
Power consumption idle140W
Power consumption active268W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/8
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/1
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/2
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone
Other portsnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports2
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung HD502HI
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity500GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

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

Sound

SoundVia VT1708S
Sound outputs7.1 line out, coaxial S/PDIF out, optical S/PDIF out, stereo line out, mic in
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 modelHyundai BlueH H95W
Native resolution1,366x768
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£650
Detailswww.eclipsecomputers.com

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