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RL Supplies RL Modula i5-1000 review

Kat Orphanides
20 Feb 2010
RL Supplies RL Modula i5-1000
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
700
inc VAT

This powerful Core i5 PC has loads of disk space and a great processor, but the included graphics card is the first thing you'll want to change.

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Specifications

2.66GHz Intel Core i5-750, 4.000000 RAM, 22in 1,680x1,050 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

RL Supplies has selected a decent range of components for its Modula i5-1000, making it one of the most powerful computers that we've seen. For starters, it's kitted out with a quad-core 2.66Ghz Core i5-750 processor.

Combined with the system's 4GB of RAM, the processor helped make short work of our benchmarks. The power of the four cores can be seen in the video encoding test result of 134, while an overall score of 135 shows that this is an incredibly fast PC capable of any task.

It's quite a disappointment, then, that the graphics card isn't up too much. While most £700 PCs are fitted with one of ATI's modern HD 5xxx series cards, the RL Modula uses the older generation Radeon HD 4670. This is considerably slower than the newer graphics cards and managed just 27.4fps in our Call of Duty 4 test and a paltry 15fps in Crysis. To play modern games you'll need to dial detail settings and resolutions down. It's a shame that this compromise has had to be made, and we'd have rather that RL Supplies had chosen a slower and cheaper processor, and fitted a faster graphics card.

The rest of the PC is a similar mixed bag. Starting with the good, the 750GB hard disk is a good choice and larger than you'd expect to find on a PC at this price. It provides plenty of storage space, so you shouldn't need to upgrade. If you do need to, there are five free 3.5in drive bays and three spare 5.25in bays. With three spare SATA ports, extra hard disks will be easy to add. A memory card reader, which supports all of the most common formats, makes it easy to copy photos or videos from digital cameras and camcorders.

The case is functional, but not very attractive. It's quite thin, too, so does nothing to mask the sound of the cooling fans and hard disks. Tucking the PC under a desk should help, and it's not loud enough to be very distracting. It's a shame that there's only a single USB port on the front and four at the back, as this doesn't let you connect a lot of peripherals.

The Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H is a microATX motherboard, which limits upgrades a little. That said, there's a spare PCI-E x16 slot for expansion cards or adding a second card in CrossFire mode, and two PCI slots. However, one PCI slot is blocked by the installed graphics card.

The system comes with a HannsG Hi221D monitor with DVI and VGA inputs and a resolution of 1,680x1,050 (we'd have preferred a monitor with a 1,920x1,080 resolution). It's a great budget display, with bright whites and even backlighting. Accurate colours look great, but no dynamic contrast ratio means that dark scenes in films and games lose detail. The accompanying keyboard and mouse are a comfortable wired Microsoft set.

The RL Modula i5-1000 is a powerful computer for 2D tasks thanks to its powerful processor, but the poor graphics card lets it down. Yoyotech's Warbird i650 is faster in Windows and games and is a better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core i5-750
Processor external bus133MHz (2.5GB/s Direct Media Interface)
Processor multiplierx24
Processor clock speed2.66GHz
Processor socketLGA1156
Level 1 cache4x 32KB
Level 2 cache4x 256KB
Memory4.000000
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardGigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H
Motherboard chipsetIntel H55

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)3/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/1
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone
Other portsVGA, DVI, DisplayPort, HDMI

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports3
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Barracuda (ST3750640NS)
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity750GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)1GB ATI Radeon HD 4670
Graphics/video portsHDMI, DVI, VGA

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC889
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, stereo out, mic in
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsCF, SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Optical drive modelOptiarc AD-5240S
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size22 in
Screen modelHanns.G Hi221D
Native resolution1,680x1,050
Response time5ms
Screen inputsDVI, VGA

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardMicrosoft Wired Keyboard 500
MouseMicrosoft Wheel Mouse Optical 1.1A

Software

Software includedNero 8 Essentials
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionnone

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years RTB
Price£700
Detailswww.rlsupplies.co.uk

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