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CCL Ace Integral System review

CCL Ace Integral System
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £500
inc VAT

A decent all-rounder, but it's not as good value as CyberPower's Infinity i3 Apollo XT if you're not interested in gaming.


2.9GHz AMD Athlon II X4 635, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

A £500 budget is fairly tight for a complete PC system, yet CCL has managed to include a Full HD monitor, a graphics card capable of playing games, and a reasonably fast processor. The Ace Integral System didn’t do that well in our benchmarks, but as a package it ticks all the right boxes.

We were immediately impressed with the inclusion of a BenQ G2222HD 22in monitor. This 1,920×1,080 resolution display won our Best Buy award last year and, although it doesn’t have LED backlighting, it still has excellent image quality. The backlight was bright and even, and colours were vibrant, with flesh tones particularly realistic.

Driving the BenQ monitor is an Nvidia GeForce GT 240. This budget card won’t play the latest 3D shooters, and managed only 12.7fps in the demanding Crysis test. However, it managed a more playable 27.7fps in Call of Duty 4, and so should be suitable for adventure, role-playing and strategy games such as World of Warcraft or Civilisation.

CCL Ace Integral System

An AMD Athlon II X4 635 coupled with 4GB of RAM managed an overall score of 82 in our main benchmarks. While this is lower than our reference system, it’s still far more powerful than most laptops, and will fly through most office and internet tasks. If you want to do serious image or video editing, however, the Ace won’t be suitable.

Another slight disappointment is the lack of options for expansion. The motherboard only has two SATA ports, which are used for the hard disk and optical drive, so despite a fair number of free drive bays, you won’t be able to add any more drives unless you install a PCI card with more SATA ports. Externally, your options are similarly limited, with only six USB ports and no eSATA or FireWire ports.

CCL has included two USB-to-PS/2 adaptors for the keyboard and mouse set so they don’t take up USB ports. While these Microsoft peripherals look smart, they are basic models. The keyboard has slightly spongy keys while the mouse, although large and comfortable to grip, is very light and feels rather fragile. While the adaptors help you free up USB ports, they also look rather ungainly sticking out of the back of your PC.

The only other component you may want to replace is the noisy fan fitted to the side of the Ace. Buying a low-noise fan, such as the Zalman ZM-F1 Plus, would make the Ace less irritating. It’s also worth noting that, like virtually all current AMD processors, the Athlon in the Ace draws more power than Intel’s Core i3 – the Ace uses a whopping 98W when idle.

The Ace Integral System has a fast enough processor to run most applications, a dedicated graphics card that can play games and a Full HD monitor, but of these only the monitor is really exceptional. Serious gamers will be put off by the mediocre graphics card, while those who don’t want to play games at all, would be better off ignoring the Ace altogether and buying CyberPower’s Infinity i3 Apollo XT base system and a decent monitor.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor AMD Athlon II X4 635
Processor external bus 200MHz (1GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplier x14.5
Processor clock speed 2.9GHz
Processor socket AM3
Level 1 cache 4x 128KB
Level 2 cache 4x 512KB
Memory 4
Memory type DDR2
Maximum memory 8GB
Motherboard Asus M2N68-AM SE2
Motherboard chipset Nvidia GeForce 7025


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) 1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 0
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 4

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C (HDS721050CLA)
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 500GB
Spindle speed 7,200rpm


Graphics card(s) Nvidia GeForce GT 240
Graphics/video ports VGA, DVI, HDMI


Sound Realtek HD Audio
Sound outputs 5.1 line out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards none
Optical drive model HL-DT-ST GH22NS50
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM


Viewable size 22 in
Screen model BenQ G2220HD
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
Response time 5ms
Screen inputs VGA, DVI

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Microsoft Digital Media Keyboard 1.0A
Mouse Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical


Software included Microsoft Office 2010 Starter
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £500

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