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CCL Ace Integral System review

Barry de la Rosa
12 Aug 2010
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.

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Specifications

2.9GHz AMD Athlon II X4 635, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920x1,080 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 1,920x1,080 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***
ProcessorAMD Athlon II X4 635
Processor external bus200MHz (1GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplierx14.5
Processor clock speed2.9GHz
Processor socketAM3
Level 1 cache4x 128KB
Level 2 cache4x 512KB
Memory4
Memory typeDDR2
Maximum memory8GB
MotherboardAsus M2N68-AM SE2
Motherboard chipsetNvidia GeForce 7025

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 ports0
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays4

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C (HDS721050CLA)
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity500GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

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

Sound

SoundRealtek HD Audio
Sound outputs5.1 line out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive modelHL-DT-ST GH22NS50
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM

Display

Viewable size22 in
Screen modelBenQ G2220HD
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Response time5ms
Screen inputsVGA, DVI

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardMicrosoft Digital Media Keyboard 1.0A
MouseMicrosoft IntelliMouse Optical

Software

Software includedMicrosoft Office 2010 Starter
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£500
Detailswww.cclonline.com

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