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Eclipse Matrix i355r577 OC Xfire review

Tom Morgan
12 Dec 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
550
inc VAT

The overclocked processor is impressively fast and the graphics card is reasonably powerful, but both the monitor and hard disk are smaller than rivals' at this price.

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Specifications

4.0GHz Intel Core i3-550, 4GB RAM, 18.5in 1,366x768 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

The Matrix i355R577 OC Xfire is impressively fast for a budget PC thanks to a massively overclocked processor. Eclipse has pushed the Intel Core i3-550 from its original 3.2GHz clock speed up to just over 4GHz, which produced some very impressive scores in our benchmarks. With this much performance, only the most demanding programs will tax the processor.

Despite the overclock, Eclipse has kept the standard Intel CPU cooler and - surprisingly - hasn’t added a single cooling fan to the case. The power supply and graphics card each have their own fans, but we really would have expected at least one exhaust fan to remove hot air from the case. Cable management is very neat, which keeps the flow of air through the case from being obstructed, so temperatures remained at sensible levels.

Eclipse Matrix i355r577 OC Xfire

The bundled monitor is an 18.5in BenQ model, which doesn’t have a full HD resolution. The image quality was very good, with accurate colour reproduction and impressive viewing angles, but we still would have liked a larger screen. It is, however, a good match for the ATi graphics card. The single-slot Radeon HD 5570 managed 26fps in our Call of Duty 4 test, which is borderline-playable. The test runs at a higher resolution than the BenQ monitor can support, so running it again at its native 1,366x768 resolution produced a much more acceptable 39fps. The underpowered card will struggle with demanding games such as Crysis, even at the screen’s native resolution.

The 500W power supply has enough overhead for adding more components, but there’s only one free molex adaptor. This is a shame, as the case has room for upgrades: three empty 5 1/4in and five 31/2in drive bays. If you need a high capacity hard disk, you may prefer to buy a PC with more storage: the 500GB hard disk is the bare minimum we'd expect to see at this price. Adding a second disk won’t invalidate the one-year warranty.

The motherboard also has plenty of expansion options. As well as two PCI and two PCI-E x1 slots, there’s a second PCI-E x16 slot for dual graphics cards. The two free memory slots make it easy to upgrade the PC’s RAM from the existing 4GB.

On the front panel of the case you'll find two USB ports plus audio in and out minijacks. Around the back, there’s an eSATA port and five USB ports, as well as a single USB3 port can be used for connecting fast external storage. The bundled Microsoft mouse and keyboard use two USB ports, but for budget models they're good quality and comfortable to use. As well as analogue 7.1 outputs, there’s both optical and coaxial S/PDIF for connecting a set of speakers.

Eclipse Matrix i355r577 OC Xfire ports

The overclocked processor might provide plenty of power, but the small monitor makes the Matrix an unbalanced budget PC compared to rivals, such as the CyberPower Infinity i3 Apollo Elite. If you don’t plan on upgrading to a higher resolution monitor, the Eclipse will manage most games at medium settings, but as soon as you upgrade screen the graphics card will need to be replaced too.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core i3-550
Processor external bus166MHz (665MHz DMI)
Processor multiplierx24
Processor clock speed4.0GHz
Processor socketLGA1156
Memory4
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardASRock P55 Pro/USB3
Motherboard chipsetIntel P55

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays6

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung HD502HJ
InterfaceSATA II
Total storage capacity500GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)ATI Radeon HD 5570
Graphics/video portsVGA

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC892
Sound outputs7.1 line out, coaxial S/PDIF out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size18.5 in
Screen modelBenQ V920
Native resolution1,366x768
Screen inputsVGA, DVI

Other Hardware

KeyboardMicrosoft Wired Keyboard 600
MouseMicrosoft Basic Optical Mouse v2.0

Software

Software includedASRock InstantBoot
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£550
Detailswww.eclipse-computers.com

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