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Aria Proteus Vision review

Kat Orphanides
5 Mar 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
450
inc VAT

AMD Fusion is perfect for a media centre PC, but this little computer from Aria is a bit too big to fit the bill.

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Specifications

1.6GHz AMD Zacate E-350, 4GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Aria’s Proteus Vision uses AMD's Fusion motherboard and integrated processor. In this case, the motherboard is an Asus E35M1-M Pro with an AMD Zacate E-350 processor fixed on to it. The dual-core Zacate is a rival to Intel’s latest dual-core Atom processors and it has similar performance, with an Overall score of 32 in our tests. It's conspicuously slow, but it’ll play video, browse the web and perform other basic tasks without any fuss.

It has a Blu-ray drive, an Asus Xonar DX sound card with support for analogue and digital surround sound, a 1TB hard disk for your media and a 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless adaptor. The sound card is excellent, upgrading the E35M1-M Pro’s basic integrated audio to high quality 7.1 surround sound. These would be great features in compact media centre PC, but the Proteus Vision's compact tower case, although small, isn’t small enough.

Aria Proteus Vision

It measures 355x174x434mm: too big to fit any TV stand we’ve ever seen. The benefit of the extra size is a bit of room for expansion, with three unused SATA III ports, a 5.25in bay for a second disc drive and three internal 3.5in bays. Between the front and rear panels, the Proteus Vision also has eight USB ports - two of them USB3 - an eSATA III port and a PS/2 input for a mouse or keyboard, while the memory card reader that could handle everything we threw at it.

Aria Proteus Vision back

You can connect the integrated ATI Radeon HD 6310 graphics chipset to a monitor or TV using VGA, DVI or HDMI. The graphics processor only managed 8.1fps in our CoD4 test, but you can play glossy looking casual games like Popcap’s Plants vs. Zombies. If you want to upgrade later, there's a free PCI-E x16 slot and an unoccupied PCI slot. The remaining PCI and PCI-E x1 slots are taken up by the wireless adaptor and sound card respectively. There are only two memory slots, both occupied by 2GB sticks, but they can take a maximum of 4GB each.

Aria Proteus Vision interior

The Proteus Vision comes installed with a 64-bit version of Windows Home Premium and CyberLink’s Blu-ray suite, which adds to its media centre credentials. But this isn’t a media centre PC. It’s too big, and doesn’t look like a something you’d find in your sitting room either. It comes without a remote control, but you could pick up an Media Center-compatible IR remote kit for around £20.

Sometimes appearances really do count. The Proteus Vision could easily have been an ideal media PC, but the choice of case makes that impractical and turns it into just another a small, bland-looking and underpowered desktop. For the same money you can buy OP3's award-winning Mars without a monitor and then customise it with a sound card and Blu-ray drive.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorAMD Zacate E-350
Processor multiplierx20
Processor clock speed1.6GHz
Processor socketBGA-413
Memory4
Memory typePC3-10600
Maximum memory8GB
MotherboardAsus E35M1-M Pro
Motherboard chipsetAMD Hudson M1

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 support802.11n

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports3
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays4

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung HD103SJ
InterfaceSATA II
Total storage capacity1,000GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)AMD Zacate Radeon HD 6310
Graphics/video portsHDMI, DVI, VGA

Sound

SoundAsus Xonar DX
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out (shared with line/mic in)
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsSD, SDHC, CF, Memory Stick PRO Duo, MMC, RS-MMC, microSD, Memory Stick Micro (M2), xD
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL BD-ROM

Display

Screen modelN/A
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

Keyboardnone
Mousenone

Software

Software includedCyberLink Blu-ray Suite
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£450
Supplierhttp://www.aria.co.uk
Detailswww.aria.co.uk

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