Aria Gladiator Proteus 550 review

Barry de la Rosa
30 Jun 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Aria's choice of an AMD processor means it can add some interesting extras, but performance suffers, power drain is excessive, and the Edge10 monitor is disappointing



3.2GHz AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition, 4GB RAM, 24in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Aria's Gladiator Proteus 550 is fitted with an AMD processor rather than an Intel model. Since AMD chips tend to be cheaper, this explains how the Proteus also manages to pack a 24in monitor, a 1TB hard disk and a Blu-ray drive for this price. Aria has also taken the unusual step of fitting a Wi-Fi card into the single PCI-E x1 slot, and it's also unusual at this price in having a memory card reader.

Aria Gladiator Proteus 550

Aria's taste for the unusual starts with a generous 24in widescreen monitor from Edge10, a British company whose monitors we've been impressed with before. The M240 doesn't have LED backlighting; the CCFL backlight is dull and has a strong blue cast to it which makes images seem colder than they should be. Controls are crude and fiddly and, as there's no DVI cable in the box, you have to connect it via analogue VGA.

Aria Gladiator Proteus 550 Back

The Proteus 550's Cooler Master case looks smart and is bristling with extras. On the front panel is a memory card reader that has slots for most cards, plus an extra USB port. The rear panel has the widest variety of ports that we've seen for a while, with four USB2 and two USB3 ports, plus single eSATA and FireWire ports. There's 7.1 analogue outputs and an optical S/PDIF output.

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