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Aria Proteus Mirage GTK Family PC review

Kat Orphanides
8 Jul 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
850
inc VAT

This is a great all-round entertainment PC, but it's not quite the best you can get for the money

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Specifications

4.4GHz Intel Core i5-2500K, 4GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Aria's Proteus Mirage GTK Family PC is designed to do whatever your family needs, whether it's playing the latest games, running serious software or kicking back and watching a Blu-ray. It's even quiet enough to leave in the sitting room without any complaints, thanks to its modest 430W Corsair power supply and an ultra-quiet Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 CPU cooler. There's only one case fan, too.

This is even more surprising given that the system's Core i5-2500K processor has been overclocked to a very respectable 4.4GHz from its default 3.3GHz. This produced some excellent results in our benchmark tests, with an Overall score of 127, as compared to a reference score of 100 from a non-overclocked i5-2500K PC.

Aria Proteus Mirage GTK Family PC inside

The graphics card is a comparatively modest but very capable Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 SE with 768MB of memory. It's not going to break any records, but it has full support for DirectX 11 and produced frame rates of 40fps in Crysis at 1,680x1,050 and 37fps in our new Dirt 3 test, which runs at Ultra quality at 1,920x1,080 and 4x anti-aliasing (see How We Test, pXX). The system's 4GB of memory is easily up to gaming and running most desktop software, although you'll want to buy more if you plan on doing a lot of video editing, rendering or batch processing of photos.

High end gaming is all well and good after you've got the rest of the family to go to bed, but the Proteus Mirage GTK Family PC also has you covered if you're after more sociable entertainment. The disc drive can read Blu-ray as well as standard CDs and DVDs, and the graphics card has an HDMI output alongside its VGA and DVI ports, so you can connect it directly to an HDTV. Nvidia's on-board support for HDCP audio means that you'll be able to route full quality 7.1 surround sound to an AV amp via HDMI, too. For the rest of your audio needs, the on-board Realtek ALC892 audio processor can output up to 7.1 sound via either six analogue 3.5mm ports, co-axial S/PDIF or optical S/PDIF.

Aria Proteus Mirage GTK Family PC rear

If you're planning on keeping the PC somewhere that allows you to easily connect it to your TV, you won't necessarily want to route an Ethernet cable around the room to get to it. One of the Mirage's two PCI slots is occupied by an 802.11n wireless adaptor card. It can only use the 2.4GHz band, but if it's fairly near your router you should be able to get speeds of over 20Mbit/s - fast enough to stream HD video. To make the PC an even more versatile media system, you could use one of its spare slots to add a digital TV tuner.

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