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Yoyotech Viper Carbon CS review

Barry de la Rosa
25 Dec 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
500
inc VAT

The choice of a 60GB SSD in place of a hard disk improves performance, but the choice of motherboard limits the Viper Carbon CS's potential for expansion

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Specifications

3.1GHz Intel Core i3-2100, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

With hard disk prices through the roof currently, Yoyotech has taken a novel approach to building a budget PC: instead of fitting a hard disk, the firm has opted for a 60GB solid state disk (SSD). With Windows 7 installed, this leaves only about 18GB of free space for files, but it also improves performance, boosting the Viper Carbon CS's 3.1GHz Core i3-2100 processor to the same level of performance as PCs using the 3.3GHz Core i3-2120.

Yoyotech Viper Carbon CS

It also means that, once hard disk prices come back down, you'll be able to add plenty of storage to the system and not have to worry about re-installing the operating system. However you'll have to rely on external storage to get by until that time – portable USB disks haven’t yet increased in price too much. The Viper Carbon CS includes a rare FireWire port, which is mainly used to connect digital camcorders, but it also has eight USB ports, two of which support the faster USB3 standard.

Yoyotech Viper Carbon CS

Inside the case, there's limited room for upgrades. There are several free drive bays, each with a quick-release mechanism that makes adding disks and drives a breeze, but there are only two free SATA headers. You can add more via an expansion card, but there are only three free slots for this: one PCI and two PCI-E x1. One of the latter will be unusable if you fit a dedicated graphics card into the single PCI-E x16 slot.

On the outside, there are a few missing ports. The integrated graphics only has VGA and DVI outputs (no HDMI), and audio is limited to three 3.5mm minijacks. This isn’t ideal for connecting to a home cinema setup, but fine for standard PC surround sets.

Yoyotech Viper Carbon CS

It's a shame that Yoyotech hasn't included a DVI cable in the box, given that the HannsG HH221DPB monitor has both VGA and DVI inputs. Image quality isn’t bad via VGA, although we noticed a red cast and contrast isn't as good as on other budget monitors.

A Microsoft keyboard and mouse set complete the bundle. It's Microsoft's cheapest set, and while build quality is what you'd expect from Microsoft, the keys have little travel and are too bouncy. The mouse is lightweight but provides good feedback.

Performance, as we’ve mentioned, was improved by the SSD, but the overall score of 64 in our multimedia benchmarks is nothing special. It’s enough for undemanding users, but you can get better performance elsewhere for the same money. The same is true of 3D performance. The i3-2100's integrated graphics chip can decode HD video content, but it could only manage 13fps in our DiRT 3 test.

We applaud Yoyotech's brave decision to go with an SSD instead of a hard drive, setting the Viper Carbon CS up as a long-term investment to be upgraded at a later date, but sadly the choice of motherboard, with its limited expansion potential, undermines this philosophy somewhat. It's not a bad PC, but it's overshadowed by the Blu-ray-equipped Palicomp Hyper Flame.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i3-2100
Processor external bus100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplierx31
Processor clock speed3.1GHz
Processor socketLGA1155
Memory4
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardAsustek P8H61-M LE
Motherboard chipsetIntel H61

Ports

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

Internal Expansion

Casetower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)2 (2)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports2
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays6

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)OCZ Agility 3 60GB
InterfaceSATA3
Total storage capacity60GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Intel HD Graphics 2000
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI

Sound

SoundRealtek HD Audio
Sound outputs5.1 line out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

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

Display

Viewable size22 in
Screen modelHannsG HH221DPB
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsVGA, DVI

Other Hardware

KeyboardMicrosoft Wired Keyboard 400
MouseMicrosoft Basic Optical Mouse v2.0

Software

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

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£500
Detailswww.yoyotech.co.uk

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