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Eclipse Matrix i5238r777 review

Barry de la Rosa
30 Mar 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
550
inc VAT

The Matrix has a powerful CPU and GPU, as well as some great components, but it needs more hard drive space

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Specifications

3.1GHz Intel Core i5-2380P, 8GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Eclipse's Matrix i5238r777 has an unassuming glossy black case, but underneath lurks a powerful AMD Radeon HD 7770 graphics card, backed up by an Intel Core i5-2380P processor, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB SATA3 hard disk. There's plenty of room for expansion inside the case too, along with a good choice of components.

Eclipse Matrix i5238r777

Its EZ-Cool power supply, for example, is rated at 650W, which provides plenty of power for the installed components and is possibly enough to support a second graphics card. You could, for example, install a second AMD card and link the two using AMD's CrossFire technology, although you should be aware that some games have issues with dual-card setups.

On its own, the 7770 did very well in our benchmarks, scoring a smooth 40fps in Dirt3 and a slightly less impressive 20fps in Crysis 2. You'll be able to play most games, but to get playable frame rates in the latest shooters or other graphically intensive games you'll need to reduce some settings.

With the settings turned down to Very High, we got a far more playable 30fps, although we lost some incredible DirectX 11 effects, such as tessellation. At the Ultra setting, the tyre tracks in the mud in the Crysis 2 benchmark looked like ruts with jagged edges; with the settings turned down to Very High, they looked like a painting on a flat surface.

Eclipse Matrix i5238r777

Intel's Core i5-2380P is a CPU we haven't come across before, and that's because it's brand new, although it's similar to the Core i5-2400 released last year. The only difference is that it doesn't include an onboard graphics chip, which is fine because this PC already has a dedicated card fitted. It's still got plenty of 2D power, however, and scored 102 overall in our Windows benchmarks. Along with 8GB of RAM, this should be sufficient for most users' needs and you'll only notice slowdowns if you're editing large files such as movies or RAW photos.

There's only 500GB of hard disk space, which is still enough for a large collection of multimedia files, but it isn’t as good as the 1TB we've come to expect from a desktop PC. There's plenty of room to add more disks or optical drives, and it has four spare SATA headers. The Seagate hard disk supports SATA3 and takes up one of the two SATA3 headers, which leaves one spare for an SSD should you wish to install a faster Windows boot disk.

Eclipse Matrix i5238r777

Two spare RAM slots are available, although the installed 8GB is more than most people need. There are also spare PCI and PCI-E slots for expansion cards, although the graphics card blocks a PCI-E x1 slot and a normal PCI slot. We hardly noticed noise, even though it has a stock Intel CPU fan, a Zalman 80mm case fan and a graphics card.

We felt the Matrix i5238r777's 500GB hard disk let it down, and we would’ve preferred a 1TB device. It represents great value for money in every other area, however, and it has lots of potential for expansion, a fast graphics card and plenty of Windows performance. A good alternative, if you;re looking for a Blu-ray drive too, is the PC Specialist Enigma HD.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2380P
Processor external bus100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplierx31
Processor clock speed3.1GHz
Processor socketLGA1155
Memory8
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardAsustek P8Z68-V LX
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z68

Ports

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

Internal Expansion

Casetower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)2 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Barracuda (ST500DM002)
InterfaceSATA3
Total storage capacity500GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)1GB AMD Radeon HD 7770
Graphics/video portsDVI, HDMI, 2x DisplayPort

Sound

SoundRealtek HD Audio
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

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

Display

Screen modelnone
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

KeyboardN/A
MouseN/A

Software

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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